God delights in those who honor him!

God delights in those who honor him!

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A cheerful spirit

For the poor, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.

Proverbs 15:15 

When I think of God, my heart is so full of joy that the notes leap and dance as they leave my pen; and since God has given me a cheerful heart, I serve Him with a cheerful spirit

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

A happy heart

A person’s heart is a major concern of the Lord. God’s Word tells us that he doesn’t look at the things people look at. We look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart; that is, our “thoughts and intentions” (1 Samuel 16:7). Today’s verse tells us that a happy, or cheerful, heart make life “a continual feast.” How do we obtain — and maintain — this happy heart? There are many clues throughout the book of Proverbs. We should not let our hearts be anxious or proud because anxiety and pride are deterrents to a cheerful heart (Proverbs 12:25; 16:5). Instead, God calls us to have pure hearts and to keep them on the right path (Proverbs 22:11; 23:19). These are positive steps to achieving a happy heart because when we are being obedient to God’s Word and experiencing his smile of approval, our hearts will be lighter, even in difficult times. The Bibles gives us many other instructions about how to have “healthy” hearts, but a good place to start is to embrace the truth of Proverbs 15:15 and ask God to show us how to develop hearts that are happy, no matter what challenges we are facing.

FATHER, help me to have a happy heart. Remove the anxiety that sometimes weighs my heart down. Keep my heart from growing proud. Instead, give me a pure heart — a heart that is pleasing to you. Help me to hide your Word in my heart so that I can walk in your ways and enjoy life that is a continual feast.

Adapted from The One Year® Book of Praying through the Bible by Cheri Fuller, Tyndale House Publishers (2003), entry for May 17.

 

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

THE RIGHT HAND

John 20:17(KJV) 17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

John 20:17(KJV)
17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

Morning

“I know that my Redeemer liveth.”
Job 19:25

The marrow of Job’s comfort lies in that little word “My”–“My Redeemer,” and in the fact that the Redeemer lives. Oh! to get hold of a living Christ. We must get a property in him before we can enjoy him. What is gold in the mine to me? Men are beggars in Peru, and beg their bread in California. It is gold in my purse which will satisfy my necessities, by purchasing the bread I need. So a Redeemer who does not redeem me, an avenger who will never stand up for my blood, of what avail were such? Rest not content until by faith you can say “Yes, I cast myself upon my living Lord; and he is mine.” It may be you hold him with a feeble hand; you half think it presumption to say, “He lives as my Redeemer;” yet, remember if you have but faith as a grain of mustard seed, that little faith entitles you to say it. But there is also another word here, expressive of Job’s strong confidence, “I know.” To say, “I hope so, I trust so” is comfortable; and there are thousands in the fold of Jesus who hardly ever get much further. But to reach the essence of consolation you must say, “I know.” Ifs, buts, and perhapses, are sure murderers of peace and comfort. Doubts are dreary things in times of sorrow. Like wasps they sting the soul! If I have any suspicion that Christ is not mine, then there is vinegar mingled with the gall of death; but if I know that Jesus lives for me, then darkness is not dark: even the night is light about me. Surely if Job, in those ages before the coming and advent of Christ, could say, “I know,” we should not speak less positively. God forbid that our positiveness should be presumption. Let us see that our evidences are right, lest we build upon an ungrounded hope; and then let us not be satisfied with the mere foundation, for it is from the upper rooms that we get the widest prospect. A living Redeemer, truly mine, is joy unspeakable.

 

Evening

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“Who is even at the right hand of God.”
Romans 8:34

He who was once despised and rejected of men, now occupies the honourable position of a beloved and honoured Son. The right hand of God is the place of majesty and favour. Our Lord Jesus is his people’s representative. When he died for them, they had rest; he rose again for them, they had liberty; when he sat down at his Father’s right hand, they had favour, and honour, and dignity. The raising and elevation of Christ is the elevation, the acceptance, and enshrinement, the glorifying of all his people, for he is their head and representative. This sitting at the right hand of God, then, is to be viewed as the acceptance of the person of the Surety, the reception of the Representative, and therefore, the acceptance of our souls. O saint, see in this thy sure freedom from condemnation. “Who is he that condemneth?” Who shall condemn the men who are in Jesus at the right hand of God?

The right hand is the place of power. Christ at the right hand of God hath all power in heaven and in earth. Who shall fight against the people who have such power vested in their Captain? O my soul, what can destroy thee if Omnipotence be thy helper? If the aegis of the Almighty cover thee, what sword can smite thee? Rest thou secure. If Jesus is thine all-prevailing King, and hath trodden thine enemies beneath his feet; if sin, death, and hell are all vanquished by him, and thou art represented in him, by no possibility canst thou be destroyed.

“Jesu’s tremendous name

Puts all our foes to flight:

Jesus, the meek, the angry Lamb,

A Lion is in fight.

“By all hell’s host withstood;

We all hell’s host o’erthrow;

And conquering them, through Jesu’s blood

We still to conquer go.”

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