Joy in the Lord!

“The joy of the LORD is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10 KJV).

“The Lord would have all His sons and daughters happy, peaceful, and obedient. Jesus says, ‘My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ ‘These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.’ John 14:27; 15:11. SC 124.1

“Happiness that is sought from selfish motives, outside of the path of duty, is ill-balanced, fitful, and transitory; it passes away, and the soul is filled with loneliness and sorrow; but there is joy and satisfaction in the service of God; the Christian is not left to walk in uncertain paths; he is not left to vain regrets and disappointments. If we do not have the pleasures of this life we may still be joyful in looking to the life beyond. SC 124.2

“But even here Christians may have the joy of communion with Christ; they may have the light of His love, the perpetual comfort of His presence. Every step in life may bring us closer to Jesus, may give us a deeper experience of His love, and may bring us one step nearer to the blessed home of peace. Then let us not cast away our confidence, but have firm assurance, firmer than ever before. ‘Hitherto hath the Lord helped us,’ and He will help us to the end. 1 Samuel 7:12. Let us look to the monumental pillars, reminders of what the Lord has done to comfort us and to save us from the hand of the destroyer. Let us keep fresh in our memory all the tender mercies that God has shown us,—the tears He has wiped away, the pains He has soothed, the anxieties removed, the fears dispelled, the wants supplied, the blessings bestowed,—thus strengthening ourselves for all that is before us through the remainder of our pilgrimage. SC 125.1

“We cannot but look forward to new perplexities in the coming conflict, but we may look on what is past as well as on what is to come, and say, ‘Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.’ ‘As thy days, so shall thy strength be.’ Deuteronomy 33:25. The trial will not exceed the strength that shall be given us to bear it. Then let us take up our work just where we find it, believing that whatever may come, strength proportionate to the trial will be given. SC 125.2

“And by and by the gates of heaven will be thrown open to admit God’s children, and from the lips of the King of glory the benediction will fall on their ears like richest music, ‘Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’ Matthew 25:34” SC 125.3

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for everything. I cannot name all the blessings I have received. Your blessings overwhelm me. I am grateful and highly favored. Still, I long for more of You. Please bless me to be one with You as You are with Your Son Jesus. And bless me so that others might be drawn to You when they see me. In the precious name of Jesus, I pray and thank You. Amen.

NOTE: These devotionals began as daily texts to encourage my academy roommate and dear friend of nearly 50 years, until she suddenly passed a few weeks ago (Feb 2023). Now I continue to compile and send them to anyone who wants to receive them and to her family in honor of their mom. First, I pray and look for a Bible verse or passage and find a suitable commentary (or vice versa) and add a prayer. Some days, only a Scripture and prayer are ordered. I might even add a song. If you agree to receive them, then this way I not only honor God but the memory of a very dear friend whom I desperately miss. My personal prayer is that God will bless me to find ways to multiply this gift. So please feel free to forward to your loved ones or to anyone, as God leads you. I’m calling them Barb’s Devotionals.

Most Doubters, Skeptics Love Sin

“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:6-8 KJV).

“Disguise it as they may, the real cause of doubt and skepticism, in most cases, is the love of sin. The teachings and restrictions of God’s word are not welcome to the proud, sin-loving heart, and those who are unwilling to obey its requirements are ready to doubt its authority. In order to arrive at truth, we must have a sincere desire to know the truth and a willingness of heart to obey it. And all who come in this spirit to the study of the Bible will find abundant evidence that it is God’s word, and they may gain an understanding of its truths that will make them wise unto salvation. SC 111.1

“Christ has said, ‘If any man willeth to do His will, he shall know of the teaching.’ John 7:17, R.V. Instead of questioning and caviling concerning that which you do not understand, give heed to the light that already shines upon you, and you will receive greater light. By the grace of Christ, perform every duty that has been made plain to your understanding, and you will be enabled to understand and perform those of which you are now in doubt. SC 111.2

“There is an evidence that is open to all,—the most highly educated, and the most illiterate,—the evidence of experience. God invites us to prove for ourselves the reality of His word, the truth of His promises. He bids us ‘taste and see that the Lord is good.’ Psalm 34:8. Instead of depending upon the word of another, we are to taste for ourselves. He declares, ‘Ask, and ye shall receive.’ John 16:24. His promises will be fulfilled. They have never failed; they never can fail. And as we draw near to Jesus, and rejoice in the fullness of His love, our doubt and darkness will disappear in the light of His presence.” SC 111.3

Dear Heavenly Father, I know that You love me. You have shown me in numberless ways. Please bless me to love and trust You as You deserve. I know that Your Word is true. I know that Your Promises are sure. Please forgive me for ever doubting You in any way and living in ways that encourage doubt in others. Please bless me to stand sure, never again allowing doubt to engage my mind. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.

