A Life Filled with Much Joy

Joy is the expression of the happiness that is within and when one is filled with joy then they are energized and excited about life. Joy is the sweetness that comes from being in the presence of God and knowing that He is real. Joy comes from having prayers answered and seeing the Lord work on one’s behalf. Joy is amazing and when we have it there is nothing that can compare with the true joy that God gives to His children. The world can only offer cheap substitutes that try to mimic the true joy of the Lord but there is no comparison.

Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

The joy of the Lord will strengthen you and will cause you to want to give to others in need. The joy of the Lord allows you to do far more than you would do on your own and in doing so your joy will only be increased. Your joy will become other’s joy.

Psalm 16:11 You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

When you walk and live in His presence then you will know the fullness of joy. Guard your relationship with the Lord and see that nothing quenches the Spirit in your life. Be quick to ask forgiveness so that you will be cleansed from your sin and can continue to walk with Him.

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

He wants unbroken fellowship with you. Draw near to Him and the Lord will draw near to you.

James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Who is the one who will live in His presence? It is the one who keeps clean hands and a pure heart.

Psalm 24:3-6 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
And who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood
And has not sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive a blessing from the Lord
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face—even Jacob.

Seek the Lord and His face continually. You will find that as you do this then your life will overflow with joy. Whatever little sin or pleasure there is that would quench His Spirit in your life is not worth the loss of His presence. Guard your heart with all diligence for from it flows the springs of life and you will find that these springs of life are ones filled with great joy.

Proverbs 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.

Then your soul will sing and out of your innermost being will flow the springs of joy because the Lord will be your joy and your joy will be in Him.

Psalm 87:7 Then those who sing as well as those who play the flutes shall say,
“All my springs of joy are in you.”

A Life that Is Filled with Happiness

The Lord designed for man to be happy. A life filled with happiness is one that has much joy and gladness, peace and contentment, prosperity and success, thankfulness and praise, faith and hope, and above all love. This is what the Lord desired for man to experience but man messed up by sinning by wanting to go his own way and do his own thing. As a result happiness left him and sorrow took its place. God came down to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to restore man to God’s design for him. If man will put himself back in God’s hands then not only will he be restored in a relationship with God but happiness will replace sorrow.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

The thief is the devil and he came to destroy. If we will listen to the Lord and tune out the devil’s lies then we will experience that abundant life that God designed. Our life will be filled with happiness. Our home will be filled with happiness when we live according to His plan. He came to bring love, joy, peace and many other manifestations of who He is.

Galatians 5:22,23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

When we receive Jesus Christ into our life the Spirit comes to live in us and He produces the happiness that becomes a part of of our lives. As we learn to live in the Spirit and walk in the Spirit then we will experience the fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

The devil uses our flesh to rob us of the joy, peace and love that God intended and wanted us to know. The fruit of the flesh is what will destroy your happiness, your life, your home and everything else that is precious to you.

Galatians 5:19-21 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Are there any of these things in your life? Are you immoral and having a physical relationship with someone whom you are not married to? Do you look at impure things on the internet or are your thoughts continually impure from what you have seen or done in the past? Do you dress in such a way that brings attention to your body? What about idolatry? Do you desire anything more than the Lord Jesus Christ? He alone is God and He alone is worthy of our heart, devotion and worship. What about sorcery? Do you read the horoscope or seek guidance where the Lord said not to? What about enemies? Is there strife in your life? Jealousy also is like a poison and will destroy relationships. Do you ever have an outburst of anger? Love and anger can not reside in the same person. Disputes, dissensions and factions are the opposite of unity. Do you envy or can you sincerely rejoice in another person’s success? Drunkenness and carousing is another way of saying that a person is living for the weekend when they can have fun through partying etc. or even drinking and partying at sports events? If these describe you then your life will be filled with much sorrow for it is only a matter of time before you will reap what you sow.

Galatians 6:7,8 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

God is not mocked. Whatever a man sows then that is what he will reap. If you walk in the flesh and carry out the desire of the flesh then your life will experience corruption and destruction. If you sow to the Spirit then you will from the Spirit experience life. The Lord came to show us the way to life. If you will follow His instructions then your life will overflow with much love, joy, peace, gladness, contentment, prosperity, success, thankfulness, praise, faith and hope.

