Bible Study with The Joy of Jesus

What is the Purpose of the Fruits of the Spirit?

There are two huge things that the Fruits of the Spirit accomplish here on Earth.

* They give you the power to fulfill your destiny in Christ.

Without the Holy Spirit bearing spiritual fruit inside of you, you would be powerless.

You wouldn't have the endurance and faithfulness to complete the calling that God has given you. You wouldn't even have the self-discipline to study your Bible or pray.

Without the Fruits of the Spirit, the gifts that God has hidden inside of you, would stay locked away forever.


* They are what God uses to draw people to Himself through you.

Do you know anyone who, no matter the situation, always radiates a godly peace - They are unshakable. People in this world are drawn to that kind of peace.

With all of the chaos surrounding them every day, they search their entire lives for whatever peace and joy they can get their hands on.

They end up trying to fill the void with fleeting counterfeits like alcohol and illicit sex. Things that merely numb their pain for a short while, but leave them longing once again, after the party is over.

When they look at you in a time of crisis, and see God's unshakable peace and joy staring back at them through your eyes, they want to know what you know.

Then, you can introduce them to Who you know.

Remember, the Fruits of the Spirit are not something that you can scrounge up on your own, but gifts that God gives to you. He uses them to set you free from human frailties like anger, fear and depression.

He wants to give you His peace for your stress and anxiety, His love for your unforgiveness, His joy for your depression, and on and on. I explain more about how this Great Exchange takes place, as well as your vital role in the process, in The Hem's Online Bible Class, The Spirit Controlled Life.
Fruit of the Spirit Bible Study:
Reflection Questions:

1. Do you believe in your heart that you have been Marked by the Spirit of God? Why or why not?

2. Do you agree with the idea that people in the world can be drawn to God by His fruit in your life? Why or why not?

3. What Fruits of the Spirit do you already see manifesting in your life?

4. Which of the 9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit do you still need God to manifest inside of you? Stop now and pray for the Holy Spirit to begin this work today

Give and support The Joy of Jesus Today. God Bless You

You can Trust The Joy of Jesus

We need a safe place to put our trust in today. The Holy Spirit has blessed us with this song that has deep intrinsic meaning to ones soul God Bless You. Do give our support The Joy of Jesus with love by visiting any of our sponsor. PEACE in the name of Jesus we pray....

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
Text: Elisha A. Hoffman
Music: Anthony J. Showalter
Tune: SHOWALTER, Meter: 10 9.10 9 with Refrain

1. What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
leaning on the everlasting arms;
what a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
leaning on the everlasting arms.

Refrain:
Leaning, leaning,
safe and secure from all alarms;
leaning, leaning,
leaning on the everlasting arms.

2. O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
leaning on the everlasting arms;
O how bright the path grows from day to day,
leaning on the everlasting arms.
(Refrain)

3. What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
leaning on the everlasting arms?
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
leaning on the everlasting arms.
(Refrain

Praise God for whom all blessings flow to the joy and name of Jesus. A-men...

Sermon- We Need Jesus Today

The Joy of Jesus Praise God in Christ Jesus, and The Holy Spirit for all people. We need God more-so today than yesterday. People are suffering for types of reasons. We humble ourselves in on our knees to pray for the perfect will of God. Jesus is Christ is the only answer. We praise God so much today!

Love is all we need. The peace of God passes all understanding in Christ Jesus. The Lord knows all of the trails we are experiencing.

We are to wait on the Lord and be of good cheer. Jesus is the answer. We pray that your faith will increase and see you through all of these challenges we face. Glory to Glory to God in Jesus name we pray.A-men.

