Tag: Jesus

Verses to Celebrate Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday Verses

The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” – John 12:12-13

As he was drawing near — already on the way down the Mount of Olives — the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen. – Luke 19:37

Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest! – Luke 19:38

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. – Psalm 118;24

And Peter said to them, “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. – Acts 2:38

Then each man hastened to take his garment and put it under him on the top of the steps; and they blew trumpets, saying, “Jehu is king!” – 2 Kings 9:13

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey. – Zechariah 9:9

The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The King of Israel!”Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:“Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey’s colt.” – John 12:12-15

Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.”All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ”So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them.They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road.Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!”And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.” – Matthew 21:1-11

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Show Me Your Scars

SHOW ME YOUR SCARS

Copyright 2019 Diana Rasmussen

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This world we live in is twisted and wrong, It’s not Heaven on Earth, but wicked and wrong

Life is hard, it’s not fair, Injustice is everywhere, Seems liars get ahead, when the Truth just offends

I know a Savior, Christ Jesus is his Name, He came to seek and to save all that are lost

He went to the cross to obliterate sin, He opened the door to Heaven, so we could get in

 

We can come boldly before the throne of Grace, To find hope and mercy in place of our stains

Jesus gives freedom and hope to all who call on His Name, Baptized with His Spirit He promised He’d save

He still bears the wounds on His hands and His feet, Those marks He got from hanging on that Cross

To carry away the sin of the world, and I call out to Him today

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Show me your scars, it’s your blemishes that show me you’ve loved me

Show me your scars, it’s how I know who you are

When you’ve lived a good life and loved someone deep, it’s gonna leave a mark

Open your hands and your heart, and show me your scars

 

He rose from the grave that held him, He sits on the Throne of God

Giving strength, hope, and wisdom to all who call on Him,

He’s preparing a place for you and for me, He’s coming back to take us out of this place

 

Show me your scars, it’s your blemishes that show me you’ve loved me

Show me your scars, it’s how I know who you are

When you’ve lived a good life and loved someone deep, it’s gonna leave a mark

Open your hands and your heart, and show me your scars

 

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The Fire of the Holy Spirit Brings Peace and Wonder

Have you ever sat in front of the fireplace and just stared at the flames? Yeah, me too. I love the warmth and the flames dancing in the air. It’s so relaxing and mesmerizing. I lose track of time when I watch the fire and my heart gets filled with peace and wonder.

Have you ever sat in front of a campfire? What about a bonfire? Love those. Have you noticed how people are attracted to the fire? They can’t help but come closer and join you. A bonfire might start out with 2-3 people, but give it a few hours and there will be 20-30 people there! People love to watch the flames dance.

I think the same is true when we spend time with the Holy Spirit that lives in our hearts. People will be attracted to the peace and wonder in you. They will wonder what happened to you. They will ask you how you can stay so calm in the middle of this messed up world. Be ready to answer. But first, fan the flames of the fire…

The Bible tells us that Jesus will baptize us with fire.

The thing about fires is you have to keep tending to them. You have to pay attention and add more wood and fan the flames. The same is true with the Holy Spirit. Nobody likes to be ignored, especially God.

For me, I get up early and spend time in the fire of the Holy Spirit with my coffee. It’s quiet then and lots of times we just hang out. Just like the fire, the presence of God brings me peace and wonder. My heart overflows in His presence. My mind is renewed, my joy is filled up.

Let’s fan the flames and spend time in the presence of the Holy Spirit and fan those flames!

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” 2 Timothy 1:6 NIV

What about you? How do you fan the flames?

 

Prayer for When You Want to Hide

I understand hiding. I can hide for days sometimes and not talk to anyone about anything. Just grunt sometimes, lol. Sometimes we just don’t want to talk to anyone because of whatever. It’s ok. Can I come and sit with you?

Thanks. I come and sit next to you, wherever that may be. We are in this together. I don’t know why this is happening, but let’s ask the One who knows and can help. Lets’s pray.

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Dear Lord,

I pray that you would hold ________ in your arms today. We are struggling and we need a place to rest. You said if we were weary we could come to You and You would give us rest. There are so many questions, and no answers. We don’t understand this. We sit at your feet Lord. We rest our heads on Your shoulder. Abba Father, help.

Lord, you know. Let us rest in the secret place with You and restore our hearts and minds. Heal our spirits Lord. Give us fresh annointing with your Holy Spirit and fill us up with the Living Water. We want to hide in You Lord, under the shadow of Your wings until we have the strength to get up. You are faithful Lord. You are our anchor in the storms. We need you Lord, in Jesus Name.

