I’ve Got Joy!

Serving in bus church on Wednesday nights has given our family new opportunities including learning a new chorus. We had never heard the following children’s song before, but lately, it is one that has been sung at very random times around our house. Just let someone say, “I’ve got joy”, and everyone else is ready to chime in. 🙂

I’ve got joy down in my heart

Deep, deep down in my heart

J – O – Y  down in my heart

Deep, deep down in my heart

Jesus put it there

And nothing can destroy it, destroy it, destroy it!

I’ve got joy down in my heart

Deep, deep down in my heart

“And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.”  John 16:22

~ Rachel ~

Responding to Reproof

“Then Job answered the LORD, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.”  Job 40:3-5

Because Job’s response to the Lord’s reproof in the previous two chapters was one of humility, God continued to speak to Job:

“Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,”  Job 40:6

When our response to reproof is one of pride by exhibiting anger, self-righteousness, etc., we are forfeiting further instruction from God. Our spiritual growth will be at a standstill until we humble ourselves and accept what the Lord desires to teach us. Matthew Henry’s comments on this passage include:

“Those who profit by what they hear from God shall hear more from Him.”

As painful as it may be at times, we must respond to the Lord’s reproof with the teachable spirit of humility if we desire to continue growing.

“Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.”  Proverbs 9:8,9

~ Rachel ~

100% Hamburger or Mystery Meat?

“For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat. Let us choose to us judgment: let us know among ourselves what is good.” Job 34:3,4

Reading the above verses this morning brought to mind my school days and cafeteria food. One not-so-fond memory I have were the days that hamburgers were served. One bite told any discerning eater that what was in their mouth was NOT 100% hamburger. It did not matter what the menu for the day said. It did not matter if the cooks claimed that there was not a misprint. The menu may have “hamburgers” printed on it, but “hamburger” it was not. 

I will admit something right now. When our children were very young, I often had a few tricks to get them to eat their “good food”. One such trick was hiding that “yummy green bean mush” behind fruit. When those sweet, innocent little eyes looked at the spoon and saw that fruit (OK…I’m feeling guilty now), their mouths would open wide and in would go a rather interesting mix. I remember using this same trick with one of our GRANDbabies and baked beans. This little buddy did not want to eat his beans so I cleverly mixed a few in with a food he liked, only to have him suck off the favorite food and spit out the beans. The minute that food mixture entered his little mouth, his discerning taste buds alerted him to those yucky beans. Oh well…

The Bible clearly warns us to be very discerning in the words we hear. Just because the speaker may claim the words to be 100% true does not guarantee 100% truth. As the above passage says, “…the ear trieth words…”, we are commanded in I Thessalonians 5:21, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”  It is the simple person that believes everything they hear “The simple believeth every word …” but it is the WISE person who exercises much caution in what they believe – but the prudent man looketh well to his going.” Proverbs 14:15

Words spoken to us may contain “part hamburger”…part truth…but, how careful we must be to not quickly pass judgment until we are able to hear the whole matter. Practicing caution can save us from much shame down the road, “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” Proverbs 18:13  Even then, how very important to pray for wisdom and discernment. I have found that if we want to believe everything that is said to us, we will believe it. But, if we desire only to believe truth, God is very faithful to reveal truth to us.

“Charity…rejoiceth in the truth.” I Corinthians 13:4,6

~ Rachel ~

If We Were a Bible Character – Job

If we were a Bible character; our life, men had read.

From the pages of Scripture, just what would be said?

If God were writing our profile today,

To record in His Word; just what would it say?

“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.” Job 1:1

What wonderful words to be said of a man…indeed, Job had a good name with God! We don’t have to read very far to see this same man suffer probably the greatest losses (at least in the short amount of time) among men. To some, the thought of this very Godly man experiencing such extreme trials could be quite discouraging. Why Job? He LOVED God. He FEARED God. He SHUNNED evil. Why him?

The more we read God’s Word, the more we will realize how often the Lord allows some of His choicest servants to go through the darkest of valleys. Think of Joseph, of Daniel, of Jeremiah…just to name a few. Throughout this book, we see Job’s TRUST in God…but also his humanness even to the point of wishing he had never been born. (Aren’t we so thankful that God does not give us EVERY thing for which we ask?)

The story of Job is a perfect reminder that trials come to all. And, as strange as it may seem, the Bible tells us that not only should we expect trials but we should welcome them!

“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” I Peter 1:6,7

As we see in Job 42, in every trial God may allow in our life, there will be a first chapter as well as a last chapter. Yes, the last chapter…the morning…does eventually come once again! But, during those middle chapters of our trial, may we, by God’s grace, be able to say with Job,

“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him…”  Job 13:15

~ Rachel ~

Isaiah 53

Isaiah 53

“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

O to Be Like Thee!

O to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer, This is my constant longing and prayer; Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures, Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Refrain: O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee, Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art; Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness; Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

O to be like Thee! full of compassion, Loving, forgiving, tender and kind, Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting, Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit, Holy and harmless, patient and brave; Meekly enduring cruel reproaches, Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! Lord, I am coming Now to receive anointing divine; All that I am and have I am bringing, Lord, from this moment all shall be Thine.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading, Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love; Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling, Fit me for life and Heaven above.

(words by Thomas O. Chisholm)

~ Rachel ~