Day 7 – The Joy of Life

Thursday, March 14, 2019

This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and the One You have sent–Jesus Christ. John 17:3

I’m thinking about life today. It may be because it is my daughters birthday. I am so incredibly grateful for her life and the joy I have in knowing her. Seeing my little girl grow-up and spread her wings and fly is this father’s dream and delight. Even more, knowing her and experiencing her personality, her peculiarities, her power, her perseverance and her love is my joy and gives me life.

Jesus came to give us life and joy. What’s more, he said knowing God the Father is eternal life. Eternal means forever. Life forever is found in knowing God. Knowing means having a connection that runs long and deep and intimate – well beyond a few superficial facts. Knowing the depth of God’s love, a love that would sacrifice his son for you and me, is humbling. Knowing that He is for us through thick and thin is radically encouraging. Knowing that our heavenly Father delights over us (Zeph.3:17) is motivating. Knowing He has planned good for us even though trials will come (Jer.29:11),  is comforting. Knowing God gave His Son’s to reconcile us to himself and secure us in His love, forever, is profoundly amazing. He gave us life that we might enjoy Him – forever.

What if today you asked God to let you know His love more deeply? And from that knowing allow yourself to enjoy Him.  The God who gives life and love in abundance desires your joy in Him to be full – will you welcome that today?

Hump Day Determination – Day 6

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 – Day 6 of our 40 Day Journey

We are midway through the week. Maybe you’ve had some challenges or bumps along the way.  Maybe you’re discouraged by the humps you have to get over and the pot holes you’ve hit. They are not fun, but maybe they are good.

Matthew tells us after Peter’s powerful confession of faith;

From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.”                                                Matthew 16:21-22

Jesus was describing the journey. A way of struggle, hardship, and suffering. It’s the reality that the narrow road is at times a hard road. It’s the truth that the hard road is the road to glory.  Is there some suffering on your journey?

Peter did not want the Lord to suffer. Who wants a friend to suffer? Who wants to suffer? I don’t. I am with young Peter, I’d rather it never happen to you or me. But this same Peter, later in life, said:

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1Peter 5:10

There is more to say about suffering, but Peter who initially stood firm against it had come to realize that suffering is part of the journey to eternal glory. It is part of how we grow and mature. And we can fight it (as young Peter did) or we can look for the Lord in it. Lord, how are you restoring and confirming, strengthening and establishing me through the struggles and suffering of this week.

Today, would you be willing to welcome whatever the Lord brings your way? Would you open yourself to his love and presence and trust that he is working for your good, even  through the difficulties?  Determination to meet God in your difficulties and persevere with Him.