Obeying God brings great joy

Have you experienced the joy of obedience?

No good thing will the Lord withhold from those who do what it right. O Lord Almighty, happy are those who trust in you.

Psalm 84:11-12 NLT

This is what I told them: “Obey me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Only do as I say, and all will be well!”

Jeremiah 7:23 NLT

We all live in a web of relationships dependent upon obedience to authority. Like a loving parent, God sets standards for our good and to protect us from evil and harm. God desires obedience motivated not by fear but by love and trust. Ironically, obedience actually frees us up to enjoy life as God intended, because it keeps us from becoming entangled or enslaved to those things that distract us and cause us heartache. Even though God’s command is sometimes difficult, or doesn’t make sense from our human perspective, obedience will always bring blessing, joy, and peace.

adapted from TouchPoint Bible with devotional commentary by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers, Tyndale House Publishers (1996), p 1238

Digging Deeper

For more on obedience, see End of the Spear by Steve Saint, Tyndale House Publishers (2005).

Steve Saint was five years old when his father, missionary pilot Nate Saint, was speared to death by a primitive Ecuadorian tribe. In adulthood, Steve, having left Ecuador for a successful business career in the United States, never imagined making the jungle his home again. But when that same tribe asks him to help them, Steve, his wife, and their teenage children move back to the jungle. There, Steve learns long-buried secrets about his father’s murder, confronts difficult choices, and finds himself caught between two worlds.

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Are you filled with Joy?

Are you filled with joy?

I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!

John 15:11 NLT

Full Joy

In many ways, we live in bleak times. Millions feel disillusioned with life while millions more feel uncertain about the future — especially young people. Many of you in Generation X have been victims of a great social experiment in which parents who never grew up cast aside time-honored moral values and, in the phrase of the 1960s, did their own thing.

Nevertheless, there is someone to believe in, something to grasp, and someone to trust. You need to go to the next letter of the alphabet, to Y — as in “Why do I exist. Why was I created? And what am I living for?”

According to Jesus, you were created for joy. “These things I have spoken to you,” Jesus said, “that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”

The things Jesus spoke of were His teachings about bearing fruit. We were created to bear fruit for God, which essentially means to become like Jesus: His mind becomes our mind, His purpose becomes our purpose. And there’s only one way to produce such luscious fruit, according to Jesus: “Abide in Me” (John 15:4). This is the secret of spiritual growth and the key to overflowing joy. Are you bearing spiritual fruit?

Adapted from Breakfast with Jesus by Greg Laurie (Tyndale House) p 246-48

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

God’s Daily Promise – #11

 

Jeremiah 29:11  

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says Yahweh,
thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope and a future.

  (World English Bible)
Promise #11: My plan for your future is filled with hope.

When you think of your own future, how do you feel? Are you excited to think of what is ahead or does the thought of the future cause you to be anxious? With an uncertain economy, wars and rumors of wars, etc., it is easy to feel anxious and uncertain about what lies ahead. Yet in today’s promise, God says that your future is filled with hope.

My favorite Bible translation of this verse comes from the NIV Bible… For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV) I find it very reassuring to know that God has a plan for my future that is filled with hope. I don’t have to dread what’s coming because my heavenly Dad already has a plan for me. And of course we know that the ultimate hope is living in the light of God’s love forever!

May the reality of today’s promise fill you with peace. May you know that while the future may be uncertain to you, it is not to God. He has a father’s heart toward you and has determined to fill your future with hope. Does this mean that there will be no bumps in the road? Certainly not. But we do know that all things will ultimately work together for our good as Paul declared in Romans 8:28… We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose. (WEB)

God’s Daily Promise – #10

Ezekiel 36:26-27 

26 I will also give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my ordinances, and do them.
(World English Bible)
 
Promise #10: I have given you a new heart and put My own Spirit in you.  
This passage of Scripture is pointing to the day when people would no longer have to live a life separate from God. They wouldn’t have to try and figure out what the Lord desired from a distance because God promised to give them a new heart and put His own Spirit within them.

Of course this promise was fulfilled when Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, came into the world and made a way for each one of us to receive the free gift of salvation. Because of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, we no longer have to live with a cold heart of stone because He has given us a new heart. Because of the New Covenant, we no longer are separated from God because He has given us the most precious gift He could give…the gift of Himself.

