Joy Scriptures

     Everyone has days when they need more joy to embrace the life God has given them. In fact, some of Paul’s final words of encouragement included the command, “Always be joyful” (1 Thessalonians 5:16).  If you need to give your day a shot of joy, here are five ways to do it. Remember Your Inheritance Romans 8:17 calls us “joint-heirs with Christ.” Every resource that the Father bestowed on Jesus also belongs to you. So everything you need for your day is available to you. Hebrews 4:16 says that you can “come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Focus on God’s Priorities God’s Word encourages you to “seek the kingdom of God” and His way of doing things first (Matthew 6:33) and “set your mind what is above” (Colossians 3:2). Don’t let the concerns of this world consume your mind. Instead, focus on God and His ability to meet every one of your needs. Resist Conflict Instead of giving in to conflict by yelling at that bad driver who cut you off on the way to work, joining in on the water cooler gossip about a difficult coworker, or fuming over an inconsiderate neighbor, choose to be a peacemaker (Matthew 5:9). Refuse to be drawn in to petty squabbles or to demand your own way at every turn. Remain Thankful Ephesians 5:3-4 says, “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as become saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks” . If your focus is on being thankful to God for the good things in your life, then the words you speak are going to be more uplifting—and the result is more joy for you.   Care for Your Body The Word refers to your body as the “temple of the Holy Spirit,” and as such, it should be respected. That means you need proper sleep (7-9 hours), nutrition (limit processed food, sodas and caffeine) and exercise (30 minutes, 5 days a week). All of these things affect your mood and a lack of any of them can result in feelings of discouragement and irritability. If you want to add more joy to your day, then begin to put these things into practice—remember your inheritance, focus on God’s priorities, resist conflict, remain thankful and care for your physical body. Doing so will help to increase your joy, improve your sense of well-being and face your day with a positive outlook, ready to be about your Father’s business

     You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Ps 16:11) The idea strikes me as scandalous. It goes against everything ingrained since birth in those of us born in America after the last world war. All our lives we have heard that the loftiest goal and the greatest good is happiness. Happiness is more than a goal; we see it as a right. The founding fathers guaranteed us life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, Guaranteed it. And pursue it we will. What- ever it takes to make us happy is not only desirable, but virtuous. "But it makes me happy" is the final word that closes every debate and justifies every action. That is why I have so much trouble believing the scandalous truth I stumbled over the other day. Thumbing through the pages of the New Testament, I was struck by the fact that God does not carve out a safe place in the world to shelter me from everything that makes me unhappy. Death, grief, hardships, trials, even persecution will catch me in their snare someday, and God does nothing to prevent it. Moments of happiness come, but they are just that, moments. Ants invade the picnic, rain washes out the second game of the baseball doubleheader, the snow plows open the roads and we have to take that algebra test after all. And God stands idly by, sensing our frustration, knowing we are unhappy, but He doesn't do anything. Why can't He be a little more like Mary Poppins and make every day a jolly holiday? He could do it. After all, He is God. He can do anything and everything He wants. All He would have to do is will it and we would have more paycheck and less month, more laughter and fewer tears, more ice cream and less Brussels sprouts, more weekends and fewer Mondays. He could do it. But He won't. Following Christ and living by His promises has very little to do with our own personal happiness. He never promises to make us happy, at least not in our usual human understanding of happiness. As we shall see in later chapters, trials and tribulations and sorrow and heartache are everyday parts of the Christian life. Before we pull the covers over our heads in depression, we need to see that, while God does not make provision for human happiness, He does something greater. Instead of happiness, God promises to give us joy. Joy functions on a level far above the temporary circum- stance that makes us happy for a short time.                      The Bible paints a curious picture of joy. We find it separated from the sort of circumstances we usually associate with happiness. Surprisingly, the source of all joy is a place no one would ever think to look—a cross. The Scripture tells us, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb 12:2). While on the cross—while suffering as a criminal and enduring the pain and humiliation of death—Jesus set His eyes on the joy set before Him. On the cross Jesus experienced joy. I've scratched my head over that statement many times. How could the most painful instrument of torture ever conceived by man bring joy to the Son of God? Joy is not the product of our surroundings but flows out of living in the center of God's will. Jesus found joy in the cross, the joy of obedience to the Father, and the joy of redeeming you and me from sin. As we lose our will to the will of God, we will find Christ's joy overflowing into our lives. So much of what we thought would make us happy in our natural sinful state revolved around ourselves and satisfying our appetites. In Christ we find that our greatest joy is found in sacrificing all our desires on the cross and allowing God's desires to fill our hearts.

   The joy God promises goes beyond mere emotions. That is why the psalmist could write, "You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound" (Ps 4:7), even though he cried out in the first verse of the same psalm, "Give me relief from my distress." For the Christian, real joy is rooted in the Lord's victory in the Cross and looks forward to the day Christ will take us home to be with Him. It looks beyond the present state of suffering or sorrow to see God's hand at work. And we know that He is at work. He takes everything, no matter how horrible it may be, and uses it for His eternal purpose (Rom 8:28). James assures us that the darkest trials are nothing more than God's refining fire leading us to maturity.