A Life that is Free of Guilt

One of the things that man can not live with is guilt. Guilt is a horrible thing that will cause us to do anything to get rid of it. The love of God draws us to Him and it is the guilt of man that drives us to Him. If we refuse to come to Him for forgiveness then we will either try to deny the guilt, bury the guilt, hide the guilt, forget the guilt or try to deny the existence of God in hopes of being free of guilt.

Genesis 3:9-11 Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”

The Lord told Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but man ate of it. He knew that he had done wrong and felt guilty.

Ecclesiastes 7:29 Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.”

The Lord made man upright and to have fellowship with Him but man chose to go his own way. The word for wanting to go your own way is iniquity. It basically means that you want to run your own life, or in other words, this is what man says in his heart, “nobody is going to tell me what to do”. We see this in toddlers as soon as they can exert their own will. We sometimes will call it the “terrible twos” but really it is our “terrible lives”. A toddler just has not learned to cover it up yet.

Proverbs 21:8 The way of a guilty man is crooked, But as for the pure, his conduct is upright.

It does not say the way of a crooked man is guilty but the way of a guilty man is crooked. We are all crooked in our ways. When we see someone that makes us feel guilty then we will change our path to avoid them. Our path is no longer straight but crooked.

Psalm 18:26 With the pure You show Yourself pure,
And with the crooked You show Yourself twisted.

When we are crooked because of our guilt then we will have a twisted view of God. He will seem harsh or mean or unfair. We will not want to come to Him or obey Him. However, your view of God is not a revelation of who He is but an indication of the state of your heart. If you disagree with the Bible and your view of God is, “My God would not…” then you do not know Him correctly. He is who He is and He is a just and loving God. Sin and guilt has distorted the correct view of God in man’s eyes. How can we see who He is clearly? Everything we do is a response to our view of God. Our biggest need is to have the right view of God.

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

We need a pure heart. The Lord is the only One who can cleanse our hearts.

Psalm 51: 1-4 Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.

It is against the Lord first of all that we have sinned. He can and wants to cleanse us from our iniquity, that is, wanting to be our own God, and then from our particular sins, that is, the particular sins that we have committed against ourselves or others. Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God who took away our sin and His death on the cross paid the price for our sins. It is because of His blood that we can have total forgiveness of our sins but we need to ask Him to forgive us. He wants to forgive us and cleanse us and restore us.

Psalm 51:10-13 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.

Are you struggling with guilt? Go to Him and receive His forgiveness and by faith claim what He has done for you on the cross. If you have given your life to Him then He has forgiven you of all of your sins and longs to have fellowship with you once again. Once we become His child then we are always His child but our fellowship with Him can be broken. Allow Him to restore it. After you have been restored and know the joy of your salvation once again then you will want to share Him with others for you will again see that He is good and loving and kind.

A Life Free of Fear

Life is much sweeter when we are free of fear. Fear can control and fear can destroy. Fear can cause a person to make unwise decisions and cause one to be controlled by others. The Lord did not come for us to live a fearful life. He came to set us free from fears.

I John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

When you live in the love of Jesus Christ then you will not live in fear. His love casts out all fear. He forgives your sins so that you do not need to fear punishment for your mistakes, sins, ignorance and guilt. He gives forgiveness to those who come to Him and receive His gift of eternal life.

I John 5:18-20 We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

When you come into a relationship with Jesus Christ then the evil one, or Satan, can not touch you. Jesus Christ keeps you safe from the power of the evil one. You do not have to sin or believe his lies. The evil one wants to bring you pain and grief and he will do it through lies which lead to fears.

Psalm 121:7 The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.

The Lord will also protect you from all the evil that others would like to do to you. You do not need to fear other people. In fact, when you fear people then it brings a snare but if you will trust in the Lord then you will be lifted up.

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare,
But he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted.

You do not need to fear evil tidings. The world is not coming to an end through climate change or anything else that others may say. The world is not coming to an end until Jesus Christ returns for those who have put their trust in Him.

