A New Day in The Joy of Jesus

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I begin anew in this new day!

Now and then life is challenging. I may not welcome challenge itself, but I welcome the opportunity to learn from whatever arises, to grow in understanding, to flex my spiritual muscles!

Every day is a new day, a fresh start. No situation or circumstance can hold me back. My life is not only about what's happening to me; it's also what's happening through me.

The Christ within is my source of unlimited wisdom and creativity. I do my best when I respond to any challenge from my Christ nature, rather than reacting impulsively from my human nature. Every day I pursue what enriches me, enjoying the journey to my goals as much as the destination.

So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!--2 Corinthians 5:17

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The Gift from God for You

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With gratitude, I remember the gift of God's grace.

As I go about my day's activities, I can sometimes get preoccupied by tasks and to-do lists. Or I may become distracted by turmoil in a close relationship or a personal conflict. I may forget the bigger picture and the gift of divine love.

God's love and grace are present in my life even when I am not paying attention. If I make a choice that isn't in my best interest, God's grace protects me from experiencing the worst possible outcome. Through God's grace, unexpected opportunities and unforeseen blessings come my way.

God's powerful and constant love supports my spiritual growth and unfolding. I acknowledge the many ways grace demonstrates in my life, and I am grateful.

But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ's gift.--Ephesians 4:7

Divine Healing: is It Scriptural?

Divine Healing: is It Scriptural? by A.W. Pink-Introduction

Divine Healing: Is It Scriptural?
by A.W. Pink


Every once in a while we receive an inquiry or a request for help on this subject, usually from one who has come into contact with some belonging to a cult which gives prominence to "Divine healing," to the removal of physical ills without the aid of a doctor and medicine, in response to faith and prayer. Such inquiring friends are generally more or less perplexed. They have heard nothing on the subject in their own churches and feel they are more or less in the dark on the matter. Those who press this "Divine healing" teaching upon them appear to be ill-balanced people and not at all orthodox in doctrine. If they are induced to attend their meetings they are not favorably impressed, and sense that something is wrong. The absence of reverence, the allowing of women to take part in the services before a mixed congregation, the prominence of the spectacular element, and the general spirit of excitement which prevails, makes the normal child of God feel quite out of place in such a gathering. The zeal displayed does not appear to be according to knowledge and the fervid emotionalism strikes him as being "strange fire" (Lev. 10:1)—not kindled at the Divine altar.

But what of their teaching on "Divine healing?" Is it scriptural or unscriptural? This is a question which it is not easy to answer in a single sentence. Many passages on healing may be cited from God’s Word, but that raises the question of their interpretation—in accord with the context and also in harmony with the general Analogy of Faith: as it also calls for a careful examination of all inferences drawn from and conclusions based upon those passages. Moreover, these modern cults who stress "Divine healing" are by no means uniform in their teaching thereon, some being more radical and extreme than others, so that the refutation of one erroneous presentation of this subject would not hold good of a similar error in an entirely different dress. Though familiar with all the principal varieties of them, we do not propose to waste the reader’s time by taking them up seriatim but rather deal with the broad principles which apply to them all.

First it must be said that much of the teaching which has been given out on this subject is decidedly unscriptural. For example, the majority of those who emphasize "Divine healing" insist that it was "in the Atonement," that on the Cross Christ was as truly our sickness-bearer as our sin-bearer, that He purchased healing for the body as well as salvation for the soul, and that therefore every Christian has the same right to appropriate by faith the cure of bodily disorders as he has forgiveness for his transgressions. In support of this contention appeal is made to Christ who "healed all that were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet: Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses" (Matt. 8:16, 17). Here is where the expositor is needed if the unlettered and unstable are to be preserved from jumping to an erroneous conclusion, where the mere sound of the words is likely to convey a wrong impression unless their sense be carefully ascertained—just as, "the dead know not anything" (Eccl. 9:5) is not to be understood absolutely, as though they who have departed this life are in a state of utter unconsciousness.

Had those words "Christ bare our sicknesses" occurred in some passage in the Acts or Epistles where one of the apostles was explaining the purpose and character of Christ’s death, then we should have been obliged to regard them as meaning that the Lord Jesus vicariously endured the sicknesses of His people while on the Cross, though this would present a very great difficulty, for there is no hint anywhere in the Word that the Redeemer experienced any illness at that time. But instead, Matthew 8:16, 17 has reference to what transpired during the days of His public ministry, the meaning of which we take to be as follows. Christ employed not the virtue that was in Him to cure infirmity and sickness as a matter of mere power, but in deep pity and tenderness He entered into the condition of the sufferer. The great Physician was no unfeeling stoic, but took upon His own spirit the sorrows and pains of those to whom He ministered. His miracles of healing cost Him much in the way of sympathy and endurance. Thus He "sighed" (Mark 7:34) when He loosed the tongue of the dumb, "wept" by the grave of Lazarus, and was conscious of virtue going out of Him (Mark 5:30) as He cured another. By a compassion, such as we are strangers to, He was afflicted by their afflictions.

