When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:1-4 ESV
Oh, LORD, Your Holy Spirit rained on me in Your mighty rushing wind the day I told You I was a sinner…I asked for forgiveness…I wanted Jesus to be my LORD and Savior. The language I am learning is Your language, LORD, Your Words. I know that I hear Your still, small voice. I have ears to hear the beauty of Your words. I have eyes to see the words in Your Word and I am able to understand them, little by little. Your Spirit teaches me. My heart pounds with thrill at this moment. You fill me. I am that house, Your body temple. You came to live in me. Thank You.
I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh. Acts 2:17
Oh, Holy Spirit, You are the living rain pouring out upon me. You drench me in Your wisdom and knowledge. You give me what I need at the moment of that need, IF I am ready, willing, and asking for it. May I seek Your forgiveness, Your comfort, Your love…in all times.
Amen. Everyone. I pray they call upon You as I have.
(For David says concerning him,…) “You have made known to me the paths of life; You will make me full of gladness with Your Presence.” Acts 2:28
Years before Jesus, David was a man after God’s own heart. He wanted to be in step with his Father God. He loved His Father. He sought forgiveness when he sinned. He knew he had done wrong in the sight of His God. He listened. He delighted in the LORD. Pentecost is about rejoicing and dancing under the beauty of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Pentecost opens us to newness and community. Pentecost is change and repentance.
May my heart be open and ready every day.
“Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus Whom you crucified.”
Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Acts 2:36-37
LORD, my heart is repelled from these thoughts. I am one of them. I feel their agony and know their wrong. I refused to accept Jesus as my LORD for many years. I asked, “What shall I do?”
… “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself.” …“Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” Acts 2:38-40
Yes, Yes…to repent and be baptized in Your Name, O Christ, for I seek forgiveness of my sins. I seek You. I live in a crooked generation. I am thankful that You saved me, LORD. I praise You. The Holy Spirit has led me away and is teaching me and showing me the way.
Then he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 4:6
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. Acts:2:42-43 ...with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. Acts 2:46-47
LORD, the words that are being ingrained into my heart from these verses are “devoted” in community. It is the fellowship of believers that You call us to. Guide me. Instruct me. “Awe” – reverence in looking at Who You are and what You have done. May no act of mine be none other than the Yours, the Glory of my LORD. A “glad” heart, a “generous” heart “praising” God that His Spirit reigns within us–what a beautiful and full array of outcomes of Pentecost. We serve a Mighty God.
To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 1 Corinthians 12:7
May my every day be to seek You and know You. May my every day be a day of Pentecost…the mighty rushing wind fills me to overflowing with the peace of Your Kingdom. May I know the words to speak in each circumstance as You set before me one who needs You, one who needs forgiveness, one who needs love, a refuge, peace. Father, guide me and equip me. In Your Name, I pray. Amen.
Words…words can be beautiful or not so beautiful. They come in forms which are read or heard, even touched (as Braille). Words in the public arena these days seem so harsh, hurtful, grievous to those with eyes to see them and ears to hear them. Yet…the words I am focusing upon are lovely. I am choosing to live this day in the midst of a beautiful word-garden. I want my heart and mind and soul to walk through the garden of kind and gentle words, of peaceful words, words of beauty, generosity, and gratitude, words of God. I do not want to read or hear those words that hurt my heart or stab at my soul or conflict my mind. I have chosen only a few as there are so very many. I place one or two of the definitions alongside them.
