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Psalm 47:1 Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise!

Shame, embarrassment, and fear are just a few reasons why people minimize their enthusiasm for God. In church, they don’t raise their hands, they don’t sing, and they barely clap their hands. Outside the church, people don’t realize they’re saved because God is never mentioned.

After all that God has done for us, we’re highly encouraged to shout to Him with joyful praise. It said shout, not whisper. We shout for our sports teams or at concerts. So, why not shout for a wonderful God?

If God has been any kind of good to you, open up your mouth, increase your volume, and shout with praise.

After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel. The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight and served the images of Baal. They abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They went after other gods, worshiping the gods of the people around them. And they angered the Lord.
Judges 2:10‭-‬12 NLT

Isn’t this interesting. We kind of see this today. Our parents and grandparents acknowledged God, faithfully went to church, and read the bible. Some of us followed their example, but some of us didn’t.

A lot of today’s generation is doing what the Israelites did. They don’t acknowledge God or they’re skeptical of His existence, they’ve abandoned the church, or they’ve gone after other gods they discovered through research on the internet.

They feel like they’re being individualistic by not following what was taught to them. They feel like they’re being wise because they’ve discovered something society has hidden from them when in actuality, they’re pushing away the only One that can save, help, and deliver.

The only one influencing a person to pursue other gods or no god at all is Satan. We did not come up with this ourselves. Don’t be deceived into pushing God away. Establish a personal relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.

The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said to the Israelites, “I brought you out of Egypt into this land that I swore to give your ancestors, and I said I would never break my covenant with you.
Judges 2:1 NLT

God gave the Israelites an ultimate promise (a covenant). That covenant consisted of land. If you keep reading chapter 2, you’ll see the Israelites disobeyed God. Although they disobeyed God, He kept His covenant towards them. They may have experienced consequences for their disobedience (v. 3), but God still kept His covenant to give them land.

After Joshua sent the people away, each of the tribes left to take possession of the land allotted to them.
Judges 2:6 NLT

What does this mean for us? If you believe Jesus is your Lord and Savior, you’re under a new and a better covenant (Heb. 8:6-13). In this covenant, one promise is that our sins are not counted against us (Romans 4:8).

So, no matter what we’ve done and no matter how serious it is, our sins are not counted against us. Like the Israelites, we may have natural consequences for our sins, but our sins are not being counted against us by God. Why? Every sin we’ll ever commit was put on Jesus.

Praise God for keeping His covenant with us and we can live a life free from guilt, shame, and condemnation.

God loves you tremendously. We can’t even fathom how much God loves us. We may kind of have an idea about how much He loves us, but the love we think He has for us doesn’t compare to how much He actually loves us.

Because of His love for us, He’s implemented promises that every believer can access by faith. Because of His love for us, He wants us to live this life on earth saved, healed, delivered, stress-free, prosperous, wise, blessed, joyful, and knowing (not just feeling) we’re loved. All of these promises stem from His love towards us.

If we don’t think that He loves us, we won’t trust Him, we won’t believe Him, and we won’t obey Him. Why? Because we’re skeptical about His love towards us.

Don’t be a skeptic. Receive His love and the promises attached to His love and experience this amazing life He’s made available for us.

May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Ephesians 3:19 NLT

James 5:13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.

We hear bad news all the time. So and so are getting a divorce, this couple lost their baby, a hurricane is coming, they got COVID, and so much more. That’s the bad news.

The good news is the more bad news we hear, the more areas we can get God involved. We get God involved through prayer, faith, declaration, and praise. After hearing bad news, we can immediately pray for that situation. Our prayer doesn’t inform God about the problem. It gets God involved with that situation. It gives Him permission to provide peace and perform the miraculous.

Don’t become depressed after hearing bad news. Change your perspective. Use that bad news as a way to get God involved into your life or the lives of others.

No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
John 15:15 NKJV

The bible doesn’t call us servants of God. We (believers in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior) are children of God (Galatians 4:4-7).

Understanding our position with God allows us to approach Him differently. We should be bolder when we know we’re children of God and He’s made us joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17; Hebrews 4:16). For instance, we usually feel more comfortable asking our parents for something rather than asking someone else. When we were young and maybe even now, we usually had no problem going into our parent’s refrigerator. Why?? Because we knew they loved us and everything they had in there was ours too.

A servant’s mindset settles for scraps and takes whatever life hands them. A son’s mindset knows what their parents have, believes it’s for them, approaches their parents to ask for it, and waits to receive it.
We are sons and daughters of God. Act like it.

No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
John 15:15 NKJV

As humbling as it sounds to call ourselves servants of God, we are no longer servants of God. Prior to Jesus sacrificing His life, He called us friends.

Once Jesus sacrificed Himself, our belief in His sacrifice for our sins allows us to be in the family of God. Galatians 4:4-7 says, but when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

As we can see, we’re far from being servants. We (believers) are children of God. If Jesus doesn’t call us servants, why would I call myself a servant? Know who you are and believe you are a child of God.

Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.
1 Timothy 4:12 NLT

We may have some older friends or relatives who may not take what we have to say seriously because we’re younger than them. They may think their life experiences and wisdom outweighs a revelation from God.
News Flash… A young person can receive a revelation from God the same as an older person.

If God gives us something to say or something to do, follow through with it. It doesn’t matter if a person agrees with it or not or if they applaud us. We must be willing to follow God and not worry about the opinions of others.

Also, we shouldn’t discredit the younger generation. God is using them just like He’s using us. Listen to them and learn from them because God may be speaking to us through them.

Isaiah 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

A lot of us run to the end and rejoice about being healed. And rightfully so, but look at what Jesus experienced before then. Wounds and bruises.

Jesus was wounded for our transgressions. He was wounded so we wouldn’t have to pay the price for every sin we’ll ever commit. He received wounds for our fornication moments, our lies and because we ate too much. He did this for you and me.

Jesus was bruised for our iniquities. He paid the price for sins we’ve inherited. Jesus was bruised so that we can have a sane mind and not end up paranoid like our great grandmother. He was beaten so that we can overcome that anger that runs in our family. He was punished so that we won’t have to pay for that sin tendency of alcoholism our family has experienced.

He wasn’t wounded and bruised so that we can continue to sin. He was wounded and beaten so that we wouldn’t have to be wounded and beaten AND so that we can overcome every temptation of sin.
Praise God for Jesus and all He’s done for us.

Mark 14:30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

When Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, and started looking at his circumstances around him, he began to doubt and sink.

When we take our eyes off of Jesus, Who is the word of God (John 1:1-14), and start looking at how many Covid cases are in our area, the negative results of our physical, or our financial balance, we’ll begin to doubt and sink too. We can’t look at the news all day and expect to have mountain moving faith. We have to spend time in God’s word until His word overshadows what’s surrounding us.

Peter’s faith kept him afloat, but eying his circumstances put a hole in his faith. Don’t allow the circumstances to sabotage your faith. Stay afloat by focusing your eyes on the word.

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September 2021
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