Enjoy Your Salvation

HABAKKUK 3:18 NLT 18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!

To rejoice means to re-joy, or repeatedly en-joy. We are to repeatedly and continually enjoy God and what He has done for us.

PSALM 35:9 GWN 9 My soul will find joy in the LORD and be joyful about his salvation.

Enjoying God means being delighted with Him.

When we enjoy God, and what He has done, we also provide enjoyment for God. For God enjoys you being happy about what He has done for you.

DEUTERONOMY 26:11 ESV 11 And you shall rejoice in all the good that the LORD your God has given to you and to your house, you, and the Levite, and the sojourner who is among you.

Our response to God should not always be limited to just a rational, subdued little response. When we clearly recognize what our wonderful Lord has accomplished for us, at times it should cause us to be overwhelmed with joy!

ISAIAH 61:10 NLT 10 I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels.

Don’t allow God’s great love and redemption to become boring, trivial, or unexciting. Stir yourself up occasionally. Allow yourself to act like you would hearing the Good News for the first time. Go ahead — jump and shout!

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We Are The Jury

1 CORINTHIANS 6:3 NKJ 3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?

This is a curious verse. It just says, “we shall judge angels” without giving any explanation. It does not say why we will judge angels, or which angels we will judge. (Nor do I find those answers elsewhere in the Bible.)

So this message includes some speculation on my part. I share it because it makes sense and helps to answer some difficult questions, such as why so much evil has been allowed on earth. But, of course, I could be wrong.

The word translated as angels in the New Testament means a messenger, or someone who is sent by another. This word is used 186 times in the KJV and is translated “angel” 179 times and “messenger” 7 times.

There are good “angels” and bad “angels.” Here are two verses that show clearly that the Bible speaks of bad angels. (I think these are the angels that rebelled against God with Lucifer.)

REVELATION 12:7 NKJ 7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,

2 CORINTHIANS 12:7 NKJ 7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.

While I suppose it could be possible that we would judge the good angels, and give out awards for all they did on our behalf, that does not really make sense to me. It seems more reasonable to guess that the devil and the rebellious angels would be allowed a “jury trial” and that we are the jury.

By imagining this scenario, it makes several things more understandable to me. One is why God allowed the devil access to Adam and Eve to tempt them. If mankind is the jury, then Lucifer (who we know as the devil now) would have to be allowed to present his case and have equal access to the jury.

Another is why God has allowed so much pain and misery to go on for so long in this world. If we are the jury, then God would be unjust to “tamper with the jury.” In the interest of fairness and justice for the evil angels on trial, God cannot just jump in and change things. We as mankind have been given freedom to make choices and to follow whoever we choose.

Eventually, the folly of following anyone except the Lord Jesus Christ will become plain to mankind and the rebelling angels will be judged. Then God will wipe away all tears and remove all the pain that was ever caused and make all things right. Because God will do that in the future, and everything will turn out right, then God will never be able to be accused of wrong-doing.

So, I predict in advance what the jury — that is, humanity — will decide.

  1. God is NOT guilty!
  2. The devil and his angels ARE guilty.
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God Cannot Lie

TITUS 1:2 NKJ 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,

It’s not just that God has decided He will not lie — He CANNOT lie.

God only speaks truth!

JOHN 17:17 NKJ 17 “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

Whatever God says comes to pass. God cannot lie, because anything He says will come into being — even if it did not exist before He said it.

GENESIS 1:3 NKJ 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

So God’s Word is ultimate reality! More real, and lasting, than anything we can presently see.

God cannot lie because it is contrary to His nature. God’s nature is one of selfless love for others. His nature is not to deceive. It is natural for God to be truthful and never to deceive.

NUMBERS 23:19 NLT 19 God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?

HEBREWS 6:18 NLT 18 So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.

This is what makes the foundation of our relationship with God so solid — God has given us His Word — which cannot fail. If we are ever presented with evidence contrary to what God says, we can know we are being presented with a lie. For it is impossible for God to lie.

God cannot lie because it is not His nature, and because whatever He speaks will happen.

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God Cares

1 PETER 5:7 AMPLIFIED 7 Casting the whole of your care — all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all — on Him; for He cares for you affectionately, and cares about you watchfully.

EXODUS 3:7 NIV 7 The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.

ISAIAH 63:9 NIV 9 In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

JOHN 11:35 KJV 35 Jesus wept.

Of course, the question arises, “If God cares, why doesn’t He do something?”

