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John 1:29-34

The crucifixion took place by people who vilified the “Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world” (John 1:29). Since His ascension into heaven, His sacrifice is validated by worship of “the Lamb who was slain”, by heavenly hosts gathered around God’s throne! (Revelation 5:9-10, 12).

Returning to His earthly experience, let us first note that the baby in the manger was announced by angels who proclaimed “Today, in the town of David, as Saviour has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord”. The shepherds then went into Bethlehem to check it out, and found Jesus lying in the hay (Luke 2:10-11, 16). At the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry John made the proclamation, just as we read, that the Lamb had come from God to remove the sin in their wicked world.

Of course we remember that prophecy was clearly fulfilled when the Magi appeared on the scene to worship the “King of the Jews” (Matthew 2:1-2). For Jews who knew their scripture, this was their ultimate hope and so we read that two elderly folk recognized Jesus as the child “destined to cause the falling and rising of man in Israel” through whom “the thoughts of many will be revealed” (Simeon – Matthew 2:34-35). Anna proclaimed to all who were gathered in the Temple that God had given this Child “to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Israel” (Matthew 2:38). And Mary treasured all these things, validating her precious son, in her heart!

After John baptised Jesus, a remarkable thing happened. John heard the voice of God confirming Jesus’ identity “This is My beloved Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). This was witnessed by crowds of folks who had repented, and were being baptised by John (Luke 3:21-22). How thrilling the moment would have been to hear the actual voice of God, as a dove sent from heaven, landed on Jesus! Think of it – the scripture tells us this was the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove. How would that minister to the spirit of the man, Jesus? Here His Divinity was authorized, miraculously and publicly, so that people could rejoice in what God was doing. Here was God’s Son – the promised Messiah! This is heavenly validation indeed!

Jesus called a group of men to work together with Him; His intention was to train then to carry on His ministry. It was crucial that they understood what He said about Himself: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me” (John 14:6). No one but God could make such a claim. Thankfully Peter recognized the truth, and spoke for the others when he declared “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!” (Matthew 16:16).

The “Truth”, which Jesus claimed to be inherently, (John 14:6), was also recognized as He hung dying, on the cross. One thief vilified Him, but the other validated Jesus when he asked Him to “remember me when You come into Your kingdom” (Luke 24:42). Oh that folks today would recognize the “Way” into the kingdom of God* , and the “Way” into heaven eventually, is through believing and receiving Jesus Christ our Lord! (John 1:12-13).

At the moment of Jesus’ death there was an earthquake, causing a Roman soldier to gasp “Surely He was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54). The cross was a travesty of injustice, but our Lord carried on, proving the glory of God!


Many people, down through the ages have questioned the veracity of Jesus’ Divinity. If He was simply a man who died, our faith is also dead. But He rose from the dead, was seen by many who validated He lives! (Acts 1:3). We do not worship a dead person but the Giver of True Life, eternal life! The question is: Does your life and mine validate the reality of Jesus Christ, as Lord?

*The kingdom of God is here in the hearts of Jesus’ followers. We do not wait to go to heaven to be blessed, but are members of His Kingdom here on earth, now! ? Because our Sovereign Lord reigns in our hearts. Praise God!

by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)


Contending for the Faith

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It never hurts to review the basics of our faith. Let us take a look at the over-all picture that necessitated Jude’s letter. His first love was the gospel. His intention was to write about the salvation they shared. I wondered, when was the last time I shared the joy of my salvation with another believer? So often we think of sharing as a witness to the unsaved, but in reality it is a discussion that we can more truly enjoy when we share with other believers what Jesus is doing in our lives, today.

However, Jude’s heavy burden regarding false prophets in the church became his focal point. He was energized by an awareness of evil, and the harm it could do to the reputation of the church. Therefore, he strongly advised the church to contend for the faith. In our world today we might advance the same concerns, for similar reasons.

