Dwelling with Joy in the Righteousness of God

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“He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness.”  (Job 33:26)

The Bible tells us that the righteousness of God also brings joy.

The Word of God tells us that we have no righteousness of our own, but that when we put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, God transfers His righteousness unto us.

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isa. 64:6)

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2Cor. 5:21)

To understand this and really believe it can also release the fullness of joy in our lives.

To really believe that no matter what mistakes or bad decisions we make can change the fact that we are righteous in the eyes of God, and that nothing we could ever do can stop God from loving us should make us realize that we are always in the presence of God and able to have fullness of joy.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Rom. 8:35)

“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Rom. 8:37)

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:38-39)

When we genuinely believe that we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ and that nothing can separate us from the love of God, then we can be secure in the fact that God will do whatever is necessary to keep us, protect us, and provide for us.

“For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.” (Deu. 4:24)

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)

“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32)

This also includes His correcting us when we err and begin walking a path that leads away from Him.

“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” (Heb. 12:6)

He chastens us with His Word and scourges us with the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. It is only because He loves us so that He goes to such great lengths to keep us from departing from His presence.

This security we have in His love and righteousness also provides for the fullness of His joy.

“But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.” (Psalm 5:11)

“To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!” (Psalm 21:1)

“Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.” (Isa. 12:3)

The manifested presence of God and the fullness of His joy are found in doing the will of God.

That wonderful joy that we first felt when we accepted Christ and were born again, the exhilaration we experienced when we realized that all of our sins had been forgiven and we were saved, and the rhapsody that filled our hearts when our names were penned in the Lamb’s Book of Life were all created in us because we obeyed the Lord.

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;” (Acts 3:19)

“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:17)

The glorious joy that we experienced when we were first filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke with other tongues was because we were obedient and obeyed the Lord.

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)

Ever since then, every time that we have experienced that momentary fullness of joy has been a direct result of our obedience to Christ and His Word.

There have been times that we were glad when our prayers got answered.

There have been times that we were relieved when God’s deliverance came just at the right time at the last moment.

But the times that we experienced real fullness of joy were those times that we obeyed the Lord and experienced the results of that obedience.

Perhaps it was the time that we experienced victory after finally yielding to the sweet conviction of the Holy Spirit and putting away a particular sin, habit, or weight that was hindering our walk with Christ.

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” (Heb. 12:1)

Perhaps it was experiencing God’s faithfulness as we answered the gentle call of the Holy Spirit to be a vessel for His glory and we preached, shared, or taught the Word of God and saw lives changed by His power.

“For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” (Mat. 10:20)

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isa. 55:11)

“Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.” (Psalm 18:35)

Or perhaps it was the joy we felt when we shared our testimony and the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ with someone and they accepted Christ because of it and were saved.

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Rev. 12:11)

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” (Prov. 11:30)

Whatever the case, obedience to God and His Word results in God’s miraculous fulfillment, the manifested presence of God, and the fullness of the joy of the Lord.

Being determined to live our lives continuously in obedience to the Will and Word of God will open the floodgates to the fullness of joy that already resides in our hearts through the Holy Spirit.

Continuing in daily obedience begets continuance in daily fullness of joy that will abide and never leave.

There is no special way to pray, no verse to memorize, no Scripture to quote repeatedly that will miraculously manifest the joy of the Lord and its fullness in our lives.

There is, however, faith and godly works.

Faith that comes by hearing the Word of God and obedience to fulfill His Word that we hear.

Throughout these few posts we have looked at Scriptures that explain what the “joy of the Lord” is.

We have seen that joy is part of the fruit of the Spirit and that if we have been born again the Holy Spirit dwells inside of us.

His peace, His faith, His joy and all the fruit of the Spirit flows inside of us like a river.

However, for various reasons we lose access to that flow and the manifested “fullness of joy” ceases to be present in our daily lives.

