Serve the Lord with Gladness

Serve the Lord with Gladness

 

Ps 100:2Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. NKJV

 

The Bible tells us that we should serve the Lord with gladness. There are two things I want to point out. The first is that we should be serving the Lord. What does it mean to serve the Lord?  Well,I am sure if you asked 10 people, you would get 10 different answers.  When I am looking for an answer to a question I always go back to the Word of God. All throughout the scriptures when people are serving the Lord, no matter what they are doing, God is looking at the heart it is done with. Look at the example in the book of Luke: 

 

Luke 21:1-4And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.” NKJV

 

You can give offerings, work in the church, win others to Jesus, but if it’s not done with a right heart and faith in God, it will not please Him.  When you serve the Lord keep your heart connected to what you are doing.  Remember why you are doing what you are doing. Are you doing it to look spiritual so you can impress others? Are you doing it with a self-serving motive? When you serve it should be an expression of your love for God and others.   

 

The second thing I want to point out is the Bible says that we should serve with gladness.  It’s important to be glad when you are serving the Lord.  It shows your attitude of thankfulness and faith.  If you’re not happy, you have your mind on the wrong things.  Do not serve with the attitude that you want people to notice your hard work, work as unto the Lord and receive your reward from Him.  

 

Matt 6:3-4 – But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. NKJV

 

Keep an attitude of thanksgiving and praise and it will make your heart glad!  If you find yourself going through the motions of serving, not really having any purpose or fulfillment from it, take a moment to check your heart.  Remind yourself of your salvation and all that God has given you. Remind yourself of how good God is and how kind He has been to you. When you remember who you are in Christ and all that has been done for you, it will motivate your heart to act.  

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, help me to serve you with my whole heart, help me to find meaning and enjoy serving You and others.  I know that You have called me to reach out to others and not to make life all about me. Help me to see people as You see them, help me to love the things You love and serve You with a glad and cheerful heart.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen. 



Time for God

Time for God

Mark 4:19and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. NKJV

Did you know that there are things in your life that can choke your spiritual life if you allow it? Many of these things are not even sins, but rather distractions that can cause your desires and affections to go in the opposite direction from the Lord.  

We must learn to guard our hearts against things that will take up all of our time and attention. We live in a busy, fast-paced world and if you are not careful you can become too busy for God. 

It’s too easy to get so busy, so over- scheduled that you don’t have time to go to church. Our weeks can get filled with school activities, team sports, work, etc. We justify our actions by saying “I worked hard all week, I need a day off.”  Yes, everyone needs a day off, that was God’s idea, but we don’t want to neglect our spiritual life. Nothing should be more important than attending your local church or personal spiritual growth.

You can do the same thing with your daily devotions, “I am too busy to pray or read my Bible today.” May I suggest that if you are that busy, you need to take some things out of your life. Don’t allow yourself to be consumed with everyday things and the cares of life. Learn to prioritize the important things in life.  

You need to see your relationship with God as valuable and important.  

2 Tim 2:4No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. NKJV

The apostle Paul encourages Timothy a young minister, that as a good soldier of Jesus Christ he should not allow his life to be consumed by natural things.  For many of us it’s the everyday things that get our attention, they take our time, and keep us too busy. 

Spend time in His Word and in prayer. Make time for church and worship with a body of believers. These things will keep your heart right and help you keep your priorities in their proper place.  We all have the same choices every day, we all get the same 24 hours, make sure that you make some time for God in your life. 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I ask that you would forgive me if I have let other things come into my life and choke out spiritual things. Help me to prioritize my relationship with you and make time every day to spend with you. Show me where I need to eliminate or cut back on those things that keep me from attending weekly church services. Help me have a stronger desire for the things of the spirit. Help me to live my life in a manner which is pleasing to You. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.  



Know God More

Know God More

As I was reading my Bible today, I was reminded of how good God is to us. He loves us so much and He wants to do good things in our lives. All throughout the Word of God, you can see His heart towards man. Not only did He send His only son into the world to save us, but also wants you to live a fruitful and prosperous life while you are here.  