Special Sermon: THE PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
NO. 4
A SERMON DELIVERED ON SABBATH MORNING, JANUARY 21, 1855,
BY THE REV. C. H. SPURGEON,
AT NEW PARK STREET CHAPEL, SOUTHWARK.
“And I will pray the Father and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you
forever: even the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it sees Him not,
neither knows Him: but you know Him for He dwells with you and shall be in you.”
John 14:16, 17.
You will be surprised to hear me announce that I do not intend this morning to say anything about the Holy Spirit
as the Comforter. I propose to reserve that for a special Sermon this evening. In this discourse I shall endeavor to explain
and enforce certain other doctrines which I believe are plainly taught in this text and which I hope God the Holy Spirit
may make profitable to our souls.
Old John Newton once said that there were some books which he could not read, they were good and sound enough,
but, he said, “they are books of halfpence—you have to take so much in quantity before you have any value. There are
other books of silver and others of gold, but I have one book that is a book of bank notes. And every leaf is a bank note of
immense value.”
So I found with this text—that I had a bank note of so large a sum, that I could not preach on it all this morning. I
should have to keep you several hours before I could unfold to you the whole value of this precious promise—one of the
last which Christ gave to His people.
I invite your attention to this passage, because we shall find in it some instruction on four points, first, concerning
the true and proper personality of the Holy Spirit. Secondly, concerning the united agency of the glorious Three Persons in
the work of our salvation. Thirdly, we shall find something to establish the doctrine of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in
the souls of all Believers. And fourthly, we shall find out the reason why the carnal mind rejects the Holy Spirit.
I. First of all, we shall have some little instruction concerning the proper PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
We are so much accustomed to talk about the influence of the Holy Spirit and His sacred operations and graces that we
are apt to forget that the Holy Spirit is truly and actually a Person—that He is a subsistence—an existence. Or as we
Trinitarians usually say, one Person in the essence of the Godhead. I am afraid that though we do not know it, we have
acquired the habit of regarding the Holy Spirit as an emanation flowing from the Father and the Son, but not as being
actually a Person Himself. I know it is not easy to carry about in our mind the idea of the Holy Spirit as a Person.
I can think of the Father as a Person, because His acts are such as I can understand. I see Him hang the world in
ether. I behold Him swaddling a newborn sea in bands of darkness. I know it is He who formed the drops of hail, who
leads forth the stars by their hosts and calls them by their name, I can conceive of Him as a Person because I behold His
operations. I can realize Jesus, the Son of Man, as a real Person because He is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. It
takes no great stretch of my imagination to picture the Babe in Bethlehem, or to behold the, “Man of Sorrows and acquainted
with grief.” I can easily realize the King of martyrs, as He was persecuted in Pilate’s hall, or nailed to the accursed
tree for our sins.
Nor do I find it difficult at times to realize the Person of my Jesus sitting on His Throne in Heaven. Or girt with
clouds and wearing the diadem of all creation, calling the earth to judgment and summoning us to hear our final sentence.
But when I come to deal with the Holy Spirit—His operations are so mysterious, His doings are so secret, His acts
are so removed from everything that is of sense and of the body—that I cannot so easily get the idea of His being a Person.
But a Person He is. God the Holy Spirit is not an influence, an emanation, a stream of something flowing from the
Father. He is as much an actual Person as either God the Son, or God the Father. I shall attempt this morning a little to
establish the doctrine and to show you the truth of it—that God the Holy Spirit is actually a Person.
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The first proof we shall gather from the pool of holy Baptism. Let me take you down, as I have taken others, into the
pool. It is now concealed, but I wish it were always open to your view. Let me take you to the baptismal font, where Believers
put on the name of the Lord Jesus and you shall hear me pronounce the solemn words, “I baptize you in the
name,”—mark—“in the name,” not names—“of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Everyone who is
baptized according to the true form laid down in Scripture must be a Trinitarian—otherwise his Baptism is a farce and a
lie and he himself is found a deceiver and a hypocrite before God.
As the Father is mentioned and as the Son is mentioned, so is the Holy Spirit and the whole is summed up as being a
Trinity in unity, by its being said, not the names, but the “name”—the glorious name—the Jehovah name, “of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Let me remind you that the same thing occurs each time you are dismissed
from this house of prayer. In pronouncing the solemn closing benediction, we invoke on your behalf the love of Jesus
Christ, the grace of the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. And thus, according to the Apostolic manner, we
make a manifest distinction between the Persons showing that we believe the Father to be a Person, the Son to be a Person
and the Holy Spirit to be a Person. Were there no other proofs in Scripture, I think these would be sufficient for
every sensible man. He would see that if the Holy Spirit were a mere influence, He would not be mentioned in conjunction
with two whom we all confess to be actual and proper Persons.
A second argument arises from the fact that the Holy Spirit has actually made different appearances on earth. The
Great Spirit has manifested Himself to man. He has put on a form so that while He has not been beheld by mortal men,
He has been so veiled in appearance that He was seen, so far as that appearance was concerned, by the eyes of all beholders.
Do you see Jesus Christ our Savior? There is the river Jordan, with its shelving banks and its willows weeping at its
side. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, descends into the stream and the holy Baptist, John, plunges Him into the waves.
The doors of Heaven are opened. A miraculous appearance presents itself—a bright light shinning from the sky,
brighter than the sun in all its grandeur—and down in a flood of glory descends something which you recognize to be a
dove. It rests on Jesus—it sits upon His sacred head and as the old painters put a halo round the brow of Jesus, so did the
Holy Spirit shed a resplendence around the face of Him who came to fulfill all Righteousness and therefore commenced
with the ordinances of Baptism. The Holy Spirit was seen as a dove—to mark His purity and His gentleness—and He
came down like a dove from Heaven to show that it is from Heaven alone that He descends.
Nor is this the only time when the Holy Spirit has been manifest in a visible shape. You notice that company of disciples
gathered together in an upper room—they are waiting for some promised blessing—by-and-by it shall come. Hark,
there is a sound as of a rushing mighty wind! It fills all the house where they are sitting. Astonished, they look around
them, wondering what will come next. Soon a bright light appears, shining upon the heads of each—cloven tongues of
fire sat upon them. What were these marvelous appearances of wind and flame but a display of the Holy Spirit in His
proper Person? I say the fact of an appearance manifests that He must be a Person. An influence could not appear—an
attribute could not appear—we cannot see attributes—we cannot behold influences. The Holy Spirit must, then, be a
Person—since He was beheld by mortal eyes and came under the cognizance of mortal sense.
Another proof is from the fact that personal qualities are, in Scripture, ascribed to the Holy Spirit. First, let me read
to you a text in which the Holy Spirit is spoken of as having understanding. In the 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, Chapter
2, you will read, “But as it is written, eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the
things which God has prepared for them that love Him. But God has revealed them unto us by His Spirit—for the Spirit
searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is
in him? Even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God.”
Here you see an understanding—a power of knowledge is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. Now, if there are any persons
here whose minds are of so preposterous a complexion that they would ascribe one attribute to another and would speak
of a mere influence having understanding—then I give up! But I believe every rational man will admit that when anything
is spoken of as having an understanding it must be an existence—it must, in fact, be a Person. In the 12th Chapter,
11th verse of the same Epistle, you will find a will ascribed to the Holy Spirit. “But all these work that one and the self
same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will.”
So it is plain the Spirit has a will. He does not come from God simply at God’s will, but He has a will of His own,
which is always in keeping with the will of the infinite Jehovah, but is, nevertheless, distinct and separate. Therefore I say
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He is a Person. In another text power is ascribed to the Holy Spirit and power is a thing which can only be ascribed to an
existence. In Romans 15:13, it is written, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may
abound in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” I need not insist upon it, because it is self-evident, that wherever
you find understanding, will and power—you must also find an existence. It cannot be a mere attribute. It cannot be a
metaphor. It cannot be a personified influence. It must be a Person.
But I have a proof which, perhaps, will be more telling upon you than any other. Acts and deeds are ascribed to the
Holy Spirit—therefore He must be a Person. you read in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis, that the Spirit brooded
over the surface of the earth, when it was as yet all disorder and confusion. This world was once a mass of chaotic matter.
There was no order. It was like the valley of darkness and of the shadow of death. God the Holy Spirit spread His wings
over it. He sowed the seeds of life in it—the germs from which all beings sprang were implanted by Him. He impregnated
the earth so that it became capable of life.
Now it must have been a Person who brought order out of confusion. It must have been an existence who hovered
over this world and made it what it now is. But do we not read in Scripture something more of the Holy Spirit? Yes, we
are told that “holy men of old spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” When Moses penned the Pentateuch, the
Holy Spirit moved his hand. When David wrote the Psalms and discoursed sweet music on his harp, it was the Holy
Spirit that gave his fingers their Seraphic motion. When Solomon dropped from his lips the words of the Proverbs of
wisdom, or when he hymned the Canticles of love it was the HOLY SPIRIT who gave him words of knowledge and
hymns of rapture.
Ah, and what fire was that which touched the lips of the eloquent Isaiah? What hand was that which came upon
Daniel? What might was that which made Jeremiah so plaintive in his grief? Or what was that which winged Ezekiel and
made him, like an eagle, soar into mysteries aloft and see the mighty unknown beyond our reach? Who was it that made
Amos, the herdsman, a Prophet? Who taught the rough Haggai to pronounce his thundering sentences? Who showed
Habakkuk the horses of Jehovah marching through the waters? Or who kindled the burning eloquence of Nahum? Who
caused Malachi to close up the book with the muttering of the word “curse”? Who was in each of these, save the Holy
Spirit? And must it not have been a Person who spoke in and through these ancient witnesses? We must believe it. We
cannot avoid believing it, when we recall that, “holy men of old spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
And when has the Holy Spirit ceased to have an influence upon men? We find that still He deals with His ministers
and with all His saints. Turn to the Acts and you will find that the Holy Spirit said, “Separate me Paul and Barnabas for
the work.” I never heard of an attribute saying such a thing! The Holy Spirit said to Peter, “Go to the centurion and
what I have cleansed, that call not you common.” The Holy Spirit caught away Philip after he had baptized yon eunuch
and carried him to another place. And the Holy Spirit said to Paul, “you shall not go into that city, but shall turn into
another.” And we know that the Holy Spirit was lied unto by Ananias and Sapphira, when it was said, “you have not
lied unto man, but unto God.”
Again, that power which we feel every day who are called to preach—that wondrous spell which makes our lips so
potent—that power which gives us thoughts which are like birds from a far-off region, not the natives of our soul. That
influence which I sometimes strangely feel, which, if it does not give me poetry and eloquence, gives me a might I never
felt before and lifts me above my fellow man. That majesty with which He clothes His ministers, till in the midst of the
battle they cry, aha! like the war-horse of Job and move themselves like leviathans in the water. That power which gives
us might over men and causes them to sit and listen as if their ears were chained, as if they were entranced by the power of
some magician’s wand—that power must come from a Person—it must come from the Holy Spirit.
But is it not said in Scripture and do we not feel it, dear Brethren, that it is the Holy Spirit who regenerates the soul?
It is the Holy Spirit who quickens us. “You has He quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins.” It is the Holy Spirit
who imparts the first germ of life, convicting us of sin, of righteousness and of judgment to come. And is it not the Holy
Spirit who after that flame is kindled, still fans it with the breath of His mouth and keeps it alive? Its Author is its Preserver.
Oh, can it be said that it is the Holy Spirit who strives in men’s souls, that it is the Holy Spirit who brings them to
the foot of Sinai and then guides them into the sweet place that is called Calvary—can it be said that He does all these
things and yet is not a Person? It may be said, but it must be said by fools. For he never can be a wise man who can consider
that these things can be done by any other than a glorious Person—a Divine Person.
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Allow me to give you one more proof and I shall have done. Certain feelings are ascribed to the Holy Spirit, which
can only be understood upon the supposition that He is actually a Person. In the 4th Chapter of Ephesians, verse 30, it is
said that the Holy Spirit can be grieved—“Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of
redemption.” In Isaiah 63:10 it is said that the Holy Spirit can be vexed—“But they rebelled and vexed His Holy Spirit,
therefore He was turned to be their enemy and He fought against them.” In Acts 7:51 you read that the Holy Spirit can
be resisted—“you stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you do always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers
did, so do you.”
And in the 5th Chapter, 9th verse of the same book, you will find that the Holy Spirit may be tempted. We are there informed
that Peter said to Ananias and Sapphira, “How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the
Lord?” Now, these things could not be emotions which might be ascribed to a quality or an emanation—they must be
understood to relate to a Person. An influence could not be grieved. It must be a Person who can be grieved, vexed, or
resisted. And now, dear Brethren, I think I have fully established the point of the personality of the Holy Spirit.
Allow me now, most earnestly, to impress upon you the absolute necessity of being sound unto the doctrine of the
Trinity. I knew a man, a good minister of Jesus Christ he was—I believe he was before he turned aside unto heresy—he
began to doubt the glorious divinity of our blessed Lord and for years did he preach the heterodox doctrine. Then one
day he happened to hear a very eccentric old minister preaching from the text, “But there the glorious Lord shall be unto
us a place of broad rivers and streams, wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby. Your
tackle is loosed—they could not well strengthen their mast, they could not spread the sail.”
“Now,” said the old minister, “you give up the Trinity and your tackle is loosed, you cannot strengthen your masts.
Once give up the doctrine of three Persons and your tackle is all gone. Your mast, which ought to be a support to your
vessel, is a rickety one and shakes.” A Gospel without a Trinity? It is a pyramid built upon its apex! A Gospel without the
Trinity? It is a rope of sand that cannot hold together! A Gospel without the Trinity? Then, indeed, Satan can overturn