We have seen that the devil wants to keep us without joy and without strength, and we have seen what the Bible says we must do to behold the manifested presence of God and the fullness of joy in our lives.

We have seen that if we have faith in God’s Word and we are obedient to do the things that He has called us to do, then we will behold God’s presence as He brings His will to pass and we will experience the fullness of joy that accompanies His presence.

We will spiritually live our lives daily in Christ, at the right hand of God, being conscience of His presence and filled to the overflowing with His joy.

“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11)

Tomorrow– Communion (Friendship) with God

"How to Walk in the Joy of the Lord" by Raymond Candy just published and available for $2.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, and Lulu.com for the iPad, PC, and all other e-reading devices

“How to Walk in the Joy of the Lord” by Raymond Candy is available for $2.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, at the iBookstore on iTunes for the iPad, and Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

Spiritual Strengths and Abilities Manifested through the Joy of the Lord

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“Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”  (Neh. 8:10)

Why is it so important to God that His children walk in the fullness of His joy?

His joy gives us strength.

Without His joy we have no spiritual strength.

Joy results in dedication to the Lord.

“And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy,” (Ezra 6:16)

The Old Testament House of God, the Temple, was symbolic of the New Testament spiritual house of God.

“But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” (Heb. 3:6)

With the joy of the Lord we dedicate our house, our bodies, to the Lord and when we walk in fullness of joy it empowers us to walk in that dedication.

The manifested joy of the Lord glorifies God and encourages others to do the same.

Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.” (1Ch. 29:9)

The joy of the Lord delivers souls.

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” (Psalm 126:5-6)

When our joy is full it causes us to want to sow the Gospel seed in others, to reap and bring a harvest of souls into His kingdom so that they may also have the joy of the Lord.

“I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” (1Cor. 3:6)

The joy of the Lord brings victory over the enemy.

“And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.” (Psalm 27:6)

These are the reasons why Satan wants to steal your joy and these are the reasons why we should be willing to do whatever is necessary to restore our access to the manifested joy of the Lord and walk in it.

The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.” (Isa. 29:19)

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” (Psalm 51:12)

How do we restore our access to the fullness of joy that is in the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ?

The first step is to make sure that we are dwelling in the manifested presence of God.

“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11)

Jesus said that He would never leave us nor forsake us.

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Heb. 13:5)

However, He also said that two cannot walk together unless they are agreed.

“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3)

We must determine in our hearts to live our lives in agreement with the will and Word of God.

Once we have made the decision to remove from our lives all of the things that we know are displeasing to the Lord and we begin taking the necessary steps to do it, then we can trust that the Lord will begin to manifest His presence in our lives.

Since the Bible says that Jesus is the Word of God, then if we continue in His word we will also continue in the presence of God.

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;” (John 8:31)

When we ask the Lord daily to fill us with His Spirit, to be filled with the Holy Ghost, then we are opening the door to the manifested presence of God.

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” (Eph. 5:18)

“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4)

If we will draw close to God then He has promised that He will draw close to us.

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” (James 4:8)

We draw nigh to God in humbleness with daily prayer and worship.

“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (James 4:6)

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” (Psalm 100:4)

The Bible teaches us that all of these things open the door to the manifested presence of God, and the manifested presence of God is where we will find the fullness of His joy.

Tomorrow– Dwelling with Joy in the Righteousness of God

"How to Walk in the Joy of the Lord" by Raymond Candy just published and available for $2.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, and Lulu.com for the iPad, PC, and all other e-reading devices

“How to Walk in the Joy of the Lord” by Raymond Candy is available for $2.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, at the iBookstore on iTunes for the iPad, and Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

When the Joy of the Lord is the Desire of Our Heart

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Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”  (Psalm 37:4)

When we accept Christ as our Savior, we are forgiven and cleansed from all sin. Our sins had separated us from God, but now God has made us to be the righteousness of God in Christ and we have entered into His presence.

Not only does God forgive us and make us righteous, but He sends the Holy Spirit to live inside of us and empower us to become the children of God.