Psalm 112:1-7 Praise the Lord!
How blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
Who greatly delights in His commandments.
His descendants will be mighty on earth;
The generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in his house,
And his righteousness endures forever.
Light arises in the darkness for the upright;
He is gracious and compassionate and righteous.
It is well with the man who is gracious and lends;
He will maintain his cause in judgment.
For he will never be shaken;
The righteous will be remembered forever.

He will not fear evil tidings;
His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

Do you struggle with fears? Are you afraid that something “bad” might happen? Are you afraid of what others might do to you? Are you afraid of the future? Are you afraid of what others think of you?

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

Jesus Christ does not want your heart to be troubled or fearful. He came to bring you peace. The world does not give you His peace and the world can not take it away. If you do not yet know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior then come to Him and keep praying and seeking Him until He has come into your life. Surrender your life and will to Him. If you know Him and are His child then the only thing that can take the peace away that He gives is when you get your eyes off of Him and onto circumstances. Put your eyes back on the One who is all powerful and who loves you. Give Him your struggles and troubles. Ask Him for help and He will help you trust Him again. You will see His peace return.

Philippians 4:6,7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

As you learn to live and walk as Jesus lived then you will see that the God of peace will always be with you and His peace will never leave you.

Philippians 4:8,9 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

A Life that Is Sweet

There is really no other way to describe life when one is a child of God than to say that life is sweet and filled to overflowing with joy and peace. If you have never experienced this then you have only existed in life and never really lived.

John 10:10b I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

When you know the Lord and have fellowship with Him then you hear His voice. He walks with you and He talks with you and He tells you every day how much He loves you. It is even better than being “in love with someone” because the Lord never changes, He will never leave you and His love for you is unconditional and enduring.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Once Jesus Christ comes to live within you then He will never leave you. There is not anything that you can do to cause Him to leave you. Even if you were to neglect your relationship with Him, He never neglects His relationship with you. You are now “in Christ” and “Christ is in you”.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The free gift is eternal life that you receive when you receive Christ and He comes to live in you. Jesus Christ came to give you life. This life is free of guilt, regret, bitterness, unforgiveness, hate, doubt, fear and every other “negative” experience that you can think of or have experienced. Jesus Christ came to set you free so that you might have a sweet life. Taste and see that what He has to offer is good.

Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

Are you disappointed? Are you lonely? Have others let you down? Come to Him and see for yourself that He is good. He will never disappoint you or let you down. There is no one else in this world that can offer that to you, but Jesus Christ can and does.

Romans 10:11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

You must come to Him and trust Him. If you will do this then you will live and not only live in this life but for all eternity.

Psalm 22:5 To You they cried out and were delivered; In You they trusted and were not disappointed.

Trust is putting your faith in One who lived and died and rose again. He lives today and will come again to those who have trusted in Him. He promises to love you and does not lie. His love is as high as the heavens are above the earth. There is no limit to His love for you. You can never exhaust it and it never runs out. Come to Him and live.

Psalm 103:8-14 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.

Are you tired of trying to find fulfillment in life? Are you weary of being disappointed? Do you ever feel that you can not ever trust anyone again? Have you been hurt deeply by those who were supposed to help you? Do you believe that love is elusive? Is happiness only in fairy tales and storybooks? Jesus Christ promises all of these things if you will come to Him. Sometimes we have to become weary of trying before we will surrender control to Him.

Matthew 11:28-30  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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.”

He is faithful and He will give you rest. It is impossible for Him to lie. If He said that He would do these things then He will do it. He is gentle and He is humble and He is waiting for you to come to Him. Let go of what you have been holding onto and let Him do what only God can do and that is, He will bring salvation to you and give you life.

A Life of Making Disciples

If you are a Christian then the Lord has called you and given you a commandment to make disciples. This is an incredible privilege and joy. Jesus Christ went before us and showed us how.

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Jesus Christ has all authority in heaven and earth. He will be exalted whether you or I exalt Him or not because He is God. The amazing thing is that He has called us to be a part of what He is doing in history. Since history is really “His story” it makes since that it is all about Him. He alone is worthy of all honor and glory and power. He promises to be with us even to the end of the age. His kingdom came down to earth when He came the first time.

Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

His kingdom is coming again when He comes to rule. He is our King and we are His people. He wants us to pray that His kingdom will come and to look for the coming of His kingdom.

Matthew 6:9,10 “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.

He wants us to seek first His kingdom.

Matthew 6:33a But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness,

The way we learn to be obedient to Him and build His kingdom is first learning to walk with Him and follow Him. We can not lead others if we are not being led. Jesus Christ chose His disciples first to be with Him and then to do ministry.

Mark 3:14 And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach,

The way we make disciples is first by learning what it means to be a disciple.

John 8:31,32 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

You must first believe in Jesus to be His disciple and then if you continue in believing in His Word then you are truly His disciples. As you continue in His Word then you will experience true freedom that begins on the inside. He came to set us free. Once free then you can share with others how they too, can be free. A disciple of Jesus Christ leads others to Jesus Christ.

John 13:35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Others will know that you are His disciple if you have love for others.

John 15:8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

When you bear much fruit then that is the proof that you are His disciple.

Acts 6:7 The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

As the Word of God spreads then so will the number of His disciples. The Lord has called us to make disciples by sowing the seed of the Word of God, loving others and teaching them to obey our Lord Jesus Christ in all that He has taught us to do. Those who are found faithful will have no regrets when they see the Lord.

Matthew 25:21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

Do you ever hear the voice of the Lord? He says that those who belong to Him will hear Him talking to them. He has something for all of us to do. When we are all faithful in whatever it is that He has called each one of us to do then His kingdom will be built. May we all be found faithful.

Revelation 3:20,21 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

A Life of Devotion

One of the greatest illustrations of true devotion was done by a single woman who gave her all to express her love. Even though it was criticized by another who did not have the same devotion it was praised and received by the One who matters…and that One is the only One who is worthy of our total devotion.

Luke 12:3 Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

Mary loved Jesus and expressed it at a great cost to herself. She was a single woman, whether she had ever been married we do not know. She lived with her brother and sister and no parents are ever mentioned. Whether they were alive or not we do not know. So, she really did not have much security that she could depend on in her old age. However, she gave what was precious to her, and what she may have been counting on to help her in her time of need, to express her love to her Lord. The Lord was so touched that He said that what she had done would be remembered and mentioned wherever the Gospel is preached.

Mark 14:3-9 While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head. But some were indignantly remarking to one another, “Why has this perfume been wasted? For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they were scolding her. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me. She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”

Mary did what she could to show her love for Jesus. She knew that He loved her and was giving her all that He had and she gave all that she could to show her love. Her love for Jesus cost her something. The gift that she poured over Him and anointed Him with was worth about a year’s wages. Her love for Him was a fragrant aroma that filled the house where He was. When He went through His crucifixion He had the fragrant aroma of her love for Him. When we love Jesus then the world will be filled with the fragrant aroma of our devotion to Him. Those who don’t have the same devotion may be critical or indignant but that does not deter the one who is devoted nor does it take away from the gift of devotion to the recipient. Mary need not have worried about her security or being ashamed.

Psalm 34:5 They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces will never be ashamed.

Mary was radiant in her love for Jesus. Jesus will never let those be ashamed who put their trust in Him. Others, who do not have the same devotion to Jesus Christ, may try to shame them but He is the One who honors and allows shame. Jesus stood by her and would not let her be ashamed.

Psalm 25:1-3 To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in You I trust,
Do not let me be ashamed;
Do not let my enemies exult over me.
Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed;
Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.

Indeed, none who wait for the Lord and put their trust and devotion in Him will be ashamed.

A Life that Receives Their Heart’s Desires

The Lord has amazing promises for those who seek Him and delight themselves in Him. There is none to compare with Him for He delights in giving to His children. He knows our needs and that we need to learn to delight ourselves in Him first. If He is not our chief delight then the desires of our heart can easily become an idol in our lives. If our desires become an idol then something that could be good for us becomes a snare.

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.

The Lord loves to give to us and He does not withhold from us what is good and what we need. As you learn to trust Him and walk with Him you will see that the dis-appointments in life are really His-appointments. He is wise and loving and when there is a disappointment then it means that there is something you don’t know and you need to trust Him. You don’t need to understand Him in everything but you need to trust Him in everything.

