Psalm 118:24-25 (NLT)
This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.Please, Lord, please save us. Please, Lord, please give us success.
When I woke up this morning, I thanked the Lord for another day of sleeping in during our winter break. Although to some 8:00 AM may not seem like much but to those who welcome each new day at 4:30 AM it is a wonderful. The first thing that came to my mind was Psalm 118:24, “This is the day the Lord has made. (I) will rejoice and be glad in it.” It’s funny how such a simple declaration can flood a heart with warmth and peace. In a nutshell, to live, love and laugh are the secret to success. The words have become cliché in a world that pretends to live, tries to love, and disguises its true feelings with laughter. Life is not random as people try to perceive it and fate is a not reality. Every single day of your life has been handwritten by God. (Psalm 139:16) He then created a person to step into such purpose and live that life victoriously. (I Corinthians 15:57) The Lord equipped and prepared you to face every challenge and take hold of every opportunity to His Glory. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) The problem is that instead of making a commitment to know God and follow His Ways including living, loving and laughing, people would like to think that they have some control over destiny. Using God’s Grace as leniency rather than the pardon that it is, they continue to live in the darkness calling out His Name. God did not create you to wander. His Purpose is that you discover Eternity in your heart and decide to live, love and laugh as ordained by God when He created you. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) There is no chance encounter. Every single moment of your life is decided. It is up to you whether you choose success or failure. It all begins with Jesus Christ.
Psalm 118:19-22 (NLT)
Open for me the gates where the righteous enter and I will go in and thank the Lord. These gates lead to the presence of the Lord, and the godly enter there.I thank you for answering my prayer and giving me victory! The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.
Is Jesus the cornerstone of your life? Righteousness begins with a firm foundation of faith that can only be found in Jesus Christ. When the walls of your carefully constructed life come falling down in the midst of a bad economy, unemployment, illness, death and loss is there anything left to your life? Religion does not build a foundation of faith because it has no sustaining power in our life. Churches split, fail and close every day which clearly indicates their insufficiency and power. When Jesus Christ is the central focus of your existence, you can live when you feel like dying. You can love when you don’t feel such an emotion. You can laugh through blinding tears from joy that fills your heart to overflowing. This comes from Jesus Christ who lives inside your heart. The church may let you down. People will definitely let you down. But the Lord will never leave you or forsake you! (Deuteronomy 31:6) When you step out in faith it is always following the Will and Way of God. To live victoriously we must learn to continue to follow His Way, His Will and His Word no matter how things look or how we feel knowing that God has already destined us for good things according to His Power. By living in His Presence, we can access this life as our inheritance. Life is good… when you walk out God’s Plan and claim His Best for your life. This is the day LORD made. I WILL rejoice and be glad in it. Commitment to the Way of God will fulfill the Will of God so you can everything in the Word of God!
Philippians 1:20-22 (NLT)
For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better.
In the New King James Version of this text it reads “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” And no, this does not mean you are better off dead. The problem is that we do not understand or accept the parameters of life in Christ. When we call on the Name of Jesus Christ, the boundaries of our life no longer encompass our birthday to death certificate. Now we live from creation to glory. Glory goes from glory to glory meaning eternity or infinity with Jesus. When we come to Jesus Christ we give Him our short life corrupted by sin and He gives us ETERNAL life which is forever. What a trade…nothing much for everything and all! So living for Jesus Christ is not surrendering your life but extending it beyond death and the grave. Dying is better when it is time for you to go. The Lord has specified the number of days in your life in direct conjunction with His Purpose and Plan. This is your time to develop your faith. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. As faith develops, it grows into a relationship with Jesus Christ. We begin to learn to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul and body. There are many details when we come to Jesus Christ that need to be turned into the good that He has promised. (Romans 8:28) So each new day is an opportunity for the righteous to see the Goodness of God in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13) – it is a successful and privileged life that only the Children of God can experience. It is definitely worth waiting for. Faith allows us to wait and endure the trials of life knowing the Lord is working it all out for our own good and His Glory! So yes, to live is Jesus Christ!