“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Rom. 8:9)

When the Holy Spirit comes, not only does He bring His power to change us and enable us to do the will of God, but He also manifests His fruit so that others might behold Christ in us, the hope of glory. (Col. 1:27)

The Holy Spirit has said that He would never leave us nor forsake us. (Heb. 13:15) He is always within us.

The Holy Spirit never changes. He has not diminished. His power and fruit is still the same and ever present. His peace and joy is always inside.

That same joy we experienced when we were born again and first stepped into His presence has never left. It still flows in us like a river.

However we do not experience it because we lose access to it.

How do we lose access to the joy, peace, and faith that is the fruit of the Holy Spirit? How do we regain access so that this fruit is manifested in our lives on a daily basis?

The first step is to not settle for the imitation, but to crave the genuine article.

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

The Bible has said that God will give us the desires of our heart. However, it is a promise contingent upon one thing:

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” (Psalm 37:4-5)

The promise requires that we first “delight” ourselves in Him.

How to “delight ourselves in the Lord” might seem confusing until we find out what the word translated “delight” actually means.

The Hebrew word that is translated “delight” actually means “to be soft or pliable”.

In other words, the Scripture here is telling us that if we will allow ourselves to be “soft” or “pliable” in the hands of the Lord then He will give us the “desires” or “requests” of our heart.

That is why the next verse says, “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”

The present “request” of our heart is to regain access to the joy of the Lord that resides in our spirit. The place to begin is to allow ourselves to be “soft and pliable” in the hands of God.

In the eighteenth chapter of the Book of Jeremiah, we read of the potter and the clay.

“The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.” (Jer. 18:1-2)

“Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.” (Jer. 18:3-4)

“Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.” (Jer. 18:5-6)

The Bible says that as the clay is in the hands of the potter, so are we in the hands of the Lord.

If the clay is hard and resistant to the potter’s will, then it is difficult for the potter to make it into the vessel that he wants.

However, if the clay is soft and pliable then the potter can mold it into the vessel of his desire.

How can we be soft and pliable in the hands of God? By submitting our will to His will and not resisting Him.

This is done by knowing His will for our lives and desiring or requesting the same things for ourselves that God wants.

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” (1John 5:14)

“And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” (1John 5:15)

The only way we can know what His will is for our lives is to read it.

It is called “The New Testament”.

And the only way that we can know God’s direction for our lives is to hear the still small Voice of the One who authored The New Testament.

One of the things that we read in The New Testament is that it is God’s will that our joy be full.

“And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” (1John 1:4)

Our joy is full when His joy is fully manifested in our lives and not hidden deep in our spirit.

Tomorrow– The Spiritual Benefits of the Joy of the Lord

"How to Walk in the Joy of the Lord" by Raymond Candy just published and available for $2.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, and Lulu.com for the iPad, PC, and all other e-reading devices

“How to Walk in the Joy of the Lord” by Raymond Candy is available for $2.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, at the iBookstore on iTunes for the iPad, and Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

Joy Unspeakable and Full of Glory

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“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:”  (1Peter 1:8)

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)

Over two thousand years ago the angel announced that God was going to bring great joy to all people through the birth of His Son Jesus Christ. Everyone since then who has accepted Christ into their hearts knows that this promise has been kept.

However, we seldom see this joy in the believer’s life on a daily basis. That genuine joy that was experienced upon salvation often gives way to something less. Many times what we think of as joy today is a cheap imitation of the real thing.

We use words like “humorous” or “funny” when things happen that make us laugh or give us a smile. However, when the “funny things” are over and forgotten the feelings also go away because they too are only temporary.

We use words like “happy” or “glad” to express the way we feel concerning a particular situation but these feelings also fade away.

And then there is real “joy”. Although often misused, the mere word makes us think of something deep and abiding, not lighthearted and temporary. Something once had but now longed for.

