Month: April 2017

Joy In The Desert

Jonathan Cahnby Jonathan Cahn

On a pilgrimage tour to Israel, our accommodations varied. We were in a luxury hotel with waters flowing in from the Dead Sea. Then we stayed in a kibbutz, an Israeli farm community. It was in the middle of the desert. It was so bare and yet, it was one of the most special experiences on that pilgrimage.

Your pilgrimage on earth is the same way. Often what you think is the most meaningful: gaining money, riches, comfort, big houses, reputation or status turns out to be nothing in the end. But those things you didn’t expect – the times of prayer, of love with your family, giving, helping, those times that maybe weren’t comfortable, but were God’s will, growing closer to Him, worshiping Him, persevering in righteousness, being faithful in Him are the things at the end of the journey that have the most glory. Because it’s not the luxury hotels that are going to mean anything, but the places you spend being faithful, doing His will, loving, rejoicing, blessing, close in His arms, your kibbutz in the desert – that’s what will mean everything in the world.

Today’s Mission – Today forget being comfortable. Seek to do what is right, and meaningful in God and forever.

by Jonathan Cahn

The Joy of Exalting Christ

John MacArthurby John MacArthur

“Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:1).

If exalting Christ is your goal, anything that furthers the gospel will bring you joy.

Next to the Lord Himself, Paul is perhaps the greatest illustration that joy is not necessarily related to one’s circumstances.

Paul wrote to the Philippians from a prison cell, yet he spoke of joy and contentment. His life was a series of difficulties and life-threatening situations (see 2 Cor. 11:23-33). In fact the Lord, shortly after confronting him on the road to Damascus, said, “[Paul] is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake” (Acts 9:15-16). Yet in every situation Paul found cause for rejoicing.

His compelling desire to exalt Christ drove him to endure trial after trial. When Christ was exalted, Paul rejoiced. That was evident in Philippi where, after a brief ministry in which God redeemed a businesswoman named Lydia and expelled demons from a slave girl, Paul and Silas were falsely accused, unjustly beaten, and thrown into prison. Even that didn’t stifle their joy, for at “about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them” (Acts 16:25).

That was such a powerful testimony to the joy of the Lord that soon afterward the jailer and his entire family believed the gospel and were saved.

Even when imprisonment prevented Paul from ministering as effectively as he desired, and when others usurped his apostleship and preached Christ out of envy and strife, he remained undaunted (Phil. 1:18). His circumstances were secondary to the priority of exalting Christ.

Is that your perspective? It can be! If your priority is to exalt Christ in every circumstance, whatever furthers that purpose will bring you joy.

by John MacArthur