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God’s Word is Your Most Powerful Weapon in the Battle

When facing a trial or battle, the one thing that I have found to be my best weapon is the Word of God. Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do NOT see yet. I have to exercise my faith and speak the Word of God over my situation.

Yes, I have been battling sickness and infirmity for the last year. The Drs keep ordering test after test and keep adding things to my chart for a diagnosis. (You can read about it here – Living Through a Season of Infirmity) But they are not God. God’s Word says I am HEALED already. I have to apply God’s Word to my body, just like I have to apply the ointment to my body and take the medicine the Dr. gave me.  God’s word will NOT return to Him void. It WILL accomplish that which it was set out to do! Speak it out! Our bodies may be our mountains, and they respond to our own voice. God promised that mountains would move when we SPEAK to them. Say Gods’ Word out loud, let your body hear it – and then watch and see what God does!

Do you have your Word ready?

Do you have the promises of God that apply to your situation?

That is your sword. Here are some of the promises of God I am using to build my faith and receive my healing.

God’s Word for Sickness:

And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you. – Deuteronomy 7:15

He sent His word and healed them,
And delivered them from their destructions. – Psalm 107:20

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
Save me, and I shall be saved,
For You are my praise. – Jeremiah 17:14

For I will restore health to you
And heal you of your wounds,’ says the Lord,
‘Because they called you an outcast saying:
“This is Zion;
No one seeks her.” – Jeremiah 30:17

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31

that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached:  how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. – Acts 10:37-38

Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. – Luke 9:1

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they  will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” – Mark 16:15-18

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, 
But the Lord delivers him out of them all. – Psalm 34:19

Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.  – Isaiah 41:10

 So you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you. – Exodus 23:25

Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed. – Isaiah 53:4-5

 

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Living Through a Season of Infirmity

It has been a season of infirmity for me these past 7 months. I truly don’t know how I am still here. It must be the prayers of my friends that are bringing me to Jesus. Their prayers are making the difference. Let me elaborarte.

It started in July 2018, a simple ringing in my ear that would not go away. My Dr. sent me to the Audiologist. The Dr. ordered an MRI of my head. He wanted to rule out Brain Cancer. They did their tests and said I had Tinnitus – no brain cancer, thank you Jesus! There was nothing else they could do. Take more vitamin B he said.

Then in September I took a training job at work. It was a promotion, trial period of 3 weeks. I didn’t realize I would be on my feet for the whole time. I loved the job, however my legs went numb from the knees down with stabbing pain in my feet. When they asked me to stay on, I had to refuse due to this medical condition.

I went to my Dr, she referred me to the Neurologist. I did the most painful test ever – where they stick needles in your legs and shoot electricity through them to measure the nerve response. Diagnosis was Peripheral Neoruopathy in both legs. And again, nothing they could do but put me on meds.

I went back to my regular Dr. and she ordered an MRI of my spine now. It was more bad news – Degenerative Disc Disease and Spinal Stenosis (pinched nerves to both legs). They referred me to the Spine Clinic for pain. I saw that Dr. and I have an epidural with steroids scheduled for next week. Hopefully this will work.

In the meantime, my legs started shaking uncontrollably from the waist down. My Dr. has referred me back to Neurology to test for MS in February. Come on, really? I have been off work since November 2018 on FMLA and Short Term Disability. There have been many days I did not even want to get out of bed. I wake up 2-4 times per night due to the pain in my back and legs. I want my life back.

Also, had a breast exam in December – guess what – they found 2 lumps. Seriously? I had to go back for a second time and have an ultrasound – both lumps were benign, thank you Jesus!

Yes, it has been a season of infirmity for Ms. D.  I know that God is able to heal, and I am patiently waiting for my healing. I thank my friends for lowering me through the roof of this pain and into the arms of Jesus for my healing.  If it were not for their prayers, I don’t know how I would survive. Thank you and God bless you all!

This season of infirmity can get up and leave in Jesus Name! I am sick of it! Let the power of the Lord be present to heal!

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Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralytic

Now it happened on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was present to heal them.  Then behold, men brought on a bed a man who was paralyzed, whom they sought to bring in and lay before Him.  And when they could not find how they might bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the housetop and let him down with his bed through the tiling into the midst before Jesus.

When He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”

 – Luke 5:17-20 NKJV

Are You Part of the Inn Crowd or the Stable Few at Christmas?