I think we all need to get to know God better, you can do that by reading His Word and through prayer. Many times people struggle reading the Bible or have a hard time praying because they think it’s some kind of spiritual exercise to win God’s favor. The truth of the matter is, you already have His favor and don’t need to try to earn it.  

We sometimes sit and read a passage from the Bible and can’t see how it applies to our lives or we don’t understand it. When it comes time to pray, you can feel uncertain how to do it or wonder if God is even listening. You can’t respond to God by trying to be religious. You can’t approach Bible reading and prayer as something you have to do to be spiritual, but rather it is something that will strengthen your connection and relationship with God. You should come to God out of the love in your heart, knowing that He loves you. 

When we pray, we don’t have to talk God into helping us, prayer is not used to try to convince God to do something for us.  Prayer is talking to God about your life, it’s getting to know God and not just getting something from Him.  

God wants to answer your prayers, He wants to talk to you and He wants to know about your life. 
 
Matt 7:7-11 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! NKJV
 
Don’t practice prayer that doesn’t work. Stop begging God to do things, stop trying to convince Him to help you. Come to understand that He wants to help you and it was His idea in the first place.  Your asking gives Him permission to move in your life
 
1 John 5:14-15Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. NKJV
 

We are supposed to pray according to His will.  His will is His Word.  Go to the Bible and see what God has to say about you. Read through the New Testament letters to the churches, discover God’s Will for you.  He hasn’t changed, we still are the church.  Begin to pray according to what you read, God will respond and He will answer you.  Our job is to pray, get to know Him, and fill our hearts with His Word.  

What are you asking God for in your life? Do you know if it is His will for your life, does it line up with scripture? You can go to the Bible and read it. Give God an opportunity to show Himself faithful in your life.  Do your part by seeking Him, asking in prayer and developing a good, solid relationship with Him.  
 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I thank you that you love me. I thank you that I can come to you with my needs and you listen. I ask you that you would open the eyes of my understanding that I may be enlightened, that I may know you more and more. Help me know your character and experience your love in my life.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen. 



Know who you are

Know who you are

We need to be determined in our walk with Christ. 

1 Tim 6:20-21O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge —  by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.  NKJV

The apostle Paul exhorted Timothy, his son in the faith, to be a guardian over the gospel that he was entrusted with.  We are also called to hold on to the truth of God’s Word so that we are standing firm in what we believe.  Timothy was a young pastor at the church in Ephesus and at times, he was a little intimidated and fearful.  Paul was saying that he should be strong, be committed.  We also tend to back down and be timid when things do not go right in our lives. We must be careful to hold on His truths and not rely on just natural understanding, it’s the truth of God’s Word that makes us free. 

Paul continues to encourage Timothy: 

2 Tim 1:6-7Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. NKJV

Sometimes we need people to remind us who we are and what we have. You might be going through some things in your life today; you might be feeling tired and worn out, feeling like there is no relief in sight for you. I want to remind you today of who you are. The Word of God says, that you are born of God and that you are an overcomer.   

1 John 5:1,4Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. NKJV

You need to stand firm on the Word of God concerning His promises.  Don’t allow yourself to be moved by the problems and difficulties of this  life, they are temporary and subject to change. Don’t be intimidated by the lies of the enemy, begin to think about who you are in Christ Jesus, remind yourself about God’s promise to help you.  See yourself as an overcomer and victorious. 

It’s time to take your attention off of your problems and situations and put it on the Word. Fill your thought life with truth, fix your eyes on Jesus.  That’s how you will get the victory in this life. God is greater than your problems.  Stand firm; be determined to be who God called you to be.  

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I thank you that your Word is a constant reminder of what you have called me to be.  I refuse to be intimidated or influenced by the schemes of the enemy. I put my eyes on Jesus, I fix my attention to His Word and I remind myself of who I am in HIm.  I thank you for the victory in my life in Jesus name, Amen. 