NOTE: These devotionals began as daily texts to encourage my academy roommate and dear friend of nearly 50 years, until she suddenly passed a few weeks ago (Feb 2023). Now I continue to compile and send them to anyone who wants to receive them and to her family in honor of their mom. First, I pray and look for a Bible verse or passage and find a suitable commentary (or vice versa) and add a prayer. Some days, only a Scripture and prayer are ordered. I might even add a song. If you agree to receive them, then this way I not only honor God but the memory of a very dear friend whom I desperately miss. My personal prayer is that God will bless me to find ways to multiply this gift. So please feel free to forward to your loved ones or to anyone, as God leads you. I’m calling them Barb’s Devotionals.

Prayer: The Key to Heaven’s Store

“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV).

“Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. Not that it is necessary in order to make known to God what we are, but in order to enable us to receive Him. Prayer does not bring God down to us, but brings us up to Him. SC 93.2

“When Jesus was upon the earth, He taught His disciples how to pray. He directed them to present their daily needs before God, and to cast all their care upon Him. And the assurance He gave them that their petitions should be heard, is assurance also to us. SC 93.3

“Jesus Himself, while He dwelt among men, was often in prayer. Our Saviour identified Himself with our needs and weakness, in that He became a suppliant, a petitioner, seeking from His Father fresh supplies of strength, that He might come forth braced for duty and trial. He is our example in all things. . . . And if the Saviour of men, the Son of God, felt the need of prayer, how much more should feeble, sinful mortals feel the necessity of fervent, constant prayer. SC 93.4

“Our heavenly Father waits to bestow upon us the fullness of His blessing. It is our privilege to drink largely at the fountain of boundless love. What a wonder it is that we pray so little! God is ready and willing to hear the sincere prayer of the humblest of His children, and yet there is much manifest reluctance on our part to make known our wants to God. What can the angels of heaven think of poor helpless human beings, who are subject to temptation, when God’s heart of infinite love yearns toward them, ready to give them more than they can ask or think, and yet they pray so little and have so little faith? The angels love to bow before God; they love to be near Him. They regard communion with God as their highest joy; and yet the children of earth, who need so much the help that God only can give, seem satisfied to walk without the light of His Spirit, the companionship of His presence. SC 94.1

“The darkness of the evil one encloses those who neglect to pray. The whispered temptations of the enemy entice them to sin; and it is all because they do not make use of the privileges that God has given them in the divine appointment of prayer. Why should the sons and daughters of God be reluctant to pray, when prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven’s storehouse, where are treasured the boundless resources of Omnipotence? Without unceasing prayer and diligent watching we are in danger of growing careless and of deviating from the right path. The adversary seeks continually to obstruct the way to the mercy seat, that we may not by earnest supplication and faith obtain grace and power to resist temptation.” SC 94.2

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for the privilege of prayer. Thank You for the power of praying in the name of Your Son, Jesus, Our Savior. Please bless me to ask, believe and claim all of Your promises to me, nothing doubting. Therefore, I rejoice in expectations exceeding my requests, for I pray in the wonderful name of Jesus, the King of Kings. Amen.

NOTE: These devotionals began as daily texts to encourage my academy roommate and dear friend of nearly 50 years, until she suddenly passed a few weeks ago (Feb 2023). Now I continue to compile and send them to anyone who wants to receive them and to her family in honor of their mom. First, I pray and look for a Bible verse or passage and find a suitable commentary (or vice versa) and add a prayer. Some days, only a Scripture and prayer are ordered. I might even add a song. If you agree to receive them, then this way I not only honor God but the memory of a very dear friend whom I desperately miss. My personal prayer is that God will bless me to find ways to multiply this gift. So please feel free to forward to your loved ones or to anyone, as God leads you. I’m calling them Barb’s Devotionals.