We all like to go on vacations and stay at fancy hotels. The huge rooms with a gorgeous view, fuzzy towels and fancy furniture. Plus the wine and chocolates and the mints on the pillows. We all like to be pampered. There is nothing wrong with that once in a while.

And then there are the quiet places, when you use what you have and make it work. I can only imagine Mary going through labor and trying to find a quiet place to have her baby in between contractions. What do you think she said to Joseph during labor?

Do you think she was calm and collected? Maybe she waited in the lobby while Joseph went to the Inn Keeper to see if there was room at the Inn. She might have said, “Honey, Sweet Husband, please find me a place to have our baby,” in her sweet Mary voice.

No, I don’t think so. I have had four kids and labor was not a cake walk.  There was groaning, screaming, and a few words I can’t print here, lol! Maybe Mary was anxious and screaming during contractions, “If you don’t find me a bed, I am going to have this kid right here in the middle of the street!” Yep, that sounds more true.

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Can you imagine her reaction when Joseph told her there was no rom at the Inn? I wonder what she said then, lol! I’m sure the panic set in and the scrambling to find a place to have her baby. We have all been there. The jumping off place, in between a rock and a hard place with no idea what to do next.

That’s when God steps in. I bet Mary heard God in her spirit, and Joseph too – they remembered what God had told them already. God had sent her an Angel in the beginning:

 Now in the sixth month [of Elizabeth’s pregnancy] the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth,  to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, a descendant of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, the angel said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”  But she was greatly perplexed at what he said, and kept carefully considering what kind of greeting this was.  The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  Listen carefully: you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.  He will be great and eminent and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;  and He will reign over the house of Jacob (Israel) forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” – Luke 1:26-33 

So Mary knew that she would give birth to a son and call him Jesus! This kid was going to be born, and quickly. God knew what He was doing. He told us in the Old Testament what would happen:

 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Listen carefully, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will call his name Immanuel (God with us). – Isaiah 7:14 

Can you imagine Joseph? Wife in labor, no place to have the baby at the Inn. I’m sure God directed him to the stable. In times of crisis, we look around and get very creative. As the protector of the family, I can see him taking Mary’s hand and leading her into the stable. At this point, I can imagine Mary just looking for somewhere soft to sit down. It was a long walk for them to get to Bethlehem, not to mention going into labor once they got there!

The straw looked good – a soft quiet place to sit and rest. I’ll bet Joseph grabbed the Manger and put in fresh straw. He probably took off his outer robe and helped Mary get comfortable. Then it was time for Baby Jesus to be born! As baby Jesus was born into the world, God in flesh, it had to be Joseph who got to deliver him. Can you imagine cutting the umbilical cord of Jesus? Knowing this was God? Wow, what a moment.Him

I wonder what kind of animals were there to witness the birth? I’m thinking there were donkeys and sheep. There are tons of cards out there, all with different pictures. Either way, they were there too. What a magnificent sight. In the quiet of the night the Savior of the World was born in a stable.

 

What about you? Are you an Inn kind of person or a stable kind of person? I like the quiet places to meet my Lord. I never was much for crowds anyway.

Let’s all take some time and baske in the presence of the Lord this Christmas. Let’s meet Him with awe and wonder in the quiet, just like the stable. Let’s get adventurous and look for God in all the places we wouldn’t expect Him! I’ll bet He is way bigger than a building anyway. Who knows what could happen next?

 

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Even Before You Were Born, Jesus Knew You

As Christmas time approaches and we celebrate the birth of our Savior I learned something new this year I thought I would share with you. We have all heard the story of Jesus’ birth in Luke 1, like 100 times right? This year my wonderful sister in the Lord, Bonnie Hawley, was teaching us more. I love her Bible studies, she is so passionate and in love with the Lord – it’s contageous! She was teaching us about when Mary, pregnant with Jesus, went to visit Elizabeth, pregnant with John.

Mary Visits Elizabeth

 Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah,  and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.  And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.  Blessed isshe who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” – Luke 1:39-45 NKJV

Now it occured to me, neither kid was born yet. But when the met, even in the womb, the presence of Jesus caused John to jump in his mother’s belly! Now that is the power of presence! Even before they were born, they knew each other!

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;

Before you were born I sanctified you;

I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” – Jermiah 1:5 NKJV

I belive this is true for us too. Even before we were born, Jesus knew us. He knew us  before we knew Him. He sanctified us from the womb!

