Christian joy

The Joy of Your Name: Discovering Your Identity in Christ

The Joy of Your Name: Discovering Your Identity in Christ

Let’s talk about joy. What makes you happy?

Is it that new gadget you just bought, or maybe that upcoming vacation you’ve been dreaming about? There’s nothing wrong with enjoying these things, but what if I told you there’s a source of joy that goes way deeper?

The Bible tells us in Luke 10:20 that our true joy comes from knowing our names are written in heaven.

 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

That’s pretty powerful, right?

Your Name Matters to God

Your name isn’t just a random label. It’s a reflection of who you are to God. He chose you before you were even born to be His beloved son or daughter. (Ephesians 1:4).

Think about that for a second. You are chosen, loved, and accepted by God Himself, not because of anything you’ve done, but because of His amazing grace. That’s something to celebrate!

Living Up to Your Name

Having your name written in heaven comes with a responsibility – to live a life that honors God. It’s about loving Him with everything you’ve got and loving others the way He loves you.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12:30-31

It’s not always easy, but the good news is you don’t have to do it alone. The Holy Spirit is there to empower you to resist temptation, overcome challenges, and live a life that reflects God’s character.

Finding Joy in Your Name

So, how do you experience this joy that comes from knowing your name is written in heaven? Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Your Identity is Secure: Your standing with God isn’t based on your feelings or circumstances. It’s based on His love and faithfulness.

 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39
  • Your Purpose is Clear: God has a plan for your life, and He wants to use you to share His love with the world.

 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10
  • Your Relationship Matters: Knowing God and experiencing His love is the greatest joy there is.

 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

John 15:11

Living the Joyful Life

As you grow in your relationship with God, you’ll discover a joy that goes beyond anything this world can offer. It’s a joy that comes from knowing you are loved, forgiven, and secure in God’s hands.

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“One Minute with God”

Posted by onthesolidrock in Daily Inspiration, Thankfulness
All In: Following Jesus Wholeheartedly

All In: Following Jesus Wholeheartedly

Have you ever felt a nudge towards following Jesus more diligently? Maybe a sermon resonated with you, a friend invited you to church, or a scripture passage spoke volumes.

Perhaps you felt God’s presence in prayer, a crisis, or a joyful moment. Whatever the case, you sensed a pull to follow Jesus and become His disciple.

But what exactly does that mean? Is it just a prayer, church attendance, or good deeds? Is it a one-time decision or a lifelong commitment? Easy or hard, or maybe both?

The Cost of Discipleship

For answers, let’s look at Jesus calling His first disciples (Luke 9). Traveling and preaching the Kingdom message, He encountered people interested in following Him.

However, Jesus didn’t sugarcoat the cost. He challenged them to consider the commitment and make a radical choice.

One person said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family” (Luke 9:61). Seems reasonable, right? Family is important.

But Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62)

Was Jesus being harsh? Unrealistic? Not at all. He used a farming analogy to illustrate a spiritual principle. Plowing required focus. Looking back disrupted concentration, creating crooked furrows, wasted effort, and a poor harvest.

Similarly, following Jesus requires focus. A disciple glancing back at their old life loses focus, leading to poor decisions and wasted effort.

Jesus wasn’t saying to abandon family, neglect responsibilities, or ignore relationships. He emphasized not letting anything distract from our primary allegiance to Him and His Kingdom. He wanted our wholehearted following.

Challenges and Rewards

Following Jesus isn’t a walk in the park. It involves sacrifice, surrender, and service. Leaving behind old ways, habits, attachments, and ambitions. Taking up our cross, denying ourselves, and following Him.

Facing opposition, persecution, and hardship. It’s about faithfulness, obedience, loyalty, humility, teachability, and willingness.

But it’s also incredibly rewarding. There’s grace, forgiveness, and love. A new life, identity, purpose, and hope. Experiencing God’s presence, power, peace, and joy.

Joining His mission, community, family, and Kingdom. Growing in faith, character, wisdom, and fruitfulness. Sharing in His glory, honor, inheritance, and victory.

Following Jesus is the best decision we can ever make. It’s the most meaningful, fulfilling, and satisfying life. It’s the only path to true happiness, freedom, and life.

Following with All Your Heart

So, how do we follow Jesus wholeheartedly?

How do we avoid looking back or holding back?

How can we be fit for service in God’s Kingdom?

The answer is simple yet challenging. We need to love Jesus more than anything else – family, friends, possessions, comfort, reputation, dreams, plans, even our own preferences.

We need to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. He’s our Lord, Savior, Master, Friend, Treasure, Delight, our Everything.

This isn’t achievable alone.

  • We need the Holy Spirit, who empowers us to love God and obey.
  • We need the Word of God, guiding us.
  • We need the support and encouragement of the Christian community.
  • We need God’s grace, which covers and sustains us in weakness.

Most importantly, we need the example of Jesus, who loved us enough to give Himself for us.

He followed the Father’s will wholeheartedly, even to death on a cross. He rose from the dead, ascended to Heaven, and intercedes for us. He will return and welcome us into His eternal Kingdom. He deserves our wholehearted devotion, unwavering attention, and unreserved commitment.

He is the one who says to us, “Follow me.” Are you ready to follow Him with all your heart?

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Posted by onthesolidrock in Daily Inspiration, Discipline, Faith, Trust
Finding Hope and Joy

Finding Hope and Joy

Malachi 4:2 speaks of a beautiful promise: “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves” (NIV).

This verse offers a glimpse of the hope and joy God has in store for His people.

God’s Hope: A Light in the Darkness

The “sun of righteousness” symbolizes God’s presence, justice, mercy, and the promise of salvation.

Malachi assures us that for those who revere God, a time will come when He will intervene and bring an end to suffering. He will fulfill His covenant, ushering in a new era of peace and restoration.

This hope isn’t based on fleeting circumstances; it’s anchored in God’s unchanging character and faithfulness.

God’s Joy: Freedom and Abundance

The image of “well-fed calves frolicking” depicts the freedom and happiness God’s people will experience.

This joy comes from liberation from bondage, access to God’s provision, and the healing touch of His grace.

It’s a genuine and lasting joy rooted in God’s goodness and generosity.

Experiencing God’s Hope and Joy Today

This hope and joy aren’t reserved for the future; they are available now. We can experience them by:

  • Reverence: Acknowledging God’s greatness, worshiping Him sincerely, and honoring Him through our actions.
  • Grace: Confessing our sins, trusting His promises and forgiveness, and living in His presence, following His guidance.

Expressing God’s Hope and Joy in the World

Having experienced God’s love, we are called to share it with others:

  • Sharing His Word: Telling others about God’s works and promises, explaining His message, and inviting them to join His journey.
  • Showing His Love: Demonstrating care for the needs of others, using our gifts to serve, and offering prayers and blessings.

God’s hope and joy are like a radiant sun, dispelling darkness and bringing life.

As the hymn writer expresses, “Joyful, joyful, we adore thee, God of glory, Lord of love; hearts unfold like flowers before thee, opening to the sun above.”

Even in difficult times, God’s hope remains a constant source of strength, and His joy fuels our mission to share His love with the world.

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“One Minute with God”

Posted by onthesolidrock in Daily Inspiration