That the interpretation we have given above (briefly suggested by the Puritan, Thomas Goodwin) is the correct meaning of "Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses" appears from several considerations. If those words signified what the "Divine healing" cults say they do, then they mean that in His act of healing the sick Christ was then making atonement, which is absurd on the face of it. Again, if the healing of the body were a redemptive right which faith may humbly but boldly claim, then it necessarily follows that the believer should never die, for every time he fell ill he could plead before God the sacrifice of His Son and claim healing. In such a case, why did not Paul exhort Timothy to exercise faith in the Atonement rather than bid him "use a little wine for his stomach’s sake" (1 Tim. 5:23), and why did he leave Trophimus at "Miletum sick" (2 Tim. 4:20)? A glorified body, as well as soul, is the fruit of Christ’s atonement, but for that the believer has to wait God’s appointed time.

One error leads to another: most of those who teach that Divine healing is in the Atonement argue that therefore it must constitute an essential element in and part of the Gospel, and thus their favorite slogan is: "Christ our Saviour, Christ our Sanctifier, Christ our Healer, Christ our Coming King," and hence "the Fourfold Gospel" is the leading caption of most of them. But such a contention will not bear the light of Holy Writ. In the book of Acts we find the apostles preaching the Gospel of God both to Jews and Gentiles, yet, though in the course of their ministry miracles of healing were performed by them (to authenticate their mission, for none of the N. T. had then been written), yet nowhere did the removal of physical maladies form part of their message. In 1 Corinthians 15:1-3 a brief summary of the Gospel is given, namely, that "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day"—mark the omission of His dying for our sicknesses! In Romans we are furnished with a systematic and full unfolding of "the Gospel of God" (see 1:1), yet "healing" of bodily ills is never referred to.

If it were true that Christ made atonement for our sicknesses as well as our sins, then it would follow that all bodily disorders are the immediate consequence of some iniquity. We say, "immediate consequence," for of course it is readily granted that all the ills which man is heir to are so many effects and results of the great transgression of our first parents. It is only reasonable to conclude that had sin never entered this world suffering in any form had been unknown here, for we know that in Heaven the absence of the former ensures the absence of the latter. Thus there is a vital difference between saying that a physical disorder which occasions great discomfort and pain finds its remote cause in the tragedy of Eden, and affirming that it is the direct result of the person’s own wrong doing, as most of the "Divine healing" cults insist. Our Lord’s reply to His disciples in John 9:2, 3 expressly forbids any such sweeping conclusion. There is much suffering, especially among children, which is due to ignorant and innocent breaking of natural laws rather than to violation of the Moral Law. Moreover, if this contention of "Divine healing" were valid, we should be obliged to conclude that every sickness severed the soul from communion with God, which is falsified by the experiences of many of the saintliest persons who ever trod this earth.

Those who hold that Christ made atonement for our sicknesses as well as for our sins are quite consistent in maintaining that deliverance from the former must be obtained in precisely the same way as salvation from the latter: that the sole means must be the exercise of faith, without the introduction or addition of any works or doings of our own. Thus the "Divine healing" cults teach that the service of a physician or the aid of drugs is as much a setting aside of the finished work of Christ as reliance upon baptism or deeds of charity for the securing of pardon would be. The untenability of this logical inference will at once show that while in some cases God was pleased to cure the sick without means, yet in other instances He both appointed and blessed the use of means. For the healing of the bitter waters of Marah, Moses was instructed to cast into them a tree which "the Lord showed him" (Ex. 15:25). When God promised to heal Hezekiah who was sick unto death, Isaiah bade the king "take a lump of figs" and we are told "they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered" (2 Kings 20:7). So with Timothy in 1 Timothy 5:23.

We are certainly not prepared to hold any brief in defence of the present-day medical fraternity as a whole. The greed for gold, the love of novelty (experimentation), the deterioration of moral character in all walks of life, fails to inspire confidence in any class or clique, and the writer for one would prefer to suffer pain than place himself at the mercy of the average surgeon. Yet this does not mean that we regard all medical practitioners as either charlatans or knaves, still less do we believe with "Faith-healing" fanatics that they are the special emissaries of Satan. The Holy Spirit would never have termed Luke "the beloved physician" (Col. 4:14) had he been employed in the service of the Devil.

The Light of The Lord

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I am safely guided by the light of God.

Light is often synonymous with guidance. A lighthouse emits a beam of light to guide ships away from danger. Runway lights guide pilots to safe landing. Luminarias light up a welcoming path.

