“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” Ephesians 1:3-5 NLT
May we recognize that we are blessed...loved...chosen...adopted...all through having been brought to God through Jesus Christ.
Blessed beyond measure - “You will experience all these blessings if you obey the LORD your God: Your towns and your fields will be blessed. Your children and your crops will be blessed. The offspring of your herds and flocks will be blessed. Your fruit baskets and breadboards will be blessed. Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed.” Deuteronomy 28:2-6 NLT
Loved with an unfailing love - “For his unfailing love for us is powerful; the LORD’s faithfulness endures forever. Praise the LORD!” Psalms 117:2 NLT
You are a chosen treasure - “For you are a holy people, who belong to the LORD your God. Of all the people on earth, the LORD your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure.” Deuteronomy 7:6 NLT
An adopted heir - “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory..." Romans 8:15-17 NLT
Because we have been brought to God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ, we are promised all of this and even more.
Embrace your life in Christ.
How would you complete the following sentence? I know I could experience true contentment if only...
It seems that we often find ourselves thinking that true contentment can be found in either the right things or the right people.
Paul says, “I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.” Philippians 4:12 NLT And again he tells Timothy, “Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.” 1 Timothy 6:6-8 NLT
So what is the secret of which Paul is speaking? How can I experience true contentment? Paul said, “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 NLT
The secret to true contentment can only be found in Jesus Christ. He will fill the emptiness...the voids...the loneliness, with Himself. There is nothing in this world that satisfies the soul like Jesus.
“You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy.” Psalms 63:5 NLT
We too can learn the secret.
What path are you traveling? Is it a path that provides rest along your journey?
“This is what the LORD says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls..." Jeremiah 6:16 NLT
Walking in the old godly way provides rest for our souls. But, where do we find the godly way?
Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29 NLT
When we learn from Jesus true humility and gentleness of heart, we too can say along with the psalmist, “Let my soul be at rest again, for the LORD has been good to me.” Psalms 116:7 NLT
Find your own soul rest in the goodness of God.
“God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.” Ephesians 1:22-23 NLT
As born again believers in Jesus Christ we are the church - His body, over which Christ is the head and has been given all authority.
As the body we have responsibilities.
“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:23-25 NLT
We are to...
...hold tightly to the hope we affirm
...think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works
...not neglect our meeting together
...encourage one another
As we begin a new year, make being a part of the body of Christ a priority. Don't let go of your hope in Christ...be an example to others...be in church at each opportunity available...be an encourager to others .
We are His body.
“O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help." Psalms 86:5 NLT
Listen to what the Lord offers to those who ask for His help...
Have you been the recipient of the Lord's help? If you have, you know first hand what it means to have experienced the Lord in these ways.
If you haven't, ask the Lord to show Himself to you..to help you.
“I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth! He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. The LORD keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.” Psalms 121:1-8 NLT
Look to the Lord...He will help.
This year is about gone...a few more days and we begin a brand new year.
As you take a moment to look back, what do you see? What is it that catches your attention? ...difficulties...heartaches...losses, or God's grace...mercies...blessings.
Your perspective on the past will impact your outlook toward the future...your hope for the year to come. We often allow the pain of the past to hold us captive in the present and restrict the freedom of our future.
There are times we simply need to let go of the past in order to move on to what lies ahead. “But I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:13-14 NLT
Where's your focus? On the past, or what lies ahead? There is something specific that is in front of you..it's called hope. “And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.” Psalms 39:7 NLT
It's Christmas Day...a day of celebration...a day that reminds us just how much God loves us.
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 NKJV
For many today is a day of joy...a day of exchanging gifts with friends and family.
“When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” Matthew 2:10-11 NLT
Guided by a star the Wise Men presented 3 gifts to Jesus:
GOLD…a gift normally given to a KING…Jesus is the “King of Kings”.
FRANKINCENSE…used by the Priests…burned as incense…showing His deity.
MYRRH…used in embalming…it tells of His death.
But…the greatest gift of all is seldom mentioned…they first gave themselves…“they bowed down and worshipped Him”.
What will you give to Jesus today?
Remember God is giving you a very special gift...Jesus.
If only you will receive Him.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 NKJV
“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7 KJV
We can easily find ourselves so busy, and our lives so full that there is no more room to add anything else. The Christmas season really seems to be that way...activities...family gatherings...shopping. We soon find long lines and heavy traffic will double or triple the time normally needed to accomplish the same task any other time of the year.
Today is the day before Christmas, the day Mary and Joseph were looking for a place to bring the Son of God into the world, and there was no room.
When this day comes to an end will it be said that you had no room for Jesus?
Be certain that today you prepare a special place for Him to come and stay...your heart.
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith...Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:22-23 NKJV
One of my all time favorite hymns is "Blessed Assurance" written by Fanny Crosby. It's personal to me because it speaks of the certainty of faith that I have in my relationship with Christ. It's a declaration of Jesus in my life. It's a reminder of God's faithfulness to me.
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
What a wonderful message in song...salvation...the gospel...debt paid...born again.
The certainty of Jesus now is a taste of glory to come.
This IS my story.
What's yout story?
Today is a new day...a fresh start...a new beginning. Your perspective will influence your outlook on the day. If you carry regret from yesterday or worry about tomorrow it will impact the way you approach your day.
Accept today as the blessing it is intended to be. “This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalms 118:24 NLT
So, as you begin today remember, “The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT
Thank the Lord for His mercies.
Rejoice and be glad, it's a new day.
Bro. Joe Metts