The answer is that God has already done something. Now it is our turn to act. God has redeemed mankind and set us free from the dominion of darkness by the sacrifice of Calvary. Now we must believe God’s Word and act on it.

The truth, which you may find hard to accept, is that God is already doing all He can to help you. But often, we are blocking God’s help in our lives by our unbelief and acting contrary to the instructions of God’s Word.

The solution is to ask God to help us see the truth and act on it. We should ask God to show us how we can stop hindering Him from blessing us as He desires.

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Life Is Good

God says that all He made is good.

GENESIS 1:31 NKJ 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

The devil wants us to believe that life is bad.

(One way he tries to accomplish this is through all the bad news reported daily. Feeding too much on bad news is not good for you. You can get the top news stories without spending hours every day listening to the bad things the devil is trying to do in the earth.)

If you think life is bad, you will be depressed, or maybe even bitter.

If you think life is good, you will be thankful.

No matter what your circumstances are, there are always things to enjoy and rejoice about. If we focus on the goodness and greatness of God: all He has created and all He has done for us, life will seem good. If, instead, we focus on our pains and problems, we will not enjoy life much.

Even the bad things of life — which are all the result of sin, not what God did — can benefit us IF they cause us to draw nearer to God and act on His Word.

God’s main purpose is to prepare us to be fit companions for Himself for eternity. (See Romans 8 — we WILL be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.) What God wants you to do is submit to Him, feed on His Word, be thankful, walk in faith, and let Him make you like Jesus Christ.

God’s plan is good.

Marriage is good. If we disobey God by husbands not loving their wives, and wives not respecting their husbands — it can be bad. But only because we make the wrong choice, to disregard God’s instruction.

Work is good. It is satisfying to do a job well and accomplish something. But when we don’t do our work as unto the Lord, or try to make our jobs our source, worshiping and serving money instead of God — work can be bad.

Family is good. Being surrounded by those you love and care for, and who love and care for you, is a wonderful blessing. But, when we fail to walk in love, and allow strife into our relationships — it can be bad.

If your life is not good, then you need to make adjustments based on the Bible.

When you see your cup as half full, instead of half empty — life will be better for you. Take time to smell the flowers, and rejoice in all the goodness of God. Rejoice in all the beauty of God’s creation — life.

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Live Long And Strong

DEUTERONOMY 34:7 NIV 7 Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.

Old age should not be a time to dread. We can look to God and receive strength, health, and provision for a full and enjoyable life.

God’s plan for you is NOT an old age full of sickness, poverty, and loneliness.

Moses and Caleb are examples for us.

JOSHUA 14:10-11 NKJ 10 “And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. 11 “As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in.

GALATIANS 3:13-14 NKJ 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Galatians 3 tells us we are to receive the blessing of Abraham — through faith — because of what Jesus has done. Now, read the following verses about Abraham.

GENESIS 13:2 NKJ 2 Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold.

GENESIS 25:8 NASB 8 And Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life; and he was gathered to his people.

Because Jesus has redeemed us from the curse, we also should believe God for a long, enjoyable, and productive life. And we should resist the devil who would try to steal it away from us.

We have the promise of God that He will satisfy us with life. (If you are not satisfied with your life, make some changes. God intends for you to be satisfied.)

PSALM 91:16 NKJ 16 With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”

PSALM 103:5 NKJ 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

God made our bodies to repair and renew themselves. As we walk and talk in faith, looking to the promises of God, the life of God will renew our bodies. (We should also allow God to guide us in the things we take into our bodies — only putting good things into our mouths.)

PSALM 92:14 NKJ 14 They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing,

ISAIAH 46:4 NIV 4 Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

God is faithful. He will always be our wonderful Father, our great Provider, Helper, and Healer — no matter how old we are, or what we face.

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Don’t Talk Too Much

PROVERBS 10:19 ICB 19 If you talk a lot, you are sure to sin. If you are wise, you will keep quiet.

1 PETER 3:10 LB 10 If you want a happy, good life, keep control of your tongue, and guard your lips from telling lies.

JAMES 1:19 NLT 19 My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

PROVERBS 17:27-28 ICB 27 The person who has knowledge says very little. And a person with understanding stays calm. 28 Even a foolish person seems to be wise if he keeps quiet. He appears to have understanding if he doesn’t speak.

ECCLESIASTES 5:3 NLT 3 Just as being too busy gives you nightmares, being a fool makes you a blabbermouth.

TITUS 3:2 NKJ 2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.