The light of God within me is wisdom, knowledge and inspiration. I open my eyes both figuratively and literally to the world around me and allow the light of God to shine from within my deepest being. I am guided to peace, safety, abundance and fulfillment.

I keep the light within shining through prayer and meditation. Open to God's illuminating presence, I recharge the light within so I may easily see the path before me.

If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me. --Psalm 139:9-10

Time is The Joy of Jesus

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I am in the right place, doing the right thing at the right time.

We are faced with many demands upon our time. If I were to allow anxiety to overwhelm me, I would not function at my highest and best.

I choose instead to turn within when I feel anxious--to breathe, relax and open my mind to divine ideas. I embrace peace rather than anxiety or concern; a sense of purpose rather than a sense of worry.

I discover that time serves me as I go calmly about my business. I am relieved as I act to the best of my ability. I give no thought to what I did last or what I must do next. Instead my complete attention is on the task at hand. This brings me a deep sense of satisfaction in all that I do.

I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live.--Ecclesiastes 3:12

PROSPERITY in The Joy of Jesus

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With thanksgiving, I give generously and receive abundantly.

When Jesus was teaching a large crowd and they became restless and hungry, his disciples gathered the food that was available: five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus blessed the food and began to pass it through the crowd. In the end, there were baskets of food leftover.

Generosity inspires generosity, and giving generates abundance. As I give my attention to others, I find that I have all the time I need to accomplish the task. As I give, I experience a flow of abundance in my own life. I also give thanks in advance, just as Jesus did. Aligning my heart and mind with the divine flow, I express gratitude for all my blessings.

And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.--Luke 9:16

Comfort for Christians by Arthur Pink-Chapter 4

Comfort for Christians by Arthur Pink-Chapter 4

Comfort for Christians by Arthur Pink

Chapter 4

The Great Giver

"He that spared not His own Son, but delivered
Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him
also freely give us all things?"

Romans 8:32

The above verse supplies us with an instance of Divine logic. It contains a conclusion drawn from a premise; the premise is that God delivered up Christ for all His people, therefore everything else that is needed by them is sure to be given. There are many examples in Holy Writ of such Divine logic. "If God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you?" (Matt. 6:3O). "If when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life" (Rom. 5:10). "If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" (Matt. 7:11). So here in our text the reasoning is irresistible and goes straight to the understanding and heart.

Our text tells of the gracious character of our loving God as interpreted by the gift of His Son. And this, not merely for the instruction of our minds, but for the comfort and assurance of our hearts. The gift of His own Son is God’s guarantee to His people of all needed blessings. The greater includes the less; His unspeakable spiritual gift is the pledge of all needed temporal mercies. Note in our text four things:

1. The Father’s Costly Sacrifice.

This brings before us a side of the truth upon which I fear we rarely meditate. We delight to think of the wondrous love of Christ, whose love was stronger than death, and who deemed no suffering too great for His people. But what must it have meant to the heart of the Father when His Beloved left His Heavenly Home! God is love, and nothing is so sensitive as love. I do not believe that Deity is emotionless, the Stoic as represented by the Schoolmen of the middle ages. I believe the sending forth of the Son was something which the heart of the Father felt, that it was a real sacrifice on His part.

Weigh well then the solemn fact which premises the sure promise that follows: God "spared not His own Son"! Expressive, profound, melting words! Knowing full well, as He only could, all that redemption involved—the Law rigid and unbending, insisting upon perfect obedience and demanding death for its transgressors. Justice, stern and inexorable, requiring full satisfaction, refusing to "clear the guilty." Yet God did not withhold not the only suitable Sacrifice.

God "spared not His own Son," though knowing full well the humiliation and ignominy of Bethlehem’s manger, the ingratitude of men, the not having where to lay His head, the hatred and opposition of the ungodly, the enmity and bruising of Satan—yet He did not hesitate. God did not relax ought of the holy requirements of His throne, nor abate one whit of the awful curse. No, He "spared not His own Son." The utmost farthing was exacted; the last dregs in the cup of wrath must be drained. Even when His Beloved cried from the Garden, "if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me," God "spared" Him not. Even when vile hands had nailed Him to the tree, God cried "Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, and against the man that is My Fellow, saith the Lord of Hosts; smite the Shepherd" (Zech. 13:7).

2. The Father’s Gracious Design.

"But delivered him up for us all." Here we are told why the Father made such a costly sacrifice; He spared not Christ, that He might spare us! It was not want of love to the Saviour, but wondrous, matchless, fathomless love for us! O marvel at the wondrous design of the Most High. "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son." Verily, such love passeth knowledge. Moreover, He made this costly sacrifice not grudgingly or reluctantly, but freely out of love.

