The Promise of Abundant Life

The Promise of Abundant Life

Daily Reading: (John 10:10):

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

There are seasons we all go through where it doesn’t feel like a time of abundance. It feels lean, and the Apostle Paul even acknowledges lean times when he writes from prison the following: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Philippians 4:12). What this tells us is the abundant life, using the example of Paul’s life, the abundant life is not a life that is never in need. The abundant life is a life that when one has needs, receives all that is theirs in Christ (Philippians 4:11b-12).

So what exactly is the abundant life that I have in Christ and what does that look like lived out in the life of a believer? Those are the questions we should seek an answer to. When you go back to the story of Adam and Eve in the garden, we are given a clear picture of Satan’s motive. Satan used to be an angel in heaven (Isaiah 14:12-15), the one who led a rebellion against God and Scripture tells us that he took one-third of the angels with him (Revelation 12:4). Jesus says his purpose is to try and steal, kill, and destroy from mankind. He thought he was victorious as Adam and Eve sinned, but God had a plan. God would send His only Son, whose purpose is to give us who were dead in our sins, life.  he gave us a new life, His life, life to the full.

We have the abundant life in Christ, however, our enemy is still out there trying to steal from us what is ours. 1 Peter 5:8 says:“Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walketh about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). His motive has not changed.

Isn’t it interesting the devil has to seek out those whom he may devour? This means that he can’t devour everyone. You can be at a place where the devil will be unable to devour you. The secret is found in the preceding verse, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). The secret is to be carefree and not be bogged down by anxieties and worries! Your greatest responsibility is to rejoice in the Lord always. We are not to not worry about past failures, present circumstances, or even future challenges. Release every oppressive thought, worry, and care to Jesus.

Did you also notice that 1 Peter 5:8 says the devil roams about like, or as, “a roaring lion”? In Proverbs 19:12, it says, “The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion (Proverbs 19:12). The devil is an imposter who goes about as a roaring lion because he is imitating the King of kings, the real lion of Judah, Jesus Christ. He wants people to think that our King is full of wrath, anger, and rage against us. He comes at us roaring with the voice of condemnation, accusation, and shame and he does it to try and rob from you the truth of who God is and what His disposition toward you is. When you run away from God, you are running straight into the devil’s snare and that is where he can devour you.

“The thief (speaking of Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

“May have” is the Greek word (echo) it means tht we might have and hold, it means you and I possess life (zōē): real and genuine life, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed.

What do you believe about your life? What do you believe about yourself? Do you believe that you are blessed, that you are abundantly blessed? You see the enemy is scared that you might actually believe and live as if your life is a blessed one. The enemy is afraid that you would live knowing that the things you put your hands to, the endeavors you set out for in this life will prosper. The people you encounter will be better as a result of knowing you.

You have and hold the blessed life and you have it to full (perissos): over and above, more than is necessary, superadded

David who found the Lord as His shepherd, the one who watched over him and protects him and loves him said in Psalm 23:5- “my cup runneth over.” “My cup runneth over” means “I have more than enough for my needs”.In desert cultures in the Middle East in times of antiquity, a person is required by laws of hospitality to provide a drink to strangers. The amount that was provided was indicative of how welcomed the guest was, and to pour a full glass or a glass that “ran over” would be reserved only for the most welcomed guest. This is what we have in Christ, super-abounding grace. Our cups overflow. We are the most welcomed guests in God’s presence because He has adopted us as His children. Our life cup runneth over, we are blessed- super-abundantly blessed.

The Way Over Temptation

The Way Over Temptation

Daily Reading: (1 Corinthians 10:13):

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

There is nothing that can come into your life that you have to give into. God always provides the Way out

There was a list put together of the 5 most common quotes that people think are in the Bible.[1]

The number one quote people think is in the Bible is: “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” In fact, just the opposite is found. The world is filled with people who are dealt more than they can handle. And, surprisingly, the Bible is also filled with people who were given more than they could handle.

The apostle Paul wrote:

“For we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:8-9).

