PROSPERING IN EVERYTHING
They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper. – Psalm 1:3, NRSV
Large trees represent power, majesty and stability. Have you ever noticed the difference between a tree planted by the water and a tree far away from water? The tree next to the water is much more healthy and vibrant. Its fruit and blossoms are more beautiful.
In the Bible, the Word of God is compared to water. When you are “planted” in the Word of God, your spirit is fed, and you grow strong just like the tree planted by the water. Trees planted by the water will yield fruit at the right season and will not lose strength. Today’s verse tells us that those who love and obey the Lord will prosper in whatever they do.
Do you want to prosper in your relationships? Seek God’s Word regarding relationships. Do you want to prosper in your health? Seek God’s Word about healing. Do you want to prosper in your finances? Seek God’s Word regarding finances. As you seek God and His Word and follow His commands, you will grow strong and prosper in everything you do!
Wise men…came…saying, “Where is He…?”‘ Matthew 2:1-2 NKJV
Notice two things about the wise men:
(1) Who they were. Astrologers. Jews considered astrology to be a counterfeit to true prophecy. Be careful; there are people whose lifestyles you may disapprove of, who are honestly seeking God. So be gracious in your dealings with them. The Greek philosophers on Mars Hill had a pantheon of gods. Was Paul shocked or put off? No. He commended them for being willing to search for God, adding, ‘He is not far from each one of us.’ (Acts 17:27 NKJV) Don’t jump to conclusions and write people off. In God’s eyes every weed is a potential rose and every loser is a potential winner. Andyou should be glad about that!
(2) How far they travelled. They left their families and the comforts of home to travel thousands of kilometres in order to find God. Their round–trip journey took two years, taking them through a Jewish village where they didn’t fit in. Meanwhile, leaders who had access to the prophecies of Christ’s birth wouldn’t expend the time and effort to check them out. We often quote Jeremiah 29:11, ‘“The plans I have for you,” says the Lord… “are plans for good…to give you a future and a hope.”’ But don’t stop there, read on: ‘When you pray, I will listen. If you look for Me wholeheartedly, you will find Me.’ (Jeremiah 29:12–13 NLT) Poet Julie Carro wrote, ‘Now wise men still seek His face as they did in days of old; to give the Lord their hearts, more precious than silver and gold.’ How far are you prepared to go in your search for God?
GOD’S GLORY HAS BEEN RESTORED TO YOU
John 17:22 – And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
When God made man, the Bible says that God crowned him with glory and honor. (Psalm 8:5) The word “crowned” here means to encompass or to surround like a glorious circle. The glory of God was therefore man’s clothing. In other words, Adam’s whole being was gloriously radiant.
When man sinned against God, he forfeited the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) But when Jesus Christ was born, the glory of God came down. (Luke 2:9) And many years later, Jesus, before He died, said to His Father, “The glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one.”
So the glory of God which man forfeited has now been restored to him because Jesus has come. When He died on the cross, He took our shame, gave us His righteousness and restored the glory of God to us.
But what exactly is the glory of God? Doxa, the Greek word for “glory” here, means having a good opinion concerning one that results in praise, honor and glory. This means that in restoring to us His glory, God wants us to have the sense that we are praiseworthy, honorable and glorious because of His constant good opinion of us!
Beloved, because God’s glory is on you, there is a weightiness about you. People don’t know why, but their spirits are lifted when they are in your presence. There is something about you that impacts them even if they have only been with you for a short while. When you talk, they listen because there is substance in what you say.
Also, because God’s glory is on you, you can expect it to touch every aspect of your life—your finances, relationships, work and health. Your body, for example, will glow with divine health.
So my friend, because Jesus has come and restored the glory of God to you, be conscious of God’s constant good opinion of you. Know that there is a weightiness about you and arise, shine!
Thought For The Day :
When Jesus died on the cross, He took our shame, gave us His righteousness and restored the glory of God to us.
GOD SO LOVES YOU
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. – John 3:16
A bell is not a bell until you ring it. A song is not a song until you sing it. Love is not love until you give it. And God gave us His only beloved Son, Jesus Christ, some 2,000 years ago, all because He loves you with every fiber of His being.
Every time you think of or celebrate Christmas, remember this: Christmas is a sure sign from heaven that God loves you. God so loved YOU (you can put your name there) that He gave you Jesus. So you are loved, my friend. Every pain you feel in your heart, every disappointment that you go through, every tear that falls, God knows all that you are going through because He cares deeply about you.
Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Because the Lord so loves you, He came and died to give you life more abundantly. He wants you joyful and enjoying good success. Meditate on His immeasurable love for you this Christmas season and begin to step into a greater measure of His abundant life!
John 20:25 “The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Thomas refused to believe what He couldn’t see or feel. Our five senses were given to us by God and are necessary to help us function in this life. But if we do not renew our minds to acknowledge the limits of our five senses, they will keep us from believing. Faith can perceive things that the senses cannot (Heb. 11:1).
There is a human faith and a supernatural, God-kind of faith. Human faith is based on physical things that we can see, taste, hear, smell, or feel. God’s kind of faith believes independently of physical circumstances. To receive God’s gift of salvation, we have to use the supernatural, God-kind of faith which isn’t limited by our five senses. This is because, to be saved, we must believe for things that we can’t see or feel. We haven’t seen God or the devil. We haven’t seen Heaven or Hell. Yet we have to believe that these things exist. Human faith can’t believe what it can’t see.
Man is so destitute that he can’t even believe the gospel on his own. To receive God’s gift of salvation, we have to receive the supernatural, God-kind of faith first. Where does this faith come from? How do we get it?
Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” God’s Word contains His faith. As we hear the Word of God about salvation, We receive God’s faith so that we can believe the good news of our salvation. We actually use God’s faith to get saved.
This God-kind of faith doesn’t leave us after our born-again experience.
God’s faith becomes a fruit of the Spirit which is in our hearts. We never lose this supernatural faith. We just have to renew our minds to God’s faith which is in us, and then learn how to use it.
WHAT REALLY MATTERS
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! —2 Corinthians 9:15
When our children were living at home, one of our most meaningful Christmas morning traditions was very simple. We would gather our family around the Christmas tree where, in sight of the gifts we were receiving from one another, we would read the Christmas story together. It was a gentle reminder that the reason we give gifts is not because the Magi brought gifts to the Christ-child. Rather, our gifts of love for one another were a reflection of God’s infinitely greater Gift of love to us.
As we rehearsed the familiar story of angels, shepherds, and the manger scene, it was our hope that the magnitude of what God had done that first Christmas would overshadow our best attempts at displaying our love for each other.
Nothing could ever match the gift God has given us in His Son, a reality which echoes in Paul’s words to the church at Corinth, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Cor. 9:15).
Clearly, God’s willingness to send His Son to be our rescue is a gift that words cannot fully comprehend. This is the gift that we celebrate at Christmas—for Christ Himself is truly what matters most.
’Twas a humble birthplace, but O how much
God gave to us that day;
From the manger bed what a path has led,
What a perfect, holy way!
Jesus Himself is the greatest Christmas gift ever given.