Once God had said to rebellious Israel, "How shall I give thee up, Ephraim?" (Hosea 11:8). Infinitely more cause had He to say this of the Holy One, His well-beloved, the One in whom His soul daily delighted. Yet, He "delivered Him up"—to shame and spitting, to hatred and persecution, to suffering and death itself. And He delivered Him up for us—descendants of rebellious Adam, depraved and defiled, corrupt and sinful, vile and worthless! For us who had gone into the "far country" of alienation from Him, and there spent our substance in riotous living. Yes, "for us" who had gone astray like sheep, each one turning to "his own way." For us "who were by nature the children of wrath, even as others," in whom there dwelt no good thing. For us who had rebelled against our Creator, hated His holiness, despised His Word, broken His commandments, resisted His Spirit. For us who richly deserved to be cast into the everlasting burnings and receive those wages which our sins so fully earned.

Yes, for thee fellow Christian, who art sometimes tempted to interpret your afflictions as tokens of God’s hardness; who regard your poverty as a mark of His neglect, and your seasons of darkness as evidences of His desertion. O, confess to Him now the wickedness of such dishonoring doubtings, and never again question the love of Him who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all.

Faithfulness demands that I should point out the qualifying pronoun in our text. It is not God "delivered him up for all," but "for us all." ‘This is definitely defined in the verses which immediately precede. In v. 31 the question is asked, "If God be for us, who can be against us?" In v. 30 this "us" is defined as those whom God did predestinate and has "called" and "justified." The "us" are the high favorites of heaven, the objects of sovereign grace. God’s elect. And yet in themselves they are, by nature and practice, deserving of nothing but wrath. But yet, thank God, it is "us all" —the worst as well as the best, the five-hundred-pounds-debtor equally as much as the fifty-pence-debtor.

3. The Spirit’s Blessed Inference.

Ponder well the glorious "conclusion" which the Spirit of God here draws from the wondrous fact stated in the first part of our text, "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things." How conclusive and how comforting is the inspired reasoning of the apostle. Arguing from the greater to the less, He proceeds to assure the believer of God’s readiness to also freely bestow all needed blessings. The gift of His own Son, so ungrudgingly and unreservedly bestowed, is the pledge of every other needed mercy.

Here is the unfailing guaranty and talisman of perpetual reassurance to the drooping spirit of the tried believer. If God has done the greater, will He leave the less undone? Infinite love can never change. The love that spared not Christ cannot fail its objects nor begrudge any needed blessings. The sad thing is that our hearts dwell upon what we have not, instead of upon what we do have. Therefore the Spirit of God would here still our restless thoughts and quiet the ignorant discontent with a soul-satisfying knowledge of the truth; by reminding us not only of the reality of our interest in the love of God, but also of the extent of that blessing that flows from that love.

Weigh well what is involved in the logic of this verse. First, the great Gift was given unasked; will He not bestow others for the asking? None of us supplicated God to send forth His Beloved; yet He sent Him! Now, we may come to the throne of grace and there present our requests in the virtuous and all-efficacious name of Christ.

Second, the one great Gift cost Him much; will He not then bestow the lesser gifts which cost Him nothing save the delight of giving! If a friend were to give me a valuable picture, would he begrudge the necessary paper and string to wrap it in? Or if a loved one made me a present of a precious jewel, would he refuse a little box to carry it in? How much less will He who spared not His own Son, withhold any good thing from them that walk uprightly.

Third, the one Gift was bestowed when we were enemies; will not then God be gracious to us now that we have been reconciled and are His friends? If He had designs of mercy for us while we were yet in our sins, how much more will He regard us favorably now that we have been cleansed from all sin by the precious blood of His Son!

4. The Comforting Promise.

Observe the tense that is used here. It is not "how has he not with him also freely given us all things," though this is also true, for even now are we "heirs of God" (Rom. 8:17). But our text goes further than this: "How shall he not with Him also freely give us all things?" The second half of this wondrous verse contains something more than a record of the past; it supplies reassuring confidence both for the present and for the future. No time-limits are to be set upon this "shall." Both now in the present and forever and ever in the future God shall manifest Himself as the great Giver. Nothing for His glory and for our good will He withhold. The same God who delivered up Christ for us all is "without variableness or shadow of turning" (Jas. 1:17).

Mark the manner in which God gives: "How shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" God does not have to be coaxed; there is no reluctance in Him for us to overcome. He is ever more willing to give than we are to receive. Again; He is under no obligations to any; if He were, He would bestow of necessity, instead of giving "freely." Ever remember that He has a perfect right to do with His own as He pleases. He is free to give to whom He wills.

The word "freely" not only signifies that God is under no constraint, but also means that He makes no charge for His gifts, He places no price on His blessings. God is no retailer of mercies or barterer of good things; if He were, justice would require Him to charge exactly what each blessing was worth, and then who among the children of Adam could find the wherewithal? No, blessed be His name, God’s gifts are "without money and without price" (Isa. 55:1), unmerited and unearned.