    Several years after the Cross another man found out how real the joy of Christ could be. The apostle Paul was thrown into jail for preaching the gospel. There he sat, not knowing what his future held. At any moment he could be sentenced to death. While in his cell he wrote a letter urging the church in Philippi to "rejoice in the Lord always." He hadn't lost his mind. Rather, he had experienced the joy that flows from walking in God's will and resting in His sovereignty. Paul knew his prison term didn't take God by surprise. Instead, Paul saw how his chains caused the gospel to spread even more. Joy is a promise and a gift, a gift we must put into action. Paul told the church in Thessalonica to "be joyful always" (1 Thess 5:16). We cannot be happy always, but that isn't what we are commanded to do. By faith we choose to rejoice regardless of what life throws at us. Like peace, joy demands that we pray about everything rather than worry. Joy also moves us to give thanks in anything and everything. Such joy cannot flow out of us nor can it be mustered up with an incredible amount of will-power. Rather, joy flows from the Holy Spirit and fills our soul as a promise from God. As we choose to rejoice we receive the promise by faith and put it into action.

 R.G. 2/14

Teaching

 

De-Stress

        Jesus said in John 10:10, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Don’t let stress keep you from having an abundant life. Implement these five steps and get your life moving in the right direction!

     Make Time for The WORD Sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it? You believe you don’t have enough time to accomplish everything on your to-do list, but in reality, the only way to truly de-stress your life is to get God’s perspective on it. Just like gas in a car, The WORD fuels your life. Without it, you’ll coast along for a while, but eventually, you’ll run out of gas. Life will begin to feel overwhelming. So spend time in The WORD daily. Let it correct you as you meditate on it and act as though it is true—because it is! Recognize the Work of the Enemy There will always be unexpected developments in your day—a last-minute meeting at work, snacks that you promised (but forgot!) to bring to your grandson’s Little League game, a clothes dryer that suddenly quits. That’s life. But there are other times when the devil deliberately attacks you. As you spend time in The WORD, you’ll be able to recognize those attacks for what they are. When he attacks, resist him and he will flee (James 4:7). Protect Your Mind There are stressors all around you—the media professing doom and gloom, movies and television shows proclaiming ungodly values, even family members who have embraced secular psychology. With all of that unbelief swirling around you, you must make the quality decision to protect your mind and heart (Proverbs 4:20-23). That means turning off the television, connecting with strong, godly friends and protecting your Bible study time. Care for Your Physical Body Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19-20). If you have let exercise slide because you are too busy to do it, then you open the door to attacks from the enemy. Care for your body by meditating on healing scriptures, feeding it healthy food and exercising each day.  Cut the Extras Most likely, if you are battling constant stress, then there are too many things vying for your attention. You must determine which things in your life God has given you to do and which things you have added on your own. Press into God for help in determining what it is that He has directed you to do, then do that first. Everything else is subject to being cut from your schedule. Jesus died so that you could live an overcoming life. In John 14:27, He said, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” Don’t let stress steal your peace and joy. Commit to making time for The WORD, recognizing the enemy’s attacks, protecting your mind, caring for your body and cutting the extra things that demand your attention. As you press into The LORD for what you should do each and every day, He will help you de-stress and enjoy your life!

R.G.

 Breath of Life Ministries Int. P.O. Box 171 Birnamwood Wi. 54414

                                   Reaching Fathers Ears
 
     ÒFather I thank You that You reward me for the good I do.  I choose to be obedient and willing knowing that I will eat the best of the land. “I have the confidence, boldness and liberty needed to maintain an intimate relationship with God.I remain in God’s love because I obey Him.Just as God loves Jesus, Jesus loves me. I am blessed to have a wonderful life in Christ.”PROSPERITY IS NOT IN EXTERNAL POSSESSIONS, BUT IN INTERNAL REVELATION."Father, I thank You that I will prosper and be in health even as my soul prospers.  I choose to speak and meditate upon God's Word knowing that I will make my way prosperous and enjoy divine success." SCRIPTURE WAS NOT WRITTEN TO INCREASE MY KNOWLEDGE BUT TO DIRECT MY LIFE.“Father, I thank You that I use Your Word as a guide for my life.  Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.  I understand scripture was not written to increase my knowledge, but to direct my life.I study Your Word to show myself approved, a workman who needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.”THE ONLY RESPONSE MERCY REQUIRES IS GRATITUDE.
     “I am grateful for everything God has done.  I will shout with joy; I will worship God with gladness; I will come before Him with singing and joy.  I will enter His gates with gladness and into His courts with praise.  I will give thanks and bless His Holy Name.” TRANSFORMATION IS THE PROOF THAT YOUR MIND IS BEING RENEWED.“I am not conformed to this world, but I am transformed by the renewing of my mind.  I prove the perfect will of God in my life.  I speak, think, and do the Word, knowing that my way will be prosperous and I will have good success.”
     MY THOUGHTS ARE THE COMPASS WHICH GUIDES THE SHIP OF MY LIFE TO ITS DESIRED DESTINATION. “Father, I thank You that as I think so I become.  I use the weapons of heaven to pull down strongholds, and I cast down arguments and every high and lofty thing that exalts itself against God’s Word.  I bring all negative thoughts into line with Jesus Christ.  I have the mind of Christ and I hold the thoughts, attitudes and purposes of His heart.”
      ÒFather, I thank You the I unite under the instruction and direction of heaven with my brothers and my sisters in Christ.  I thank You that I am mature and full grown in the Lord, fitted together with the body of Christ and doing my part.I excel in what God has called me to do, I will stand before kings. I do all things in excellence and continue to grow in wisdom and favor. I rise to and maintain the promotion that God has for me. I live in God so I live my life as Christ did.  I follow God's example in everything I do, loving others and following the example of Christ.I will live according to principle and not how I feel. My integrity rises above every situation." TOMORROW'S DESTRUCTION IS ONLY AVOIDED BY TODAY'S INTEGRITY. Father, You grant a treasure of good sense to the Godly.  You are my shield protecting me in all of my dealings for I walk with integrity. Father, You have told me what is good and what You require. I will continue on the path of obedience regardless of the cost.   I will do right, I will love mercy and I will walk humbly with my God."
 
