Posts Tagged With: joy

Knocked Down, But NEVER Knocked Out

As you will hear in this PODCAST, Peter will write this extraordinary sentence:

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.”

Trials, I will remind you, that cost Peter’s readers everything.

How did they do it? How was it possible for them—How is it possible for us?—to rejoice when they/we are experiencing the crushing weight of heavy-hearted emotion?

You are only 45 minutes away from knowing the answer.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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“Weight-ing” on the Lord

As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, the time has come for us to have a sensible discussion about an issue that has been grossly misunderstood, and consequently grievously mis-taught, in far too many Christian settings. All of this causing so much harm spiritually, mentally, and emotionally to so many.

Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Oh, my dear friends, get ready to be set free!

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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Heavenly Chutzpah

determination-687x324It’s been a tough week for our country. Riots at political rallies. An increasingly course discourse. Much angst in the world.

And I know you are feeling it.

Well, consider this PODCAST to be a bright and beautiful shot of much-needed adrenaline to your system, some refreshing encouragement from Jesus’ heart to yours.

Let’s begin our discussion with this: It is one of the most precious, and quite frankly priceless privileges in the entire Bible. I am referring to the one verse that concludes the fourth chapter of the book of Hebrews. One glorious verse that speaks volumes, both to the original readers of this verse, and to us as well.

But before I read it to you, I must first set this scene: As its title suggests — Hebrews — this book was written to Jewish believers in Jesus. These precious people lost everything when they become committed Christ-followers. Unlike the letters of Paul, written to local gatherings of believers in a given city — Rome, Corinth, Philippi — this letter was written to Jewish (Hebrew) believers struggling everywhere throughout the Roman Empire because, due to relentless persecution, they were scattered, far and wide.

We get only the barest of glimpses into their desperate circumstances from cryptic statements such as these:

“Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering. Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things. You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever” (Hebrews 10).

Or this in Hebrews 13:

“Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.”

No one was exempt. Not even someone as faithful as young Pastor Timothy, protege of the Apostle Paul, of whom we read in Hebrews 13:

“I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released from jail. If he comes here soon, I will bring him with me to see you.”

For the first generation of Jewish Christ-followers, times were tough, their circumstances dire. So in order to encourage them, the writer of this great book made to them (and to us!) this precious promise:

“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”

Emphasis upon that shockingly bold word “boldly.”

Trust me. That thud you just heard was sound of their jaws dropping and hitting the floor as the original readers scanned those words into their suffering souls, for reasons that you will soon hear.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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The Stage is Set!

20130221-stage-setJesus was happy. Truly, genuinely happy.

Which, if you think about it, and as you will hear in this PODCAST, is a most remarkable statement.

As you know, and as we have chronicled over the now 3½ years of this Jesus in High Definition study, Jesus was (to quote Isaiah):

“despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.”

Never will that become so heartrendingly obvious as in the days immediately preceding His crucifixion. You want to talk about HD, we’ll soon see His rejection, sorrow, and grief in all of its gripping detail.

Jesus was a Man of whom it was written, “Jesus wept.” But the fact is, as we have seen and will see as His crucifixion approaches, Jesus wept often, convulsively, with a sorrow that penetrated down to His very bones.

Had we seen Him, up close and personal, we would have looked upon a Man who looked like He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders… because He did.

But as you are about to hear, here in Luke 10, this is the one and only time that this was recorded in any of the four Gospels:

Jesus was truly happy.

In order to capture this poignant moment, frozen in time, Luke employed a particular word, used of Jesus only here, that literally means to leap for joy, to exult, to show one’s joy by leaping and skipping. A word that denotes ecstatic joy and sheer delight.

We could therefore properly translate Luke 10:21 to read,

“At that same time, Jesus jumped for joy.”

Given the rarity of such an emotion in Jesus’ storied life and ministry — punctuated as it was by the highest of highs and the lowest of lows — I want to know why Jesus jumped for joy.

Don’t you?

And in fact, if you read Luke 10:21 carefully, the whole of the Trinity got into the act:

“At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and he said, ‘O Father…'”

Why? What caused Jesus to experience such a bounding joy? So much joy that the entire Godhead — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — shared in His joy?

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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