To substantiate his theme, he reviews patterns in history: Sodom and Gomorrah giving in to the evils of their day, fell under God’s judgment (:7). God released His chosen people from bondage and provided for their needs in the wilderness, but eventually had to punish those who did not believe (:5). Even some angels fell under God’s condemnation, by willfully giving up their positions of authority (Ephesians 6:11-12). Their eternal punishment still awaits; at present they remain bound in chains (Jude :6).

With such a history Jude might rightly fear what will happen to the church of his day, already influenced by Godless men. They know the history, but have they learned from lessons of the past? Have we? Are we standing guard against the infiltration of evil into the congregation of the righteous? To be inclusive is a good thing, but it can be carried to a dangerous extreme if it involves compromise.

Without doubt we face some very difficult choices in the church today. “Be merciful…snatch others from the fire and save them…show mercy, mixed with fear” (:22-23). How do we balance righteousness with the desire to see all people come into fellowship with God? God has a standard. Jude writes about the return of the Lord for the purpose of judging everyone’s acts, words and self-interest, according to that standard (:15-16).

Then Jude offers a solution. Each individual Christian bears a covenantal responsibility. By asking for forgiveness of sin we enter into a covenant relationship with God. We are to keep ourselves close to God by building ourselves up in our most holy faith (:20) Jude fills our minds with God – His character, His goals, His protection, His love! Jude testifies to the depth of knowledge and experience he has as a believer. Do our lives bear such a witness to our world today?


It may seem simplistic to say we do that by reading the Bible, but what does that entail? Is it just a religious exercise? Or – do we read it to learn how we might best please God, how to recognize evil when we see it, to accept its rebukes for our personal sins, to gain comfort in our distresses, to experience the very mercy, peace and love that form the basis of our testimony to others?

Learning comes through repetition. Therefore it is imperative that we meditate, mull over, ask questions about what we have read. How does this apply to our world today? To me? “Think on these things” (Phil.4:8).

Are our choices and decisions a result of fervent prayer in the Spirit. In the Spirit? What does that mean? Do we pray for what we want, or do we search to know the mind of God and pray He will accomplish His purposes in and through us? How then do we know the mind of God? By observing His principles for Godly living contained in Scripture. Then we are prepared to contend for our faith!



The Three “E”s

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Romans 16:25-27

The challenges of parenting can be overwhelming. Environment makes a subtle impact on the senses of our little children, even in babyhood. Science provides an awareness of how important it is for us to sing and talk to a baby in the womb, since the sound of voices can be recognized at that early stage; subliminally tones of the human voice are being interpreted. Environment entails those delightful fragrances that so often stir a hidden nostalgia in the adult heart. Tenderness or otherwise is conveyed by touch. How many parents have gently rocked their child to sleep? How many little children are battered?

Toddlers are so cute! They begin to enjoy a stage that lasts a life-time. “Why?” One of their favourite questions can drive a parent mad, but it is the beginning of learning. Education can be fun! Make a game of learning Bible verses. Sing songs about little chores. How important to learn to “like what you do”, not just to “do what you like” as my father used to advise. Learning comes from asking questions, from facing one’s inadequacies and dealing with them constructively.

Perhaps more than anything Experience teaches us the most. In our environment our greatest education is received through experience as people model to us the truths of ethical standards and behaviour, right thinking as well as wrong feelings. We ourselves learn through trial and failure as much as we do from success.

Now what does any of this have to do with faith? A very great deal! God places each person in a particular environment. Why? We do not know. “Why?” is a question adults often ask when trouble comes, but do we ever wonder why we have been so blessed? God has taught me some painful lessons through life, but my life has been enriched by an environment filled with His presence, throughout them all! (Psalm 23:4). Marvellous!

Those of us who hold God’s Word in our hands have the greatest educational advantage! Here is all the information we will ever need to know for peace and prosperity in relationships! Our primary relationship is with God and here is the guide book. God wants us to know Him (1 John 5:13). The purpose of education is to teach us learning skills and to describe the road to maturity, isn’t it? Maturity is where the heart and mind meet in balance, permitting the joy of interdependence with others!