Jesus called us from the beginning and will be with us until the end of time here on planet Earth, and forever in Eternity. Rejoice this Chirstmas Season – you are KNOWN by Jesus!

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KNOWN by Tauren Wells

 

It’s so unusual it’s frightening
You see right through the mess inside me
And you call me out to pull me in
You tell me I can start again
And I don’t need to keep on hiding

I’m fully known and loved by You
You won’t let go no matter what I do
And it’s not one or the other
It’s hard truth and ridiculous grace
To be known fully known and loved by You
I’m fully known and loved by You

It’s so like You to keep pursuing
It’s so like me to go astray
But You guard my heart with Your truth
A kind of love that’s bullet proof
And I surrender to Your kindness

I’m fully known and loved by You
You won’t let go no matter what I do
And it’s not one or the other
It’s hard truth and ridiculous grace
To be known fully known and loved by You
I’m fully known and loved by You

How real, how wide
How rich, how high is Your heart
I cannot find the reasons why
You give me so much
How real, how wide
How rich, how high is Your heart
I cannot find the reasons why
You give me so much

I’m fully known and loved by You
You won’t let go no matter what I do
And it’s not one or the other
It’s hard truth and ridiculous grace
To be known fully known and loved by You
I’m fully known and loved by You

It’s so unusual it’s frightening
I’m fully known and loved by You

 

Resting and Trusting in God During the Holidays

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays! However you choose to celebrate, I wish you peace and rest in this Holiday Season. I know it is a busy time for all of us. With the shopping, the presents, the tree, the family gatherings – it can become a bit overwhelming. Especially if you are walking through a storm at the moment.

Let’s stop, take a breath, and rest in the arms of our Savior this season. It only takes a moment to refocus our minds on things from above and find the rest we so desperately need. Jesus came to be with us here on planet Earth. After He died He released the Holy Spirit to live in us. Christ in us – the hope of glory. Emmanuel – God is with us!

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So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:  “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” – Matthew 1:22-23

The more hectic my day gets, the more I need to rest in God’s arms. I read His word. I meditate on it. I stop and listen and pray. I choose to trust God. He has this. He said He would make all things work together for good. God promised never to leave or forsake us. God is with us! Rejoice!

“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’” – Isaiah 41:10

I pray that you may enjoy each day of this Holiday season and rest in God’s love and mercy and grace. May you be filled with His Holy Spirit and overflow with joy this Holiday Season, in Jesus Name!

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Source: lovelylovelythings.wordpress.com

Lead Me to the Rock That is Higher Than I

There are days when the world comes crashing down. The days when the Dr. report is not good. The days when fear and anxiety wash over you like a cloud. The days when the fear of the future consumes you. These are the days I pray, “Lord, Lead me to the Rock that is Higher than I.”

From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. – Psalm 61:2 NKJV

 

God knows what you are facing. He knows the end from the beginning. He promised never to leave you nor forsake you, even if you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Hold us close Lord.

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Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. – Psalm 23:4 NKJV

Lord, hold me and my friends during this trial. Help us to be more aware of your presence and your healing power. Make the wrong things right in Jesus Name.

Lord, we need you.

 

Lord I Need You

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You’re the One that guides my heart
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
Where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
So teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
When I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus, You’re my hope and stay
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
You’re my one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
Songwriters: Christy Nockels / Daniel Carson / Jesse Reeves / Kristian Stanfill / Matt Maher
Lord, I Need You lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

Who for the Joy That Was Set Before Him

This is a sermon that my husband, Bob Rasmussen, wrote and shared with us at Janesville Apostolic Ministries a few weeks back. It was an awesome message and I wanted to share it with you.

“Who for the joy that was set before Him” 

(click the title to watch the sermon at Christian World Media)

We worshipped with a lot of songs this morning with the word Joy in them. The Bible tells us to be joyful:

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. – Philippians 4:4

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. – Romans 15:13

The joy of the Lord, having him in our lives something to absolutely be joyful about, amen? During one of our services, a scripture was brought to my mind:

 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  – Hebrews 12:1-2

This morning, I would like to discuss specifically “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross”.  If you read the commentaries on this scripture, there are 2 schools of thought of the meaning – there might be more but in my study it was predominantly 2. And the word that drives that train of thought is the word “for”.
The first interpretation is that “for” means instead. That is, that Jesus, instead of maintaining His preincarnate heavenly state, chose to come down to earth and fulfill the path of securing salvation for mankind, bearing sin and shame on the cross.
The second interpretation is that “for” means “in exchange for” or to “obtain” salvation for those he loved. I think both are correct, but I would like to focus on the second. That basically, you, you, and I are the joy of the Lord – the fulfillment of his accomplished work.