Finally, rejoice over the comprehensiveness of this promise: "How shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" The Holy Spirit would here regale us with the extent of God’s wondrous grant. What is it you need, fellow Christian? Is it pardon? Then has He not said, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9)? Is it grace? Then has He not said, "God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work" (2 Cor. 9:8)? Is it a "thorn in the flesh"? this too will be given "there was given to me a thorn in the flesh" (2 Cor. 12:7). Is it rest? Then heed the Saviour’s invitation, "Come unto Me . . . and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). Is it comfort? Is He not the God of all comfort (2 Cor. 1:3)?

"How shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" Is it temporal mercies that the reader is in need of? Are your circumstances adverse so that you are filled with dismal forebodings? Does your cruse of oil and barrel of meal look as though they will soon be quite empty? Then spread your need before God, and do it in simple childlike faith. Think you that He will bestow the greater blessings of grace and deny the lesser ones of Providence? No, "My God shall supply all your need" (Phil. 4:19). True, He has not promised to give all you ask, for we often ask "amiss." Mark the qualifying clause: "How shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" We often desire things which would come in between us and Christ if they were granted, therefore does God in His faithfulness withholds them.

Here then are four things which should bring comfort to every renewed heart. (1) The Father’s costly sacrifice. Our God is a giving God and no good thing does He withhold from them that walk uprightly. (2) The Father’s gracious design. It was for us that Christ was delivered up; it was our highest and eternal interests that He had at heart. (3) The Spirit’s infallible inference. The greater includes the less; the unspeakable Gift guarantees the bestowment of all other needed favors. (4) The comforting promise. Its sure foundation, its present and future scope, its blessed extent, are for the assuring of our hearts and the peace of our minds. May the Lord add His blessing to this little meditation.

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Faith is The Joy of Jesus Today

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My faith is strong.

If something appears to be wrong, missing or broken in my life, I don't fixate on it, giving energy to anxiety and fear. I focus instead on God's all-sustaining essence, and I experience the calming influence of faith.

In prayer, I become still and affirm that my faith is strong. I am reassured that God is my ever-present help and the unlimited source of my supply. God and I are one.

As I rest in a state of quiet expectancy, my fear-based emotions transform into faith-filled realities. My mood lifts, my confidence grows, and I complete my prayer time with fortified faith in a divine outcome. I choose thoughts that move me out of fear to take faith-inspired steps to fulfill my good.

If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, "Be uprooted and planted in the sea," and it would obey you.--Luke 17:6

Keep Your Mind on Jesus

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I am alive, alert and enthusiastic about life!
My mind and body are in an ongoing conversation. My body responds to my thoughts, and my mind continually receives messages from my body, especially when something is out of order. However, I am more than mind and body; I am created in the image and likeness of God. I am first and foremost Spirit.

As I bring my spiritual awareness into the conversation between mind and body, I keep myself in balance. I know my body and its needs. I nurture it with food and water, rest and exercise. I also send an affirmation of life and renewal to every cell of my being. With Spirit-centered thoughts, words and actions, I claim my true identity as a whole and healthy expression of God--mind, body and spirit.

To set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.--Romans 8:6"

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A Day of Prayer

Pray for Others

Praying for others is a gift that blesses everyone.

Laying aside any concerns or challenges in my own life, I turn my attention to praying for a friend, loved one or someone I don't even know.

I let go of any attachment to a specific outcome for them and expand my vision. I see the one for whom I pray as a whole, radiating center of life and love, filled with divine wisdom. From this elevated awareness, I pray from God-consciousness, affirming that the highest and best is expressing in all our lives perfectly, in all ways and circumstances.

When I pray for others, the words I speak resonate in the very depths of my being, assuring that a right solution is unfolding for me as well.

And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he had prayed for his friends; and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.--Job 42:10

How to Enter The Kingdom


With childlike wonder, I am receptive to God's kingdom of good.

Some may think the kingdom of God is a place in the afterlife, but the kingdom Jesus described was, and is, eternally present. It is right here in the midst of us. We experience it when we trust in God's all-sufficiency, not only in the future, but today and every day.

Each morning, I enter into the kingdom of God. When I retire each night, I am grateful for God's kingdom of good. I receive the kingdom as I recognize God's living, loving presence all about me. I am joyful and at ease, receptive to divine guidance and life-enriching ideas. When I am in a childlike state of wonder and appreciation, I am open, receptive and cooperative with God's plan for my good.

Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.--Mark 10:15

Joy in Jesus Christ: A Study of Philippians 1 | Grace Communion International

Joy in Jesus Christ: A Study of Philippians 1 | Grace Communion International

Joy in Jesus Christ: A Study of Philippians 1

Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi says more about joy than any other New Testament book. Even though Paul is under arrest and in chains, he rejoices because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He writes to thank the Philippian Christians for the help they gave him and to encourage them to face their own trials with "joy in Christ Jesus."

