Hebrews 1:9 Gaining Great Joy

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. Hebrews 1:9

Attempting to find joy is something that people all over the world are striving for. The harder they strive to find joy, the less that they seem to find it.

With all of the crime, hatred, violence and destruction occurring, people fall into depression. Many go to doctors or take certain drugs to find the peace and joy that they are seeking, but unable to find.

The author of Hebrews, quotes from Psalm 45:6, 7, a prophecy about Jesus. It points out that Jesus loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Because of this love and hatred, God has anointed Him with the oil of joy.

In the same way that the world is seeking joy, many believers are also seeking it and are also unable to find it. They know the verses and can talk about God, but they refuse to follow God’s commands.

Many have one foot set in the church, while the other is still in the world. While they claim to follow Jesus, they also choose to love the wicked things of this world, and refuse to give up sins in their lives.

As long as a believer harbors sin and enjoys sin, he will lose out on gaining joy. Jesus had joy, despite horrible circumstances, because He knew that He was doing what the Father wanted Him to do. Jesus was loving righteousness and hating wickedness. He would not fall to the temptations to sin.

Every believer needs to make a concerted effort to flee all sin and hate all wickedness. In place of not seeking evil, he must seek God’s holiness and righteousness that Jesus provides in abundance.

As this is done, just as God filled Jesus with joy, He will fill the believer with abundant joy despite any circumstance in life.

While you are seeking joy, you must examine your life. Find out what you really love and see if what you love honors God. Be willing to turn away from all wickedness and sin, and turn your focus upon God, His Holiness and His righteousness.

Do not allow yourself to be caught up in the evil, wicked sins of this world, but in God’s holiness and righteousness. Put on the righteousness of Jesus and receive the joy that God will fill you with as you serve Him.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will strengthen you to turn from all sin; that you will know the righteousness of Jesus; that you will know the joy God has for you; and that God will set you apart from the wickedness of this world.

1 Timothy 6:8 Godliness And Contentment

But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:8

All across the world people are seeking more wealth. They want to have more things and can never get enough. The desire for more and more is with most people, especially when they compare themselves with others.

This desire is also increased greatly when they see advertisements everywhere that they need something new that they don’t have and that will make their life better.

Many people will sacrifice nearly everything and anything in order to get more. They will work extra hours and sacrifice family and friends for more.

Paul tells Timothy a very simple formula to gain. It is to have godliness with contentment.

When God created Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, He gave them everything that they needed in abundance. Instead of being content, they wanted more. Ultimately they wanted God’s knowledge and power. This led to their downfall and being cast out of the garden.

Later Jesus dies for mankind and provides everything that they could ever need–an abundant life. All one has to do to get this abundant life is to believe in and follow Jesus.

Yet, many choose to follow the sinful ways of the world, rather than God. In doing so, they may gain some physical things, but they will lose everything in the end, including their lives.

All a person really needs is a little food, a little clothing and a little shelter to survive in this world. To live for eternity, all he needs is the salvation provided for by Jesus.

Many believers have fallen into the same trap as the world of being greedy and wanting more. They are never content with what God has given them. Or else they are content, but not living Godly lives.

Each one must be living for God in His ways, and be content with what God provides. You may or may not have as much as your neighbor, but if you have food, clothing, shelter and eternal life, you have all that you need.

Do not allow yourself to be caught up in the greed, sin and discontentment that this fallen world promotes. Live the holy life God has called you to live. Trust God for all of your day-to-day provisions.

As you trust God, you will have an abundant life with more than you need to live life here on this earth.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will follow all of God’s commands; that you will live a holy life unto God; that you will trust God for all of your needs; that you will see God’s hand of provision for your life; and that you will be content with what God is blessing you with.

2 Corinthians 7:1 The Real Reason Why

Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. 2 Corinthians 7:1

People try to cleanse their body of physical contaminates for many different reasons. Some are just trying to make themselves look better. Others do it to lose weight. Some will do it for more energy.

Each person is different in what motivates them to do what they do, especially when it is something difficult to do. This works in both physical and spiritual cleansing that people attempt. Most often the reason is for selfish, personal reasons.

After telling the Corinthian church about the promises of reconciliation and a new body, Paul tells them to purify themselves of anything that contaminates the body and spirit. The reason is because of the promises of God and out of reverence for God.

It is very common for believers to flee from certain sins or bad foods to keep themselves clean. However, many will do it in order to look good to others or to make God happy with them. When it is done for these reasons, it is done for the wrong purpose.

Jesus had already paid the price for the believer to be holy before God. What one does cannot add to it any more. But it is for this very reason that the believer should strive to flee sin and anything that contaminates his body or soul. It completely for the reason that God promised forgiveness and salvation in Jesus, that one will purify himself.

Acting in this way is what shows gratefulness to Jesus for what He did and gratefulness to God for His promises. It is not about self, but about what God has done and has promised.

As a believer, think about all the promises God has promised you. Every one of those promises are for you to hold on to. Also think about what Jesus has done for you with paying the price for your sins.

Now ask yourself how you will show your gratitude for what God has done and has promised. The best way to show your gratitude is to keep yourself pure from all sin and contamination of body and soul.

Purification from these things for any other reason will be selfish and legalistic. Make your whole purpose of living a holy life because of what God has promised you.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will live a holy life as God has called you to live; that you will be grateful for what God has done for you; that you will live in holy reverence for God; and that God will strengthen you to flee all sin.

John 15:19 Are You Loved Or Hated?

If you belong to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. John 15:19

People love to be loved. No one likes someone to hate them. In order for people to get that love, most people will do whatever it takes to please others.

When a person is hated, he often feels left out or separated from others. He will often look at himself and try to figure out what he is doing wrong to be hated and change.

Jesus pointed out to His followers that the world hates them because He had chosen them out of the world.

Although the world appeared to love Jesus for a short time, they quickly began to hate Him. The world hates Jesus because He sets a high standard of holy living. This standard goes against the world’s way of living.

Every believer, who is truly living for God, will be hated by the world as a whole. Those who are living mediocre lives for God, will be loved by the world. They live in sinful ways and accept others to live in sinful ways. They are not separate, set a part from the world.

Followers of Jesus will call sin for what it is…sin and will not compromise their standards. The world does not like that type of talk or living, it makes them feel uncomfortable.

As soon as the world begins to love a believer, one must begin to question his walk with God. How is it that the world loves him, when the world hates Jesus? This can be a test strip for how much a person is loving and serving God or serving self and the world.

Take not as to how much the world, those who refuse to believe in Jesus, loves you. Ask yourself how much you are being a witness to them of who Jesus is.

If you are living for God and speaking His words, the world is going to hate you. The only ones who will not hate you are those who choose to follow Jesus.

Your primary job is to be a witness to the world, not to be loved by the world. Do not turn away from being that witness, just because some, or many, do not love you.

Are you loved or hated by the world?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will strengthen you to be separate from the world; that you will know God’s love; that you will live a holy life before God and the world; and that you will be a witness for Jesus.