The Joy of the Lord

God gives us several commands throughout His Word to rejoice in Him. When God thinks a concept is worth repeating, it is definitely worthy of our consideration (Psalm 32:11, 35:9, 64:10, 97:12, 104:34; Isaiah 29:10, 41:16; Joel 2:23; Habakkuk 3:18; Zechariah 10:7; Philippians 3:1, 4:4).

When the joy of the Lord fills our spirit, it also affects our body and soul – our thoughts, choices and feelings. It influences our words and actions and how we relate to our self and to other people.

It affects our relationship with the Lord and helps us to sing the praises to Him that He is worthy to receive (Psalm 147:1). We pray about everything and give thanks in everything, even in the negative aspects of our life (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

The Lord puts a hymn of praise, a new song, in our heart (Psalm 40:3). We come before His presence with thanksgiving as we make a joyful noise to Him in song (Psalm 100). His joy is our continual source of strength (Nehemiah 8:10),

God’s Word is living and powerful and teaches us to abide in our spirit rather than in our body and our soul (Hebrews 4:12; John 15:11; Galatians 2:20). He opens the eyes of our understanding to the opportunities we have to walk and live in His Spirit.

God helps us to discern between the desires of our flesh and the leading of His Spirit. We no longer allow the appetites of our body, considerations of our mind or fickleness of our emotions to dictate our thoughts, words or behavior.

Instead we seek the Lord to reveal the root source of any negative impulses we experience and to free us from any dictates of our flesh, any influence of the world and any tyranny of the devil over our life.

Prayer:
Father God, we submit our spirit, body and soul – our every thought, choice and emotion – to Your Spirit. Our union with You consumes our every waking moment, and we want nothing more than for You to live Your life in and through us.

Remind us not to worry about anything, but to seek Your will in ceaseless prayer. We want to live a life of continual joy, prayer and thanksgiving to You through Christ in us (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). We thank You for meeting all of our needs, and for giving us Your peace, which is not dependent on our human reasoning and understanding, and which guards our hearts and minds as we live, move and have our being in Christ alone (Philippians 4:4-6; Acts 17:28).

Thought for the Day:
The Lord loves us so much that He actually takes delight in us and rejoices over us with singing. – Zephaniah 3:17

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The Name of the Lord – Meanings and Uses

Most names have a meaning and may describe the person’s character, nature and attributes. This was true even in Bible times. God also used different names in order to describe Himself to us.

It is valuable for us to study and understand the power, provision and protection we have in God’s name. The main point is that the name of the Lord is a high tower; and when we run into it, we are safe (Proverbs 8:10). God never abandons us on this earth and is always with us (Hebrew 13:5).

The first word in the Bible referring to God is Elohim – a plural word denoting the Trinity and identifying God as Creator (Genesis 1:1, 26). Other names are:
El Shaddai (Almighty one who nourishes and supplies)
Immanuel (God with us)
Eli (My God)
YHWH (God or the Lord)
Pater (Father)
Kurios (Lord)
I AM (John 8:58)
The Rock (Jesus)
God of hosts (Amos 5:27)
Branch (Zechariah 6:12)
YAH (Revelation 19:1-6)
Onoma (the Word of God, Revelation 19:13)
Shammah (present)
Maccaddeshcem (Sanctifier, Exodus 31:13)
Tsidkenu (our righteousness)
Yahweh Nissi (Our ‘banner of victory that glistens’)
Yahweh Shalom (our peace, full, complete, finished, and perfect)
Yahweh Adonai (the one who is and who reigns)
Yahweh Jireh (the one who provides and who sees before time)
Yahweh Rophe (The adequate healer)
Yahweh Sabbaoth (The Lord of Hosts of the armies of heaven)
Adonai (the One who owns and rules over all)
El Olam (the everlasting, unchanging and God of inexhaustible strength)

Jesus manifests God’s name to us (John 17:6). We too glorify His name and consecrate our life to Him in holiness; so that we never bring shame to His name (Leviticus 21:6). We are a dwelling place for His name.

We proclaim God’s name to one another in worship and sing His praises (Hebrews 2:12); we bless His name (Psalm 100:4); give thanks to His name (Psalm 140:13; Hebrews 13:15); call upon His name (Exodus 34:5; Acts 22:16; 1 Corinthians 1:12); and walk in His name (Zechariah 10:12).

When we focus our love on God, He delivers us. He sets us up on the Rock of Christ, when we believe in His Holy name (Psalm 27:5). God gives His angels charge over us, to protect our every step, and even to prevent us from stubbing our toe (Psalm 91:11).