Prayers of joy and love

Paul follows first-century custom by first saying who he was, then the people he was writing to: "Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons" (1:1).

In some letters, Paul introduces himself as an apostle. But since the Philippians already accept his authority, here he introduces himself simply as a servant of Christ Jesus. He views his chains, his mission and his entire life in the context of doing Christ’s work. He writes to "the saints" — the holy ones, those who are set apart for God.

First-century Greek letters often began with chairein, "greeting." Paul modifies this to charis, "grace." Grace is part of his identity, and he begins writing with a prayer for grace and peace "from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (v. 2).

He then praises the Philippians — not directly, but by thanking God for them (v. 3). Not only is this giving credit where it is due, it reminds and encourages the Philippians that God is working in their lives.

"In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy," Paul writes, "because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now..." (vv. 4-5). The Philippians supported Paul’s missionary work, and had sent him help (4:15; also see 1 Cor. 8:1-5). Paul rejoices that these people have such a zeal for the gospel, and this letter shows them his gratitude that God is using them in this way.

Paul’s joy is rooted in God’s faithfulness: "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (v. 6). Since the Philippians had begun so well, Paul is confident that they will persevere in the faith — not on their own strength, but because God will continue to work in them. "All of you share in God’s grace with me" (v. 7).

Prayer for love

God knows how much I care for you, Paul writes — I care for you as much as Jesus himself does (v. 8). The Philippians are concerned about Paul, but here, the man in prison expresses compassion for them. As we will shortly see, they faced some trials of their own.

Then Paul tells them what he prays for: "that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ — to the glory and praise of God" (vv. 9-11).

The Philippians already love. Paul wants their love to grow into wisdom and good behavior, and this letter will help them do that. As they grow in knowledge, they will have a better foundation on which to make decisions, and their behavior will come not from their own righteousness, but from Jesus Christ working within them. And the praise will go to God, because he is the source of the righteousness.

Priority of the gospel

Paul then begins to address their concern for him. They had heard of his arrest and imprisonment, and he reassures them "that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel" (v. 12). The gospel is what is important, he implies, not my comfort. So what looks like misfortune for Paul is really turning out quite well. Since he could talk to his guards, "it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ" (v. 13).

Instead of other Christians being frightened by Paul’s arrest, they became encouraged by Paul’s boldness in captivity. "Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly" (v. 14). Paul could be restrained, but the gospel spread even more.

Some people were trying to take advantage of Paul’s restrictions, but Paul does not worry about them. He judges everything by one standard: the gospel. "It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.

"The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached" (vv. 15-18). Paul is encouraged by those who preach out of love, but he sees good even in what the others are doing, because more people are learning about Christ.

"And because of this," Paul writes, "I rejoice." His joy was in the gospel, not in his own advantage.

Paul has reason to be confident, because his confidence is in Christ. "I will continue to rejoice," he writes, "for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance" (v. 19). Paul knows that he will be released, but in the meantime, the gospel is going to more people. So he is happy.

To live is Christ

Paul does not know whether he will be released alive, or released by death. No matter which, he is sure that Christ will give him strength to be faithful. "I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death" (v. 20). If Paul escapes alive, he will praise Christ. If he is killed for his faith, that will also be a witness for Christ.

"To live is Christ and to die is gain" (v. 21). Death can be "gain" for Paul only because he knows he will get more after death than he has in this life. He trusts his Savior for eternal life, so he uses this mortal life to serve his Savior. If he dies, he will be assured of a reward. If he lives, he can preach the gospel. Because his life is in Christ, and Christ is his priority, both possibilities are good. No wonder he rejoices!

"If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body" (vv. 22-23). If it were just for himself, Paul would rather die, escape his troubles and enjoy life with Christ. But he has an assignment to preach and teach, and he is convinced that he is not yet finished.

"Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me" (vv. 25-26). His work among the saints is to help them experience joy in their faith. His release from prison and his ministry among them will help the Philippians focus on Christ as their source of joy.

The gift of suffering

Paul then hints at troubles the Philippians themselves are facing. This may be why he mentioned the possibility of death, why he set an example of viewing death as gain, why he encouraged them to view everything through the lens of Christ. Whether in life or in death, their goal should also be to exalt Christ, to bring glory to him, to demonstrate that he is worthy of their trust.

"Whatever happens," he writes, "conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ" (v. 27). Their behavior should show that they trust in Christ even when threatened. "Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel" (v. 27). Imitate me, he seems to be saying. Face your trials just as I am facing mine — rejoicing in Christ, holding fast to the faith. And he urges unity, a point he will address again in later chapters.

