Knowing God Produces Joy

Good morning. It is Tuesday, May 6, 2015.

Today’s Word of the Day, from Merriam-Webster, is dauntless. This is an adjective, meaning, “resolute especially in the face of danger or difficulty : fearless, undaunted.”

Today is No Diet Day. Don’t misunderstand. The idea is not to just eat whatever you want. The idea is to not engage in unhealthy fad diets. Perhaps it might be better titles, “No Fad Diet Day.” Seriously, “diets,” such as Atkins and any other diet that encourages you to totally remove a necessary nutrient from your diet, are BAD for you! Our body needs a balanced diet of carbs, fats, sugars, and proteins. And anything else that I left out. Oh, yeah. Vegetables. 😛 Bleah.

Last night’s Huddle was one of the best we’ve had (in my opinion). I’m sad that one of our members wasn’t there, due to familial obligations. But we had some great, encouraging discussion, which was hopefully helpful for all who were there. It was good to be back with my brothers.

Christi is still coughing quite a bit, which affects her sleeping, of course, so she is not resting well. I’m praying that she will get some relief from this soon.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Hear this, all peoples! Give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
both low and high, rich and poor together!
My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.
I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will solve my riddle to the music of the lyre.
Why should I fear in times of trouble, when the iniquity of those who cheat me surrounds me,
those who trust in their wealth and boast of the abundance of their riches?
Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life,
for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice,
that he should live on forever and never see the pit.
For he sees that even the wise die; the fool and the stupid alike must perish and leave their wealth to others.
Their graves are their homes forever, their dwelling places to all generations, though they called lands by their own names.
Man in his pomp will not remain; he is like the beasts that perish.
This is the path of those who have foolish confidence; yet after them people approve of their boasts. Selah.
Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol; death shall be their shepherd, and the upright shall rule over them in the morning. Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell.
But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me. Selah.
Be not afraid when a man becomes rich, when the glory of his house increases.
For when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not go down after him.
For though, while he lives, he counts himself blessed —and though you get praise when you do well for yourself—
his soul will go to the generation of his fathers, who will never again see light.
Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.

Psalm 49

“It is impossible that anyone should speak with the propriety and knowledge necessary for the edification of the Church, who has not, in the first place, been taught at the feet of the Lord.” (John Calvin, Heart Aflame

(From Solid Joys)

Today’s reading is “Truer Knowledge Brings Greater Joy.”

And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.
Nehemiah 8:12

“The only joy that reflects the worth of God and overflows in God-glorifying love is rooted in the true knowledge of God. And to the degree that our knowledge is small or flawed, our joy will be a poor echo of God’s true excellence.”

Nehemiah 8:12 is a perfect picture of how “God-glorifying joy” comes to be in our hearts. What had happened, previously to that verse, was that Ezra had read the Word of God to the people, and then the Levites explained it to them. Suddenly, they understood, and it made them rejoice! “Their great rejoicing was because they had understood words.”

More than once, Jesus told his disciples that he was teaching them that their joy might be full. Who among us has not experienced great joy when God’s Word was opened up to us?

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
John 15:11
But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
John 17:13

Over and over again, through Scripture, the Lord offers himself to be known and enjoyed. “If our joy is going to reflect the glory of God, then it must flow from true knowledge of how God is glorious. If we are going to enjoy God duly, we must know him truly.”

Father, I see, to some degree, why my joy has been lacking, of late. I have not spent quality time getting to know you. Some might say that I know you well enough, having spent the majority of my life in the process. But I say never will I know you enough. Not until I stand before you, face-to-face, will I know you enough for my joy to be complete and full. Therefore, it is my duty to spend my days on earth seeking to know you better, that my joy might be more full on this earth. I pray that you would deter me from seeking joy in earthly things, but that, rather, I might seek joy in the pursuit of Godliness and knowing you fully. Let that begin today, Father.

I pray for this day, that we might have safe travel to and from work. I continue to pray for Christi’s healing, that this wretched cough might be healed! I bet you, Father, give her relief from this cough, that she might function well and rest well. I pray for Stephanie that she might fully experience your love and know you well. I pray for my mother, that you might continue to strengthen her and help her deal with tasks that need to be done. Thank you for the people in her life who are constantly helping her. May you provide for and protect Rachel and Justin as they go about their lives. Finally, I pray for myself, that you would lead me down a path of knowledge and joy, teaching your ways, that I might walk in your truth.

I lift up Kevin as he deals with anxiety in his life. May you bring him peace and comfort. I also lift up Craig as he grapples with truth regarding his salvation and life. Help him (and all of us, indeed) understand the scope of our great salvation.

I am both convicted and inspired by this reading today, that I need to work harder at knowing God in all three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Grace and peace, friends.

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