God has given each one of us a new heart and He has put His own Spirit within us as a deposit to guarantee our inheritance. There is no greater gift that He could give. May we be aware of the abiding presence of God that lives in us today and have a heart of thanksgiving to God for giving us the precious gift of a new heart and His own Spirit!

Photo by Barry Adams

Click here to read Barry Adams’ new daily devotional at Fatherheart.tv

God’s Daily Promise – #9

Galatians 3:29 

If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed
and heirs according to promise.
(World English Bible)

Promise #9: Since you are in Christ, I have made you an heir of all My promises.
 
Every one of the promises that God made to Abraham now belongs to you and I because we belong to Jesus Christ and are now heirs according to the promise. Just think of that for a moment. You are an heir of God and a joint heir with Jesus (Romans 8:17). Every promise that God made to Abraham is part of your own spiritual inheritance!

When God said to Abraham that He would be the father of many nations, and a blessing to many (Genesis 12), you were part of that promise.  The New Living Translation says Galatians 3:29 this way… And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you. NLT

May our God and Father give each one of us a revelation today about what it means to be an heir in His amazing kingdom. An heir of God and a co-heir with our elder brother, Jesus Christ. There is no higher call, there is no greater destiny, than to be part of the eternal family of the living God. Be encouraged by the words found in Galatians 4:7 – So you are no longer a bondservant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.(WEB)

Photo by Jeff Epp

Click here to read Barry Adams’ new daily devotional at Fatherheart.tv

God’s Daily Promise – #8

Galatians 4:6

And because you are children,
God sent out the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying,
“Abba, Father!”

 (World English Bible)

Promise #8: I sent the Spirit of My Son into your heart so you could call Me Father.

The greatest gift that the Father could give us was the Spirit of His Son, the Spirit of Sonship. Each one of us who is born again, carries within our being the very life and nature of Jesus Christ Himself. Galatians 4:7 goes on to say… So you are no longer a bondservant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (WEB)

The Spirit of the Son that lives within us continually calls out ‘Abba Father!’. Abba is an Aramaic word for father that little children would call out to their dads in New Testament times. It would be like us saying ‘papa’ or ‘daddy’ in the English language. Because we carry within our very being the Spirit of the Son, our spirit man continually cries out ‘Papa’ to God, whether we are aware of this cry in our heart or not.

I believe it delights our heavenly Father when we cry out ‘Abba!’ to Him, for that is the very reason why God has given us the Spirit of His Son… so that He could be a Father to us. So may a cry resonate deep in our heart today as we join with the Spirit of the Son that lives within us that calls out ‘Abba Father!’.
Photo by Jeff Epp

Click here to read Barry Adams’ new daily devotional at Fatherheart.tv

God’s Daily Promise – #7

John 3:16 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

(World English Bible)

Promise #7: I have given you eternal life because you have believed in Jesus Christ.
John 3:16 is one of the most quoted, most loved Bible verses in the New Testament. This Scripture has been used by evangelists over the years to invite many people to come to Christ. The foundation of this much loved verse is and always will be, the love of the Father. For God (the Father) so loved the world…

It was the great love of our heavenly Father that caused Him to give up His most treasured possession, the life of His Son, so that we too could share in Jesus’ eternal life. What a glorious promise! We were loved so much by God, that He gave up all that He loved in order to gain our love!

May we never take the wonder of John 3:16 for granted, but may we continue to revel in the amazing love our God and Father has for us every day in our lives. Thank you Father for loving us so much, that you sent your only begotten Son to the world in order to purchase our redemption! ~ Barry Adams

God’s Daily Promise – #6

Colossians 1:12-13 

12 giving thanks to the Father, who made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; 13 who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the Kingdom of the Son of his love;
(World English Bible)

Promise #6: I delivered you from darkness into the kingdom of My beloved Son.
Each one of us were once held captive by the power of darkness before we were set free by the power of Christ and brought into His kingdom. For every one who have said ‘yes’ to Jesus, our old life is now in the past tense and our new life in Christ is our present reality…
Whether we feel like it or not.

May the Holy Spirit give us revelation today to know that we have already been translated into the kingdom of our elder brother. The power of darkness has no more hold on us because of our royal position in Christ. We now live in an upside down kingdom, where the last will be first, the weak will be strong, and the poor will inherit the riches of our Father’s kingdom.