“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11)

This is especially true when we think of the Biblical type of joy that the Bible says only God can create. This is the “fullness of joy” that every true believer experiences when they first step into the presence of God upon salvation.

“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:” (1Peter 1:8)

The word “glory” in this particular Scripture literally means “honor”.

In these two verses alone we see that this joy from God is a joy which words cannot describe (joy unspeakable), that fills us to the overflowing (fullness of joy), and that receives honor (full of glory).

Sadly to say, not many Christians today receive honor for their joy. On the contrary, Christians are often characterized as stern, grim faced individuals whose worship is like a funeral and whose lives are filled with “woe is me”.

The once indescribable joy that filled our lives to the point where others beheld it and honored God has now faded to a distant memory.

Exactly why did the joy wane when our faith in God continued? How do we retrieve it back? And more importantly, how do we keep it?

In the next few posts we will see what the Bible teaches about the joy of the Lord, how we can walk daily in it, and why the devil wants to steal it from us.

To walk daily in real joy will cause us to dwell in the pleasures that are at God’s right hand and live our lives far above the worldly situations that Satan would use to rob our peace and steal our joy.

The world needs to see that there is a way of escape from the evil that is present today. They need to behold the joy of the Lord in us and be drawn unto Him.

“Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:” (Gal. 1:4)

“Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.” (Isa. 51:11)

The Bible teaches that there are psychological and physiological feelings that imitate spiritual attributes.

For example, there is worldly sorrow and there is godly sorrow.

“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” (2Cor. 7:10)

Godly sorrow is being sorry that we have done wrong and offended a Holy God. Worldly sorrow is being sorry that our schemes did not succeed or that we got caught.

One leads to forgiveness and life while the other leads to death.

There is a worldly type of peace that anyone can have when things seem to be working out and everything is going well in their lives.

Then there is the type of peace that only comes when we know that we have a right relationship with God and He is divinely in control no matter what the circumstance.

One is fleeting and only lasts until trouble comes while the other is produced by God’s Spirit and flows in us like an unstoppable river.

“O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:” (Isaiah 48:18)

There is a worldly love for things and others that endures only until whomever or whatever we supposedly “love” becomes a disappointment. Then there is the love that comes from God, birthed in us by the Holy Spirit, which never fails.

Charity (Christ-like love) suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth…” (1Cor. 13:4-8)

For every godly attribute or fruit of the Spirit there is a cheap worldly imitation.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22-23)

“(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth…)” (Eph. 5:9)

So it is with the joy of the Lord. Happiness is just a temporary imitation of the unending joy that is the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Tomorrow– Receiving the Desire of Our Heart

"How to Walk in the Joy of the Lord" by Raymond Candy just published and available for $2.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, and Lulu.com for the iPad, PC, and all other e-reading devices

“How to Walk in the Joy of the Lord” by Raymond Candy Available for $2.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, the iBookstore for the iPad, and Lulu.com for the iPad, PC, and all other e-reading devices

The Father’s House

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“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”  (John 14:2)

As we have seen in our previous post, the first “place” that the Lord has gone and prepared for us is our heavenly body like unto Christ’s glorified body which we will inhabit forever.

The second “place” or “spot” that the Lord has gone to prepare for us is our actual residence in the family home, the City of New Jerusalem.

“And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Rev. 21:2)

“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Rev. 21:3)

The Bible says that the family home, the city of New Jerusalem, is fifteen hundred miles wide, fifteen hundred miles tall, and fifteen hundred miles long.

And somewhere in there is a “mansion”, a residence, for every born again believer that shall make heaven their home.

“And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;” (Rev. 21:10-11)

“And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.” (Rev. 21:12-13)

“And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.” (Rev. 21:14-15)

“And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.” (Rev. 21:16)

“And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.” (Rev. 21:17-18)

“And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;” (Rev. 21:19)

“The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.” (Rev. 21:20-21)

“And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” (Rev. 21:22-23)

And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.” (Rev. 21:24-25)

“And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Rev. 21:26-27)

The Bible tells us that,

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1Cor. 2:9-10)

When we are born again, God sends His Holy Spirit to live in us and reveal unto us the wonderful and glorious things pertaining to our new life in Christ and God our Heavenly Father.