Prayer:
Father God, teach us to give thought to the reverence, which we owe to Your name, and the power, which we have in Your name. If two or three gather in Your name, You are is in our midst (Matthew 18:20). If we receive a child in Your name, You and Jesus receive us (Matthew 18:5; Mark 9:37; Luke 9:48).

Remind us that whatever we do, even if it is a spoken word or some mundane action, You call us to do it in the name of the Lord Jesus. We give thanks through Christ to You (Colossians 3:17; Ephesians 5:20).

Thought for the Day:
When we remember and appeal to His name, God comes and blesses us. – Exodus 20:24; Numbers 5:27

Precious in the Sight of the Lord

A Christian’s Eternity

God recorded every one of the days of our life in His book prior to our birth. He laid out each moment of time before even one day passed. In fact, He watched as we were formed in our mother’s womb. He made all of our delicate, complex internal organs by His creative workmanship (Psalm 139:13-16). God has a perfect plan for every life (Ephesians 2:10).

In our times of trouble on this earth, our Heavenly Daddy is a refuge for the oppressed. We learn to trust in Him, because He never leaves or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5; Psalm 9:9). In fact, God does not even leave us to rot in the grave. When we die, He sends angels to carry us to Heaven (Luke 16:22). Then, He raises us up in new life as His sons, and we never die again (Luke 20:36).

Solomon, in all of His wisdom, realized that the day of our death is better than the day of our birth (Ecclesiastes 7:1). To be out of this earthly body means that we are face-to-face with our Creator and King (2 Corinthians 5:8). We experience all the joys of knowing God in this life, and then He provides us with the wondrous pleasure of His own unending presence throughout eternity (Psalm 16:9-11).

The death of His Saints is precious in the sight of the Lord (Psalm 116:15). We are never parted from our Lord and Savior, not even by death. We leave this old sin-cursed world behind and enter the glories of Heaven with our Daddy God. God is our guide throughout life, and He also walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 48:14; Psalm 23:4).

Prayer:
Father God, when we put our trust in Your name and live by faith in Your faithfulness, You never let us down. You even give us Your peace and joy as we leave this world behind (Psalm 9:10-11). We sing praises to You now in this life, and we will continue to sing Your praises when we enter Your heavenly city. Remind us to tell everyone we know about Your goodness to us during this lifetime, so they will know You too.

Thought for the Day:
God gives His righteous bride a refuge in death. – Proverbs 14:32

Joyful Thanksgiving

Joyful Thanksgiving

We each suffer terrible trials during our lifetime. We are ridiculed, rejected, abused, accused, deprived, discouraged, denied, and broken when we experience various levels of disaster and disease. Only by the power of God’s Spirit within us can we praise when we want to fight or run away.

God advises us to praise Him during these appalling times, because God is in them with us. He never leaves us, so our joy is always complete (Hebrews 13:5; John 15:11). We can give thanks for every trial, because it cannot come to us unless He allows it, and because He reduces its negative effect on us (Romans 8:28).

God calls His children to live with gratitude to Him in our heart through every situation we experience (James 1:2-5; Hebrews 12:3-13; 1 Peter 2:20-21). The Spirit teaches us that our joy does not depend on our circumstances, but simply on the fact that we are constantly in the presence of Christ.

Jesus allowed His own body to be broken (Isaiah 53:10-11). Yet prior to his torture and crucifixion, he gave thanks for God’s mercy in His life and for His hope of our everlasting existence (Luke 22:19;). He knew this was the only way to forgive our sins, so He suffered and died in our place (Philippians 2:11, John 15:11; Psalm 16:11).

Jesus is our only way, truth and life (John 14:6). Our most shattering experience and most dreadful day are God’s best tools to increase our intimate relationship with Him. In our gratitude, we sing songs of praise to the Lord and serve Him with His joy in our heart (1 Thessalonians 5:18). The Lord is God, and He made us; so we belong to Him. The Psalms are full of reasons to give thanks to God (Psalm 30, 50, 69, 92, 95, 105, 118, etc).

Prayer:
Father God, we always give thanks to You, in the name of Jesus, for everything; even the negative aspects of our life (Ephesians 5:20). Whatever occurs is from You for the purpose of bringing our body, soul or spirit is line with Your perfect will for us. Through Christ, even when we are out of human options and feeling abandoned, we continually offer the sacrifice of praise to You with words inspired by thanksgiving for all You already did, as well as what You will continue to do for us (Hebrews 13:15).

Thought for the Day:
We begin all of our prayers with words of thanksgiving and praise, because God is good and His mercy and truth are everlasting. – Psalm 100