Monday, April 1, 2019

What God Already Gave: Joy


How would you respond if someone stopped you on the street and asked you to describe "true happiness"?

Ask twenty-five people this question, and you will hear twenty-five different answers.

Mankind will always crave true joy and happiness. He will look for it in a myriad of places, but rarely in the right place.

Our God is a God of joy, and He made us in His image. We want our lives to be full of joy, like His.

The truth is:  this God of joy gives joy beyond measure.

We look to people, circumstances, things, or activities to find true happiness.

God says it's less tangible than that. Something inward.

Joy is filling us with Himself, satisfying us with His promises and everything He already gave.

Joy is the outburst of believing what we can't see (Romans 15:13).




How would you describe "true happiness"?

True, lasting joy is something God promised to those who believe His truth and love it more than material gain.

Joy is a heartfelt response to everything God already gave.

It's right at our fingertips.



"Now the God of hope fill you will all joy and peace in believing." (Romans 15:13)



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Monday, February 25, 2019

What God Already Gave: An Inheritance


We've all heard stories--fiction or non-fiction--of individuals who waited for their inheritance, just to be told at their loved one's death that nothing was left for them. Many stake their lives, their future, and their security on a promised gift. Many have been disappointed.

The beautiful truth about being a part of God's family is that His promises never disappoint. His resources never run out.

And His gifts always belong to us.

Including our inheritance.




We don't know how much or what it will look like, but God says it's "reserved in heaven" for us.

Many are waiting for an earthly allotment--one that might pay the bills or buy a yacht; one that might be stolen, used up, or given to somebody else.

God already gave us our inheritance.

It's so sure, it's as if He already handed it to us, but then said, "I'll keep it for now, until it's time for you to enjoy it forever."

We get caught up with our earthly pursuits. Our lives are consumed with planning for the future, showing up on time, buying what we need and want.

God says we've been born into His family and that means we have "an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven." (1 Peter 1:4)

Daily life keeps our eyes on today and the things we hope for tomorrow.

A daily walk with Him will turn our eyes ahead to something better. Something He already gave.

An inheritance.

One that will satisfy.

For eternity.


"The LORD knows the days of the upright,
and their inheritance shall be forever." (Psalm 37:18)


Next Post (April 1): "What God Already Gave: Joy"

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Other posts in the What God Already Gave series:

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Monday, January 28, 2019

What God Already Gave: Security


There's much talk these days of security, and rightly so.

Financial security.

Homeland security.

Life is built around our needs and future. The need for a roof over our heads, food in the refrigerator, clothes, a job, a way to get to our jobs.

With these things comes the question of the unknown. So we purchase car insurance, life insurance. We plan for retirement.

We have what we need, and then we put up safeguards so our future won't be in jeopardy.

But we often ignore one important truth: God already gave security.



A long time ago, the author of Pilgrim's Progress wrote these words:
"Suppose a prince should descend from his throne, to pick up and put in his bosom something that he had seen lying trampled under the feet of men. Do you think that he would do this for a trivial thing as a pin or broken shoelace? Would you not conclude that the thing for which that prince should make such an effort must be a thing of great worth?  
This is the case with Christ and the soul! Christ is the Prince, and, as he sat there on the throne of heaven, he looked at the souls of men trampled under the foot of the law and under the penalty of death. What did he do? He came down from his throne, stooped down to earth, and there he laid down his life and blood for them." -John Bunyan (from "Voices from the Past")
Our souls are secure, and it cost a great price.

Will God not care for our bodies?

Does He not stoop from His throne and smooth our paths, watching with careful eye that our lives are secure as well?

It is wise to plan for the future--to have safeguards for the unknown.

But our hearts will rest most assuredly when we remember this great truth.

Our God already gave eternal security.

It is nothing for Him to ensure that our lives are just as secure.


"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, 
how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32)


Next Post (February 25): "What God Already Gave: An Inheritance"

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Monday, December 24, 2018

What God Already Gave: Good News


This Christmas, some friends received good news about a health prognosis. Still others received the bad news that a loved one passed away. We all prefer the good over the bad.

This time of year, we are celebrating the moment when God gave the best news one night to a group of the lowliest people of their day.

An angel gave this announcement, and the shepherds ran to see for themselves.

A Savior had been born.




"Mom, what's a Savior?" a young boy asked a few weeks ago.

His mom explained, and now this six-year-old understands what it means that God gave good news one silent night.

"I give you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people," the angel announced. "Unto you is born this day. . . a Savior." (Luke 2:10,11)

God came to earth as a baby to grow up and bridge the gap between His sinful people and His holy character. He would take the burden of sin and erase that sin from time and eternity for those who trust in Him as Savior.

When the shepherds heard this good news, they ran to see Him.

When a six-year-old heard, he discovered that when good tidings of great joy was brought to all people, this meant him, too.

"Unto you is born this day . . . a Savior."

No matter what time of year it is, we will never hear better news than that.


"You shall call his name, Jesus, 
for he shall save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21)


M E R R Y  C H R I S T M A S !!!!



Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Monday, December 10, 2018

What God Already Gave: His Son


What is the best Christmas present you've ever received?

When I was younger, it was anything Strawberry Shortcake. For a while, I was all about gift cards. This year, the Lord keeps reminding me of something He already gave.

"Unto us a child is born. Unto us a son is given." (Isaiah 9:6)

Unto us.

These two words are repeated over and over in Handel's song, "For unto us a Child is Born." Two nights ago, I enjoyed listening to the St. Louis Symphony and choir perform his masterful piece, Messiah.  I had never noticed how much Handel emphasized those two little words in that song.

Unto us.

When God the Father sent His son, He sent a gift to us. Jesus wasn't placed in a manger because He was itching to know what it was like to be a baby. He didn't beg His Father to let Him come to earth to go fishing or to build things in a carpenter shop.

God gave His Son to us.

He was born. He was given. Isaiah said.

Unto us.




The best gifts are the ones that say, "I noticed you could use one of these." Or, "I've taken the time to get to know you, and I knew you would love this."

When God gave His Son, He was saying these very same things.

He knew we needed His Son to rescue us from ourselves and from our sin; to bridge the gap between a holy God and our unworthiness. God knew we needed a mediator, a man whose blood would be the only sacrifice sufficient to cover our sin and give us access to our God in heaven.

He knew we needed Jesus, so "Unto us a child is born."

God loved His Son. He loved the world. And He so loved the world, He gave His Son (John 3:16). He knew that once we believed on Him, we would love Him, too.

God knows us so well, He wanted to give us the best gift He could think of, so "Unto us a son is given."

While the world tells Santa what they want for Christmas, we can thank the Lord for what He already gave.

God gave His Son.

Unto us.


"There is born to you this day in the city of David, a Savior." (Luke 2:11)


Next post (December 24): "What God Already Gave: Good News"

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