The born again experience is not just being forgiven for our sins and having a place to go to when we die.

The born again experience is a new life with a new beginning, powerful and wonderful experiences, and a hope for a glorious eternal life ruling and reining as kings and priests with Christ.

That is why the Apostle Paul said towards the end of his life, after a lifetime of knowing God and experiencing the miracles, power, signs, and wonders of his miraculous ministry,

“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,” (Php. 3:8)

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:” (Php. 3:9)

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” (Php. 3:10-11)

A glorified body, robes of righteousness, crowns of glory, streets of gold, a heavenly mansion, and celestial power have all been prepared by Christ and are waiting for each one who has put their faith in Him and continue in that faith until the day that they are called to stand before Jesus and look upon His beautiful face.

"How to Walk in the Born Again Experience" by Raymond Candy just published and available for $2.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, the iBookstore for the iPad, and Lulu.com for the iPad, the PC, and all other tablets and e-reading devices

“How to Walk in the Born Again Experience” by Raymond Candy Available for $2.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, the iBookstore for the iPad, and Lulu.com for the iPad, the PC, and all other tablets and e-reading devices

A House Not Made by Hands

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“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”  (2Cor. 5:1)

Jesus said that He has gone to prepare a place for us.

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” (John 14:1)

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:3)

To better understand these verses of Scripture, it will help if we know what the Greek words are that are translated “house” (my Father’s house), “mansion” (many mansions), and “place” (prepare a place) and what they literally mean.

The word translated “house” is the Greek word oiakia which means “the family home”.

The word translated “mansion” is the Greek word mone which means “a staying place or a residence”.

The word translated “place” is the Greek word topos which means “a spot, such as a spot to occupy”.

So John 14:2 is actually telling us that in the Heavenly Father’s family home are many residences and Jesus has gone to prepare a spot for us.

The “place” or spot that He has prepared for us is two-fold.

The Bible teaches us that the first “place” or “spot” that He has prepared for us is a “body”, a heavenly house as it were for our eternal soul and spirit.

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2Cor. 5:1)

“For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.” (2Cor. 5:2-3)

“For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.” (2Cor. 5:4)

“So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:” (1Cor. 15:42-43)

It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” (1Cor. 15:44)

The Apostle Paul was stoned at Lystra and left for dead but the Lord raised him up so that he could continue to preach the Gospel. Fourteen years later he tells of this incident.

“I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth) such an one caught up to the third heaven.” (2Cor. 12:2)

When the Apostle Paul’s spirit was caught up to heaven he inhabited his spiritual body that the Lord had prepared for him and he indwelled that body for the short time that he was there.

He had the same physical feelings as an earthly body, only with no pain or discomfort. He couldn’t tell the difference.

The Bible tells us several things about this spiritual body that we shall have.

It will be a body like unto Christ’s resurrected body.

“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Php. 3:20-21)

This body will have authority over and able to subdue “things”.

Time and distance will not constrain our spiritual body.

Jesus rose from the grave and told the women at the tomb, “Touch me not for I have not yet ascended to our Heavenly Father.”

However, a few hours later He appeared behind closed doors to the disciples and said, “Touch me and see that I am not a Spirit.”

During that short period of time, Jesus had ascended unto the third Heaven (which is above all the heavens, above space and the galaxies and the universe), appeared before the throne of the Heavenly Father, had the sins of all mankind removed from Him, received His royal garments and the crown of the King of kings and the Lord of lords, and returned to earth to appear to His disciples.

We will be able to recognize and know each other in our spiritual bodies.

“And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.” (Mark 9:4)

Jesus had taken Peter, James, and John with Him to a high mountain and He was transfigured before them.

When Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus, Peter recognized them and knew who they were even though he had never seen them before.