it. But, give me a Gospel with the Trinity and the might of Hell cannot prevail against it. No man can any more overthrow
it than a bubble could split a rock, or a feather break in halves a mountain.
“Get the thought of the three Persons and you have the marrow of all divinity. Only know the Father and know the
Son and know the Holy Spirit to be One and all things will appear clear. This is the golden key to the secrets of nature.
This is the silken clue of the labyrinths of mystery and he who understands this, will soon understand as much as mortals
ever can know.”
II. Now for the second point—the UNITED AGENCY of the Three Persons in the work of our salvation. Look at
the text and you will find all the three Persons mentioned. “I,”—that is the Son—“will pray the Father and He shall
give you another Comforter.” There are the three Persons mentioned—all of them doing something for our salvation. “I
will pray,” says the Son. “I will send,” says the Father. “I will comfort,” says the Holy Spirit. Now, let us for a few moments
discourse upon this wondrous theme—the unity of the Three Persons with regard to the great purpose of the salvation
of the elect.
When God first made man, He said, “Let Us make man,” not let Me, but “Let Us make man in Our own image.” The
covenant Elohim said to each other, “Let Us unitedly become the Creator of man.” So, when in ages far gone by in eternity,
they said, “Let Us save man,” it was not the Father who said, “Let Me save man,” but the Three Persons conjointly
said with One consent, “Let Us save man.” It is to me a source of sweet comfort to think that it is not one Person of the
Trinity that is engaged for my salvation. It is not simply one Person of the Godhead who vows that He will redeem me,
but it is a glorious Trio of Godlike ones and the Three declare, unitedly, “We will save man.”
Now, observe here that each Person is spoken of as performing a separate office. “I will pray,” says the Son—that is
intercession. “I will send,” says the Father—that is donation. “I will comfort,” says the Holy Spirit—that is supernatural
influence. Oh, if it were possible for us to see the three Persons of the Godhead, we should behold one of them standing
before the Throne with outstretched hands crying day and night, “O Lord, how long?” We should see one girt with
Urim and Thummim, precious stones, on which are written the twelve names of the tribes of Israel. We should behold
Him crying unto His Father, “Forget not Your promises, forget not Your covenant.” We should hear Him make mention
of our sorrows and tell forth our griefs on our behalf, for He is our intercessor.
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And could we behold the Father, we should not see Him a listless and idle spectator of the intercession of the Son.
We should see Him with attentive ears listening to every word of Jesus and granting every petition. Where is the Holy
Spirit all the while? Is He lying idle? Oh no, He is floating over the earth and when He sees a weary soul, He says, “Come
to Jesus, He will give you rest.” When He beholds an eye filled with tears, He wipes away the tears and bids the mourner
look for comfort on the Cross. When He sees the tempest-tossed Believer, He takes the helm of his soul and speaks the
word of consolation. He helps the broken in heart and binds up their wounds.
And ever on His mission of mercy, He flies around the world, being everywhere present. Behold how the Three Persons
work together. Do not then say, “I am grateful to the Son”—you ought to be, but God the Son no more saves you
than God the Father. Do not imagine that God the Father is a great tyrant and that God the Son had to die to make
Him merciful. It was not to make the Father’s love flow towards His people. Oh, no. One loves as much as the other. The
Three are conjoined in the great purpose of rescuing the elect from damnation.
But you must notice another thing in my text which will show the blessed unity of the Three—the one Person promises
to the Other. The Son says, “I will pray the Father.” “Very well,” the disciples may have said, “We can trust You for
that.” “And He will send you.” You see here is the Son signing a bond on behalf of the Father. “He will send you another
Comforter.” There is a bond on behalf of the Holy Spirit, too. “And He will abide with you forever.” One person speaks
for the other and how could they if there were any disagreement between them? If one wished to save and the other not,
they could not promise on one another’s behalf. But whatever the Son says, the Father listens to. Whatever the Father
promises, the Holy Spirit works. And whatever the Holy Spirit injects into the soul—God the Father fulfills.
So the Three together mutually promise on one another’s behalf. There is a bond with three names appended—
Father, Son and Holy Spirit. By three immutable things, as well as by two, the Christian is secured beyond the reach of
death and Hell. A Trinity of Securities, because there is a Trinity of God.
III. Our third point is the INDWELLING of the Holy Spirit in Believers. Now Beloved, these first two things have
been matters of pure doctrine—this is the subject of experience. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a subject so profound
and so having to do with the inner man, that no soul will be able truly and really to comprehend what I say, unless
it has been taught of God. I have heard of an old minister, who told a Fellow of one of the Cambridge Colleges that he
understood a language that he never learnt in all his life. “I have not,” he said, “even a smattering of Greek and I know
no Latin, but thank God I can talk the language of Canaan and that is more than you can.”
So, Beloved, I shall now have to talk a little of the language of Canaan. If you cannot comprehend me, I am much
afraid it is because you are not of Israelite extraction—you are not a child of God nor an inheritor of the kingdom of
Heaven.
We are told in the text, that Jesus would send the Comforter, who would abide in the saints forever—who would
dwell with them and be in them. Old Ignatius, the martyr, used to call himself Theophorus, or the God-bearer, “because,”
said he, “I bear about with me the Holy Spirit.” And truly every Christian is a God-bearer. Know you not that
you are temples of the Holy Spirit? For He dwells in you. That man is no Christian who is not the subject of the indwelling
of the Holy Spirit.
He may talk well, he may understand theology and be a sound Calvinist. He will be the child of nature finely dressed,
but not the living child. He may be a man of so profound an intellect, so gigantic a soul, so comprehensive a mind and so
lofty an imagination that he may dive into all the secrets of nature. He may know the path which the eagle’s eye has not
seen and go into depths where mortals reach not. But he shall not be a Christian with all his knowledge. He shall not be a
son of God with all his researches, unless he understands what it is to have the Holy Spirit dwelling in him and abiding in
him— yes and that forever.
Some people call this fanaticism and they say, “you are a Quaker, why not follow George Fox?” Well we would not
mind that much—we would follow anyone who followed the Holy Spirit. Even he, with all his eccentricities, I doubt
not, was, in many cases, actually inspired by the Holy Spirit. And whenever I find a man in whom there rests the Spirit of
God, the Spirit within me leaps to hear the Spirit within him and he feels that we are one. The Spirit of God in one Christian
soul recognizes the Spirit in another. I recollect talking with a good man, as I believe he was, who was insisting that
it was impossible for us to know whether we had the Holy Spirit within us or not.
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I should like him to be here this morning, because I would read this verse to him—“But you know Him, for He
dwells with you and shall be in you.” Ah, you think you cannot tell whether you have the Holy Spirit or not? Can I tell
whether I am alive or not? If I were touched by electricity, could I tell whether I was or not? I suppose I should. The shock
would be strong enough to make me know where I stood. So, if I have God within me—if I have Deity tabernacling in
my breast—if I have God the Holy Spirit resting in my heart and making a temple of my body—do you think I shall not
know it? Call it fanaticism if you will. But I trust that there are some of us who know what it is to be always, or generally,
under the influence of the Holy Spirit—always in one sense—generally in another.
When we have difficulties we ask the direction of the Holy Spirit. When we do not understand a portion of Holy
Scripture, we ask God the Holy Spirit to shine upon us. When we are depressed, the Holy Spirit comforts us. You cannot
tell what the wondrous power of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is—how it pulls back the hand of the saint when he
would touch the forbidden thing. How it prompts him to make a covenant with his eyes. How it binds his feet, lest they
should fall in a slippery way, how it restrains his heart and keeps him from temptation.
O you who know nothing of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, despise it not. O despise not the Holy Spirit, for it is
the unpardonable sin. “He that speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him, but he that speaks against
the Holy Spirit, it shall never be forgiven him, either in this life, or that which is to come.” So says the Word of God.
Therefore, tremble, lest in anything you despise the influences of the Holy Spirit.
But before closing this point, there is one little word which pleases me very much. That is, “forever.” You knew I
should not miss that. You were certain I could not let it go without observation. “Abide with you forever.” I wish I
could get an Arminian here to finish my sermon. I fancy I see him taking that word, “forever.” He would say, “for—
forever.” He would have to stammer and stutter. For he never could get it out all at once. He might stand and pull it
about and at last he would have to say, “the translation is wrong.” And then I suppose the poor man would have to
prove that the original was wrong, too. Ah, but blessed be God, we can read it—“He shall abide with you forever.” Once
give me the Holy Spirit and I shall never lose Him till “forever” has run out—till eternity has spun its everlasting
rounds!
IV. Now we have to close up with a brief remark on the reason why the world rejects the Holy Spirit. It is said,
“Whom the world cannot receive, because it sees Him not, neither knows Him.” You know what is sometimes meant by
“the world”—those whom God, in His wondrous sovereignty, passed over when He chose His people—the preterite
ones. Those passed over in God’s wondrous preterition—not the reprobates who were condemned to damnation by some
awful decree, but those passed over by God, when He chose out His elect. These cannot receive the Spirit. Again, it means
all in a carnal state are not able to procure themselves this Divine influence. And thus it is true, “Whom the world cannot
receive.”
The unregenerate world of sinners despises the Holy Spirit, “because it sees Him not.” Yes, I believe this is the great
secret why many laugh at the idea of the existence of the Holy Spirit—because they see Him not. You tell the worldling,
“I have the Holy Spirit within me.” He says, “I cannot see it.” He wants it to be something tangible—a thing he can recognize
with his senses. Have you ever heard the argument used by a good old Christian against an infidel doctor? The
doctor said there was no soul and he asked, “Did you ever see a soul?” “No,” said the Christian. “Did you ever hear a
soul?” “No.” “Did you ever smell a soul?” No.” “Did you ever taste a soul?” “No.” “Did you ever feel a soul?”
“Yes,” said the man—“I feel I have one within me.” “Well,” said the doctor, “there are four senses against one—
you have only one on your side.” “Very well,” said the Christian, “Did you ever see a pain?” “No.” “Did you ever hear a
pain?” “No.” “Did you ever smell a pain?” “No.” “Did you ever taste a pain?” “No.” “Did you ever feel a pain?” “Yes,”
“And that is quite enough, I suppose, to prove there is a pain?” “Yes.” So the worldling says there is no Holy Spirit, because
he cannot see it. Well, but we feel it. You say that is fanaticism and that we never felt it. Suppose you tell me that
honey is bitter, I reply “No, I am sure you cannot have tasted it. Taste it and try.”
So with the Holy Spirit. If you did but feel His influence, you would no longer say there is no Holy Spirit because
you cannot see it. Are there not many things, even in nature, which we cannot see? Did you ever see the wind? No. But
you know there is wind when you behold the hurricane tossing the waves about and rending down the habitations of
men. Or when in the soft evening zephyr it kisses the flowers and makes dewdrops hang in pearly coronets around the
rose. Did you ever see electricity? No, but you know there is such a thing, for it travels along the wires for thousands of
Sermon #4 The Personality of the Holy Spirit
Volume 1 www.spurgeongems.org
7
7
miles and carries our messages. Though you cannot see the thing itself, you know there is such a thing. So you must believe
there is a Holy Spirit working in us, both to will and to do, even though it is beyond our senses.
But the last reason why worldly men laugh at the doctrine of the Holy Spirit is because they do not know it. If they
knew it by heart-felt experience and if they recognized its agency in the soul—if they had ever been touched by it. If they
had been made to tremble under a sense of sin—if they had had their hearts melted—they would never have doubted the
existence of the Holy Spirit.
And now, Beloved, it says, “He dwells with you and shall be in you.” We will close up with that sweet recollection—
the Holy Spirit dwells in all Believers and shall be with them.
One word of comment and advice to the saints of God and to sinners and I have done. Saints of the Lord! You have
this morning heard that God the Holy Spirit is a Person. You have had it proved to your souls. What follows from this?
Why, it follows how earnest you should be—in prayer to the Holy Spirit, as well as for the Holy Spirit. Let me say that
this is an inference that you should lift up your prayers to the Holy Spirit, that you should cry earnestly unto Him, for
He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all you can ask or think.
See this mass of people? What is to convert it? See this crowd—who is to make my influence permeate through the
mass? You know this place has now a mighty influence—and God blessing us, it will continue to have an influence—not
only upon this city but upon England at large. We now enjoy the press as well as the pulpit and certainly, I should say
before the close of the year, more than two hundred thousand of my productions will be scattered through the land—
words uttered by my lips, or written by my pen. But how can this influence be rendered for good? How shall God’s glory
be promoted by it? Only by incessant prayer for the Holy Spirit—by constantly calling down the influence of the Holy
Spirit upon us.
We want Him to rest upon every page that is printed and upon every word that is uttered. Let us then be doubly earnest
in pleading with the Holy Spirit, that He would come and own our labors, that the
whole Church at large may be revived thereby and not ourselves only, but the whole world share in the benefit.
Then to the ungodly I have this one closing word to say. Ever be careful how you speak of the Holy Spirit. I do not
know what the unpardonable sin is and I do not think any man understands it. But it is something like this—“He that
speaks a word against the Holy Spirit, it shall never be forgiven him.” I do not know what that means—but tread carefully!
There is danger. There is a pit which our ignorance has covered by sand—tread carefully—you may be in it before
the next hour. If there is any strife in your heart today, perhaps you will go to the ale-house and forget it. Perhaps there
is some voice speaking in your soul and you will put it away.
I do not tell you you will be resisting the Holy Spirit and committing the unpardonable sin. But it is somewhere
there. Be very careful. Oh, there is no crime on earth so black as the crime against the Holy Spirit. You may blaspheme
the Father and you shall be damned for it unless you repent. You may blaspheme the Son—and Hell shall be your portion,
unless you are forgiven. But blaspheme the Holy Spirit and thus says the Lord, “There is no forgiveness, neither in
this world, nor in the world which is to come.” I cannot tell you what it is. I do not profess to understand it. But there it
is.
It is the danger signal. Stop, Man, stop! If you have despised the Holy Spirit, if you have laughed at His revelations
and scorned what Christians call His influence, I beseech you, stop! This morning seriously deliberate—perhaps some of
you have actually committed the unpardonable sin. Stop! Let fear stop you. Sit down. Do not drive on so rashly as you
have done. You who are such a profligate in sin, you who have uttered such hard words against the Trinity, stop!
Ah, it makes us all stop. It makes us all draw up and say, “Have I not perhaps so done?” Let us think of this and let
us not at any time trifle either with the words, or the acts of God the Holy Spirit.
Adapted from The C.H. Spurgeon Collection, Version 1.0, Ages Software, 1.800.297.4307