There will be times when you will be given something far beyond your ability to endure and the reason for it is so that you won’t rely on yourself but on God. God wants us to hand our great burdens over to Him. He doesn’t want us to rally more of our own strength. He wants us to rely solely on His strength which is far superior than what we could muster up ourselves.

There is a point in why God might allow the more than I can handle moments of life. We humans have a tendency to think that we can do everything on our own, don’t we? Our pride has a way of dragging us down:

“Pride goes before destruction, an arrogant spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). To keep us grounded in the reality of our need for a Savior, God graciously allows us to see just how much we can’t handle.

So, while the Bible doesn’t say God won’t give you more than you can handle- the Bible does say He has provided the way for us in every temptation.

“But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).  In the Greek it doesn’t read “a way” out.  If it was a way to escape, we would not know what that way would be. That is a problem. That is a problem for someone battling depression who doesn’t see a way out. The Greek doesn’t say “a way out” the Greek says “the way out”.  “The” points to something very definite, it points us to the Way, it points us to Jesus Christ (John 14:6). 

The word “bear” or endure depending on which translation you are using is hupophero. What is hupophero? It is actually two Greek words placed together and gives us a great word picture. Hupo means under. Phero is to be born along on a river. When you place the two words together you get: “An under-current of a river carrying someone away, carried safely away from danger”.

God makes the way of escape that you may be born, carried safely, away from danger (hupophero) and He does this through the Way (Jesus). The context for how God does this is in verse 16, communion.

What does communion have to do with the way of escape, the way out of my trial or temptation?

“Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:16)? There’s a condemnation in this world that was released, a divine sentence ever since Adam sinned, and the divine sentence includes sickness. Communion is the way out.

Why was Jesus scourged and beaten before being crucified? God arranged everything, why didn’t God just send Jesus straight to the cross? Because by his stripes, we are healed. God loves you and wants you well.Today, healing is your right because Jesus has paid the price for your healing. Disease has no right in your body. I am healed in Jesus’ name!” Every curse of sickness that was supposed to fall on you fell on Jesus instead. He bore every one of those stripes, so that you can walk in divine health all the days of your life. You have been given the way over what comes over you and His name is Jesus.


[1]https://www.biblestudytools.com/blogs/inside-bst/5-more-verses-you-just-won-t-find-in-your-bible.html

The Promise of Union Life

The Promise of Union Life With Jesus

Daily Reading: (2 Timothy 2:13):

“If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

What this is saying right off the bat is that even if we sin or when we sin, Christ isn’t going to disown you, how could He? Because Christ lives in us, He is always with us and He cannot disown Himself. This verse is indirectly speaking of union life with Christ. Paul in 2 Corinthians 13:5, asks the Corinthian believers a question: “Or do you not realize about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?” Maybe a better starting point is to realize Christ lives in you. He is always with you, He will never leave you or forsake you and since He remains faithful, even when we mess up, Christ will never disown you for He cannot disown Himself.

The book of 2 Timothy has a lot of great verses in it. There is a website called topverses.com that has ranked verses by how popular they are. 2 Timothy 3:16 ranks 9th on the list, 2 Timothy 2:15 ranks 45th. Already two verses in the top 50 in the book of 2 Timothy alone. One of my favorites, “For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” checks in at number 429. There are many verses in 2 Timothy that are ranked as some of people’s most favorite verses. Where does our 2 Timothy 2:13 verse rank on people’s all-time favorite Scripture verse list? 2 Timothy 2:13 is the 16,811 most popular verse. What that tells me is people don’t understand what is being said here. If we knew what this verse meant it might become your favorite verse from 2 Timothy. There is a verse, 2 Timothy 4:12 that says: “I sent Tychicus to Ephesus.” That’s all it said and that is ranked 9,552. It ranked over 7,000 spots ahead of our verse. People don’t like the verse I quoted because it is attached to a portion that absolutely frightens people because they have been misled in what is being said. Today, that all changes.

I believe one reason why 2 Timothy 2:13 is often overlooked is because it completely dismantles a works-based system of my own faithfulness. The spotlight is entirely where it should be and that is on Jesus Christ and His accomplished work for us that whatever the promise God has made, Promises of God series part 2, He is faithful to deliver on it through Jesus.

