Sunday Devotional: John 21:24-25

“This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.

And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which, if they were written one by one, I suppose not even the world itself could contain the book that would be written.” (John 21:24-25)

These are the last verses in the gospel of John.  Throughout the book, the apostle wrote of things that he had seen and experienced in following Jesus.  But as John mentioned here, there was so much more that happened that he wasn’t able to write down.  Stories and experiences that will hear in heaven I’m sure.

We are at the end of another year.  Things happened that a lot of people know.  But there are things that happened that few if any know about.  Good times and bad.  Happy times and sad ones.  But through it all God is still in control and God is still at work.

Today let us look back and reflect and prepare for the year ahead and what God has in store for next year.

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Sunday Devotional: “Joy To the World”

“Joy to the World , the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love”

“Joy to the World” is one of the most well known Christmas carols.  It is a song about joy and hope.  The birth of Jesus brought well needed joy and hope into the world.  Even today, the world needs joy and hope.  There is much suffering and loss.  People are hurting and wanting hope.  Jesus brings that hope.  He came to the world to bring hope.  He came to break the curse of sin.  He came to bring righteousness again.

This Christmas season, let us remember this hope.  Let us sing of this joy.  Even in the midst of hurt.  Even in the midst of sin being glorified.  Jesus came to bring real hope and joy.  Let us celebrate that.

Sunday Devotional: Proverbs 1:1-7

“The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
For learning what wisdom and discipline are;
for understanding insightful sayings;
for receiving wise instruction
in righteousness, justice, and integrity;
for teaching shrewdness to the inexperienced,
knowledge and discretion to a young man—
a wise man will listen and increase his learning,
and a discerning man will obtain guidance—
for understanding a proverb or a parable,
the words of the wise, and their riddles.

The fear of the Lord
is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and discipline.” (Proverbs 1:1-7)

Solomon, King of Israel and son of King David, wrote these words here that are applicable to this day.  Solomon was regarded as the wisest man who ever lived.  He knew that ultimate wisdom and knowledge comes from the Lord.  He knew that truth, righteousness, justice and integrity comes from the Lord.  And he knew that to grow in those things comes from the Lord.

Today, we should learn from Solomon.  We should seek out learning from the Lord.  We should grow in our honoring of the Lord in our words and actions.  We should seek righteousness, justice, integrity, knowledge, learning.  We should listen and hear from the Lord and then do what He says.

This week, let us seek after the Lord.  Let us listen and follow Him and grow in wisdom and love.

Sunday Devotional: Hebrews 6:13-20

“For when God made a promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater to swear by, He swore by Himself:

I will indeed bless you,
and I will greatly multiply you.

And so, after waiting patiently, Abraham obtained the promise. For men swear by something greater than themselves, and for them a confirming oath ends every dispute. Because God wanted to show His unchangeable purpose even more clearly to the heirs of the promise, He guaranteed it with an oath,  so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us.  We have this hope as an anchor for our lives, safe and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.  Jesus has entered there on our behalf as a forerunner, because He has become a high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:13-20)

Promises.  When God makes a promise, He delivers.  He is always faithful to deliver.  We may have to wait for His timing but God is faithful.  We see here in Hebrews the writer talk about God’s promise to Abraham.  God’s promise was fulfilled in full to Abraham.  Likewise, when Jesus came, God’s promise of redemption was fulfilled.  And someday Jesus will return just like was promised.

Whether you are going through a season of waiting (like I am) or you’re about to enter that time, remember God’s promises.  Remember God’s faithfulness.  We have a hope in Jesus.  We have an anchor that secures our faith.  Let us continue to trust and be faithful in the wait and trust in the promises that God has given to us.

Thursday Quote Day: A.W. Tozer

This week’s “Thursday Quote Day” features a quote from pastor and author A.W. Tozer:

“The world is perishing for lack of the knowledge of God and the church is famishing for want of His presence.  The instant cure of most of our religious ills would be to enter the Presence in spiritual experience, to become suddenly aware that we are in God and that God is in us. This would…cause our hearts to be enlarged…” (A.W. Tozer)

Sunday Devotional: Revelation 22:20-21

 “He who testifies about these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.”

Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.” (Revelation 22:20-21)

These are the last words written in the New Testament.  The apostle John wrote these words while sitting in exile on the island of Patmos.  With all the struggles and the persecution that the church was facing at that time, John had hope.  Because he held firm to the belief that Jesus was returning.

We as part of the church today hold that belief as well.  We also know that God’s timing is not the same as our timing.  We do not know the exact day or hour but Jesus has promised He will return.  And as we go through living our lives and following the calling that God has for each of us individually and collectively, we echo the words that John wrote here: “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!”

This week, let us cling to that hope.  Let us in the midst of hardships and struggles cry out to God.  And let us share the hope that we have even in the midst of suffering.  Jesus is coming again.