Moses was in his spiritual body because he had previously died but Elijah had been translated alive to heaven and had never known death.

Lastly, our spiritual bodies shall never know death, sorrow, or pain.

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Rev. 21:4)

Tomorrow– The Father’s House

"How to Walk in the Born Again Experience" by Raymond Candy just published and available for $2.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, the iBookstore for the iPad, and Lulu.com for the iPad, the PC, and all other tablets and e-reading devices

“How to Walk in the Born Again Experience” by Raymond Candy Available for $2.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, the iBookstore for the iPad, and Lulu.com for the iPad, the PC, and all other tablets and e-reading devices

Living the Abundant Life

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“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”  (John 10:10)

What is the “life” this Scripture pertains to, and what does “more abundantly” mean?

The word “life” in this verse is the Greek word “Zoe” which means “vitality” or “to live”, referring to the life which we are living on this earth right now.

“More abundantly” means “super abundant in quantity and superior in quality.”

God is not only concerned about your eternal life and your home in heaven, but He is just as concerned about your life in the “right here and now”.

The Bible says,

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.” (Heb. 4:14)

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15)

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:16)

Jesus came and experienced life as we know it.

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:” (Php. 2:5-6)

“But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Php. 2:7-8)

Although the Bible says that Jesus was in the form of God and was God, He took upon Himself the form of flesh in order to experience all the feelings and adversities of life.

He knows what it is to experience pain, sorrow, sickness, grief, and betrayal.

He knows what it is to experience a broken heart when all forsook Him, and He knows the emptiness, loneliness, and desperation that being separated from God feels like when He took upon Himself the sin of the world.

But He also knows the gladness, laughter, restoration, and ecstasy that victory over all of these adversities can produce.

Jesus Christ is truly the only One who can honestly say “been there, done that” when it comes to understanding what all this life, both good and bad, has to offer.

That is why the Bible says that He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin”.

The Bible says, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities”. In other words, no matter what we are going through, Jesus knows and understands exactly what it is like and how we are feeling.

And because of this, He knows exactly what we need to overcome it and be delivered from it.

That is why the Bible says to “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Here the word “boldly” means “with assurance.”

We can be assured that Jesus knows what we have need of before we even ask, and we can be assured that before we even ask, He has already provided.

It is God’s will that we be delivered from every evil work and out of every temptation.

It is God’s will that we endure, overcome, and pass through every adversity to receive the abundance that God has already provided for us in advance.

It is God’s will and desire that we have life “super abundant in quantity and superior in quality.” This is one of the reasons that Jesus came, lived, and died, to save us from our sins and deliver us from this “present evil world.”

“Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Gal 1:3-5)

This “abundant life” that Jesus has purchased for us with His own blood includes healing.

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isa. 53:5)

“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” (1Peter 2:24)

The “abundant life” also includes health and prosperity, not “wealth and riches”, but health and prosperity.

“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” (3John 1:2)

“Life more abundantly” also includes mental health and a sound mind.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2Tim. 1:7)

The disciples asked Jesus one day about their having left all to follow Him,

“And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,” (Mark 10:29)

“But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.” (Mark 10:30)

If your delight is in the Lord, and you are willing to do whatever it takes to follow Him, don’t be afraid to believe God for the desires of your heart.

“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us, and while He is gone He has sent back the Holy Spirit to live in us, to walk in us, to give us the victory, to cause all things to work together for our good, and to deliver us from every evil work.

“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (1John 5:4)

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)

“And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (2Tim. 4:18)

Tomorrow– A House Not Made by Hands

"How to Walk in the Born Again Experience" by Raymond Candy just published and available for $2.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, the iBookstore for the iPad, and Lulu.com for the iPad, the PC, and all other tablets and e-reading devices

“How to Walk in the Born Again Experience” by Raymond Candy Available for $2.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, the iBookstore for the iPad, and Lulu.com for the iPad, the PC, and all other tablets and e-reading devices