In the Gospel in Twenty Questions Paul Ellis breaks down our 2 Timothy 2:13 verse and he does it masterfully as he connects it to the entire statement.

Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself” (2 Timothy 2:11–13).

The “if we endure” is satisfied with the faithful one (Jesus). Jesus who did endure, lives in us and will cause us to endure and reign now.”

Why is this verse the 16,811 most popular verse? Because people don’t understand it? This new life we have in Christ is a new kind of life characterized by supernatural endurance and reigning in all things (2 Timothy 2:11-13).

“If we disown him, he will also disown us.” Paul is not talking about Christians at all, but those who reject Christ and will one day reap the consequences of their choice (2 Timothy 2:12). There’s no grace for the faithless because the faithless will not receive it.

Do you see? There are two camps in the world. There are individuals who confess Christ as Lord and those who deny Him.

If you have denied him, you may yet confess him. This provides hope for the lost and unsaved people.

If you have confessed him, you cannot deny him. This simply means we who have died with Christ cannot un-die. We who have been born again cannot be unborn. If you were to deny him, as Peter did three times, Jesus won’t disown you, for He cannot disown himself. If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself. (2 Timothy 2:13) “Keep reminding them of these things…” (2 Timothy 2:14a)

To recap, Paul says if we die with Christ, we will live, endure, and reign with him. Each follows the other and this is a trustworthy saying.Thank you, Paul Ellis, for the amazing clarity you have brought to this passage of Scripture, making it one of my favorites and hopefully one of yours as well.

The Promise of Salvation

The Promise of Salvation

Daily Reading: (Romans 10:9):

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Today’s promise of salvation is one that we are tempted to move past as believing it is a past event that we will experience in our future and miss the salvation God has promised to give you today.

It is a huge victory to know that you have salvation and to put your trust in Christ alone. If you haven’t yet come to that place to receive everlasting life from God, the Bible says, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved(Acts 16:31). Believe that Jesus died to give you His life. “For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son whoever believes in Him (Jesus) shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).  

Salvation is so much bigger than just eternal life. Receiving the fullness of salvation can only happen after you are eternally saved (Romans 10:9). How are you going to believe that when trouble comes that God will rescue you or deliver you if you don’t even believe in the most important provision, He has made for you, everlasting life? This verse is used as a verse to help lead non-believers to receive salvation and today it is going to be used to help believers receive daily salvation over the things that come against them.

The very word used in Romans 10:9 for saved is “sozo”. Sozo’s primary definition is to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction. And also to deliver from the penalties of the Messianic judgment. In all things we can find rescue from danger and destruction (sozo). Salvation is a gift from God, and it comes through believing in Jesus alone (Romans 10:9).

How is this possible?  back to our text:

The Greek word for “confession” is homologeo, and it means “to agree with” or “say the same thing God says about you and/or your circumstances.”

You are to take your problem to God and then agree (homologeo)- with what God’s Word says about your problem that Jesus is Lord.

You are saying Jesus is “kyrios” (he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord). I belong to Jesus and Jesus has already defeated the enemy of sin and the effects of sin that I am experiencing now. I agree fully with God’s Word Jesus is my Lord and I believe (pisteuō) to trust in Jesus as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith.

When I experience trouble, I will speak God’s promise to me. I trust in Jesus the one who is able to offer me His salvation. The promise is not that you might be or you could be saved. The promise is you will be saved.

The Promise of Rest

The Promise of Rest

Daily Reading: (Matthew 11:28-29):

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Did you know that God has promised you rest?We are a nation that for the most part is weary, tired, worn-out, depressed, agitated and afraid. Searching and seeking for the next thing that could help bring us relief. Every single one of us could benefit from finding rest. In fact, the Bible says in Hebrews 4:10-11 we are to labor or strive for only one thing: “For whoever enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest” (Hebrews 4:10-11). Let us make every effort to receive the rest Jesus is offering to us and we can do that by going to the promise of rest that Jesus made for us in Matthew 11:28-29.