2 TIMOTHY 2:16 NKJ 16 But shun profane and vain babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.

1 TIMOTHY 1:6 NIV 6 Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk.

1 TIMOTHY 5:13 NKJ 13 And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.

MATTHEW 12:36-37 NKJ 36 “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

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Don’t Give Up!

1 CORINTHIANS 10:13 THE MESSAGE 13 No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.

All of us have been tempted to lose hope and give up. But we always have a choice: focus on God and stay in faith, or focus on the problem and give up.

Problems — no matter how huge they seem to us — are no problem to God. Nothing is too hard, or complicated, for God to solve. But God wants us to trust Him.

So what should you do when you are being tempted and feel like giving in and giving up?

Refuse!

Just keep your focus on the Lord and rejoice in His faithfulness. Remember that God cannot lie, and will never fail. God will see you through.

HEBREWS 10:23 NKJ 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

When the devil tries to steal your faith, he tries to get you to quit speaking in agreement with the Word of God. Don’t let it happen! Hold fast to speaking your faith! Keep on saying what the Word of God says about you and your situation. Don’t be moved by the circumstances.

GALATIANS 6:9 NIV 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Don’t grow weary. Keep your eyes on the Lord. His Word will work and produce a harvest of blessing in your life. Don’t doubt it!

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Be Quick To Listen

JAMES 1:19 NLT 19 My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

You learn by listening — not by talking.

The biggest barrier to learning is thinking you already know a subject. If you think you already know everything, it is difficult to learn anything more.

You can learn from every person — if you will just listen to what they have to say. Everyone knows something you do not know.

Pride robs you from learning from others. Pride keeps you ignorant — while making you think you are wise.

ROMANS 1:22 NLT 22 Claiming to be wise, they became utter fools instead.

This is not to say you should accept everything you hear as truth — just that you should be humble enough, and respect people enough, to listen and evaluate what they have to say.

Listen and learn. Talk too much and only embarrass yourself.

PROVERBS 17:27-28 ICB 27 The person who has knowledge says very little. And a person with understanding stays calm. 28 Even a foolish person seems to be wise if he keeps quiet. He appears to have understanding if he doesn’t speak.

Proud people act as if they have a duty to display their superior knowledge to all who will listen. They are quick to speak, because they “know” they are right.

PROVERBS 10:19 ICB 19 If you talk a lot, you are sure to sin. If you are wise, you will keep quiet.

It is not wrong to talk — just don’t talk too much. And don’t be so anxious to impress people with what you know.

ECCLESIASTES 5:3 NLT 3 Just as being too busy gives you nightmares, being a fool makes you a blabbermouth.

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Be Heaven’s Ambassador

2 CORINTHIANS 5:20 LB 20 We are Christ’s ambassadors. God is using us to speak to you: we beg you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, receive the love he offers you–be reconciled to God.

An ambassador is a resident representative for the head of state of their own country.

As citizens of Heaven, we are authorized to represent our King, the Lord Jesus Christ, here on Earth.

An ambassador is a very important person. Unless they do their job correctly, misunderstanding can easily develop — and possibly even war.

This is Heaven’s problem. Its ambassadors have not always clearly communicated the correct message to Earth’s inhabitants. That is why so many people are “at war with God” instead of enjoying the blessings of peace with God.

The problem comes from people misunderstanding God, and not realizing the sin problem has already been dealt with in Christ.

2 CORINTHIANS 5:21 NLT 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

The logic supporting the plea in verse 20, to be reconciled to God, is found in verse 21: the sin separating us from God has been dealt with through Christ. So we no longer need to hide from God, or fear His judgment. Instead, we can enjoy His gift of being made right with Him.

A good ambassador for Heaven must know the message of God, and speak His message — accurately.

One way of determining the accurate message of Jesus Christ is found in John 8:31-32. Jesus said His message would make people free — not beat them down or put them in bondage.

God has a message that He desires for every person to hear: He loves them, and will help them, if they will only turn to Him.

We must communicate that message clearly.

This message of God’s love for mankind was displayed in and through a person: Jesus of Nazareth. We learn of Him, and His message, through a book — the Holy Bible.

Actually, Jesus Himself was, and is, God’s message. We need only present Jesus to people as He truly was, and is — and they will be drawn to Him, because there is no fault in Him.

An ambassador does not speak for himself — he speaks the official policy and message of the country he represents.

So we are not here to give our opinion, but to proclaim what God has said in His written Word, the Bible — Heaven’s official message.

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