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 seems to hold no reason to rejoice.
The Apostle 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 knows that he will probably be executed.
As Jesus’ followers, joy is not contingent on circumstances, it bursts through in spite of them.
Are you missing out on joy today because you are waiting for your circumstances to warrant it?
Don’t wait one second more, joy is a fruit of the Spirit, not the fruit of your circumstances (Galatians 5:22).
Receive the gift, invite some friends over and throw a joy party!
“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
2 Peter 1:2-3
All relationships have to be give and take in order to be healthy.
This includes your relationship with God.
Your “give” to God: to journey with Him and hold nothing back.
So what is your “take”?
Your “take” is to partake of God’s promises, dwell in His presence and walk in His power in every area of your life.
This taking is not a selfish act, it is a trusting one.
There came a man who walked the earth, spoke truth to all who would listen, healed broken bodies and restored broken souls to God. It was His love that breathed life into the first lungs of man and His word that drove the darkness and chaos back before that.
He came to the earth He created for one purpose: to perfect love. The word perfect here doesn’t mean flawless as much as it means complete. Completed completeness. This love that bled when the lash tore open His back and wood of the cross dug into it, persevered through the unendurable physical and spiritual pain of the cross until He could utter the truth, “it is finished”.
This love has been made completely complete. The debt of sin has been paid and the great chasm between God and man has been crossed.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18 NIV
When fear rises up to dismantle my faith or weave it’s tentacles around my feet to trip me up, I must remember this fact: I have nothing to fear.
Christ took my punishment completely so that I could let His love complete me.
Are you letting His love complete you?
Are you letting His love in?
Today, Jesus is holding out His love to you and asking you to take it, make it yours and start living in the expansive truth of it today.
I want to remind you that you have a place of refuge in Christ.
He is like a fortress of strength to love from.
He is a tower of trust to give from.
Live from the truth of who Jesus is and what he has done for you on the cross.
You are restored and redeemed.
You are accepted and forgiven.
You are cherished and loved.
When the strong sun of adversity beats down, rest in Shaddai’s shadow. Tuck yourself into His side and remind yourself whose you are.
“You who sit down in the High God’s presence, spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow, Say this:‘GOD, you’re my refuge. I trust in you and I’m safe!’ That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you— under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm.”
Psalm 91:1-5 MSG
When fear screams the loudest, run to the refuge of the cross. Jesus died for you so that you could have this: an unhindered relationship with your Father in heaven who has strong arms and strong love.
There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.”
Matthew 6:25, 26 MSG
Life with God is about being filled with His love and then pouring it out on all those around you.
It is worshipping Him when we wake, when we walk, when we clean, when we work, when we eat, when we get dressed.
It is knowing you are saved by grace and reconciled to Him because of the sacrifice of Jesus.
It is knowing He loves you because you are His kid and He enjoys spending time with you.
My friend, you are a child of God who is cherished, chosen and provided for.
Live in the freedom of His love.
Live care-less in the care of God.
Live more in this truth and less in the lie that you are valued because of what you look like, eat, wear or do.
This life, this love, this security comes from Jesus and is unshakable.