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We are the joy of the Lord!

But what does that even mean to us?
He says we are the light!

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light
unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. – Matthew 5:14-16

He says that we are the salt!

Ye are the salt of the earth – Matthew 5:13

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary:
5:13-16 Ye are the salt of the earth. Mankind, lying in ignorance and wickedness, were as a vast heap, ready to putrify; but Christ sent forth his disciples, by their lives and doctrines to season it with knowledge and grace.
God sings over us:

The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice
over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. – Zephaniah 3:17

Wow – we are the joy of the Lord!

Part of our identity, of who we are, is how we think about ourselves. And no, I am not a
psychologist, some might think I need to see one – But there is a battle in this world. The war has been won, Jesus has defeated death, but the bible tells us there will be battles.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. – Ephesians 6:12

I love that Paul, markedly one of the greatest apostles, includes himself. He doesn’t say you, he says we. That tells me that no matter your position, situation, no matter what, we all will have battles – that we are in this together.
So today, I do have a question, do you feel like you are the joy of the Lord?
Sometimes, I have disqualified myself from being the joy of the Lord. I remember when I first came to Jesus and gave my life and felt the overwhelming cleansing power of his blood. I gave it all to Jesus – (sins on board)It was so, so joyful. After some time though, I would go back to the altar, and I reminded God why I was such a bad person. And I’d go back again, and again. Have you ever done that?
The Word says that when we confess our sin:

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. – Acts 3:19

I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee. – Isaiah 44:22

I had to learn, and I am still learning that I do not need to remind God about my sin – he has already blotted it out. He’s already forgiven me.

I had to learn to stop trying to disqualify myself from the joy of the Lord.

His grace is more than sufficient for me.

One day as Diana and I were talking about being the joy of the Lord, and I already asked is I could share this, she said – I don’t feel like I am the Joy of the Lord because I still do (insert whatever here) – it wasn’t a sin, it was just something she felt that the Lord had put on her heart to change. That ever happen to you?

We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, he lives in us. He is so many things to us – comforter, counselor, healer – but He is also our Shepperd. I think that as we grow with Jesus, He only wants for the best, He wants us to grow with him and there may be things or patterns in our life that He wants to change – that’s maturity. But it should not make you feel disqualified or less than, if anything, it just shows how much more He loves and cares for you.

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There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. – Romans 8:1-2

Let’s go back to Paul in Ephesians 6:

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. – Ephesians 6:14-17

This body has been through some things. We have lost loved ones, we have family fighting disease, we have relationships that need healing, and the list goes on. I am faithful for Jesus to help all of us. But in this battle, the enemy will try to steal your Joy of the Lord, he’ll try to challenge your thoughts about your salvation or your worth to him.
I try to see things in the physical that show me what God does in the spirit, As I was preparing this message, I was reminded of my beautiful wonderful grand daughter Devin, or DJ as we call her and how Diana (and my) reactions ( and for our other children, it was the same, this is just he most recent).
We were made aware of her coming, there was expectation!
She was born, there was rejoicing!
There was unadulterated love in cuddling and holding her tiny fingers and toes.
There is joy in who she is and who she is becoming.
And then we just had joy, music courtesy of brother Doug.

It so reminds me of Jesus, who with the Joy that was set before him.
Aware what was coming, the salvation of mankind
Rejoicing we were born again,
Unrelenting love,

And joy in who we are!

Sister Laura spoke a word a few weeks ago and I asked if could share. If you will humor me, close your eyes for a second and focus on these words, let them remind you of the Joy that you are to Him and He is to you:

Run to Him full of joy
So much freedom, so much uninhibited love, both given and received
Hold nothing back, he has got you.
Let him lift you up and swing you around – tossing everything else aside. It’s just you and him,laughing, care free.
As a child, we trust completely that daddy won’t drop me – find that child like, pure, unrestrained comfort in Him again.

As the worship team comes forward, I have asked they do a new song, it is called “To The Table”.
One of my favorite verses is:
He can see the weight you carry
The fears that hold your heart
But through the cross you’ve been forgiven
You’re accepted as you are
And then it goes to the chorus
So bring it all to the table
The altar is open, we have a baptismal if you have not been and want to become part of the kingdom. Pastor Mike and Jeff are here to pray with you, as are anyone else here to stand with you in prayer.
So , won’t you come to the Table?