Words I like this day:
gossamer: a film of cobwebs floating in air in calm clear weather; something light, delicate, or insubstantial
mellifluous: having a smooth rich flow; filled with something that sweetens
efflorescence: the period or state of flowering
felicity: the quality or state of being happy; a pleasing manner or quality especially in art or language
lilt: a spirited and usually cheerful, bouyant song or tune
quintessence: the essence of a thing in its purest and most concentrated form
iridescent: a lustrous rainbow-like play of color caused by differential refraction of light waves
halcyon: calm, peaceful; happy, golden
vellichor: the strange wistfulness of used bookstores, which are somehow infused with the passage of time (an invented word used on social media and gaining usage)
petrichor: the distinctive and pleasant smell that can accompany rain falling on ground baked dry (from Greek words, used in some science fields)
zephyr: a breeze from the west, a gentle breeze
cascading: a steep, usually small, fall of water; especially: one of a series of waterfalls
Cascading waters, the sound so pleasant to my ear even though I am not near any right now. They remind me of The Living Water, of Christ Jesus. He brings sweet grace: a charming or attractive trait or characteristic; a sense of propriety or right; the quality or state of being considerate or thoughtful; and, of course, unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification; a virtue coming from God; a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance into our lives, dwelling in our hearts.
The Word of God is the life of my very being.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. John 1:1-4
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. John 1:16
The lovely words at the top are special, yet it is the Word of God, the Truth, The Word, Christ Jesus Who rains down the truly beautiful words. He is Truth. His words bring meaning to the life I walk and live each day.
LORD, I pray I hold fast to the hem of Your garment, that I will completely trust in You, having the faith of the woman who touched Your hem. When I do let go and go my own way, that is truly not the way I want to be going. I pray, that as much as I love words themselves, that I will always love The Word far above all else.
Your words were found, and I ate them,
and Your words became to me a joy
and the delight of my heart,
for I am called by Your Name,
O LORD, God of hosts. Jeremiah 15:16
Oh, that I will always find Your Words so satisfying and refreshing to my soul. I desire to be hungry and thirsty for them. May this be so. In the Name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.
Spider Web By Elkagye – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4279109
Dragonfly Wings: no credit given
Iridescent Soap Bubble Colorful Bubble Water: MaxPixel http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Iridescent-Soap-Bubble-Colorful-Bubble-Water-1891640
Cascading Waterfall 02 by Rick Arbuckle @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/13122275@N08/2481815119/
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
Matthew Henry said: “He is the Word speaking from God to us, and to God for us. John the Baptist was the voice, but Christ the Word: being the Word, He is the Truth, the Amen, the faithful Witness of the mind of God.”
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. 1 John 1:1-4 ESV
Father, I pray I will meditate upon Your Word as if devoured by Its beauty, Its vibrancy, Its call from the depths. May I hear Your voice in my ears, my heart, my soul. May I seek You diligently without procrastination or unwillingness. Oh, Father, I want to please You so. You, my LORD will command Your lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night Your song shall be with me, and my prayer shall call unto You, my God, the God of my life. (Psalm 42:8) I pray in the Name of Your Son, Jesus the Christ. Amen.
But the people of God will sing a song of joy,
like the songs at the holy festivals.
You will be filled with joy,
as when a flutist leads a group of pilgrims
to Jerusalem, the mountain of the LORD—
to the Rock of Israel. Isaiah 30:29
Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what He said.”
“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
For He took notice of His lowly servant girl,
and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
For the Mighty One is holy,
and He has done great things for me.
He shows mercy from generation to generation
to all who fear Him.
His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
He has brought down princes from their thrones
and exalted the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away with empty hands.
He has helped His servant Israel
and remembered to be merciful.
For He made this promise to our ancestors,
to Abraham and His children forever.” Luke 1:42-55
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. Luke 2:15-20
Father God, such joyful news You have given me in the beauty of Your Son, Your One and Only. You have brought glad tidings to us all. May my ears be open to hear the words of the shepherds. May my eyes be open to see this wonderful “thing” that You have done. May my heart be open to hear Mary’s heart-words. I thank You for blessing me with the saving grace of Christ Jesus. I bow humbly, Father, in adoration and respect and honor. I love You so. In the Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
‘Tis hard to look at this world and see joy at times. There is so much going on, near us and far away. It just looks so terrible. Yet, God sent Jesus to us and for us. He sent Joy to live in our hearts. He wants us to be joyful. As empty vessels, He can fill us with the Presence of His Holy Spirit. Hope, Joy, Peace, and Love want to fill us up to overflowing so that we can be the joy in this world…the peace in this world…the hope and the love in this world. He wants us to spread the good tidings of great joy everywhere we go and are. May this be our prayer.
Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.” Luke 2:10
- to bring good news, to announce glad tidings (used in the OT of any kind of good news)
- of the joyful tidings of God’s kindness, in particular, of the Messianic blessings (in the NT used especially of the glad tidings of the coming kingdom of God, and of the salvation to be obtained in it through Christ, and of what relates to this salvation)
- glad tidings are brought to one, one has glad tidings proclaimed to him
- to proclaim glad tidings
- instruct (men) concerning the things that pertain to Christian salvation
This world so needs the joy of the LORD…
The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the LORD,
and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 29:18
They lift up their voices, they sing for joy;
over the majesty of the LORD they shout from the west. Isaiah 24:14
…yet I will rejoice in the LORD;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:18
“…And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10b
He has come…
And she gave birth to her firstborn Son and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, Who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” Luke 2:7-15
from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Luke 2: “He furnishes them with abundant matter for joy: “Behold, I evangelize to you great joy; I solemnly declare it, and you have reason to bid it welcome, for it shall bring joy to all people, and not to the people of the Jews only; that unto you is born this day, at this time, a Saviour, the Saviour that has been so long expected, which is Christ the Lord, in the city of David,’ …. Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed; He is the Lord, Lord of all; He is a sovereign prince; nay, He is God, for the Lord, in the Old Testament, answers to Jehovah. He is a Saviour, and He will be a Saviour to those only that accept Him for their Lord. “The Saviour is born, He is born this day; and, since it is matter of great joy to all people, it is not to be kept secret, you may proclaim it, may tell it to whom you please. …. This is matter of joy indeed to all people, great joy. Long-looked for is come at last. Let heaven and earth rejoice before this Lord, for He cometh.
“The angels’ doxology to God, and congratulations of men, upon this solemn occasion. The message was no sooner delivered by one angel than suddenly there was with that angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts; sufficient, we may be sure, to make a chorus, that were heard by the shepherds, praising God; and certainly their song was not like that which no man could learn, for it was designed that we should all learn it. Let God have the honour of this work: Glory to God in the highest. God’s good-will to men, manifested in sending the Messiah, redounds very much to His praise; and angels in the highest heavens…. Other works of God are for His glory, but the redemption of the world is for His glory in the highest.
“Let men have the joy of it: On earth peace, good-will toward men. God’s good-will in sending the Messiah introduced peace in this lower world, slew the enmity that sin had raised between God and man, and resettled a peaceable correspondence. If God be at peace with us, all peace results from it: peace of conscience, peace with angels, peace between Jew and Gentile. Peace is here put for all good, all that good which flows to us from the incarnation of Christ. All the good we have, or hope, is owing to God’s good-will; and, if we have the comfort of it, He must have the glory of it. Nor must any peace, and good, be expected in a way inconsistent with the glory of God; therefore not in any way of sin, nor in any way but by a Mediator. Here was the peace proclaimed with great solemnity; whoever will, let them come and take the benefit of it.” *
Father, I come to You this day and sense Your very Presence in my life. You love me. You have sent Your One and Only Son, Jesus, to save me from my sins, to draw me near and grow me to be more and more as Jesus, into the image of Your Son. I can only imagine the blessing that I can be through the obedience to You in my daily walk. I desire to bless You, Father. I desire to love You from the very depth of this heart that You created as it fills up with Your Love.
Thank You for bringing Your Joy to this Earth for our sake. You give me smiles and hope and peace and love. You have given me JOY deep in my heart.
I’ve got a joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart
Down in my heart, down in my heart…
I’ve got the love of JESUS down in my heart
Down in my heart, Down in my heart
I’ve got the love of JESUS down in my heart..