There are three other “E’s” in the Bible that help to impact the meaning of our lives. When we encourage one another to endure we are established, grounded, stable. Our scripture reading is a benediction. May the encouragement of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit bless your life today and forevermore.


Experience? Does your experience teach you to trust in God? Have you ever put Him to the test? I have been blessed by His faithfulness, His forgiveness, His freedom and so much more. What would life be without trusting His plan for my life, the meaning that His love gives to every day? Thankfully my environment, education and experience taught me at an early age that the Lord God Almighty is truly the lover of my soul! He has never failed to live up to all that promises.

What is it about your environment, education and experience that equips you to react to problems the way you do?

How easy is it for you to let go of those little hurts that niggle in the back of your mind?

Are you feeling secure in the love of Christ and how does that play out in your life? What do others see?

by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)



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Matthew 21:6-16

Hooray! Yeah! Hosanna! Exclamations of excitement and joy! Jesus was being celebrated as He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. “Hosanna” is Hebrew for save, an expression of praise.

Once a year we make a special effort to thank God for all that He has given to us; the date varies from culture to culture, but usually centres around harvest time. At Easter we sing praises for the sacrifice of Jesus’ life, but what did the people of Jerusalem know about Jesus that caused such accolades this particular year?

Israel lived under oppression. The nation desperately wanted a Saviour. This man from Galilee was a miracle-worker like no other. Could it be that God would use Him to save them from the Romans? Was this idea the impetus that created crowds crying out “Hosanna”?

Prophecy identified a king riding on a donkey into Jerusalem (Zechariah 9:9). As we have noted before, donkeys were not the usual mode of transport for kings, so this unusual event would attract attention! David prophesied “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” (Psalm 118:26) and Jesus Himself acknowledged His claim to be the “Son of David” (Mark 12:35). These folks acknowledged that link.

It often fascinates me how God orchestrates His work in this world. In Noah’s day sin was rampant. Why did He not send the Saviour then? Why did He flood the entire world, wiping out mankind except for Noah’s family? What was it about the era which spawned silence from Almighty God for 400 years, then caused Him to send His only begotten Son? What is God’s next step of judgment on a world who denies, rejects, mocks this precious Son?

Do you ever wonder what it would be like for Jesus to come riding into your world today? What would crowds of people say? Hosanna? Crucify Him? Actually He is riding into your world and mine, on the words of proclamation each believer has been given. Are we shouting Hosanna? Or do we keep silent?


Hosanna! Save! Cries from anxious hearts yearning to be free! What do we pray for today? What binds us like prisoners of fate? What would cause us to cry “Hosanna” “Save” to our neighbours, our colleagues at work, our family members – dearest and nearest?

by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)



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Matthew 28: 19-20, Acts 1:8

“GO” Jesus said to His disciples. By example He had done that very thing when He left the glories of heaven to come to earth. Often when we think of that word we conjure up images of foreign lands, differing tribal customs and unknown languages. We don’t think we can handle all of that, nor do we feel “called”. So what does Jesus mean – is that really a command, and it is a command, only for a few?

The Apostle Peter, addressing “God’s elect, strangers scattered throughout…” [the then known world] (1 Peter 1:1), said “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood….a people belonging to God” (1 Peter 2:9). Are you a chosen a child of God? What is God’s purpose in drawing people like you and me into His family? How thrilling is it that we have an eternal purpose as children of God? It is to these people that Jesus left His last commission.

However, in focusing on the word “Go” we sometimes forget the rest. “Make disciples”. A disciple is exactly what Peter described, a person belonging to God, one who follows in the steps of Jesus. “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you” (1 Peter 2:21). We need to remember the tremendous cost of our becoming children of God. This is no casual adoption but was made with great care (Ephesians 1:5). Peter goes on to remind us, you and me today, that Jesus suffered for us, “leaving you an example that you should follow in His steps” (2:21).

