Shout For Joy!

Saturday, February 22, 2014, 8:06 a.m. – the Lord Jesus put the song “Only In Him” in my mind. Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 35 (NIV).


The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord,
the splendor of our God.

When we, as individuals or even as groups of people, turn our hearts over to Jesus Christ, either in salvation, sanctification (our daily walks) or in revival (coming back to Christ), it is much like when nature goes from winter to spring. I love that time of year when all that is dead (or looks dead) comes back to life. The flowers bloom, green returns to the ground, and to the trees, and everything comes alive again. Awesome! What a wonderful picture of our salvation and even of those times along the road when we hit bumps and we fall down, but we get back up, and we keep going in the power and strength of the Spirit within us.

It is much like life and health are breathed back into us again. And, so we rejoice in our newfound or our renewed freedom in the Spirit of God! Amen! We are joyful for all that God has done in our lives in delivering us from the hand of Satan and from the grip of sin, and in setting us free to walk in his ways and in his righteousness all our days! Our countenances will change, too, from that of ones bound by sin or by fear to ones who live in victory.

No Fear!

Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.”

One of Satan’s greatest weapons against us is to try to get us to be fearful, and to get us back under the slavery of fear. We should fear God in a respectful and honoring way, but we should not be afraid of him if we are truly walking in his truth and in his righteousness. Jesus delivered us from fear, and it should no longer have dominion over us. Amen! We may feel fear sometimes, but we don’t have to yield to its control over our lives. In the power of the Spirit within us, we can put on the armor of God (See Eph. 6:10-20) and dispel all lies of Satan against us that would have the potential to bring us back under the bondage of fear once again. Satan loves to get us to be afraid, because fear cripples us, and it keeps us from being effective in our Christian lives, and in our walks with Christ in living holy lives, pleasing to him, and in being his effective ministers of his grace to the world around us. Yet, when we turn our fears over to the Lord, trusting in his many promises to us, the fears begin to dissipate, and his peace begins to fill our hearts once more. Amen!

Bubbling Springs

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.
The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

What comes to mind immediately here is Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well. He told her that everyone who drinks physical water from a well will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the living water that Jesus gives them will never thirst. The water he gives becomes a spring of water welling up to eternal life within us. Amen! The living water is the Spirit of God living within those who have trusted in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives. It also represents the working of the Spirit in our salvation and in the transformation of our hearts from the darkness of sin to the light of Christ’s righteousness. Instead of having hearts and lives under the control and weight of sin and rebellion against God, we now have gone from winter to spring, i.e. Jesus has given us new lives in Christ Jesus, he has filled us to overflowing with his Spirit and his love and his grace, and he has given us his perfect peace which is there always no matter what we are going through.

The Way of Holiness

And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness;
it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean will not journey on it;
wicked fools will not go about on it.
No lion will be there,
nor any ravenous beast;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
and those the Lord has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

The first thing that came to mind when I read this is how the early church, and/or the believers’ faith in Christ, in the book of Acts, was referred to as “the Way” (See Ac. 9:2). Also, Jesus had said that he was the way, the truth and the life and that no one comes to the Father except through him (See Jn. 14:6). So, the highway spoken of here is Jesus Christ, and it is the way of the Christian faith and practice.

Then, in the epistles we read about “the way of peace,” “the way of righteousness,” “a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord,” “the way of love,” “a way that is holy and honorable,” “a new and living way opened for us through” (Christ’s body), “the way of truth,” and “the straight way” (cf. Jn. 1:23; Heb. 12:13). These Biblical phrases all describe for us “the Way of Holiness” spoken of here in Isaiah. It is the way of peace, love, truth, holiness, righteousness and undivided devotion to the Lord; a way that is holy and honorable; the straight way provided for us through the blood of Jesus Christ shed for us on the cross for our sins. It is not a way that is crooked, warped, dishonest or twisted.

We come into this way by God’s grace, through faith – a faith which submits to and surrenders to the cross of Christ in our lives, allowing the Spirit of God to transform our hearts away from the darkness of sin to the light of walking in the way of his righteousness and holiness. It is the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives as we agree to, commit to, surrender to, yield to and cooperate with the Spirit’s work of transformation in our lives. There is no other way to peace with God and to the hope of heaven for eternity. The spiritually unclean, i.e. those who continue to walk in darkness (sin), will not travel on this road. So, make sure today that you have entered the way of holiness by the way of the cross, for there is no other way.

ONLY IN HIM / An Original Work / February 19, 2014

Based off Isaiah 30

Woe to those who look to man’s help;
Who turn away from Jesus Christ;
Forming an alliance not in step with God;
Making their own plans, and praying not.

Willing not to listen to truth,
They close their ears to what is right.
Pleasing words are all that they’ll hear;
Feel good messages that bring cheer.

Trust in your Lord; turn from your sin.
Put your faith now ONLY IN HIM.
Do not turn to idols. They’ll not satisfy.
Jesus will save you. That’s why He died.

Your Lord will be gracious to you.
He cares all about you, ‘tis true.
He forgives you all of your sin
When you give your life up to Him.

Oh, how truly gracious He’ll be
When you bow to Him on your knees;
Turning now from your sin; walking in his ways.
He’ll lead and guide you all of your days.

Now you will sing praises to Him.
He delivered you from your sin.
You’ll tell others now of His grace,
So they may see Christ face-to-face.