A Real Solution to All Problems

Ephesians 3

Paul the Preacher to the Gentiles

1For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—
2Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you, 3that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets. 6This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.

7I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power. 8Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

A Prayer for the Ephesians

14For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom his whole family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Faith in The Joy of Jesus

Prayer: We pray in the name of Jesus that our faith id increased. We love You Lord. We thank God and praise God in the name of Jesus for an increase in our faith. A-men.

Commentary: The Joy of Jesus has faith that you will continue to support this ministry. You can get our toolbar, visit our sponsors or give. God Bless You.

Faith in The Joy of Jesus: What the Bible Says About Faith



Finding out what the Bible says about faith is very important. Why? A few reasons come to mind: First, faith is often defined in a number of different and conflicting ways by religious persons. If we want to know how God defines faith we will have to go to the Bible. God's definition of faith takes precedence over man's definition of faith. Second, there are all kinds of faith in the world -- even the demons have faith (James 2:19) -- but only one faith is true. If we want to have true faith (2 Timothy 1:5), we will have to let God tell us what true faith is. Third, faith is necessary to please God (Hebrews 11:6). If we want to please God we need to know about the faith that pleases God. Fourth, faith is necessary for salvation (Ephesians 2:8). If we want to be saved we need to know about the faith that saves. Fifth, there are many people who do not have faith (John 6:64) -- at one point even Jesus' own family did not believe in Him (John 7:5) -- and God destroys people who do not have faith (Jude 5). If we don't want God to destroy us, if we don't want to die in our sins (John 8:24), we must believe. Finally, there are those who have faith but they are letting their faith slip away (2 Timothy 2:18). If we don't want evil forces to overthrow our faith we need to know how to keep our faith strong.