Psalm 84:10-12 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts,
How blessed is the man who trusts in You!

When the Lord is your delight then you would rather stand at the threshold of the house of the Lord than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. There is no comparison to being with Him and in His presence. It truly is the fullness of joy.

Psalm 16:11 You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

How do you learn to delight yourself in Him? There are a few principles that help you do this. First of all, if you will learn to love God’s Word then He will become your delight. How do you learn to love God’s Word? It is by spending time in it and seeking Him through his Word.

Jeremiah 15:16 Your words were found and I ate them,
And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart;
For I have been called by Your name,
O Lord God of hosts.

If you will read and meditate on God’s Word then in time He will speak to you through your spirit. He will be very real to you and you will want to spend more time with Him. There is a wonderful cycle of the more time you spend in God’s Word then the more time you want to spend in His Word. He Himself will teach you and His Word becomes sweeter than honey to you.

Psalm 119:102,103 I have not turned aside from Your ordinances,
For You Yourself have taught me.
How sweet are Your words to my taste!
Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

There is another wonderful principle that helps you take delight in the Lord. This principle is a precious truth found in His Word of keeping His day holy to Him. The Lord set aside one day a week as His day and He says that day is holy to Him.

Isaiah 58:13,14 “If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot
From doing your own pleasure on My holy day,
And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable,
And honor it, desisting from your own ways,
From seeking your own pleasure
And speaking your own word,
Then you will take delight in the Lord,
And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

In the book of Revelation the Lord’s day is mentioned as Sunday, the day Jesus was resurrected.

Revelation 1:10a I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,

Since Sunday is usually the day that Christians get together to worship the Lord in community with each other then that is usually the day to honor the Lord in keeping His commandment of “keeping the Sabbath day holy”. Back in the days of the early church some people considered every day to be the Lord’s day and therefore holy and some people only considered one day to be the Lord’s day. Either way, if you want to learn to delight in Him, then this promise is for you if you will honor Him on His day.

Romans 14:5,6a One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord,

When the Lord becomes your delight then He also will be the love of your life and you will grow more “in love” with Him as you see and hear His love a thousand times a day. All of life looks different when you are “in love” and you will find that you will want to talk about Him, as well as talk to Him more and more each day. Your life truly becomes an overflow of your love relationship with the Lord. Your longing will be for Him.

Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you,
And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
How blessed are all those who long for Him.

If you belong to Him then He wants you to “be longing” for Him. He, on His part, longs to be gracious to you. Long for Him and see what a blessed life it is when you do so.

A Life of Devotion

One of the greatest illustrations of true devotion was done by a single woman who gave her all to express her love. Even though it was criticized by another who did not have the same devotion it was praised and received by the One who matters…and that One is the only One who is worthy of our total devotion.

Luke 12:3 Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

Mary loved Jesus and expressed it at a great cost to herself. She was a single woman, whether she had ever been married we do not know. She lived with her brother and sister and no parents are ever mentioned. Whether they were alive or not we do not know. So, she really did not have much security that she could depend on in her old age. However, she gave what was precious to her, and what she may have been counting on to help her in her time of need, to express her love to her Lord. The Lord was so touched that He said that what she had done would be remembered and mentioned wherever the Gospel is preached.

Mark 14:3-9 While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head. But some were indignantly remarking to one another, “Why has this perfume been wasted? For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they were scolding her. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me. She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”

Mary did what she could to show her love for Jesus. She knew that He loved her and was giving her all that He had and she gave all that she could to show her love. Her love for Jesus cost her something. The gift that she poured over Him and anointed Him with was worth about a year’s wages. Her love for Him was a fragrant aroma that filled the house where He was. When He went through His crucifixion He had the fragrant aroma of her love for Him. When we love Jesus then the world will be filled with the fragrant aroma of our devotion to Him. Those who don’t have the same devotion may be critical or indignant but that does not deter the one who is devoted nor does it take away from the gift of devotion to the recipient. Mary need not have worried about her security or being ashamed.

Psalm 34:5 They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces will never be ashamed.