Who should come to Jesus? The obvious answer should be everyone. Everyone needs Jesus. The text is clear. “All who are weary and burdened.” Should come to Him. Have you ever been weary and burdened in life? Yes! Come to Jesus- every single one of us.

Jesus is painting a word picture here this word in the Greek a metaphor is used of a man or woman who has a great load laid upon him/her, which he/she must carry to a certain place: every step reduces their strength, and renders the load all the more oppressive. The job of the Law was to help us realize how great a burden we carried that we are not going to make it to the grand destination of heaven if we try to carry the load ourself. Salvation happens when we lay our burdens down on the one who is willing to carry them for our sake, and we are given His rest (Matthew 11:28-29). “Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken” (Psalm 55:22).  

Each one of us were bound on heavy burdens; and laboring, by their observance of the law (which is unable to make any of us righteous), the Law and it’s requirements burdened us and weighed us down so that we might consider another way- a better way- an invitation to lay down your load, and receive the salvation procured for them by Christ. Come to me all you who are weary and burdened. It is a universal invitation to all.

The promise is that as you fill your mind with His word and take His yoke upon you, (which is His teaching) God will give you rest. Your situation doesn’t have to improve for rest to come. Your answer doesn’t need to be obvious for you to find rest. Come to Jesus and receive His finished work and there will be rest and there will peace in your soul today.

“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness” (Proverbs 23:4). What this verse is warning us is that can wear yourself out trying to get to the place of not being weary anymore. You can’t achieve freedom from weariness or tiredness yourself. There is an invitation to all (the weary and burdened) and the promise is you will find/be given rest in Jesus.

Jesus wants to give you rest. And He says that the way you receive rest is to be yoked with Him, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. In ancient culture, the word yoke was a term that was used to describe submission. So, when someone was described as being yoked to someone or something, it was communicating the idea that he or she was in submission to that person or thing. To find rest is to submit ourselves to the teaching of Jesus.

Trouble and Peace

Daily Reading: (John 14:1, 27, John 16:33):

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.”

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

What I absolutely love about this text is that the promise is not an absence of trouble and fear but peace in it.

I have found that two real enemies to peace in my life are in fact trouble and fear. Jesus instead of listing all of the potential troubling things we could experience, uses the Greek word that describes the condition troubling things can bring (to agitate, to take away calmness of mind, make restless, strike one’s spirit with fear and dread, to render anxious). Do not let your hearts take away calmness of your mind and fear.

There is no need to allow those troubling things to cause fear in your spirit, rob you of the calmness of your mind, make you restless and anxious and lead about timidity in your life.

Those troubling things are the opposite of what God has given you as He has given us the peace of Christ that’s why Paul writes to his young protégé Timothy: For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). God has given us a spirit of power (not timidity) a spirit of love- because perfect love cast out all fear, and of a sound, calm of mind.

Jesus guarantees trouble for us in this world (John 16:33). Even Jesus’ disciples thought that somehow their connection to Jesus meant an absence of trouble. This was obviously not their experience and it is not ours either. 

You will have trouble in this world, and if that is where Jesus finished his sentence I guess all we could expect would be timidity, fear, a lack of calmness of mind. But that is not the final word over your trouble. The final word over your trouble is, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Take heart (tharseō) – be of good cheer, be of good comfort. Because “I have overcome the world.” If we understand this Greek word for overcome then we are enabled to have courage in trouble, we are able to have the peace of Christ in all things.

(nikaō) – I carry off the victory. I have been victorious over all of your enemies.

So because of Jesus’ victory over our foes (victory over our trouble), we can have peace and we do not have to fear when the already defeated trouble comes (John 14:27, John 16:33).  

Don’t lose heart when trouble comes because Christ will carry you off in victory(John 16:33). Don’t let the calmness of your mind leave because of what is happening around you, instead, place your confidence in me (John 14:1).