This brief article is not intended to be an exhaustive study of each occurrence of the word faith in the Bible. Many verses in both the Old and New Testaments could be used to illustrate each point below but only a few have been chosen. This study is confined to the New Testament. The references listed below are examples of the verb form of faith (Greek pisteuo, usually translated, believe), and the noun form of faith (Greek pistis, usually translated, faith). I would suggest that you take time to look up each reference listed below that is not quoted for further study on each point. You may also want to use your Bible Concordance to find other examples of the word faith. No matter what verse you locate on the faith of man, you will find that it falls nicely into one of the categories below. Let us now examine what the Bible says about faith so that we can have the faith that God wants us to have.

OBJECT OF FAITH. The Bible teaches that the object of faith (who or what is believed in) is God and His Son Jesus Christ. There are many persons, places and things that we could put our faith in during our lifetime, but we must prioritize our life, and put our faith in God and Jesus Christ above all else. Jesus said: "Let not your heart be troubled: believe in God, believe also in me" (John 14:1). We are not to put our faith in that which is false (Matthew 24:23,26). Unless our faith is in God and His Son, we do not have the right kind of faith. For Further Study: Mark 11:22; Acts 14:23; 19:4; 20:21; Galatians 2:16; 2 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 6:1; 11:6; 1 Peter 1:21; 1 John 3:23; 5:1,5,10.

SUBJECT OF FAITH. The Bible teaches that the subject of faith (who or what has faith ) is man himself. Man is the only creature of all of God's creation who can believe. What flower ever believed? What rock ever believed? What animal ever believed? Take a look at the great men and women of faith in the Old and New Testaments and see what they accomplished "by faith." For Further Study: Hebrews 11:1-40.

SUBSTANCE OF FAITH. The Bible teaches that the substance of faith (what faith is) is belief; a complete trust, assurance or confidence. There is no fear (Mark 5:36; Luke 8:50) or doubt (Mark 11:23-24) in faith. The writer of Hebrews wrote: "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). Unless our faith is complete trust, we do not have the right kind of faith. For Further Study: Mark 9:23-24; John 6:69; Acts 17:31; 27:25; 2 Timothy 1:12.

PROOF OF FAITH. The Bible teaches that the proof of faith (what faith is based on) is evidence. Faith is based upon strong, clear, logical, true, historical evidence. Faith is not guesswork. Faith is not a blind leap in the dark. Faith is not grounded in subjective feelings. God provides the objective, rational evidence for belief; man provides the belief based on that evidence. The Bible does not teach that God gives man his faith. John wrote: "but these are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ..." (John 20:31). Paul wrote: "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). Unless our faith is based upon sound evidence from God's word, we do not have the right kind of faith. For Further Study: Mark 1:15; 16:15-16; Luke 8:12-13; 24:25; John 4:39-42; 5:46-47; 8:30,46; 9:35-38; 17:20; 19:35; 20:24-31; Acts 4:4; 8:12-13; 9:41-42; 11:19-21; 13:12; 14:1; 15:7; 17:11-12; 18:8; 24:14; 26:27; Romans 10:8-21; 1 Corinthians 2:4-5; 3:5; 15:1-2,11,14,17; Ephesians 1:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:10; 2:11-13; 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 John 5:13.

FRUIT OF FAITH. The Bible teaches that the fruit of faith (what faith produces) is active obedience to God's word. The Bible does not teach that man is saved by faith only. Faith is not just a mental thought; it is a mental thought that leads a person to act, to work, to obey. The outward acts of faith can be seen (Matthew 9:2). Faith takes steps in obedience (Romans 4:12). Unless our faith produces active obedience to God's word, we do not have the right kind of faith. For Further Study: Mark 16:16; Acts 11:21; 19:18-19; Romans 16:26; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 5:6; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:11; Titus 3:8; James 2:14-26; Revelation 2:19.

CONSEQUENCES OF FAITH. The Bible teaches that the consequences of faith (what faith leads to) are enormous. First, faith leads to unity. Luke records: "And all that believed were together, and had all things common" (Acts 2:44). Second, faith leads to proclaiming the gospel. Paul said: "But having the same spirit of faith, according to that which is written, I believed, and therefore did I speak; we also believe, and therefore also we speak" (2 Corinthians 4:13). Third, faith leads to persecution. Paul wrote: "because to you if hath been granted in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for in his behalf" (Philippians 1:29). Unless our faith leads to unity, proclamation and persecution, we do not have the right kind of faith. For Further Study: John 12:42-43; 17:20-21; Acts 4:32; 22:19.

REWARD OF FAITH. The Bible teaches that the reward of faith (what faith accomplishes) is eternal life. Our faith results in eternal life (salvation) given to us by God. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16). Unless our faith accomplishes eternal life, we do not have the right kind of faith. For Further Study: John 3:14-16,36; 5:24; 6:40,47; Acts 10:43; 13:39,48; 16:31; 26:18; Romans 1:16; 3:28,30; 5:1-2; 1 Corinthians 1:21; Galatians 3:24; 1 Timothy 1:16; Hebrews 6:11-12; 1 Peter 1:5-9.

"Do you now believe?" Jesus asks (John 16:31). Now that you know more of what the Bible says about faith what do you plan to do? Will you begin to put more faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ? Will you put away any fear or doubt that would keep you from serving God with a sincere faith? Will you spend more time with the Bible evidence that God has provided in order to build a stronger faith? Will you begin to produce more fruits of faith in your life by your obedience to God's word? Will you be ready to accept the enormous consequences of your faith, difficult as they may be? If the answer to these questions is yes, then the Lord has promised you a great reward for your faith, eternal life.

Posted by The Rev. Dr. James A. Lee

Bible Study Today with The Joy of Jesus

The Lord’s Church

There is one other thing that concerns our salvation I would like for us to look at in the Bible. In response to Peter’s confession to Jesus in Matthew 16:16 that, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God". Jesus then says in Matthew 16:18, "On this rock I will build My church." To whom was this church to belong? "My" is possessive, which shows the church belongs to Jesus. How many churches did Jesus say He was going to build? He said He was going to build "My church", which is singular not plural. There is only one true church because the Lord only promised to build His one church. In the Bible the word "church" never refers to a material building, but to the people.

In Ephesians 4:4-6 there are seven ones listed: "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Just as there is only one God and only one Lord we also see there is only one body. The Bible says there is only one body; so what is this one body? In Ephesians 1:21-22 we find out what this one body is, "And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body." Here we see the Bible says the church is the body. So if there is only one body and the one body is the church, then there can only be one church that belongs to the Lord. There is only one church in God's plan for saving man. One might as well believe in more than one God as to believe the Lord has more than one church. The one body, the one church, is not composed of any of the many differing denominations of our day.

In Colossians 1:18 in speaking of Christ, we read, "And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He may have the preeminence." Here again we see the body (singular) is the church (singular). Again the Bible tells us the Lord has only one church. We also see that in all things Christ is to have the preeminence. For Christ to have the preeminence in all things, we must follow Christ in all things and not follow man. If we follow men in some things then Christ does not have the preeminence in all things.

Since Christ only built His one church, we need to ask from where did all these other churches come? The only answer is they were built by men, so men could "attend the church of their choice", and not God’s choice. We read in Ephesians 5:23, "Christ is the head of the church, and he is the savior of the body." Christ is only the saviour of His one body, His one church. He is going to only save His one church, the only one for which He died. One cannot be saved outside of the Lord's one church. If one is not in the Lord's one true church, he is lost.

We have seen in the Bible that the one body is the one church, which the Lord built. We have also seen that Christ has only promised to save His one body, His one church. What then is going to happen to the hundreds of different kinds of denominational churches we see in existence today? Again let us let God answer this question. In Matthew 15:13 Jesus said, "Every plant, which my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted." What will happen to all those churches God did not plant? They will be rooted up. This is what God has said He will do. This is frightening. I want to make sure I am in the Lord’s church, the only one He is going to save.