Down in my heart to stay…. **
Precious Heavenly Father, the joy I feel, as I sing these songs, takes the stress and strain away that this world carries. You know all and have complete control. Thank You for sending Your Son to bring us Hope, Peace, Joy, Love and much more. As I spend time in Your Word, at the foot of the manger, I know that this Joy is real. He cometh. Praise You…Praise You. Glory be to You, the Father, the Most High. In the Name of Jesus, I pray with Joy…Amen.
* Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Luke 2
** I’ve Got the Joy (also called: Down in My Heart), George W. Cooke, 1926
As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make His paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall become straight,
and the rough places shall become level ways,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’” Luke 3:4-6
The birth of our Lord on Earth
The beauty of the Lord to be magnified
The Breath of Heaven bringing life
The Bread of Life nourishing soul-bones
The Living Water quenching thirst
He is coming!
Prepare the way for I want to be with Him forever and ever.
Oh, come with me to adore Him.
Let us bring Him our hearts for we need Him so.
Thank you, John, for preparing the way to the King…
the Holy Child…
the Glory of the Lord…
the Lamb of God…
the Only Begotten Son.
Father, may my heart be prepared for the coming of Your Son. May my life be lived in the light of my Savior Who will come again for me. I want this time on earth to be well spent as unto Him. With anticipation I wait. I thank You for sending Your Son to meet me in the stable, lying in the manger. Thank You for bringing the Light of the World to meet me in this world that I may walk in His Light, as I leave the darkness that surrounds. He is the Messiah and has come to save me from satan and the ways of evil. Oh, thank You. You blessed me so by watching over me for all those years when I wandered lost, when I fell down, wanting to stay down, when I cried myself to sleep because I knew You not, yet I knew Who or What I was missing in my life. I needed Him then, and still need Him now…the Savior, the Lord, the Mighty One. Yes, I need and I want You. My heart is prepared to receive the Love that You send. My heart is prepared to accept You wholly as You bring Yourself to me and to the world. May more and more seek and find You, Jesus. I want all to know You, Jesus. You are the Holy One. I lift up special people in my life that they will knock at the door only to find their One and Only Savior. Oh, how I pray this for them. May they be prepared for the coming of their Savior as well as the end of this world. In the Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
“Let Every Heart Prepare” graphic – https://chapcalvert.com/
second graphic: whowillyouserve.blogspot.com/
“Stepping Stones at Sunset” – http://publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=154285&picture=stepping-stones-at-sunset
By His coming…
- The Messiah
- Messianic Prince
- Davidic King
- Anointed One
“There I will cause the horn of David to spring forth;
I have prepared a lamp for Mine Anointed.” Psalm 132:17
- Root of Jesse
“And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse,
Who shall stand as a banner to the people;
For the Gentiles shall seek Him,
And His resting place shall be glorious.” Isaiah 11:10
- Immanuel…God with us
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
- The Promised Son
- Mighty God
- Wonderful Counselor
- Everlasting Father
- The Prince of Peace
For to us a Child is born,
to us a Son is given;
and the government shall be upon His shoulder,
and His name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
- begotten of His Father before all worlds
- prophesy that He would be born in Bethlehem
- His going forth as the Son of God
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.” Micah 5:2
Father God, You brought forth Your Son into this world. Your Word is so beautifully filled with the Truth of His coming and His Presence. He is Hope. I am humbled to be Your daughter and to know that Jesus is my Brother, my LORD, my Savior, my King, my Redeemer, my All. He came and brought so much to all who walk this earth. May the many who do not know Him seek His face, realizing the gracious gift You have bestowed upon us all. I love You, LORD. I am grateful for the Gift of Yourself. May I walk in hope each and every moment, seeing the Hope that is You. You gave me life that I did not have. You gave me a love that I knew not. You give me hope in Your Second Coming for I truly know that You are returning. Precious Holy One, I love You and so look forward to that day. I have hope, LORD, because I know You. I lift up those who do not know You. Their world is diminished because they have little or no hope without You. I ask You to cover the children around the world who are suffering from war, starvation, abuse, terror. Please hold these precious little ones near, Father. They so need Your touch. Draw in those adults who are lost and in need of a savior, the Savior. They have no hope otherwise. I want them to know what I know and Who I know. May Your Word and the Truth of Christ’s appearing touch hearts this season. In the Hope of Your Son, I pray. Amen.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:12-13
And He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27
Jesus has called us to love…love God with our all…love all with our all.
