Devotion for April 29, 2023

“We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.” (1 John 1:3-4)

When joy is absent from your life, power is also missing (see Nehemiah 8:10). Our happiness should not be based on what’s happening around us; it should be dependent on our relationship with Jesus. John says, “We can be completely filled with joy” (1 John 1:4).

Note that St. John did not say this when all was well, but when … everything had turned to shambles.

  1. All his fellow apostles had been murdered.
  2. Rome had destroyed the temple [so] … not one stone was left upon another. Historian Flavius Josephus, an eyewitness wrote, “The multitude of those that … perished exceeded all the destruction men or God ever brought upon the world.”
  3. Many Jews and Christians became refugees. Average life expectancy was about forty years and 25 percent of the people in Rome were slaves.
  4. John himself lived as a condemned criminal on the Isle of Patmos. He had no earthly comforts; … no assurance of living another day.

When the cup of misery was full, God commissioned [him] to show the world the absolute power and triumph of Christianity over everything … [John’s] writings, in reference to our daily walk, put a capstone on all that heaven intended to reveal in the Word: If we have apostolic fellowship, our joy will be full. You do not need pleasant circumstances for this to happen.”

The psalmist said it best: “In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).

Prayer

Lord, I thank You for the blessings You give each and every day. I thank You for Your presence, even when my life is low. I thank You for Your gift of salvation to the entire world. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Stay encouraged!

Pastor Mike

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