In Psalms 127:1 we read, "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it." No one has the right to start a church or religious organization that is different from the one Jesus built. But we see hundreds of different kinds of churches men have built, each with a different creed. Man did not build the Lord's church. We must recognize the difference between the church the Lord built and the many counterfeit churches men have built. What will happen to the people who are in the many different denominational churches? They will all be lost. If you are a member of a denomination then you are not in the saving body of Christ, and you will be lost. Why not be a member of the church that Jesus built, the church of Christ so you can go to heaven? This is a sad but serious situation; one that concerns me greatly and causes me much grief and sorrow to see honest people, who are honestly mistaken, laboring in vain. This is a supreme tragedy.


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Questions Lesson 22

The Lord's Church
(Part A)
(click on the button of the answer of your choice)
1) (Matthew 16:18) How many different churches did the Lord say he was going to build?
Many so we could attend the church of our choice.

More than 500.

My (possessive) Church (singular), in other words one.


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2) Christ built only His church.


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3) (Ephesians 4:4-6) There are how many bodies?

One.

One hundred.

One thousand


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4) The Lord has many bodies.


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5) (Ephesians 1:21-22) What is this one body?
There is not one body but many bodies.

All the different kinds of churches.

The (Lord's) Church.


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6) The Lord only has His one body, the church.


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7) (Colossians 1:18) Christ is the head of

The body, the church.

Many different kinds of churches.

No church.


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8) Christ is the head of all different kinds of churches.


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9) (Ephesians 5:23) Christ is going to save
His body which is His Church.

All the different religious bodies (churches).

No church.


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10) Christ is the Saviour of the church He established.


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11) (Matthew 15:13) Those plants (churches) which God has not planted

God will accept.

God will water and cultivate.

Shall be rooted up.


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12) Those who are in churches which God has not planted shall be lost.


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13) (Psalms 127:1) If the Lord has not built the house
They labor in vain who build it.

It doesn't matter if the Lord has not built it.

Those who labor in it are accepted.


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14) People labor in vain if they are in a house the Lord did not build.

Amazing Grace of The Joy of Jesus

Amazing Grace Lyrics

"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.



T'was Grace that taught...
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear...
the hour I first believed.



Through many dangers, toils and snares...
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...
and Grace will lead us home.



The Lord has promised good to me...
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be...
as long as life endures.



Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
a life of joy and peace.



When we've been here ten thousand years...
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise...
then when we've first begun.



"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.


Prayer: We pray in the name of Jesus for all people to apprehend the Power of God and The Holy Spirit in the full Joy of Jesus,Forever. A-men...

The Greatist Gift Scripture for Life

Ephesians 1
1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints in Ephesus,[a] the faithful[b] in Christ Jesus:

2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Spiritual Blessings in Christ
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he[c] predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9And he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
11In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory.

Thanksgiving and Prayer
15For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.


Footnotes:
a.Ephesians 1:1 Some early manuscripts do not have in Ephesus.
b.Ephesians 1:1 Or believers who are
c.Ephesians 1:5 Or sight in love. 5 He
d.Ephesians 1:9 Or us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he
e.Ephesians 1:11 Or were made heirs
f.Ephesians 1:17 Or a spirit
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

Happy Father's Day The Joy of Jesus

The True Father:

The Lord's Prayer Words
(traditional)



Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen

God Never Fails

Psalm 136
God's Love Never Fails
1Praise the LORD! He is good.
God's love never fails.

2Praise the God of all gods.

God's love never fails.

3Praise the Lord of lords.

God's love never fails.

4Only God works great miracles. [a] God's love never fails.

5With wisdom he made the sky.

God's love never fails.

6The Lord stretched the earth

over the ocean.

God's love never fails.

7He made the bright lights

in the sky.

God's love never fails.

8He lets the sun rule each day.

God's love never fails.

9He lets the moon and the stars

rule each night.

God's love never fails.

10God struck down the first-born

in every Egyptian family.

God's love never fails.

11He rescued Israel from Egypt.

God's love never fails.

12God used his great strength

and his powerful arm.

God's love never fails.

13He split the Red Sea [b] apart. God's love never fails.

14The Lord brought Israel safely

through the sea.

God's love never fails.

15He destroyed the Egyptian king

and his army there.

God's love never fails.

16The Lord led his people

through the desert.

God's love never fails.

17Our God defeated mighty kings.

God's love never fails.

18And he killed famous kings.

God's love never fails.

19One of them was Sihon,

king of the Amorites.

God's love never fails.

20Another was King Og of Bashan.

God's love never fails.

21God took away their land.

God's love never fails.

22He gave their land to Israel,

the people who serve him.

God's love never fails.

23God saw the trouble we were in.

God's love never fails.

24He rescued us from our enemies.

God's love never fails.

25He gives food to all who live.

God's love never fails.

26Praise God in heaven!

God's love never fails.


Connovacation: Our prayer and faith is in the love of God in Christ Jesus is our complete Joy. We trust in God even during the most troubling times. We pray for you that your love will increase everyday by faith. Jesus gave His life on the cross, shed His blood for our sins. God raise Jesus from the grave. Jesus will return with all power, honor and glory to made all things right. This is our prayer in the names of Jesus. A-men

What a Friend we have in The Joy of Jesus

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.

Bible Study Today with The Joy of Jesus

Doing God’s Will
The Bible must be our only authority in religion if we want to please God and go to Heaven. People must give up all the various false doctrines that propagate the many different kinds of denominations and go back to only the Bible. There were no denominations in the New Testament times and there would be none today if only the Bible was taught and practiced. There would only be the Lord's one true church, the church of Christ.

How then do we make sure that we are among the few who are saved and not among the many who are lost? Jesus says in Matthew 7:21-23, "Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then will I declare to them, I never knew you, depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness". If you believe and call Jesus, "Lord, Lord", you are still lost if you have not done what God says. If we are not obeying God, we are practicing lawlessness. If we ever hope to go to heaven, we must do the will of the Father. This is the only way. Not the will of men, but God’s will. Not our own will, but God’s will. Just because we call Jesus our Lord, this will not save us.

We cannot go to Heaven by just calling Jesus, "Lord, Lord". Jesus says in the above scripture, on the Day of Judgment, many will be pleading with him, calling him Lord, Lord, and reminding him of the many wonderful works they had done in His name, but He will say unto them, "I never knew you, depart from Me you who practice lawlessness". Why? Why? Because they had not done the will of the Father in heaven. Oh, they thought they had, but they hadn’t. They had done their own will or the will of men in their many differing denominations. This will be the worst thing that will ever be said to an individual, when the Lord on Judgment Day says to the majority of people, "I never knew you; depart from Me". The majority of people will be told this and be punished forever in Hell. There will be no appeal to this decision. There will be no second chance. We have to get it right the first time.

These people in the above scripture seemed to be honest, but they were honestly mistaken as the majority of people are today. The people seemed to be sincere. There will be many surprised but lost people on the Day of Judgment who thought that it doesn't really matter what you believe as long as you are sincere. To believe this is to believe a lie of Satan. If it doesn't matter what you believe, then it doesn't matter if you believe at all. Apparently many were good people, because they had "done many wonderful works". But they had not done the will of the Father who is in heaven. Man generally wants to do things his way and he doesn't really care what God thinks. We cannot obey God without doing what God says to do, when God says to do it, how God says to do it, and for the reason God says to do it. Nothing is more important than pleasing God by doing His will so that we can go to Heaven.

We learn from the above scripture, that we don't go to Heaven by doing the will of men, or by doing what we think is right. The only way we can go to Heaven is by doing the will of the Father, and that will is found right in our Bibles. Do we really know what the will of the Father is so that we can be sure of going to Heaven? This is too important a matter to assume we do know or to take someone else’s word for it. One must know what the will of God is before he can obey it. Do you really know what the Bible says that God wants us to do in order to be saved?

What must I do to be saved? This is a very important question. Many people would answer this question in many different ways. The many different denominations give many different and conflicting answers. Only God's way is correct. The Bible is the only reliable source we can go to for our answer, since it is our soul that will be lost if we follow man's advice. Our obedience to Christ is a very serious decision and must not be taken lightly. It must be on the Lord's terms as laid out in the scriptures and not on our terms.

We have already seen in Matthew 7:13-14, 21, only few will be saved, and many will be lost, and only those who do the will of the Father can go to Heaven. We read in 1 John 2:4, "He who says, I know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." "A liar" is pretty strong language. A person is lying to himself and everyone else who says he knows and loves God, but does not keep God's commandments. We know that a liar cannot go to Heaven (Revelation 21:8).

