When we invite Jesus into our lives, the Bible tells us we are to put Him first. Above all else we are to offer Him all our love in word and in deed.
Deuteronomy 6:5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
So, how do you offer Jesus love?
Too often, we believe ourselves to be worthless, useless or incompetent. Why? Because we erroneously listen to someone who harbors evil in their heart claiming that against us!
Don’t listen to them anymore!
I encourage you now—do not believe anything that an evil heart dares to profess about you! You are worthy because you were created by the Creator of the world, made perfect in every way.
There is no shortage of news headlines endlessly announcing attacks made against anything Christian. The hate is very outspoken — there seems to be no filter applied.
No matter if you are Vice President of the United States (Mike Pence) or his wife who teaches at a Christian school (Karen Pence); are Christian young people attending a pro-life rally (Covington Catholic H.S.) or a simple baker trying to run your personal business according to God’s Word (Jack Phillips) — verbal and written abuse against Christians continues.
So. . .what does God say we are to do in all circumstances?
Are you struggling right now, trying to recoup from bad decisions you made? Did these decisions create problems that overwhelm you, making you feel alone and unloved? Perhaps you are wondering why God isn’t there, helping you through this turmoil. I encourage you, do not be discouraged!
The Bible tells us from the beginning, that God has been with us and He will never leave us:
Written by king David, Psalm 23 is truly a song of praise. Though not always recognized as such, the psalm acknowledges God for many of the things He provides. Misinterpretation of the King James Version often lead readers to believe they were not allowed to want more than they already had: The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
And—Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; This fourth verse has often been accepted as even through death, God is with me. This interpretation leaves a negative understanding of a core Christian truth that Christians overcome death. It is the final verse, six, that clearly states: “and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”
Here’s some important information I want to confirm to you, just in case you have any doubts as you start 2019:
God Loves You!
That’s right! God absolutely loves you, and He proclaims that love in many ways:
While Joseph and Mary were living in Nazareth and Mary was still with child, the Roman Emperor, Caesar Augustus, declared a census of the entire Roman empire.
Pregnancy or not, you don’t keep an Emperor waiting! Augustus decided he needed a population count for military and tax reasons. Though Jews were not required to serve in the military, they most definitely were required to pay taxes.
So Joseph took his pregnant fiancee, Mary, and made the seventy mile journey to Bethlehem. He traveled to because men were required to return to their hometown; Joseph was a descendent of King David and Joseph’s family came from Bethlehem.
Joseph from Nazareth, a descendent of David pledged to marry the virgin, Mary, received a personal message of hope from God. Delivered by an angel, Joseph understood God’s direction to fulfill his part in God’s divine plan.
The message to this local carpenter was the answer to a unique personal dilemma Joseph was struggling with at the time of the angel’s encounter.
And Joseph’s obedience would forever change the direction of our world!
The word joy appears 218 times in 210 verses of the New International Version of the Bible. God absolutely wants His children to desire, seek, attain, and boldly live in joy!
As a child during vacation Bible school, we often sang the Joy Joy Joy Joy song. I really enjoyed that song because our leaders encouraged us to sing it enthusiastically LOUD.
My memories are vivid—I was always happy and cheerful while we sang that inspiring song. Now as an adult, I totally appreciate going deeper into the meaning of that song, resonating in those unadorned lyrics.
Are you waiting to cleanse your sinful ways before coming to Jesus? Trust me—it won’t happen!
No one can become free of sin—not until we see Jesus face to face. Not until our presence in this sinful world transcends to His heavenly realm. Not until that nano-second after God calls us home.
1 John 2:1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.