May each and every one of us echo the prayer that Paul prayed in Ephesians that our God and Father would give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation to know Him better. That the eyes of our heart would be opened so that we could really see the hope of His calling and our glorious inheritance in the saints!

Ephesians 1:15-23…
15 For this cause I also, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which is among you, and the love which you have toward all the saints, 16 don’t cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to that working of the strength of his might 20 which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come. 22 He put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things for the assembly, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (WEB)

God’s Daily Promise #5

Ephesians 1:4-5 

4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and without blemish before him in love; 5 having predestined us for adoption as children through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his desire,
(World English Bible)

Promise #5: I chose you to be adopted into My family before creation.
It pleased the Father to choose us before the foundation of the world. In love, He saw the day when we would say yes to the free gift of His Son’s life for our life and become born into His amazing family. Before He even spoke the world into existence, He saw us!

And our adoption is not like any human adoption, for God has given us His own Spirit as a deposit to guarantee our inheritance. We are not servants in His house, but actual sons and daughters, joint heirs with our elder brother Jesus, seated in Christ in heavenly places.

What an amazing promise! Every other promise and precept rests on God’s eternal plan to make us part of His family. As Ephesians 1:4 says, we are holy and without blame before Him in love all because of the finished work of Jesus Christ. What Jesus did on our behalf has secured our place forever as God’s kids!

1 John 3:1 – Behold, how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! For this cause the world doesn’t know us, because it didn’t know him. (WEB)

 

God’s Daily Promise #4

Genesis 1:27-28  

27 God created man in his own image. In God’s image he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them. God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
(World English Bible)

Promise #4: I created you in My own image with My special blessing.

God created us in His own image. Think about that for a moment. We were created to reflect the image of God Himself! I wonder what the angels thought when they first saw Adam and Eve? What a glorious privilege to be made in the image of the One who knit us together in our mother’s womb!

May we never take this blessing for granted. May we always be in awe of the fact that we were created to look just like God. When Jesus came to the earth 2,000 years ago, He sealed the deal by making a way for us to be conformed into His image (Romans 8:29) inside and out so that He could be the firstborn of many brothers and sisters.

My prayer today is that we would live in the light of our Father’s original blessing to be fruitful, to multiply and to have dominion throughout the whole earth with the knowledge that we were created to look just like our heavenly Dad.

Photo by Barry Adams

God’s Daily Promise #3

Psalm 33:11 
The counsel of Yahweh stands fast forever,
the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

(World English Bible)

Promise #3: The intentions of My heart will remain steadfast forever. 

In today’s promise, we are reminded that God is steadfast in what He has purposed. The New Living Translation Bible says Psalm 33:11 this way… But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken. NLT

When God determines to do something, His plans will stand firm forever. He is not fickle or tempermental and He will not be swayed by public opinion or the winds of change. He has fixed His eyes upon us and has purposed in His heart to love us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). …And He won’t change His mind!

What our heavenly Father started in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 1, He will see to completion at the end of the book of Revelation. No force in heaven or on earth will be able to prevent His purposes from being fulfilled. We can rest in God’s plan for our lives for the intentions of His heart will remain steadfast forever! ~ Barry Adams

Photo by Eric Boldt

God’s Daily Promise #2

Psalm 103:8 

Yahweh is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness.

(World English Bible)

Promise #2: I am full of mercy and grace and I overflow with love. 

We live only a few miles from Niagara Falls. I am always overwhelmed by the sheer power and volume of the water that cascades over the brink of this natural wonder every second. When I think of the unending stream of God’s love that He shows to us every day, I think of this natural wonder.

As we continue our daily journey of reflecting in some of the promises of God in 2012, may we always be reminded of how He sees us. The Lord is full of mercy and grace and He overflows with love towards us. Everything that He does is motivated by His eternal, unending kindness. May the Holy Spirit give us a deeper revelation of the character and nature of God this new year and may He dismantle any misconceptions of our heavenly Dad that cause us to see Him as distant and angry.

Our God and Father is good. He is full of mercy and grace and just like Niagara Falls, He continually showers His love upon us. And His love will never ever end. May the revelation of the love of God continue to rush like a mighty river into your heart today.