We must do all of God's will, so that we can go to Heaven. There is no other way. We must do all of what God has commanded us. Our Lord says in Matthew 28:20, “Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” We must do all things God has commanded us. We cannot pick and choose and take a verse out of context but we must take all of what the Bible says. We cannot be pleasing to God by dreaming up our own plan of salvation as to how God is going to save us. We must follow His plan and only His plan if we expect Him to save us. Our salvation in Heaven is too great to lose, because if we don’t go to Heaven we will spend forever and ever in a burning Hell. Many people don’t really believe this, but they all will one day.

No single condition, that God imposes, can be ignored. God has no non-essential commands. When we don't obey a command of God, we have just broken it. Many people think that God will save them, no matter if they follow God's specific instructions on what they must do to be saved or not. We must obey God by doing what God says to do, when God says to do it, how God says to do it, and for the reason God says to do it. What then is God's will, so that we can go to Heaven and not have to endure eternal punishment forever and ever? We will find the answer in the Bible in the following lessons.


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Questions Lesson 9

Doing God's Will
(click on the button of the answer of your choice)

1) (Matthew 7:21) How do we go to heaven?
By doing our will.

By doing man's will.

By doing God's will.


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2) All who call Jesus their Lord will be saved.


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3) (Matthew 7:21) Those who call Jesus, Lord, Lord

Will all go to heaven.

Many of which will not go to heaven.

Will all be pleasing to the Lord.


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4) On Judgment Day many will be vainly pleading with Jesus to be saved.


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5) (Matthew 7:23) What is the worse thing one can hear on Judgment Day?

Welcome to heaven.

That heaven has no more room.

Depart, I never knew you.


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6) If we haven't done the will of God, we will not go to heaven even if we have done many good works.


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7) (1 John 2:4) If I say I know and love God, but I do not keep His commandments,

I am telling the truth.

I am a liar.

God will overlook it.


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8) One is telling the truth if he says he loves and knows God but does not keep His commandments.

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Scripture: The Joy of Jesus

Psalm 5
For the director of music. For flutes. A psalm of David.
1 Give ear to my words, O LORD,
consider my sighing.
2 Listen to my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.

3 In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation.

4 You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil;
with you the wicked cannot dwell.

5 The arrogant cannot stand in your presence;
you hate all who do wrong.

6 You destroy those who tell lies;
bloodthirsty and deceitful men
the LORD abhors.

7 But I, by your great mercy,
will come into your house;
in reverence will I bow down
toward your holy temple.

8 Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness
because of my enemies—
make straight your way before me.

9 Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
their heart is filled with destruction.
Their throat is an open grave;
with their tongue they speak deceit.

10 Declare them guilty, O God!
Let their intrigues be their downfall.
Banish them for their many sins,
for they have rebelled against you.

11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

12 For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.


New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

Sermon: Trust in God

Message: We pray for all people today. Our environment and economy have not been as rewarding for most people today. We need to know that we can turn to and trust God for all of our needs in Christ Jesus. God gave us Jesus who died on the cross for our sins. God raised Jesus from the grave with all power, honor and glory. Jesus will return to call Hid own to a new heaven and earth. In Jesus name we pray.

Scripture:
Isaiah 40
Comfort for God's People
1 Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed,
that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the LORD's hand
double for all her sins.

3 A voice of one calling:
"In the desert prepare
the way for the LORD [a] ;
make straight in the wilderness
a highway for our God. [b]

4 Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.

5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
and all mankind together will see it.
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

6 A voice says, "Cry out."
And I said, "What shall I cry?"
"All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.

7 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
because the breath of the LORD blows on them.
Surely the people are grass.

8 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God stands forever."

9 You who bring good tidings to Zion,
go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, [c]
lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid;
say to the towns of Judah,
"Here is your God!"

10 See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power,
and his arm rules for him.
See, his reward is with him,
and his recompense accompanies him.

11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on the scales
and the hills in a balance?

13 Who has understood the mind [d] of the LORD,
or instructed him as his counselor?

14 Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him,
and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge
or showed him the path of understanding?

15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
they are regarded as dust on the scales;
he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.

16 Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires,
nor its animals enough for burnt offerings.

17 Before him all the nations are as nothing;
they are regarded by him as worthless
and less than nothing.

18 To whom, then, will you compare God?
What image will you compare him to?

19 As for an idol, a craftsman casts it,
and a goldsmith overlays it with gold
and fashions silver chains for it.

20 A man too poor to present such an offering
selects wood that will not rot.
He looks for a skilled craftsman
to set up an idol that will not topple.

21 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood since the earth was founded?

22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
and spreads them out like a tent to live in.

23 He brings princes to naught
and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.

24 No sooner are they planted,
no sooner are they sown,
no sooner do they take root in the ground,
than he blows on them and they wither,
and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.

25 "To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One.

26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,
and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.

27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
and complain, O Israel,
"My way is hidden from the LORD;
my cause is disregarded by my God"?

28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.

29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.


Footnotes:
a.Isaiah 40:3 Or A voice of one calling in the desert: / "Prepare the way for the LORD
b.Isaiah 40:3 Hebrew; Septuagint make straight the paths of our God
c.Isaiah 40:9 Or O Zion, bringer of good tidings, / go up on a high mountain. / O Jerusalem, bringer of good tidings
d.Isaiah 40:13 Or Spirit ; or spirit
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

Trusting God is The Joy of Jesus

We are experiencing signs of big trouble ahead. The problems we face are beyound our typical solutions. The answer to such matters os to trust in God. This is The Joy of Jesus. We pray that you will stay strong in the Lord durring times like these...A-men

I Will Trust in the Lord




Verse 1 I will trust in the Lord.

I will trust in the Lord.

I will trust in the Lord until I die—

I will trust in the Lord.

I will trust in the Lord.

I will trust in the Lord until I die.



Verse 2 I’m goin’ to treat everybody right.

I’m goin’ to treat everybody right.

I’m goin’ to treat everybody right until I die—

I’m goin’ to treat everybody right.

I’m goin’ to treat everybody right.

I’m goin’ to treat everybody right until I die.



Verse 3 I’m goin’ to stay on the battlefield.

(optional) I’m goin’ to stay on the battlefield.

I’m goin’ to stay on the battlefield until I die—

I’m goin’ to stay on the battlefield.

I’m goin’ to stay on the battlefield.

I’m goin’ to stay on the battlefield until I die.



Verse 4 I’m goin’ to stay on (a/my) bended knee.

(optional) I’m goin’ to stay on (a/my) bended knee.

I’m goin’ to stay on (a/my) bended knee until I die—

I’m goin’ to stay on (a/my) bended knee.

I’m goin’ to stay on (a/my) bended knee.

I’m goin’ to stay on (a/my) bended knee until I die.



Verse 5 I’m goin’ to watch, fight and pray.

I’m goin’ to watch, fight and pray.

I’m goin’ to watch, fight and pray until I die—

I’m goin’ to watch, fight and pray.

I’m goin’ to watch, fight and pray.

I’m goin’ to watch, fight and pray until I die.



Verse1 (END)

Hold to God's Unchanging Hand with The Joy of Jesus

Time is filled with swift transition
Not of earth or moon can stand
Build your hope on things eternal
Hold to God's unchanging hand
Hold to God's unchanging hand

Trust in Him who will not leave you
Whatsoever years may bring
When my earthly friends forsaken
Still more closely to Him cling

Hold to God's unchanging hand
Hold to God's unchanging hand
Build your hope on things eternal
Hold to God's unchanging hand
Hold to God's unchanging hand

Hold, hold, hold, hold, hold to His hand, to His hand, Hold to God's unchanging hand.




"Hold To God's Unchanging Hand.

Let us pray in the name of Jesus. A_men.

Bible Study with The Joy of Jesus is Love

Matthew 5:1-12
1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him.
2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek , for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.

This section of teaching, recorded in Matthew , chapters 5 to 7, is the longest piece of teaching from Jesus in the gospels. It comes towards the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus has been baptized by John and has been tempted by Satan in the wilderness. After the temptations are over he began to preach and gather disciples. Matthew summarizes Jesus’ early ministry in the passage immediately preceding the one we are going to look at: “And he went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them. And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis from Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.”(Mt. 4:23-25)

Jesus has begun His ministry. He is gathering disciples and has begun to travel throughout the surroundings regions preaching, healing, and casting out demons. His ministry causes a tremendous stir and so “great crowds followed him” from all around the area. Who is this person? What gives him the power and authority to heal? These must be the questions that were on the minds of people that encountered Jesus in His travels. Now we hear what Jesus has to say for Himself in the Sermon on the Mount. What will He have to say? What will He want to communicate?