Yet, we doubt and hem-and-haw in thinking we are just unable to do these. Yes, we are unable, in our own strength. We love God when we feel like it, when we think we are able, or when all is going well. We love our neighbors when we like them, when they are good to us, or when we feel like it.
Yet, these are two commandments that we have been given. How can we love unconditionally? How can we wholly love God and our neighbors?
In this season of Thanksgiving, I, as well as other bloggers, are sharing about gratitude, being thankful for family and friends, gifts and love. We may list the beauty we see, words we hear, or smiles that rain joy upon us. We seek to recognize these gifts in our own strength so much of the time: Let’s see…what am I grateful for right today? What did I see that I am thankful for?
Is giving thanks something done alone through my efforts? Can I be thankful without condition? Do I expect something in return for my gratitude?
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with Whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17
As children of the Father, we are being given gifts of His choosing. He wants us to have His pleasures so that we will take them to another, whether by service, by inspiration, by love. He is not telling us to go out and give on some conditional basis of our choosing, but, with His gifts, go to those to whom He chooses to gift with that which we have been given. This giving is unconditionally loving.
Dependence upon the One Who is Love, obedience to the One Who calls us to love Him and others…this is how we are able to love unconditionally. I am only the variable in the equation. God is the constant. Love is the constant.
God x God(x) = Love
constant x constant(variable/me) = constant
We love because He first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God Whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:19-21
Loving God unconditionally is showing gratitude. Loving our neighbors unconditionally is showing gratitude.
These past many, many months have been extremely difficult months to bear. We are the children of the Father of lights. Let us now turn on our lights, gifts from our Father, and shine in this world so filled with hatred and darkness. Let us take the lights and shine them into our neighbors’ lives and be thankful. In being a light, I am honoring my Father. I am so grateful to Him. He created me, making me a light in this world.
“No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.” Luke 11:33
Let us give and serve and be thankful.
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:8-11
Let us be not afraid to step into the world. God is with us always.
Father God, Your love glows inside of me. I want it to glow outside of me and rid these corners where I walk of darkness. Strengthen me physically and spiritually so that I may do that which You have called me. Guide me in the way that I should go. May I remain faithful and grateful to You. My desire is to be pleasing unto You. May my mind know Your Truth. May my body find peace in You. May my heart always seek Your face. And may my strength be built upon Yours. May I know the constancy of You, Father, for You are my Constant. I pray in the Name of Jesus, the Christ. Amen.
Top Photo used with permission from: http://www.gloriadei-sd.org/
This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
be cheerful, joyful
be blithe, gleesome
Be glad…a way to praise my Lord
Be glad…putting a genuine smile on my face
Be glad…lifting my hands in glorious honor and praise to the One Who gives me joy in my heart and soul
Be glad…loving wholly the Holy One
Be glad…care about and loving those around me
Be glad…loving the ones we think are unlovable, although they are anything but that
Be glad…in thanksgiving, I give to others with gratitude
Be glad…joyful rejoicing
Be glad…when I hurt, I find the joy of the Lord is my strength
Be glad…serving the Lord with gladness of heart
Be glad…honoring Jesus in all that I am and all that I do
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Philippians 4:4
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The LORD reigneth. 1 Chronicles 16:31
For the LORD will comfort Zion,
He will comfort all her waste places;
He will make her wilderness like Eden,
And her desert like the garden of the LORD;
Joy and gladness will be found in it,
Thanksgiving and the voice of melody. Isaiah 51:3
Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God. Psalm 69:32
Father, I sing praises unto You. I rejoice in Your Name. My whole being shivers with joy, gratitude, and gladness. My heart is Yours, Father, filled with You. When I am overwhelmed with the Glory of You, I am filled with gratitude and know that no matter what this world looks like through my eyes, You are my Joy and my Strength, my Comfort and my Redeemer. When my eyes focus upon You, beautiful You, the sadness, the sorrow, the fears, the unknown, the burdens flee away. You know all. You care about Your children. You lift my head in Your hands and tell me I am Your creation…that I am beautiful…that I am all that You created me to be. I am so thankful, LORD. Forgive me when I forget, when I compare, when I cry about not being ‘good enough.’
