Thursday Quote Day: Helen Keller

This week’s “Thursday Quote Day” features a quote from Helen Keller:

“Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find joy in overcoming obstacles.” (Helen Keller)

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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: Psalm 126

“When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
Our mouths were filled with laughter then,
and our tongues with shouts of joy.
Then they said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord had done great things for us;
we were joyful.

Restore our fortunes, Lord,
like watercourses in the Negev.
Those who sow in tears
will reap with shouts of joy.
Though one goes along weeping,
carrying the bag of seed,
he will surely come back with shouts of joy,
carrying his sheaves.”

The Israelites had several experiences where they were in bondage, away from their home.  Each time they were in sorrow and each time God was faithful in delivering them.  When they returned, they were joyful and were again reminded of God’s faithfulness to them.  They had reason to shout “The Lord has done great things.”

We go through seasons where we weep, where we sow in tears.  There are seasons where we struggle in depression and hurt.  But God is faithful, there will come a time when we will “reap with shouts of joy”.  God will deliver us through to the other side.  And we will shout out “The Lord has done great things for us.”  This week let us encourage one another with these words.  Let us remember God’s faithfulness in those seasons when we sow in tears and be grateful when reaping with shouts of joy.

Sunday Devotional: Luke 15:1-7

“All the tax collectors and sinners were approaching to listen to Him. And the Pharisees and scribes were complaining, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them!”

So He told them this parable:  “What man among you, who has 100 sheep and loses one of them, does not leave the 99 in the open field and go after the lost one until he finds it? When he has found it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders,  and coming home, he calls his friends and neighbors together, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my lost sheep!’  I tell you, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous people who don’t need repentance.” (Luke 15:1-7)

This was the first of three parables Jesus shared to the crowds after hearing the Pharisees and scribes complaining.  This one dealt with a shepherd who had lost a sheep.  He had the 99 out in the open field safe and sound but one was missing.  The shepherd went and searched for it and eventually found it.  When he did, he brought it home.  Not only that, he called all his friends and neighbors to let them know what had happened.  The shepherd was joyous that all 100 were back in the open field again.

There is that same kind of joy that happens when one sinner repents and follows Jesus.  There is great celebration that takes place.  One was lost but now is found.  We should celebrate like that when we hear such great news.  We should be sharing that good news so that others who are lost can be found.  This week let us share that joy and share that good news of salvation to a world that needs it.

Sunday Devotional: John 15:11-17

“I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.  This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you.  No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.  You are My friends if you do what I command you.  I do not call you slaves anymore, because a slave doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from My Father.  You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you.  This is what I command you: Love one another.” (John 15:11-17)

Right now in this day and age there is a lot of hate and sadness.  A lot of pain and despair.  But we have hope.  We have joy.  We have love.  We have this through Jesus.  Here in this passage in John, Jesus is speaking to the disciples.  He encourages them that they have joy and they have love.  And not only do they have love but they are to share it with others.  He commands them to “Love one another as I have loved you.”  They are able to love this way because of Jesus.

This week, let us love one another.  Let us share with others the good news of Jesus and how He gave His life for us so we can be made whole.  And that He chose and loves us.  As we’ve been greatly loved, let us go and love others.