Photo by Barry Adams

God’s Daily Promise #1

Malachi 3:6 

“For I, Yahweh, don’t change;
therefore you, sons of Jacob, are not consumed.

(World English Bible)

Promise #1: I am the Lord your God and I never change. 
It is important for us to be reminded of this simple truth…  The Lord our God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Every promise that He has made is secure and will last forever. Since we live in a world that is constantly changing, the promise of our Father’s rock-solid commitment to us is very reassuring.
Today is a new day for us to be able to experience the Lord’s continued faithfulness in our lives. He will never leave us or let us down. He loves us with all His heart and each one of His promises that is true today will be true in a million years from now.I pray that this truth will bring a deeper level of comfort and security to each one of our lives. May we look forward to all of the ways that our Father will show Himself faithful to us in 2012. May you be blessed beyond imagination!

AuthorBarry Adams

Daily Promise – December 13 – God is for you, not against you and He will go before you and fight your battles on your behalf

Deuteronomy 1:30 KJV

The LORD your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you,
according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes;  

 
Promise #347: I will go before you and fight your battles. 

I love this photo of lightning that is the backdrop of today’s promise. Such power released from heaven in such a short time. May this image be a reminder of the incredible power of our God and Father for He is the biggest Dad and the strongest Dad in the universe!

In Exodus 14:14, the Lord makes this promise to Israel… “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” NIV Today’s promise is yet another reminder that God has committed Himself to fight for you. In Romans 8:31 Paul reminds us that if God is for us, who can be against us?

We know from Ephesians 6 that our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the dark powers and rulers of this world. In Ephesians 6:10 we are called to be strong in the Lord and His mighty power and to take on the full armor of God. It is His armor, not ours.

If you are feeling overwhelmed today with the things that are opposing you, may this promise bring great comfort to your heart. My prayer is that each and every one of us would live in the safety and security that is described in Psalm 91, knowing that we live in the secret place of the Most High, and we dwell under the shadow of the Almighty. …God is for you, not against you and He will go before you and fight your battles on your behalf.

AuthorBarry Adams |

Daily Promise – November 30 – God keeps His promises–All of them.

1 Kings 8:56 KJV

Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel,
according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise,
which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.

 

Promise #334: Every word of every promise that I have made will come to pass. 
God is not a man that He should lie. Every promise that He has made will come to pass because He is faithful to do all that He has said that He will do. In a world of broken promises and disappointing authority figures, it is easy to become cynical and untrusting. Our negative life experiences with people can cause us to mistrust God in the same way.

In today’s promise, we are reminded that God keeps His promises. All of them. We may not understand His ways at times, but He is always true to His Word. Trust is a huge part of the foundation of our faith. If we struggle to trust Him, we will struggle to believe what He says is true.

My prayer today is that God will restore childlike trust to each of our hearts in increasing measure so that we will have every confidence that every promise that our Papa makes will come to pass!

Photo by Steve Taylor

AuthorBarry Adams

Daily Promise – November 29 – He has prepared an everlasting city for us to enjoy!

Hebrews 11:16 KJV

But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God
is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.


Promise #333: An everlasting city awaits you, for I am not ashamed to be called your God. 
Our God and Father has prepared a city for you and I that will last forever. He has done this because He is not ashamed to be called our God. In the last half of this verse in the Amplified Bible, it says this… For that reason God is not ashamed to be called their God [even to be surnamed their God–the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob], for He has prepared a city for them. AMPI love the thought that we have taken on God’s surname because He is so happy that we are His children. In Ephesians 3:14-15, the Apostle Paul says that all the Father’s family in heaven and earth derives its name directly from Him. We belong to Him and He is not ashamed of us! In Hebrews 2:11 the writer of Hebrews says that Jesus is not ashamed to call us His brothers too!

What an amazing family that we have been called into! Because of God’s great love for us, He has prepared an everlasting city for us to enjoy!

Photo by Steve Taylor

AuthorBarry Adams

Daily Promise – November 13 – He is expecting, looking and longing to be gracious to us

Isaiah 30:18 KJV

And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you,
and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you:
for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.


Promise #317: I will wait for opportunities to show you My compassion.