At the cross the disciples thought their Messiah was being defeated. Jesus as He takes His last breath declares our victory in John 19:30 “it is finished.” God’s salvation plan, the masterpiece to redeem humanity is complete. He has overcome the world!!! “It is finished” comes from one Greek word (teleō). In the days of Jesus, a servant would use it when reporting to his master: “I have completed the work assigned to me.” Jesus said those final words to the Father. (John 17:4) The word means, “It is finished, it stands finished and it will always be finished!” Perhaps the most significant meaning of teleō is how it is used by merchants: “The debt is paid in full!” When Jesus gave Himself on the cross, He met fully the righteous demands of the law. He paid our debts in full! Today, it is not our works that will bring us the blessings, or will bring us to a settled mind, it is Christ’s finished work. It is confidence and trust in Christ alone (John 14:1, John 19:30). Our blessings are a result of Jesus defeating sin and death and granting us restoration in relationship with God as our Father- which means favor with God forever. Our blessings come by way of Christ’s finished work. It is not our works that gave us access to blessing, or that will bring us to a settled mind, it is Christ’s finished work. It is confidence and trust in Christ alone (John 14:1, John 19:30). 

Maybe you are faced with overwhelming odds today. Jesus promises, “It is finished!” You are not going to be delivered, because you have already been delivered. You are not going to be healed because you are already healed! God healed you 2,000 years ago! Isaiah 53:5 declares, “By His stripes you are healed!” Keep resting in His finished work and it will manifest itself in your life! Our blessings have been bought by His blood! Live life knowing that there is nothing for you to do—only believe! It is finished!

So, you will have trouble in this world (we can testify to that) but you don’t have to be troubled. You can have confidence in Christ finished work at the cross (John 14:1). He offers to us healing, forgiveness, His righteousness, and He has given us the Comforter as our aid, (John 14:16) who will continue to point us to Jesus and His finished work.

The Secret of Contentment

The Secret of Contentment

Daily Reading: (Philippians 4:10-13):

“I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

We will find that the “all things” Paul references he can do through Christ (Philippians 4:13), is connected to the secret of contentment he has found (Philippians 4:12).

The gift Paul received from the church could have caused a lot of different emotions ways. It was late to arrive, Paul’s feelings could have been anxious, uneasy, or upset about it.

The person bringing the gift was deathly ill, perhaps even contagious. Paul could have been afraid for Epaphroditus and worried about his own health.

The distance the gift the church was sending Paul (Philippi to Rome) was approximately 4,608 miles and so instead of having a negative emotion,the apostle of grace sees Epaphroditus through the eyes of grace and says give this guy a hero’s welcome. “So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, because he almost died for the work of Christ.”

Let’s celebrate those who do a work of Christ regardless of how successful the endeavor may appear on the outside. The reason Paul does not land in the negative emotions unsatisfied camp is because Paul was never focused on the gift to begin with. Verse ten gives us this insight: “I rejoiced greatly in the Lord” Contentment is secured as you view everything made available to you in Christ which will cause your spirit to rejoice. The focus was not on the gift but the Giver. I am not meaning the church, although, there will be gratitude toward the brothers and sisters in Christ but this is what Christ has done in them. Paul was expecting Jesus to bear the fruit of generosity in their lives.  

Generosity isn’t a fruit of the Spirit- is it? “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control(Galatians 5:22-23a). I don’t see generosity listed there, but it actually is. Most translations call it “goodness,” because the root word means “good,” but, given the context, a better interpretation would be “generous,” which is the way it is worded in the New Revised Standard.

In Philippians 4 Paul says he has needs, but he is not needy because God is going to meet His needs (Philippians 4:12). The way the supply comes to us changes so it is easy for us to worry and doubt and ask God what are you doing when it is delayed or comes about another way. That is the problem that arises when we put our focus on the supply instead of the Supplier, we can move from the contentment camp to the unsatisfied one. New seasons means new supply. God’s provision is ongoing (the source doesn’t change, but the way the supply comes does).

But our God, Paul says seven verses later will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). “He meets the needs according to” which is the Greek Word (kata) it means daily. So, it doesn’t matter if your daily need is great or it is small, you can be content, God will meet our needs every day abundantly.