Give Thanks

 

Give Thanks to God

Ps 28:7The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him. NKJV

The Bible tells us that God is our strength and our shield. God will strengthen our lives and shield us from the enemy, so we can confidently say we are helped by the Lord.  The fact that we can declare that He is our helper should bring a response of thanksgiving and praise. We need to praise God for what He has done. Giving praise to God is not only thanking Him for what He has done, it’s also thanking Him in advance for what He will do.  

You can say today that the Lord is your strength and shield, so no matter what you are dealing with, you don’t have to go through it on your own, He promises to strengthen you. 
 
 

Heb 13:5-6 …”I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” NKJV

Giving God praise and thanks brings power into your life. When you start to think of things to thank God for it will change your attitude, it will lift your spirits, it will encourage your heart. When you stir up thanksgiving it can make a dark situation look lighter and it can restore your hope. 

It takes no effort at all to sit around and complain about the things that are going wrong, everyone can find things that are not right and make them their focus; however, that will only lead to more discouragement.  

Do what the Bible says to do, begin to give thanks in your life for what God is doing. 

Ps 106:1Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. NKJV
 
1 Thess 5:18in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. NKJV
 
God’s Word tells us to give thanks because He knows that it will help you. God is not insecure, He doesn’t need everyone on earth to tell Him how wonderful He is. He is worthy of our praise and it does bless Him when we are thankful, but it also benefits us. It’s an expression of faith and attitude of gratefulness. I know that there are times when things are going wrong and during hard things,  it can be a challenge to give thanks, but those are the times you need to do it the most, you do it by faith. 
 
Heb 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. NKJV
 
Notice the Bible calls it a sacrifice of praise, sometimes offering up praise and thanksgiving can be a sacrifice, especially when you don’t feel like it or when you are in a hard place. I encourage you to open your mouth and give thanks to God today. Thank Him for what you need, thank Him for what He has done and praise Him for who He is, the rewards that you will receive are immeasurable. I encourage you, as you pray the prayer below, make a list of some of those blessings and give Him praise. 
 

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I thank you that you said you would help me in my time of need. I thank you today for the many blessings in my life. I thank you that no matter what happens in my life you will help me. I give thanks to you, for you are worthy to be praised! In Jesus name I pray, Amen. 

  



Healing

 
 
Healing
 
Ex 15:26 “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.”  NKJV
 
Did you know that God wants you healed and whole? God desires that we walk in health all the days of our lives.  
 
3 John 2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. NKJV Ps 103:1-5 Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. NKJV
 
He is the God who heals all our diseases. Healing is the will and plan of God. Too many people today base their doctrine or decide what they believe according to their experiences in life. When they get a sickness and say a prayer and they don’t get better they say things like: “It must not be God’s will or plan for me.” or ”perhaps the Lord is trying to teach me something?” You can’t base what you believe about God by what happens in your life; your beliefs have to come from the Word of God.   The Book of Romans says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.  You can’t make up doctrine to fit your experience.  The Word of God clearly says that when you pray you must believe, and then you will receive (Mark 11:23). Healing is part of the redemptive work of Christ on the cross. 
 
1 Peter 2:24 – who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed. NKJV
 
Jesus paid the price for your healing. He wants you to live your days in health. We see in the life and ministry of Jesus how God the Father sent Jesus to do His will.  Everything that Jesus did was the will of His Father.   Look what Jesus did: 
 
Acts 10:38 – 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. NKJV
 
Jesus healed all sickness and disease. As a matter of fact, the Bible says that sickness is oppression from the devil. God has not changed; He is the same yesterday as He is today and as He will be in the future. Healing is God’s will for your life. Jesus came so you can have an abundant life which includes health. What good is that life, if you no health to enjoy it.  The abundant life is meant to include health.  
 
John 10:10 – The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. NKJV  
 
Take God at His Word today, begin to thank Him for His healing power in your life. Begin to pray and believe that His healing power is at work inside your body.  Enforce the will of God in your own life, resist sickness and disease, speak words of healing and life over your physical body and walk in the will of God. 
 
