When Jesus was speaking to His Father just before He
died, He prayed that His followers would have His joy fulfilled in
themselves (see John 1:13).
This privilege, like all privileges of the Christian, has
been purchased by the blood of Christ and is therefore a high and holy
responsibility. That is to say, the provision on God’s part of
privileges for us creates the obligation on our part to attain to their
But are you a joyful Christian? Have you a Christ-like
experience in this regard? I do not ask you whether you have joyous
emotions, but is the joy of Christ fulfilled in yourself? read more
The only way out of bondage is to begin seeking God's approval instead of man's approval.
epidemic of insecurity is stealing the joy of life from many people in
our society today and causing major problems in their relationships. I
know the effect insecurity can have on lives because I experienced it
myself. I know what it does to a person. Those who have been hurt badly
as a result of abuse or severe rejection, as I have, often seek the
approval of others to try to overcome their feelings of rejection and
They suffer from those feelings and seek the approval of others to try
to remove the pain. They are miserable if someone seems not to approve
of them in any way or for any reason, and they are anxious about the
disapproval until they feel they are once again accepted.
indwelling presence of our glorious Lord makes the Christian life
supernatural. We must cherish this glory always and never exchange it
for empty promises of human approval and reward.
the days of Jeremiah the prophet, the Lord called His people Israel to
account because they did not "guard their glory." Although they started
out devoted to the Lord, they turned away from Him and began to follow
other gods. God spoke to them about this through Jeremiah. "I
remember concerning you the devotion of your youth, the love of your
betrothals, your following after Me in the wilderness, through a land
not sown. Israel was holy to the Lord, the first of His harvest" (Jer.
was pleased with Israel's initial condition. But then something
happened. He said: "'What injustice did your fathers find in Me, that
they went far from Me and walked after emptiness and became empty?...Has
a nation changed gods, when they were not gods? But My people have
changed their glory for that which does not profit'" (Jer. 2:5,11). read more
Like it or not, people are watching you. Is your character pointing them to Jesus?
don't have to scan far into today's headlines to see that integrity is
lacking in the marketplace. Scandals of fraud and mismanagement have
rocked nearly every industry.
society seems to have a high degree of tolerance for those who have
made mistakes in the ethics and integrity department. But in spite of
our willingness to forgive and the stories of individuals who have
seemed to demonstrate that crime does pay, most of the time shortcomings
in the integrity department result in ruined careers and demolished
lives. read more
If you will dare to obey God, even when it’s uncomfortable, you will see remarkable wonders in the most unlikely places.
Kropuenske and I don't look much alike. He's over 6 feet tall; I'm 5
feet 7 inches. Our backgrounds aren't similar either. Duane attended
Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and was raised in the
Lutheran church. I ended my formal education after graduating from high
school and never set foot in a church while growing up.
Duane and I do have one thing in common—we both want to obey the Lord.
That was clear to me the moment we sat down in a restaurant and talked
about the new bank we planned together. read more
Jesus used many analogies to teach us the truths of the
kingdom. One of these was the lesson of the seed-grain, in which He
compared the life of the believer to the development process of a
grain of wheat.
“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the gound and
dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much
grain” (John 12:24, NKJV). This process is the same one we must go
through if we are to bear fruit as we are called to do.
Let us turn to the seed-grain and see the picture lesson,
that in these last days we may intelligently yield to the pierced hand
of God and permit His fullest purposes to be fulfilled in us. read more
Defend yourself against disappointment by focusing on God and confessing His Word.
We all have been disappointed at one time or another. In fact, it would
be surprising if we went through an entire week without encountering
some kind of discouragement. Many Christians are lying along the
roadside of life devastated because they have not learned how to deal
with the problem.
It is not God's will for you to live a disappointed, devastated or
oppressed life today—or any day. When you resist the devil at the onset
of your discouragement and learn to place your hope and confidence in
Jesus, you can live in His joy and peace.
the most common obstacles to joy-filled living and learn what it takes
to overcome them. It's not as tough as you think.
YOU ENJOYING your life? If not, God wants you to. Jesus said in John
10:10 that Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy, but He came that we
"may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it
overflows)" (AMP). I believe this means God wants us to
enjoy every part of our lives—not just little bits and pieces here and
Many people today
live their lives in a constant state of stress and turmoil. But as
Christians, we don't have to live that way. Why? Because God's Spirit
lives in us, and a fruit of His Spirit is joy. read more