The Amplified version of the Bible says the first part of Isaiah 30:18 this way… And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. AMP

What a beautiful picture of the longing that God has for you and I. He is always in a posture of waiting for every opportunity to show us His compassion. I love the Amplified translation that says that He is expecting, looking and longing to be gracious to us.

This Bible verse reminds of the father in the Prodigal Son story in Luke 15 who was waiting for his rebellious son to find his way home. In this story, Jesus tells us that the father saw the son when he was still a long way off and started running toward his boy. I think in the same way, our God and Father is waiting and watching for every opportunity to run to us so that He might pour out His love and mercy all over us. May we always be mindful of this amazing truth!
Photo by Barry Adams

AuthorBarry Adams |

Daily Promise – November 11 – Go to that place in our Father’s heart where we have free access to enter as His beloved little ones

Hebrews 4:16 KJV

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy,
and find grace to help in time of need.


Promise #315: Come boldly to My throne when you need to find mercy and grace.

You and I have an invitation from our God and Father to come boldly before His throne of grace today. In the book of Revelation, we read a little bit about what God’s throne room is like in chapter 4… Angels crying holy, holy holy, flashes of lightning, 24 elders bowing down, a sea of glass, and so much more! It is a holy place where angels fear to tread, but a place in our Father’s heart where we have free access to enter as His beloved little ones.

You can come into His presence right now if you like. His royal doors are always open to you, anytime, day or night. God wants each one of us to come to Him boldly, not timidly. He loves it when we climb up on His lap just as a little child would jump into his dad’s arms. He is always there for us ready to provide the mercy and grace to help us in our time of need.

There is no way that we can fathom the privilege that God has extended to us by inviting us to His throne of grace. It is an honor that could have only been purchased by the highest price possible…the shed blood of the Lamb of God. Thank you Jesus for making the way for us to become part of your family so that we could come boldly before our Father’s throne of grace 24/7! ~ Barry Adams

Daily Promise – November 10 – There is no greater gift that He could have given to us, than the gift of His own life

Romans 8:15 KJV

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear;
but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.


Promise #314: I have given you the Spirit of adoption so you can call Me Father.

The most precious gift that God could give us is Himself. The Holy Spirit, which is called the Spirit of adoption or the Spirit of sonship, is the very Spirit of God Himself. The third person in the trinity is also referred to as the Spirit of the Father and the Spirit of the Son. The Bible says that we have received the Holy Spirit as a deposit to guarantee our inheritance. (2 Corinthians 1:22)

His very presence in our lives is the sign that we belong to God. We have now been born again and are God’s children and part of His amazing family. The very Spirit of the living God resides in us and bears witness with our own spirit that we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus. The only appropriate response that we could possible have is to cry out from the core of our being the words ‘Abba, Father!’.

‘Abba’ is an Aramaic word which was the common language that Jesus spoke to the people in. It is the most simplest way that a child can call our to their father. In English terms, it would be like a like us calling out to our papa or daddy. Romans 8:15 tells us that because we have the spirit of sonship living in our hearts, we can call Almighty God our papa! There is no greater gift that He could have given to us, than the gift of His own life that now lives right in the center of our being.
Photo by Barry Adams

Daily Promise – November 4 – He understands what makes you tick

Psalm 139:1-3 KJV

1 O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.
2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

Promise #308: I know everything about you and am mindful of all your ways.

Have you ever walked into a room full of people yet felt completely alone? I believe that we can be surrounded by many people in our day to day lives yet still carry a sense of loneliness in the depths of our soul. I think the reason that this is the case because we are all looking for a deeper, more profound interaction with people where we really get to know each other.

A professional counselor can get to ‘know’ a lot of people in their practice, yet still not be known by anyone themselves. I believe the cry of the human heart is that someone would know us through and through yet still accept us the way we are. In today’s promise from Psalm 139:1-3, King David makes the declaration that God knows everything about him and is familiar with all his ways.

God knows everything about you. He has even numbered each hair on your head. He understands what makes you tick and as a loving father is filled with compassion towards his children… so His heart is moved with compassion toward you! (Psalm 103:13-14) You are never alone because God is with you. He is close to you and understands you more than you understand yourself.

May this revelation go deep into each one of our hearts today so that we will never, ever feel alone again. He knows everything about us and yet He still loves us with all His heart!

~ Barry Adams