Stand firm, he says, "without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved — and that by God" (v. 28). If the Philippian Christians keep their faith even when threatened with death, it will be evidence that they are thoroughly convinced of a glorious afterlife with Christ. This will exalt Christ, and might convince some people that they need the salvation that these saints so strongly believe in.

Paul then writes about a surprising gift: "For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have" (vv. 29-30).

Yes, they are to view their sufferings as a gift, as part of their faith in a crucified Savior. Just as the Philippians share grace with Paul (v. 7), they also share in persecutions. Yet they are to rejoice, for the sufferings are part of joining Jesus in his journey to glory, and these sufferings exalt Christ, showing him to be more valuable than all earthly comforts, more valuable than life itself. Whether they live or die, they have reason to rejoice, for they have Christ!

True Peace in The Joy of Jesus

Home | Daily Word
My divine connection brings inner peace.

Peace is an inside job. It begins inside me. If I notice that I've become disturbed or agitated, I can take action to bring myself back into alignment with Divine Peace.

I close my eyes, breathe in deeply and with a long, slow exhale I remember that I am a child of God. I am never alone. I feel the divine connection throughout my body. I feel relief calming any stress I was experiencing. I am at peace.

Deep and lasting inner peace comes from connecting with the Divine, moment by moment. Knowing I am one with God quickly and easily calms me, enlivens me and provides me with abiding inner peace.

For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.--Romans 14:17

Our Daily Bread is The Joy of Jesus

Our Daily Bread

The Joy of Jesus

A Perfect Fit

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January 11, 2012 — by Cindy Hess Kasper
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. —Titus 3:8
Bible in a year:
Genesis 33-36

“What kind of skill set do you bring?” That question, posed in a job interview, was intended to determine if my friend would be a good fit for a position. My friend quickly did a mental review of his skills and talents, hoping to emphasize the unique characteristics he possessed that would contribute to the success of the company.

What if we already had the perfect set of skills required to accomplish what God wants us to do? Well—as a matter of fact—we do! The spiritual gifts we possess, along with our experiences, training, natural talents, and a submissive heart make up a unique individual who has the skills needed for the “good works” that God has “prepared beforehand” (Eph. 2:10). If God has something He wants to accomplish and that you feel He is calling you to do, He will provide what you need to complete the task. Or, as one paraphrase emphasizes, God wants us “to join Him in the work He does, the good work He has gotten ready for us to do” (Eph. 2:10 The Message). The one thing He requires of us is that we “be found faithful” (1 Cor. 4:2).

Have you found a place in God’s service where you can be used of Him? Let’s “do good” and “be rich in good works” (1 Tim. 6:18).

Think not that you are limited
Because of what you cannot do,
But think instead of all you have—
The talents God has given you. —D. De Haan

Spiritual gifts are meant to be used, not admired.

The Gift from God

Home | Daily Word

Forgiveness is a gift.

Forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts I can give myself. When I let go of judgment, resentment, expectation or anger, I open my heart and my life to the experience of growth and freedom.

If I am having trouble letting go of a past hurt, I decide whether I am willing to forgive--even if I don't know how. With a willing heart, I ask Spirit for help--clarity, guidance and understanding. Through the power of Spirit within, my heart opens and my vision clears. I feel more love and compassion for others and myself because my mind and heart are no longer closed to the experience of forgiveness. As I forgive, I give myself a precious gift. I am free.

Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.--Luke 6:37

Monthly Affirmations of The Joy of Jesus

Monthly Affirmations | Daily Word

January 2012

Inner Peace
My divine connection brings inner peace.

I am safely guided by the light of God.

The healing presence of Spirit fills every cell of my being.

With thanksgiving, I give generously and receive abundantly.

World Peace
I contribute to a world of peace through the power of my word.

February 2012

Inner Peace
I discover peace within.

Prompted by inner guidance, I move forward with courage and poise.

I claim my wholeness. I am health and strong.

Spirit fills my mind and my life with unlimited good.

World Peace
My thoughts, words and actions contribute to peace for all.

Daily Word Change

Home | Daily Word

I move forward through change.

While change is inevitable, my response or reaction to change is up to me. How can I best prepare myself for change, and how can I make the most of it?

Change is a transition from one thing, one place, one state of mind to another. I am evolving from what was to what is. I am becoming more than I was before. Just as my view changed as I transitioned from childhood to adulthood, I now see that I am gaining a new perspective during this transition.

I may be stepping into unfamiliar territory, but this step is an opportunity to grow in spiritual awareness. With each shift or change in my life, I am moving forward.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child ...; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways.--1 Corinthians 13:11

The Joy of Jesus Church is asking 10 million to Join The Campaign for Hope | PRLog

The Joy of Jesus Church is asking 10 million to Join The Campaign for Hope | PRLog

The Joy of Jesus Church is asking 10 million to Join The Campaign for Hope

People are in need of Hope and Opportunity, The Joy of Jesus Church online is calling for 10 million people to stand up today for the promise of hope.


