Greetings to you in the name of ‘Heaven’s Champion’, Jesus Christ – THE Risen Saviour! What a lovely winter’s day in the Kingdom – cool, crisp, with sunshine, and blue skies … and I believe it is healthy! I trust that you have enjoyed the first week of a new year and are a little excited about what lies ahead, in spite of some present concerns and challenges. I am looking forward to this weekend’s worship gathering(s)…are you? Why not tell God, a few times today, that you are expecting to meet Him in the assembly of fellow-saints when you enter His sanctuary? Today I will be praying for you, asking Father to disturb any negativity, reluctance, hesitation, and/or fear that may be lurking within you, so that you may experience an “Epiphany weekend”.
We started a new devotional book in our home to start our new year and the coming adventures of 2017. The first nine days…yes, we started before January 1th…have been about having a goal or vision or focal point to fix our eyes upon. The author, Joel Osteen, used a story each day to illustrate the importance of having something tangible to remind us of what our dream-vision-desire was. For a coup[le wanting a child…a package of diapers. For a busy business man needing a piece of equipment…a picture of the item to carry in his daily journal. For a man believing he was going to purchase a property…a picture of the property to put under his desk calendar. Always something that would be meaningful that would serve as an ongoing reminder of what they were believing God to provide.
Confession time – sometimes I can be a little skeptical about such things. However, I am a little like the apostle, Peter. It takes time to convince me about some things but when I get it … I get it! Today’s reading was the last on this topic…and part of me was glad to move on. I was thinking the morning devotional through on my way to the office when God decided to give me a little nudge. So, God used the Holy Spirit to bring a verse of scripture into my mind: Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 NIV. I must say that I had never considered that idea before…Jesus kept a vision-an image-picture that brought joy to his spirit ever before him. When he was facing Satan in the wilderness…he saw ‘joy’ beyond the moment. When he faced the opposition of religious leaders or the ridicule or the loneliness or the disappointment or the rejection … he looked beyond and saw joy.
I wonder what ‘joy’ looked like to him? Did he see you and I coming to faith in a moment of surrender? Did he see the nations coming to his feet in submission? Did he see our loved ones who have gone ahead of us coming into heaven? Did he see people being healed, relationships restored, marriages reconciled, families restored? Perhaps all this and more, much much more. I believe this ‘joy’ was quite tangible to him. Therefore I need to have something – to be a representation of my hope, my dream to set before me.
Something to think about this weekend…be blessed!