Mary was radiant in her love for Jesus. Jesus will never let those be ashamed who put their trust in Him. Others, who do not have the same devotion to Jesus Christ, may try to shame them but He is the One who honors and allows shame. Jesus stood by her and would not let her be ashamed.

Psalm 25:1-3 To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in You I trust,
Do not let me be ashamed;
Do not let my enemies exult over me.
Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed;
Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.

Indeed, none who wait for the Lord and put their trust and devotion in Him will be ashamed.

A Life that Does What is Right

One aspect of the meaning of righteousness is doing what is right. Jesus walked in perfect righteousness, which means that He did what was right all of the time. Righteousness is the opposite of sin. One of the definitions of the word righteousness in the Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament, is literally “do not destroy”. When we sin and do not do what is right then we are destroying something, whether it is our family, our reputation, our relationships, our marriage or whatever else that is a part of us.

Psalm 58:1,2 Do you indeed speak righteousness, O mighty ones?
Do you judge uprightly, O sons of men?
No, in heart you work unrighteousness;
On earth you weigh out the violence of your hands.

In our hearts all of us are guilty of unrighteousness. We deceive our selves by rationalizing or saying something is not that bad, in other words, we weigh out the degree of our sin to determine if it is that bad. Violence is violating the Word of God and in the end we are the ones who are violated. The word violate means to change. When we sin, then something in us is changed. When we sin we lose our innocence in that area and have come into the knowledge of evil. We are no longer the same and it has taken us away from the image of God. When we sin then a part of us is destroyed.

Deuteronomy 6:25 It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the Lord our God, just as He commanded us.

When we do what is right then it keeps us from being destroyed. It is not the kind of righteousness that saves us but it is the righteousness that preserves us. The righteousness that comes from God that saves us is the righteousness that is based on faith. When we believe God then our faith is reckoned to us as righteousness. However, we can be a Christian and still experience destruction if we do not live according to His Word.

I Samuel 26:23a The Lord will repay each man for his righteousenss and his faithfulness;

The Lord rewards each man according to his righteousness. This is a reference to the blessings that he receives, whether it is rewards on earth or in heaven. When you do what is right in God’s eyes then He rewards you.

I Kings 3:6a Then Solomon said, “You have shown great lovingkindness to Your servant David my father, according as he walked before You in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward You;

He gives us the righteousness of Christ when we become a Christian but then He wants us to walk in His righteousness after we have come to know Him. He wants us to put on His righteousness, in other words, He wants us to walk in a manner pleasing Him, that is, doing what is right. You are to put on the new self. When you put on the new self the outcome will be righteousness.

Ephesians 4:22-24 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

You are to wear the breastplate of righteousness. The breastplate is what guards your heart. When you do what is right then you will guard yourself from much pain in your heart.

Ephesians 6:14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

This is the righteousness that the Lord spoke of in Ezekiel when He mentioned Noah, Job and Daniel, that they could only save themselves by their own righteousness. He is not talking about eternal salvation, for all have sinned and fall short of God’s standard of righteousness. However, they preserved their own lives from destruction on earth because they sought to live out God’s standard of righteousness and while others were destroyed their lives were not destroyed. Let them be our examples of living a godly life in a godless world. God’s judgments are coming and He will judge the world in righteousness.

Ezekiel 14:12-20 Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it and cut off from it both man and beast, even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves,” declares the Lord God. “If I were to cause wild beasts to pass through the land and they depopulated it, and it became desolate so that no one would pass through it because of the beasts, though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the country would be desolate. Or if I should bring a sword on that country and say, ‘Let the sword pass through the country and cut off man and beast from it,’ even though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters, but they alone would be delivered. Or if I should send a plague against that country and pour out My wrath in blood on it to cut off man and beast from it, even though Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their son or their daughter. They would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”

To sum up, you are not responsible for the wrongs done to you by others but you are responsible for doing the right thing in your relationships with others. The devil is the destroyer and the way he destroys is by deceiving us into believing a lie that it is okay to do certain things. Don’t let him destroy you by doing what is wrong. Learn the right way to do life so that you will experience life as the Lord designed and came to give you.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.