What is the secret of contentment?

William Barclay says, “contentment comes from knowing God and delighting in his sovereign goodness and fatherly care.”[1] The temptation to be discontent is everywhere. Paul grew to believe with great conviction all of who Christ was in his life—his Savior, his Friend, his Provider, his Lord—and it was the essence of what he needed most. The sufficiency of Christ that Paul experienced enabled him to have a strong heart of contentment (joy, peace, and gratitude) in the best and worst of times. Because Christ lived in Him and was with Him always.


[1] William Barcley. The Secret of Contentment. P&R Publishing

Worry and Trust

Worry and Trust

Daily Reading: (Psalm 112:7-8 Matthew 6:33-34):

“They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.”

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

“They will have no fear of bad news.” That is next level living. To be at such a place, that whenever bad news might come, our reaction can be to choose to not fear anything. This is the way I want to live my life and we will see the way this is done is by making a choice to seek something that will bring us to trust.  

When you look at this verse through the eyes of the original audience you gain even more insight. The Hebrew word for evil or bad used in Psalm 112:7 is ‘ra and it just so happens to be the same name as the Egyptian god of the sun.

The Israelites won’t fear (‘ra) their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord” (Psalm 112:7). This is a reminder to God’s people, that the enemy they used to fear had already been defeated. The sun god was drown in the Red Sea along with his worshippers. Just as God led His people into the Promised Land through Joshua and Caleb, God has led you into the Promised Land through Christ so chose to put your trust in Him today despite whatever evil bad news comes against you, because your enemies have already been defeated in Jesus’ name.

Their hearts are established fixed on and stable in the Lord and as a result of their secure hearts, they will have no fear. In the end they will look in triumph on their foes. When you fix your eyes on Jesus you see the marvelous love God has for you, you will have no fear, as the Holy Spirit testifies to the fact that we are more than conquerors in Jesus and we will see victory on the horizon because Jesus is our champion.

The Psalmist uses the defeated, drowned evil bad (‘Ra) out in their lives as a way to remember God’s protection, God’s care, and God’s leading them to victory. This is done to instill confident steadfast hearts whose trust is in the Lord.

The kingdom of God was not something outside of you flowing in—“the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking”, but something inside you flowing out—“righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”. So to seek first God’s kingdom means to make it a priority every day to have your inner being flowing with righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

The kingdom is the king’s reign which is about these three things: “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).

It is all about righteousness, peace, and joy. It should be noted that 2/3rds of the king’s reign is an emotional state. When you are in the king’s reign you have the two primary emotions of His domain which are peace and joy.  Righteousness is a sheer gift. Righteousness in God’s kingdom cannot be earned, it can only be received. We put our faith in Jesus and we are given His righteousness. Our sins are placed on His account and His righteousness is then deposited into our account. We are not only forgiven of our sins. We are viewed by God as being perfect. The Bible says this is what the King’s reign is all about. The king’s reign is all about making people as righteous as the King (Romans 14:17). As we are mindful of the righteousness King Jesus has given us, we are led to the Kingdom emotions of joy and peace in the Holy Spirit.

Many Christians live their lives consumed with what they do (secondary) to who you are (primary) which can’t change as it is anchored to Jesus and His finished work. This is something the devil can never take from you. He can only convince you to focus on what would be anything but the kingdom to get you to worry. So, trust in Jesus and His perfect and complete work that has made you righteous. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about tomorrow, you won’t have to fear bad news, because you sought the kingdom and it has ushered in peace and joy, a steadfast heart because your trust is in the Lord.

Confusion and Understanding/Rest

Daily Reading: (1 Corinthians 14:33, Philippians 4:7):

“For God is not the author ofconfusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Don’t worry about a thing is the song lyrics that should be playing over our lives today. God’s desire for our lives is that we don’t dwell in the land of worry. Paul doesn’t stop with just a nice phrase, he’ll tell us how he has found it possible to be sitting on death row, worry-free. Part of the answer comes in verse five. “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” It is easy to forget during difficult and confusing times just how near God is (Philippians 4:5). If God feels far away and we forget He is with us in the trouble that will open the door for us to become troubled. But He is with us, and we can communicate with Him, and pray at any time. You are never alone in your trouble.

