Joy

Making Music

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Ephesians 5:18b-19 says, “Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord…”

Feeling blue? How about an inspiring song? Even if it’s simple, a tune in your head can make you feel happier! It is a scientific, statistical fact that upbeat music releases the feel-good chemical, dopamine, in your brain.

No wonder Ephesians 5:19 teaches us to “speak to one another with psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit.” God’s Word encourages us to “sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.”

On top of the feel-good brain chemical, you, as a believer in Christ, also have the encouragement of the Holy Spirit as you sing to Him. So here’s a melody to get stuck in your head today.

I sing because I’m happy,

I sing because I’m free,

For His eye is on the sparrow,

And I know He watches me.

I hope you are feeling happier already. Keep on singing!

And there you go!

Becoming Mature and Complete

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James 1:2-4 says,Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Let’s face it. To get in shape physically, it takes perseverance and sometimes, a great deal of pain. But if we want to be completely fit, we must remember, “No pain. No gain!” I go to a trainer two times a week for thirty minutes, which frankly isn’t fun for me. I really like my trainer, but it seems she is only happy when I am sore. She has explained this is the only way she knows the exercises are working. Can you relate to that?

Spiritually, I believe the trials of life work the same way. James 1 says we should, “consider it pure joy” when we face trials of many kinds. Why? Because the testing of our faith develops perseverance.  

Perseverance must finish its work so that we will be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Sometimes I wish it could be easier, but remember, our Father always knows best and He loves us! I admit it’s often hard for me to find joy in the trials of life. Maybe it’s hard for you too. But in the end, we will forever be fit, complete, and mature.  

Today, let’s thank God for trials that come our way because we know we are going to radiate God’s glory when He finishes with our training! The finish line is in view and the crowd of saints is cheering us on to victory!

And there you go!

(Today’s blog is an excerpt from my new devotional series, Perseverance Seriously! You can order it today by clicking HERE)


Do You Need a Heart Transplant?

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Ezekiel 36:26 says, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Seriously!

That sounds like transplant surgery to me! But it’s a surgery of such promise. In her book, Fervent, Priscilla Shirer puts it this way…

Do you see the promise? I will give you. I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart that’s alive and tender again, one that’s beating and responsive again. Engaged again. Able to believe again!

How about you — is that the heart you want? Are you tired of sad? Are you sick of the numbness that comes from apathy? Do you want the heart of flesh that beats Christ’s life through your very being?

Let’s ask Him to make the exchange, brothers & sisters. Our hearts of stone for hearts of flesh! What will it look like when His spirit is poured out in us, on us, and through us?

This much I know — There will be joy, unspeakable, and full of glory. His light will shine; His good news will be shared; His kingdom will increase. Oh, the half of it has yet to be told of what God will accomplish with hearts that are His. And there you go!

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