Why We Rejoice

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Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Philippians 4:4 NIV

Rejoicing is the theme of the book of Philippians, even though the circumstances with which it was written hold no reason for such a sentiment. Paul is under house arrest in Rome waiting to go before Caesar. He is cut off from his friends and chained to a guard 24 hours a day. He is not comfortable and does not know what the future will hold.

And that is the point.

We don’t rejoice because life is good, we rejoice because God is good.

We don’t rejoice only when good things happen because God works through all things.

We don’t wait to rejoice until we have all the answers, we rejoice in knowing that Jesus does.  He loves you and will be with you whatever comes.

Set your heart to rejoice in Jesus today: who He is, what He has done and that your eternal future is secured by His amazing sacrifice.

Your present circumstances are provided for by the strength of His grace no matter what they look like.

We like to rejoice when we get our way but sometimes the harder way is what we actually need to grow in.

Set your mind to delight in a security of the love of Jesus and the mercy of His grace.

Rejoicing when there is nothing to rejoice about is a divine gift that will transform you.

And if you ask Jesus to open your eyes to see what you have right now to rejoice in, He will.

Take the gift and throw a party.

Delight, Desires

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“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”‭‭

Psalm‬ ‭37:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Which side of the comma are you living in?

Take delight in the Lord,

or

And he will give you the desires of your heart?

Delight, desires.

What you focus on determines how you experience Him.

When you are focusing your life on delighting (joy, great enjoyment, and pleasure) in the Lord, the world seems like a wide open space for you to experience with someone you love.

When you focus on the desires of your heart, the world seems a small closed space in which you can only see what you don’t have and experience and envy what everyone else seems to have.

I’ve learned that my desires are not good taskmasters but they do make great idols.  They also make flawed foundations for a relationship with God or anyone else.

I’m not saying that your desires are bad, in fact, I believe that the Lord puts loads of good desires in your heart: the desire to love and be loved, to connect and be connected to,  to cherish and to be cherished.  What I am saying is that if the focus of your life is getting your desires met that you will be miserable and probably not even know why.

Living on the delight side of the comma means that your focus is on your relationship with God and being delighted in Him, by Him and with Him and trusting Him with the rest.

There is sweet freedom found in delighting in your relationship with God while letting Him hold all your desires to do what He may. He is a good Father and knows you more than you know yourself.

How are you delighting yourself in the Lord?

What is making you miserable?

What side of the comma are you living on?

Take the Gift and Throw a Party

joy-quote

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Philippians 4:4 NIV

Rejoicing is the theme of the book of Philippians, even though the circumstances with which it was written hold no reason for such a sentiment. Paul is under house arrest in Rome waiting to go before Caesar. He is cut off from his friends and chained to a guard 24 hours a day. He is not comfortable and does not know what the future will hold.

And that is the point.

We don’t rejoice because life is good, we rejoice because God is good.

We don’t rejoice only when good things happen – God works through all things.

We don’t wait to rejoice until we have all the answers, we rejoice in knowing that Jesus does.  And He loves you and will be with you whatever comes.

Set your heart to rejoice in Jesus today: who He is, what He has done and that your eternal future is secured by His amazing sacrifice. Your present circumstances are provided for by the strength of His grace no matter what they look like.

We like to rejoice when we get our way but sometimes the harder way is what we actually need to grow in.

Set your mind to delight in a security of the love of Jesus and the mercy of His grace.

Rejoicing when there is nothing to rejoice about is a divine gift that will transform you.

And if you ask Jesus to open your eyes to see what you have right now to rejoice in, He will.

Take the gift and throw a party.

Desires, Delight

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“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”‭‭        Psalm‬ ‭37:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Which side of the comma are you living in?

Take delight in the Lord,

or

And he will give you the desires of your heart?

Delight, desires.

What you focus on determines how you experience Him.

When you are focusing your life on delighting (joy, great enjoyment, and pleasure) in the Lord, the world seems like a wide open space for you to experience with someone you love.

When you focus on the desires of your heart, the world seems a small closed space in which you can only see what you don’t have and experience envy what everyone else seems to have.

I’ve learned that my desires are not good taskmasters but they do make great idols.  They also make flawed foundations for a relationship with God or anyone else.

I’m not saying that your desires are bad, in fact, I believe that the Lord puts loads of good desires in your heart: the desire to love and be loved, to connect and be connected to,  to cherish and to be cherished.  What I am saying is that if the focus of your life is getting your desires met that you will be miserable and probably not even know why.

Living on the delight side of the comma means that your focus is on your relationship with God and being delighted in Him, by Him and with Him and trusting Him with the rest.

There is a sweet freedom found in delighting in your relationship with God while letting Him hold all your desires to do what He may. He is a good Father and knows you more than you know yourself.

How are you delighting yourself in the Lord?

What is making you miserable?

What side of the comma are you living on?

Mighty God

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“For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

‭‭Zephaniah‬ ‭3:17 NLT‬‬

Who God is:
Mighty Savior.

Where God is:
With you.

What God does:
He saves you.
He delights in you.
He calms your fears.
He rejoices over you with singing.

In Jesus, this verse has been fulfilled. Because of Jesus, you can experience the reality of walking with God every single day.  A reality where you are aware of God’s saving power.  A reality where you can experience His delight in you.

Lift your eyes above your present circumstances.  This reality has already been bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus. It is yours as you receive it, as you walk in it and as you think more about what God thinks of you rather than what you think of you. 

Next Level

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Jesus came so that you can do more than just do the best you can to make a good life. He saved you, healed you and wants to empower you to live an adventure with God.
“But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise!
A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way!
Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death.
But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.”
Romans‬ ‭6‬:‭22-23‬ MSG
May your day be interrupted by divine appointments and your heart filled with the delight of a new adventure with God.
May you be ready and willing for Him to use you to make a difference in someone’s life today.
Move on from focusing on what you don’t want to do and be set free to embrace the adventure of living in what God has for you to do.
May the adventure begin!

Your Why

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“We justify our actions by appearances; GOD examines our motives.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭21:2‬ ‭MSG‬‬
God examines your motives because they are the “why” behind the “what”. When you are soul drained, the simplest tasks can begin to feel like heavy burdens.  You slip into auto pilot and just go through the motions.  Your “why” is to survive, to make it through one more day.
Survival is a good “why” to make it through hard things but it is not meant to be your permanent state of being.
God has more for you today.
He is the God of inside workings, attitude makeovers, perspective shifters. He is the forgiving God, the wipe the slate clean and start over God. He is the miracle making God, creating something out of nothing God with just one word from His mouth.
Your Heavenly Father created you in love, to love and to be loved. God so loved you that He sent His Son as a sacrifice to restore you to Himself.  He did not do it out of duty, He did it out of love. He does not live out of duty but out of love and wants the same for you.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:16‬ ‭NIV
When your why comes from love it feeds your spirit and invigorates your soul. Duty devoid of it drains it.
May the God of the inside workings give your attitude a makeover from duty doer to lit up lover.  May the forgiving God wipe clean the slate of the past and help you start over today.  May the miracle making God, create something out of nothing and fill you so full of His love that it overflows onto those around you.
Are you living in survival mode or love mode? 
What’s your why today?