Don’t worry (merimnaō)don’t even take thought of it to the point of allowing it to trouble you. Worry will enter your mind, the key is when it does, to not allow your mind to stay there on that thought. If you do, it will eventually and very quickly trouble you.

Paul is telling us not to let your worry take you to the place where you think about it enough to trouble you and then he takes out his prescription pad and prescribes us the cure to relieve the horrible symptoms of worry.

“But in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6). Paul actually borrowed this from David:

“I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4 NLT).

The way that we eliminate worry is to bring those things that would worry us to God in prayer and the result is you will receive the peace of God. What a great exchange, worry for peace. When we have worry, pray and set your eyes on Jesus and let the Holy Spirit fill your hearts with the peace of God and His peace will set a guard over your heart and mind against worry from coming back in (Philippians 4:6-7).

“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people” (1 Corinthians 14:33). Paul drops this nugget, which we will extrapolate beyond just a chaotic worship service into the chaos of life. God is not a God of disorder or confusion but of (eirene) quietness, rest, tranquility (1 Corinthians 14:33). When things come on our lives that are disorienting and confusing, we can receive from God; rest, quietness in our soul, and tranquility.

Joy and Sadness

Joy and Sadness

Daily Reading: (Psalm 30:11-12, Jeremiah 31:13): “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.” “Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.”

David wrote in the same chapter a few verses earlier “Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. (Psalm 30:4–5).”

For those with faith in God, no setback, no misery, no loss can be lasting. Christ conquers our greatest fears and pains, not always swiftly, but surely. The suffering and loss cannot outlast the life he purchased for us on the cross. For us as believers, joy comes with the morning, and after the morning, and even in the mourning. And so we sing (Psalm 30:4), even in the middle of severe sadness because our hope is that God can turn it. God can (haphak) overturn/ turn around, change, transform your sadness into dancing (Psalm 30:11). 

God isn’t going to force a change in your emotion only you can allow God  through the Holy Spirit to overturn what has turned on you. David is speaking here of what I believe is not only his present circumstances but will be his future experience as well. For this Psalm, scholars believe was written in 1017 B.C. Solomon was born around 1010 B.C. or seven years later. Seven years later the Psalm David wrote would be enacted in his life, after his child died that he had with Bathsheba, God would give him Solomon.

We go to 2 Samuel 12:14-31 at a time when David was in sackcloth and it shows probably the greatest sadness you could ever experience, the death of your child. David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackclothon the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.

David mourned for the death of a child, he worshipped God (2 Samuel 12:20) and allowed God to turn and transform his sadness into dancing- which leads to the eventual birth of Solomon. Do you know what the name Solomon means? It is where we get the Hebrew word shalom from. It means peace. God brought forth peace (Solomon) into the world of a grieving father and mother as a result of worship (2 Samuel 12:20).

I can tell you from my own life experiences I have in the past mourned too long for the loss of something when God wanted to turn my mourning into dancing and great joy. A job loss, a financial loss, a loss to my health, even a loss in a sports game. What turned it around was worship. Allowing God’s transformative grace to result in peace in my life. It didn’t mean the child was brought back to life. It didn’t mean the no turned into a yes. It meant God was bringing forth something new and the change, the (peace/Solomon) began in my heart before any noticeable difference took place and it led me to dance.

Jeremiah 31 talks about the Lord who leads (9) redeems (verse 11), delivers (11) provides (14) but it all comes out of His everlasting love (verse 3) for us.  And in both Psalm 30 and Jeremiah 31 they both say the miracle of the down-trodden, mourning people who are transformed into joyful dancing people is a work of God. It is a miracle to behold.

My prayer for all of us is that we would bring Jesus into our situation, that we might see ourselves as victorious even when battles are lost and ultimately allow God to transform our emoticon status on our life’s social media page to joy. Faith is essentially dancing and rejoicing and worshiping God for who He is and what He will do for us.