Foreverword

Great Joy!

Have you ever read what many call a simple portion of scripture or maybe a well-known passage and just be struck in awe of one phrase or word?

I did this morning.

I got up for work, a little tired, not really wanting to be at work but to just stay at home in my pajamas – resting. The morning had been blah and dull and I felt very unspiritual, even troubled.  So finally decided to take a break and read some scripture.

I read Luke 2:10 & 11— “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”

I could not get past the words great joy. Over and over I read the words great joy and kept asking myself, “What does it mean—great joy? What is the Lord trying to say to me—GREAT JOY? I almost felt a desperation to understand these words. Have you ever felt in your heart, that you had to figure something out for your own well-being?

Sometimes we, as Christians, go through life suffering disappointments, broken hearts, failures, day-to-day weariness, physical ailments, stress of life that bring us down. Often this goes on for years and little by little we are worn down without realizing what it is happening. Song of Solomon 2:15 says, “the little foxes, that spoil the vine.” These things sap us of our vitality, the spring in our step, the sparkle in our eye and the great joy. Oh, not purposely, but we focus on life and not rest of Luke 2:10 & 11—the Good News, a Savior has been born, our Messiah, the Lord!

The word joy can be a noun or a verb but in this portion of scripture it is a noun that means the experience of gladness, happiness, lightnessgreat joy, relief, pressure taken off, a look upward. Couple that with the word great and you have an intense, powerful, life-changing indescribable occurrence and knowledge of change in your life.

I think I am beginning to have an inkling to what the Lord was speaking to me this morning. Most of our lives do have a routine, are fairly mundane and simple but that is NOT what we focus on. Let us look beyond the troubles of this life. “Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)

By the power of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit quickening, the Lord is giving me revelation on how to change my thinking, recognize I may be in a rut, not to let life get me down but soar above these “little foxes”

My prayer and desire today is to live in Great Joy, to walk in the Great Joy. I want to be intensely glad, intensely alive. I don’t want to down one day and up the next but to be consistently joyful!

I pray with David in Psalm 51:12, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”

Resurrection, Restoration, Renewal!!!

Starting out the new year (2012), I didn’t seem to have a word or a vision of what the Lord was doing in my life. In fact, I felt a little disconnected and discouraged. Yet, the Lord has been so mindful of me and loved me and spoken to me through his faithful people.

I went on vacation to KS and God used some mighty people of God to pray for me, encourage me, speak to me.

I read Luke 5:1-11. What a word! I was amazed at the depth of it and how the Lord encouraged me through portion of scripture. Just like in Luke, Jesus knows where I am, how to reach me, how to speak to me, and what to say.

“1 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.”

Here Jesus was preaching and he saw two boats. Those weren’t the only two boats but God had a purpose in choosing that particular site and those very special boats. Here, these men had worked hard all night with nothing seemingly to show for it and they were even cleaning up their equipment. Yet, Jesus told Peter to go ahead to put their nets out again. I think Peter did out of deference but I wonder if he had any great faith that anything would happen. As we read, they caught an overabundance of fish. Peter realized that God was worked a mighty miracle.

That was a short synopsis of the scripture but I felt little like Peter. I was tired, worn, a little hopeless feeling, maybe God has passed me by–getting older thinking maybe God didn’t want to use me for the ministry–maybe I didn’t have a ministry. Yet, through the mighty working of the Holy Spirit, faithful people praying and ministering, the living and life-changing Word of God, I have new hope, a vision for 2012 and beyond, renewal in body, mind, and spirit.

Resurrection, Restoration, Renewal!!!

Haggai 2:9 “The glory of this pConnieresent house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.”

Job 42:12 “The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.”

Just like Peter, I have fallen on my knees and am overwhelmed with the Goodness of the Lord. I have repented and followed the word of the Lord but really not truly believing that He was working on my behalf.

Whoever, reads this post, I pray that you have that miracle of hope, that you are valuable to the Lord, repent of any unbelief and say yes Lord!

Verse 5:11 says they ” left everything and followed him.” That just means you put God first in your life. See Matthew 22:37!

Beloved, “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect).”

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