I do find joy when I think of You. I rejoice in my heart when I ponder all You are to me. Thank You, Father, for giving us gladness…delight…JOY!!! I pray in Your Son’s Name, His exalted Name. With thanksgiving in my heart…Amen.
You greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
You provide their grain,
for so You have prepared it.
You water its furrows abundantly,
settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
and blessing its growth.
God sends His rain to the earth…this place we call home now. Earth. He sends rain by His will, by the ways He so pleases. We may experience drought or flooding for these are part of living on this earth.
Our spiritual lives sometimes suffer drought or flooding as well. Too much input, busyness can leave us with little room for God. Too little time spent with God can cause thirst for Him. Sometimes we do not even know what we are thirsty for, yet we know that we are. “Our hearts are dry and barren unless God Himself be as the dew to us and water us; and the plants of His own planting He will water and make them to increase.” Matthew Henry
I recall searching hard and long for something that I was missing, yet I did not know what that was. Years later, through many trials, through many seasons of drought and floods, I found Jesus. Jesus was Who I needed. I needed to know Him personally. He would give me Living Water and I would no longer be thirsty. The fruit of the Spirit could grow in me and then be harvested from me, from my field of new plantings. This field becomes rich in nutrients and water from the One Who is the Living Waters. I grow and pray I will continue to grow.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with Whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17
“…; we must lift up our eyes above the hills, lift them up to the heavens, where the original springs of all blessings are, out of sight, and thither must our praises return, as the first-fruits of the earth were in the heave-offerings lifted up towards heaven by way of acknowledgment that thence they were derived. All God’s blessings, even spiritual ones, are expressed by His raining righteousness upon us.” Matthew Henry
You crown the year with Your bounty;
Your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.
The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,
the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy.
Everything in His world rejoices over the bounty of His harvest…the pastures, the hills, the meadows, the valleys. There is abundance in all He is and does. He rains down upon this earth. He sends His Love to us in His Son. He grants mercy upon these souls and bodies from on high. He whispers grace through His wind, through His Holy Spirit.
He crowns all He is and does, encompassing on every side, as a crown surrounds a head; as when something is completed, it is crowned. The fruitfulness of His world is in His hands, in His power.
How grateful I am, LORD. May You adorn Your world with the riches of harvest, both in fruit of the tree and the fruit of salvation. I shout my praises and honor to You, oh God. I am so very heartbroken in the broken and breaking shape of this world, of this nation. I know this is Your world and You know each and every one of Your creations. I may feel saddened by so much right now, yet I truly can rejoice in the love, the tender care, the peace, the hope I find in You. I look up to where my bounty and blessings come from. Hallelujah!
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
Let all these common gifts of the divine bounty, which we yearly and daily partake of, increase our love to God as the best of beings, and engage us to glorify Him with our bodies, which He thus provides so well for. Matthew Henry
Father, I am humbled by the beauty of Your Word, by the bounty of Your fields, by the benevolence of Your mercy, by the balance in all that surrounds. Father, in this season of giving thanks, I am reminded that offering my thanks daily is my desire and hope. I lift up my hands in praise to You, the Giver of my soul. You are my All, LORD. I love You and sing with joy as I ponder the sun rising, beginning each day anew, or watch the sun set, leaving the brilliance of pinks and oranges across the sky. You are Magnificent, Father. I see You all around me. Praising You and praying in the Name of the Bright Morning Star. Amen.
Photo: kangbch — https://pixabay.com/en/barley-field-sunrise-morning-solar-1684052/