Every time you think of sickness say: “Thank God that I am healed of every sickness and every disease, I walk in health, by His stripes I am healed in Jesus name.”

 

Prayer: Heavenly Father I ask that you would heal my physical body today. I receive your healing power into my body to drive out sickness and disease.  I pray and ask that the healing process will begin in Jesus name I pray, Amen.



Reaching Others

Reaching Others Matt 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. NKJV
 
The Bible says that we are the light of the world, we are to hold out the light for others to see.  
 
Phil 2:15that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, NKJV
 
Our light needs to shine brighter than ever, especially here, in our American “Christian” nation. The spiritual landscape of our country is changing rapidly and it’s not getting better. It is estimated that 70% of America is un-churched. There are over 120 million unsaved people in the United States. That makes the US the third largest mission field in the world. There are more unsaved people in the United States than in any other country except China and India.   We can clearly see that the world around us need to hear the gospel.  We must be the voice in the dark. We can’t be so calloused, hard-hearted or too preoccupied with our own lives to reach out to others. We don’t have to look too far to find someone that needs Jesus.  It’s our job as the church to pray, to invite, to speak and to live in front of the lost.  It’s too easy to sit back and wait for some kind of miracle to happen to someone we care about. You are the miracle; God has no other voice in the earth but you, the church. People need Jesus!
 
Matt 28:18-20And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world. Amen. (KJV) 
 
Jesus commanded us to share the Good News of the gospel with the lost. Take what God has made real to you and share it with someone who doesn’t know God.  It doesn’t have to be fancy, just tell someone the story of what God has done in your life. Share an answer to prayer, talk about how God has comforted you in times of need.  Tell others of how He spoke to you through the word or a sermon and said just what you needed to hear. Invite someone to an outreach event or church service. Give someone an opportunity to meet Jesus through you.  
 
God forgives, He saves, He set’s free, He delivers, He heals, He provides, and He cares.  Tell someone! 
 
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray that you would use my life to reach someone for the kingdom of God. Give me divine opportunities and boldness to speak into other people’s lives.  Help me form meaningful relationships with people so that I may live my faith in front of them. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.


Let it Go

Let it Go Eph 4:31-32 – Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. NKJV
 
The apostle Paul wrote to the Church at Ephesus, giving them an important task, they were supposed to rid their lives all of these things: anger, evil speaking, bitterness etc. When you hold on to the wrong things, it will hinder your progress spiritually and will keep you from living the life that God has planned for you.
 
Bitterness, wrath anger etc., will harden your heart towards God and others. You will become desensitized to spiritual things and it will be difficult to receive from God like you should. When you’re heart is hardened, spiritual things will become indistinct to you and it will be difficult to discern the leading of the Lord in your life.
 
Learn to let things go, stop holding onto harmful thoughts and attitudes. The Word of God is full of instructions like these, they are not in the Bible to take up space or to sound spiritual; we are supposed to apply these verses to our lives.
 
James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. NKJV
 
Be a doer of the Word, when the Bible says something, do it.  When you act on the Word you put yourself in a place where God can bless your life. If you have been struggling spiritually and finding yourself walking in confusion, stop and be a doer of the Word.  
 
Check your heart; make sure you are right before God.  If you need to forgive someone, do it!  Be kind and tenderhearted towards others and forgive.   Remind yourself of the good things in the Word, that you are saved, born of God to overcome, and that you are forgiven!  Don’t continue to live life with a hardened, cold heart, get it right by applying the Word of God to it.  
 
1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. NKJV
 
God is faithful to forgive you and help you!
 
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I ask that you would help me today to forgive others. I choose to walk in your forgiveness.  Help me put a guard over my mouth and to let things go. I choose to focus on the good, I choose to be kind and tenderhearted today.  I am a doer of your Word and I thank you that you help me today and everyday. In Jesus name, Amen.