Our church is going through a daily “Joy Writing Challenge” for the month of December. It’s a reading/writing plan by “Elihu’s Corner” (click here to read his original post). Basically, there’s a couple verses to read each day that you simply reflect on and find where God promises or gives us hope or joy.
If you want to join me in it, you can start at any time. Here’s an image of the daily reading plan and below. You can download the plan and other resources at Elihu’s blog.
More than anything else, our joy, our security, our hope is in the Person of God, not in things or situations around us.
For David says concerning him, “ ‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope.Acts 2:25–28
For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption.
You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’
The early church lived out…
And lived so that others would have nothing evil to say of them.
May we ask for the same Spirit to live the same holy lives.
“And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”Acts 2:46–47
Day 18: CATCH UP DAY
Sometimes we look for excuses not to do something,
This eunuch saw nothing but what God had commanded to do.
In light of the Gospel, what prevents us from having joy? What prevents us from giving generously? What prevents us from living a Spirit filled life?
Surely, nothing prevents us except our own sinful desires, since God has promised to give us all things needed to live a holy and Spirit filled life.
May God’s Spirit fill us to follow Him fully and joyfully.
And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?”Acts 8:36–39
And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.
And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.
The joy of having a relationship with God use to be solely for the Jews, but now God calls all nations and peoples to Himself through His Son – what joy we have that WE too can now enter into God’s family.
And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles.Acts 13:46–48
For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “ ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”
And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.
In the middle of persecution and trial, they chose to sing and worship God.
And, when heaven literally opened up a way of escape… they didn’t take it, and it was for the better. Sometimes we shouldn’t take the “open door” (even if God opens it) because sometimes He has something even more important planned, but to see it, we must have our eyes on Him.
So, let us worship in trials, keep our eyes on Him and see where He is moving and what He would have us do.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.Acts 16:25–29
When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped.
But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.”
And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas.
Salvation is as simple as repenting and believing in Jesus. We don’t need to add to it and we should not take away from it. Nothing else can save us and nothing more is needed.
Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”Acts 16:30–34
And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.
And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family.
Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.