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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Grace, Burdens, and Joy

“…God has given me grace for each day, and He has given much of happiness, too. He never makes the burden too heavy, and He has taught me the meaning of real joy. It is something that goes deep into the heart and has nothing to do with outside circumstances.”

- Not My Will by Francena H. Arnold

Three points for consideration
1 – God gives grace for each day
2 – He never makes the burden too heavy
3 – Real joy has nothing to do with outside circumstances

1 – God gives grace for each day

The apostle Paul writes that his “thorn in the flesh” was given to him that he should not be exalted and God’s grace should be manifested
2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

God provides grace to the upright
Psalm 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and a shield;
The LORD will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.

2 – He never makes the burden too heavy

God sustains those who cast their burden on Him

Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

To those who have a heavy burden, He promises rest
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

3 – Real joy has nothing to do with outside circumstances

We are told to be joyful at all times
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say rejoice!

True joy does not depend on what happens
Ecclesiastes 7:14 In the day of prosperity be joyful,
But in the day of adversity consider:
Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other,
So that man can find out nothing that will come after him.

Our Father not only supplies grace, but He offers sustenance and rest to those carrying a heavy burden. It doesn’t matter what is happening in our lives, we can always have authentic joy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Waiting For Heaven

"Are you breathlessly yearning for the day you step beyond this life into that life prepared for you after death? Does the hope you have for heaven raise the hair on the back of your neck or make your belly float? Are you obsessed with eternity? Does it preoccupy you, so that all the gifts on this earth pale by comparison?
Are you, like the overeager bride about to be wed, so excited about your final union with God that nothing around you seems to matter anymore?
Do you regularly, as did the apostle Paul, honestly crave to die and be with Christ, because departing to be with him is better by far than living to serve him?"

- The Slumber of Christianity by Ted Dekker

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Meditate and Declare

I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty,
And on Your wondrous works.
Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts,
And I will declare Your greatness.
- Psalm 145:5-6

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

New Years

I echo this prayer.
As I look ahead to another year of life, I am reminded that I may not spend another year here on this earth. Within that space, You may call me to heaven, or the Lord Jesus may return for His Bride. 'Teach [me] to number [my] days and recognize how few they are; help [me] to spend them as [I] should' (Psalm 90:12).
Help me to live whatever days I have remaining in light of eternity. I humbly seek Your blessing and Your favor, for having them I lack nothing. I would seek to please You rather than men. This year I ask...
  • to know and love You in ever-increasing intimacy
  • for the protection of Your Spirit over my hear, my mind, and my affections
  • that You would be faithful in fulfilling the ministry You have entrusted to me--faithful in small tasks as well as large, in secret and obscurity as well as in public
  • for a heart full of love for others
  • that You might make me fruitful
  • that every day might be lived to the fullest and in the constant, conscious awareness of Your presence
  • that I might walk in the light before You and others, without guile or pretense
  • that I might be holy and humble before You and others
These things I ask in Jesus' Name and for the sake of Your Kingdom. May Your Kingdom come and Your will be done here on earth--and in this grateful heart--as it is in heaven. Amen.
- A Place of Quiet Rest by Nancy Leigh DeMoss