The Campagn for Hope/The Joy of Jesus Today
The Campagn for Hope/The Joy of Jesus Today
PRLog (Press Release) - Apr 14, 2010 -
People are losing hope today due to the economy and jobs. The Joy of Jesus Church is aware of this situation and calling for positive thinking around the world to make a difference. One campaign for 10 million people to stand up for Hope and Opportunity is a real start to a new beginning.

The joy of Jesus Pastor The Rev. Dr. James A. Lee is in deep prayer for families around the world. The Joy of Jesus has programs that promote opportunity in the following ares: Jobs, Business, Education,Health Care, Peace Studies, Green technology, and Poverty Studies to improve the quality of life for all.

Join our Campaign for Hope. Give to The Joy of Jesus through our free toolbar or visit our sponsors today. We are looking for 10 million people that starts with yo today, help us help othershttp://thejoyofjesuschurchonline.blogspot.com/

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We Beheld His Glory

We Beheld His Glory

Accents of Love

Accents of Love

Ask God in Faith The Joy of Jesus

Home | Daily Word: "COMMITMENT
I am committed to my highest good.
From time to time, I establish new personal goals. I begin by making a commitment to myself. Fulfilling promises, even to myself, is one way I live in integrity. If I have a setback, I recommit. Even if I must do so again and again, I remember that Spirit will help me fulfill any prayerful and sincere promise I make to myself.

Through the power of God within me, I can accomplish whatever I set my mind and heart to do. I am divinely inspired, and through that inspiration, I find the strength and resolve to accomplish my intentions.

I envision the result and imagine the feeling of a job well done. My faith and confidence grow with each goal I achieve. I am committed to my highest good.

Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.--Mark 11:24"

'via Blog this'

Christian Living - The High Calling

FaithWriters.com-Christian Christian Living - The High Calling: "Since the holiday is now over, the question is are you truly ready for the new year? The need to move forward in life is at hand. We make plans, yet all plans take time and consideration. It is through both prayer and faith in Christ Jesus is essential to growing closer to God.

The Joy of Jesus is pushing toward "The High Calling in Christ Jesus." All we really need to do is to follow Jesus. We have been in deep prayer for all people in need. The economy is improving, new jobs are being created, people are not losing their homes so fast, yet violence and crime are still ever-present.

In conclusion, we must continue our walk with The Lord of all Salvation. Jesus gave His life on the cross for our salvation. God raised Jesus from the grave on the third day. Jesus said that He will return and set all things straight. The question is: Are you ready for The High Calling in Christ Jesus and all His Joy?"

'via Blog this'

Daily Word in Christ Jesus

Home | Daily Word

It is not I, but the Christ within who does the work.

Sometimes I get so busy working out my problems that I neglect to connect with the power of the Christ within and let it work for me. Depending too much on my own efforts plunges me into fatigue and failure. Quietly and confidently, I relax my personal endeavor and lay hold of the Christ power, which never tires or fails.

The Christ within frees me from striving, stress or strain. Tension is released when I let Spirit work in and through me. My connection to the power of the Christ is strengthened when I am relaxed and open.

Free and unrestrained, I allow the flow of divine guidance, energy, intelligence and power to work through me. Nothing is up to me alone. I turn within to the Christ for help with everything. As I do, I am liberated.

Christ is all and in all!--Colossians 3:11

Our Daily Bread

Our Daily Bread

Collision Course

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January 7, 2012 — by Dennis Fisher
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Be sure your sin will find you out. —Numbers 32:23
Bible in a year:
Genesis 20-22

My wife and I were driving on an expressway when we saw a driver turn left into a median turnaround that was intended for emergency vehicles only. He was planning to make a U-turn and head back the other way.

Looking to his right, the driver waited for an opening in oncoming traffic, so he failed to notice that a police car was backing up toward him on his left. Finally seeing an opening in traffic, the U-turn driver pulled out and rammed into the back of the police car.

It’s not unusual for us to think we can get away with doing something wrong. After King David committed adultery with Bathsheba, he too was focused on “getting away with it.” But he was on a collision course with Nathan. His adultery, deceit, and murder “displeased the Lord” (2 Sam. 11:27), so when Nathan exposed David’s grievous sin, the king was deeply remorseful. He confessed, repented, and received God’s forgiveness. But the consequences of his sin never departed from his household (12:10).

If you’ve been trying to get away with something, remember that “your sin will find you out” (Num. 32:23). Turn yourself in to God. Don’t hide. Instead, seek His gracious forgiveness.

God knows all you’ve thought or done—
From Him you cannot hide;
Confess to Him and He’ll forgive
Through Christ the crucified. —Hess

We have to face our sins before we can put them behind us.

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