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Divine Promises

Promise
As we prepare to celebrate Easter it wouldn’t be fitting if we didn’t first recount the events that took place in the life of Jesus individually and at our place of worship during what is known as Passion Week, the time from His triumphal entry to resurrection. Jesus spent most of his time in Bethany, just two miles east of Jerusalem on the opposite slope of the Mount of Olives. He probably stayed at the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Jesus spent Thursday night praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. Friday and Saturday nights Jesus’ body lay in the garden tomb. [Billye Brim describes the third day from her book The Blood and the Glory.]
The third day, our Lord Jesus arose- triumphant over death, hell and the grave-and carried His own precious blood into the Heavenly Holy of Holies where it was accepted for you, me, our families and generations to come.

The precious blood of Christ- 1 Peter 1:19

Hebrews 6: 9-12

But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

 Let’s consider a few redeeming lives of those who have gone before us, and their maturing attributes, as they trusted in that which Christ had promised:

Thomas may have doubted until Jesus revealed himself, but he didn’t allow the doubt to remain. He matured through his belief while stating, “My Lord and my God!” Selah. [John 20:26-29 you are blessed for believing yet having not seen]

Abraham received great promises from God. Many which seemed impossible to be realized, yet Abraham trusted God with confidence and active faith. [Mature choice(s) in righteousness]

Jeremiah accused God of being unreliable [15:18]. God reminded Jeremiah of His promise to stand by him [12:5,6; 15:19,20]. Jeremiah’s questioning of God forms one of the best examples in the Bible of what it means to follow God in spite of everything. [Jeremiah matured in his depth of understanding as well as in the spiritual challenge]
Hebrews 12:2 AMP

[Looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].

I love how this one verse in Hebrews 12:2 starts with encouragement that enfolds us, you and I, in the assurance of Christ. The perfecting of faith is a part of our maturing. The word focus by definition is the center of interest or activity; focusing our eyes on Jesus is strategic victory for our completion [the will & purposes] as we follow a divine and supreme example.
Do you have promises from God that seem too incredible to fulfill?

Hear the integrity of His own heart in this verse.

Hebrews 6:17-18
Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.

Isaiah 26:4 MSG – “Depend on God and keep at it because in the Lord God you have a sure thing.”

Deborah Somjak
Unfolded Hearts Ministry

Cited Resource Chronological Life Application Study Bible

Let’s apply our diligence.

For this very reason, applying your diligence [to the divine promises, make every effort] in [exercising] your faith to, develop moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge (insight, understanding), and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, steadfastness, and in your steadfastness, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly affection, and in your brotherly affection, [develop Christian] love [that is, learn to unselfishly seek the best for others and to do things for their benefit]. For as these qualities are yours and are increasing [in you as you grow toward spiritual maturity], they will keep you from being useless and unproductive in regard to the true knowledge and greater understanding of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:5-8 AMP

 

Christmas Joy

The Christmas season is fast underway! I hope you are able to take some time and recognize the rhythm of His grace and enjoy all He has given to you, to each one of us.

As I was preparing things in my home for the season, the Lord showed me the word “joy” three times. I felt He wanted to me to know more on this word and to share it here with you. To be perfectly honestly, I was a bit hesitant to pursue and speak on joy – I mean, I watch the news and hear the daily devastation and great personal loss that our communities are contending with locally and across the globe. We are in a unique time in history, in which joy is not commonly found. Yet, when I open the Word of God, specifically to the book of Luke, there is different news for me, for us. A declaration of joy! In fact, a declaration of great joy that has come. So, let us too come and see what the Lord has done together and hear what he might say regarding Joy.

Luke 2:10,11
Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy with will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

The Hebrew definition for joy: glee, exceeding gladness, mirth, pleasure, rejoice.
The Greek definition states: calm delight, gladness.

Joy is given by God. It is established in our hearts along with the confidence of hope. It is the fruit of the Holy Sprit, an evidence He is with us. It’s not just a simple smile or laugh based on our surroundings or on a successful outcome of our own performance. Joy is something that is deep within and doesn’t leave quickly. God wants us to have joy. We can learn more in His Word [see below] that its Christlikeness within.

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Romans 14:17
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking [what one likes], but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Let me ask you, who do you know that exhibits these kingdom traits? Maybe for you, you’d list three different people, one for each trait: righteousness, peace, and joy. As I ponder this question myself, I desire to see an increase in genuine joy, gladness, and a calm delight. These will only be fulfilled as we yearn to seek the one who possesses and eagerly dispenses these heavenly traits in earthly vessels. Yearn, friends, for Jesus to fill you and your household, that the whole counsel of God might be fulfilled in the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

There’s a classic acronym for joy you may have heard.
Jesus, Others, Yourself. While this is a well noted phrase to follow.

 

I’d like to introduce a new acronym for a new discovery of the fruit of joy in this unique season.


J,
for Jesus, He remains first-rightfully so!

O, is for Our, He is ours personally & intimately. We belong to Him.

Y, is for Yearning; yearning is to desire strongly or persistently.
How we need Him! How we need to get back to Yearning for Our Jesus as only He can turn things around for the kingdom’s cause in this unique season expectant for good news and JOY.
Jesus Our Yearning.

Share the J.O.Y

Merry Christmas,
Deborah Somjak 4 Unfolded Hearts Ministry

May this song by Lauren Daigle minister to you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9B-81mZV5E