Ephesians 5:1-2 (NLT)
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved usand offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
As we imitate God in this life that we have been given, it should be a life filled with love. According to the old country song by Garth Brooks, most people are looking for love in all the wrong places. This world does not know the true meaning of love. Our world would be a very different place if love was genuine and true. “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (I Corinthians 13:4-7) Most people will not even let you out in traffic or allow another to go first. The mad rush of the rat race has lost sight of love one another. The Love Chapter in the Bible then tells us that three things last forever – faith, hope and love. The greatest of these is love! (I Corinthians 13:13) We can have faith in Jesus Christ enough to build confident hope, but if we approach Jesus and failed to love other people then we will miss the mark completely. ”So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34-35) The disciples at the time were more interested in where Jesus was going than what He was saying. I imagine this is probably why Jesus has not come back yet as we are given time to learn to love. Our love for others should not be based on expectation as we put all our faith and hope in Jesus. But we must be moved to lay down our life for others. “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” (John 15:12-14) Just a hint…I will never lay down my life in love for another as long as my pride remains intact. I am learning this the hard way and just though I would pass it along in hope that you will get it quicker than I am. The Bible tells us that by loving one another our joy is full! Who doesn’t want to be happy?
John 15:11-12 (NLT)
I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.
When my son was diagnosed with cancer last October, a crazy thing happened. When the surgery ended abruptly and without explanation, we all knew that it was not good. It would take the doctor a couple of hours to finally make it to our room. His words fell heavy on my heart and shattered it in my chest. I spent about twenty minutes wrestling with the Lord in a private bathroom until I decided that my faith in God was real and valid. God had a plan. It was a good one and we would see it through. After getting the boy some food at his request, we gathered in a room with a proverbial “pink elephant” named cancer. After quietly whispering, “If you need anything just call” the nurse slipped out of our room to allow us to mourn the next unexpected chapter of life. I asked my son, “Do you know that Jesus will heal you?” He laughed a little and said, “Of course!” The atmosphere in the room began to change as my sons and I sat together. Laughter began to fill our room so much so that the nurse came back to see what the commotion was about. She was shocked. When I walked out in the hall, she commented that she had never heard anything like it in the midst of such terrible news. I simply told her, “The joy of the Lord is our strength.” We laughed most of the night. Victory comes when bad news is not life altering or threatening in the midst of faith. Anyone can laugh in the good times, but if you can laugh in the bad times you will be successful. Faith allows us to take whatever this world hands us in the form of situations, circumstances or diagnoses and laugh! Loving Jesus gives us confident hope by faith that nothing in this life will ever keep us from Eternity. His Word reminds us that He has it all under control and things are going according to His Plan but if you do not know Jesus or His Word, where does your help come from? My help comes from the Lord maker of Heaven and Earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)
Psalm 121:5-8 (NLT)
The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.
By making the declaration, “this IS the day the Lord has made and I WILL rejoice and be glad in it” Jesus is made the cornerstone of your life by faith. Such a commitment opens the gate to His Presence so not only are you permitted into His Presence, but His Presence fills every facet of your love empowering every detail for good! Now Jesus is put in control, He is your helper. This is an awesome choice that leads to success because He is the author and finisher of faith who knows the beginning AND the end. Who better to work it all out for good? Nothing surprises the Lord. Now as the Lord watches over you – you can live in Jesus Christ. He stands beside you protecting you so your hands are free to love others. Your joy can be full because now there is nothing to fear. Death has no power. The grave has lost its sting. (I Corinthians 15:55) All I have to do now is live, love and laugh. Faith allows me to do that with confident hope that He who has promised is able to do what He said that He would do! (Romans 4:20-22) The secret to success is found only in Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter how your life looks today you have the potential to see every detail worked out for the good if you will just hang on to faith and never give up! Nothing can ever separate you from His Love which enables you to overcome in all situations. (John 16:33) If you are a believer, you have everything you need to live a successful life. Live for Jesus. Love like Jesus. Laugh because your joy is full! Now go and be successful! You have the victory today if you will choose to claim it! This IS the day the Lord made and I WILL be glad and rejoice in it! Live, love and laugh – it’s the secret of success!
Romans 8: 37-39 (NLT)
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.