Matthew tells his readers the setting for "the sermon on the mount". “Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them...” It is seeing the crowds that initiates Jesus going up the mountain and sitting down, a signal that he is going to teach. His disciples, those who have begun to follow him already, come over to him to hear what he has to say. The phrase “And he opened his mouth and taught them” is just a way of indicating that Jesus is being deliberate and that what He going to say is important.

Jesus' Sermon on the Mount begins by talking about the kingdom of heaven. Well, what is a kingdom anyway? A kingdom has a king, subjects, a place, and the ways of the king and his kingdom. It is where this particular king is reigning. So when Jesus teaches, He is not just advocating rules or giving advice. He is talking about a place or, more accurately, a realm where the ruler is God. And what is God’s kingdom like? What is God like as a king? Who are His subjects? And what are the ways of God? You can see that Jesus speaks about all these things in the beatitudes. We learn about who the subjects of this kingdom are: the poor in spirit, those who mourn, etc. We are learn about the king. He is One who gives the kingdom, who comforts, gives the earth to His children, and so on. Jesus is telling them about the wonder and goodness of living under the reign of God.

Jesus begins His Sermon on the Mount teaching with a list. It is almost like a poem. Each of the first nine lines begins with the word “blessed.” Each of the first 8 lines has a second half that begins “for theirs is” or “for they shall,” thus giving a reason for why these people are blessed. If you study the first 8 lines, you notice that the first and the eighth end exactly the same: “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” This is present tense, meaning that right now, these people have the kingdom of heaven. In all the lines in between these two, the second half begins “for they shall...” These are all future tense, meaning that they will be fully realized only in the future. What is the significance of this structure? Well, I think it means a couple of things. First of all Jesus is speaking about the kingdom as a present and future reality. We can truly possess the kingdom of heaven here and now on the earth. We can enjoy the truth of this, at least, to some extent. But the greatest fulfillment of having this kingdom will, for us, come in the future. It is a real hope that affects our lives profoundly now, but one we look forward to seeing completely fulfilled. Secondly, I don’t think Jesus is describing separate groups of people here. The structure is like a sandwich. It begins and ends in the same place. Jesus is describing one group of people, those who have the kingdom.

The people of the kingdom are blessed. It might help if we begin by considering what the word “blessed” means. The word “blessed” always implies that the one doing the blessing is God. To be blessed is to be favored or honored by God. “Blessed” is a passive term. The one who is blessed is receiving from God His notice and favor.

So who are those who are blessed in the kingdom of heaven? And why are they blessed? Well, in looking over the list, we are immediately struck that Jesus is saying the unexpected, to say the least! The qualities of the blessed on Jesus’ list are not at all what we think of when we consider those we believe to be blessed. I think Jesus’ listeners thought they had a pretty good idea of what makes someone blessed, as do we. To be blessed is to be wealthy, have good health, be secure and protected, have great success in one’s endeavors, to be particularly good-looking, athletic, or charismatic. These are the qualities we tend to associate with being blessed. Aren’t these some of the things we have in mind when we pray for ourselves or others to be blessed? When we moved out here to Illinois three years ago, my deepest prayer to God was that He would bless my children. We had lived in New Jersey for almost nine years and were well established and had a terrific group of friends. It was wrenching to move. So I asked God to bless us in this endeavor, but especially to bless my children. What I had in my mind was that he would keep them from any suffering, provide them with great friends right away, make them successful and well liked by all.

Jesus’ list here strikes me as absolutely mind-blowing. The qualities He includes are actually what I would consider indications of someone not being blessed! Do you notice in looking at this list that these are descriptions of a lacking or a longing? I tend to think of one who is blessed as being full, complete, overflowing. Jesus says that those who are blessed are empty, incomplete, and lacking. Of course there is a hint of completeness and fullness here. This is found in the second half of each of the beatitudes. The person who is blessed is favored to have the kingdom of heaven now and a future fullness in comfort, inheritance, satisfaction, mercy, etc. The blessing then that these people receive is not to be poor in spirit, mourning, or meek. Rather, the presence of these qualities is a sign that the person is not cursed, but actually blessed. One can be called blessed when one is poor in spirit because being poor in spirit is a sign that she/he is looking for the very thing God the King is giving: His kingdom. You can see that there is a connection in each beatitude between the person who is blessed and why they are blessed. And it seems that the connection is that when someone is lacking in or longing for these things, he/she is blessed because these are the very things God, the ruler of this kingdom, is looking to give. This King is “into” giving comfort, the whole earth, His own kingdom, mercy, and having righteousness fulfilled. So, it makes some sense that the person who is blessed is the one who is longing for these things.

Notice that these beatitudes are statements, not commands. Jesus is telling his listeners something about the way things are in heaven’s kingdom. He is not commanding those around Him to “be poor in spirit.” He is not making “if...then” statements either. He is not telling them that “if they will be poor in spirit, then they will have the kingdom of heaven.” The only command in these first 12 verses of the Sermon on the Mount comes in verse 12, “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven...” So don’t take these verses as commands that Jesus is laying down for us to do. They are not. I believe that as Jesus looked out at the crowds that were gathering around Him, he wanted to draw His followers together and help them to understand more of His kingdom and what real blessing is. He is telling them that the ways of the kingdom are very different from what they are used to in the world. They can no longer decide who is blessed and who is not by whether they are rich and successful. To understand the kingdom, they need to know who God is and what His blessings are about.

These beatitudes are meant to be encouraging to those sitting around Jesus. They have begun to follow Him but they may be wondering whether they are blessed or not. My guess is that they are feeling some awareness of their poverty of spirit, or a deeper longing for righteousness, or a desire to see God in all that they do. Jesus is telling them, “Good news! Being poor in spirit or meek are not indications that God is distant or that He is not favoring you! In fact, these longings are exactly what God is growing in you, so that you are able and willing more and more to receive the wonderful blessings He is offering you!” These attributes are not ones that we wish to be in or remain in. They are uncomfortable because they are about lacks we are currently experiencing in our lives. If we are mourning we don’t like it and wish to be somewhere else. We are tempted to feel that our mourning is not a good thing. But Jesus is encouraging us to see that He is making our longings like His own. He is even growing our longings for the things with which He is filling and will fill us.

God, our King, desires indeed to bless us. We will explore each of these beatitudes in depth in the next few studies, but take a moment to consider the riches of His blessings. To be truly comforted, to see all things set right, to inherit the whole earth, and to be His true children. These are the ways of His kingdom. So it makes more sense to see that to be blessed here and now is to find we are being made ready to receive all these things. Isn’t it wonderful to know that those deepest longings you have, to belong, to be whole, are going to be filled by the very God who put those longings in you in the first place? They are a sign of His work in your life. Is He working? Am I blessed? Where can I see this? Well it appears from this Scripture that we don’t see it from our circumstances, but from what God is doing within us.

As I have pondered over these beatitudes this summer and fall, I can see how God is indeed answering my heart prayers for my children. He did not make them successful and give them a trouble-free life here. In fact, it has been a long, difficult, and at times very painful three years. A few weeks ago, my son Greg and I were together in the car and he was telling me of his longing for heaven. He was talking about how many things he noticed that were not right in the world and they made him long for heaven. I have seen in all of my children at times a greater sense of their poverty of spirit and of their capacity to mourn over their own sins and the twistedness of the world around them. And, I see now that God is indeed making my children blessed. They are growing more ready and willing to receive the comfort , love, and presence of God. He is more precious to them now.

Jesus is telling us about His kingdom. We see that God greatly desires to bless His people in a full and complete way. God is not going to give sparingly--just some comfort, or a small inheritance. And what God is doing in His people now, when He is blessing them, is He is making them able more and more to hope in, receive, long for, the very riches He is giving.

Who are the blessed? Well, we who are His followers are the blessed. And the next time you find yourself mourning over the loss of a loved one or a friendship, or mourning over the distortion and destruction that sin causes, remember this is a sign that you are blessed--God is at work in you and He will give His presence, peace, and comfort someday perfectly.