R.G.

08/02/16

                                                                  My Children’s Safety


      I'm concerned about the safety of my children Lord. How can I be sure God you will protect them? I will protect your children because I have specifically said I will. My written Word is absolutely full of promises that, if you will believe them and act upon them, will guarantee the safety of you and your children—regardless of how dangerous the world around you becomes. One of the most powerful ways to build your faith and to activate promises like these in your life is to incorporate them into your prayers every day. As Jeremiah 1:12 says, “I watch over My Word to perform it,” so it makes solid spiritual sense to pray the Word!
Prayer
“Father, I believe You contend with him who contends with me, and You give safety to my children and ease them day by day. I confess that You give Your angels special charge over my children, according to Psalm 91, to accompany and defend and preserve them. No evil shall befall them, no accident shall overtake them, nor shall any plague or calamity come near them,” Father, I thank You that You keep my children’s feet from being caught in a trap or hidden danger. And I know that according to Your Word they are taught by You and great is their peace. I commit my children to Your care and protection. You are my confidence, firm and strong; and I am persuaded that You are able to guard and keep that which I’ve committed to You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

(Scripture used in this prayer and other faith-building promises: Isaiah 49:24-25; Psalm 91, 112:7; Isaiah 26:3; Psalm 34:7, 3:5-6; Proverbs 3:24-26; Psalm 4:8; 2 Timothy 1:12) And the list goes on, Thank you Jesus

 R.G.  08/15/2016

           10 Scriptures to Stand Strong against Worry


     Is fear contaminating your faith? Ask yourself these questions: Do you worry about the safety of your children each time they walk out the door? Do you find yourself pacing if your spouse is 15 minutes late for dinner? Do you get stressed every time newscasters are proclaiming doom and gloom for the economic markets? Do you fear each time a storm comes through your state? If so, then it’s time for you to take a stand against worry. Here are 10 scriptures to help you stand strong against worry and fear.

1 John 4:18: Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
1 Peter 5:7: Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
Philippians 4:6-7: Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 6:25-34: That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear… These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need…
John 14:27: I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.
Romans 8:28: And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Psalm 37:3: Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Philippians 4:19: And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
Luke 1:74-75: We have been rescued from our enemies so we can serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness for as long as we live.
Psalm 103:1-5: Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
     If you have allowed worry to creep into your life, then take a stand against it. Read these scriptures. Print them out and post them where you can see them every day, throughout your day. Don’t let fear rob you of your faith in God and His Word, take a stand against it and live in confidence and godly strength!  Why is it so Important to Meditate on God’s Word? So many born-again believers miss out on the world-overcoming victory that’s theirs in Christ Jesus. They keep finding themselves “under” the circumstances instead of “on top,” and they can’t figure out why. They’ve never understood a foundational truth about living the successful Christian life.                    

    They’ve never understood why it is so important to meditate on, or ponder and contemplate, the Word of God. Proverbs 4:20-22 says, “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh” (KJV).

     Notice that according to those verses, when you “attend” to God’s words they become “sayings.” The Scriptures start talking to you. The Holy Spirit speaks them to you on the inside so you can not only see but hear the thoughts of God. If you’ll make the decision to take those thoughts by saying them on purpose over and over again, eventually you’ll catch yourself saying them without having to decide to do it. When that happens, your thinking in that area will have been converted. God’s thoughts will have become your own. Suddenly, you will see something entirely different than the world sees. While they see drought, you see rivers. While they look at famine, you see feast. While they look at financial collapse, you see the riches of THE BLESSING. I’m not saying all your circumstances will change overnight. It often takes time for the manifestation of THE BLESSING to become visible in this natural realm. But you can still “see” it—because you don’t really see with your physical eyes. I don’t either. You see with your mind. Your brain collects information and turns it into images in your soul. Then you interpret those images and decide what to do with them.

  Instead of looking at the circumstances around us, we can focus on the Word of God. Instead of meditating on what the world says, we can spend our time meditating on what God says. As we do, the Word will get on the inside of us and begin to change our thoughts, our health and our reality!

 08/18/2016