So, we are chosen, called and equipped to follow Jesus’ example of making disciples. Where do we do that? Jesus left us in no doubt. We are to start in Jerusalem – that is, at home. It is a lot harder to live for Jesus in a place where people know us well, our foibles and weaknesses. They know how to pull our triggers, and can test our sincerity. Once we pass that test, of making our words and deeds match, then we are ready to go into Judea. Where is your Judea? Is it the work place? Your community? Your church? Isn’t it curious when Churches promote “Outreach” they think beyond their doors? Yet, if the truth be known, there are a lot of folks who go to church who need discipling so that they, in turn, can make disciples.

Some believers are called to go “to the ends of the earth”, but Samaria lies between. Have you ever had a “Samaria” experience? This is where people have a different belief system, whether it is atheistic of New Age, or one of the other great world religions. Samaritans had corrupted the purity of the Jewish faith, making a syncretic system by combining faith in God with the Assyrian religion. Do you understand Jesus enough to lovingly explain what you believe, to share the wonderful relationship you have with the Lord Jesus Christ with people who have adopted wrong ideas about Christianity? In Samaria we may find folks who have been wounded by the legalism of an errant church. How can we encourage their faith in Jesus? Samaria prepares us for outreach at the ends of the earth.


Let us not forget that it is living in the light of the love of God that best enables us to share the new life we are enjoying – a life of peace because our sins have been forgiven, a life of purpose because someone reached out to show us the way. Remember Jesus said “I am the ….Way” (John 14:6). What is it that we fear about sharing Jesus with others? Are we truly in love with Jesus? Or, is it that we know our words and deeds don’t match? Do we feel inadequate because we don’t know scripture well enough? I have found there is always something more to learn from God’s Word. If I wait until I know it all, I would never talk to others about what I do know. In our hearts do we recognize that we are really lukewarm, or even cold, when it comes to feeling responsible for those who are lost? What is it that prevents us from honest outreach?

by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)


Spectator or Participant?

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Joel 1-3

Often the Old Testament is overlooked in favour of the gospels of our Lord Jesus Christ. In dialogue with my grandson recently I was thrilled to learn he has become aware of the necessity of grounding ourselves in the teachings of the Old Testament. As well as disregarding the First Covenantal book, we often attempt to distinguish which are the “important” books of scripture, failing to recognize that each book has been written for the express purpose of teaching us to know and understand the heart and mind of our great and glorious God! With this in mind let us review what Joel has to teach us.

The Jews have been chosen as God’s representatives here on earth. Sadly they failed to appreciate the privilege of participating with God in His saving purpose for all humankind. God’s patience was tried from generation to generation until promised judgment finally fell upon His chosen people (Joel 1). Great suffering resulted, spiritually, emotionally and physically.

Great witnesses came and went – Elijah, Obadiah and now Joel were sent by God to purify His people. It is worth noting Joel’s description of God. In Chapter 2:11 we find Him coming as the thundering leader of a great army – numberless, mighty forces who obey His commands! His purpose? “Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the Lord your God!” (2:27).

This God is described as jealous (2:18), vigilant over the nation He calls His own. Protective, pitying their weaknesses, God’s great heart of compassion can be seen; He has been slow to express His anger at their folly, demonstrating His love and grace repeatedly throughout centuries of time (2:13, 18).

How blessed we are to live in the age Joel prophesied would come when God pours out His Spirit upon all people – Jew and Gentile alike, whomever responds to His love (2:28). Paul writes about this: “For we are all baptised by one Spirit into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, whether slave or free” (1 Corinthians 12:13). The Apostle Peter preached from Joel’s book on the Day of Pentecost: “Repent and be baptised…in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). Peter concludes “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21).

Joel reminds us that our God is determined to be our refuge, a stronghold in the day of trouble (3:16). Trouble assuredly will come, but God chooses to restore the years the locusts have eaten (2:25). This is the God we know to have been so merciful to us day by day, as we take three steps forward and two steps back! One day He will judge the nations (3:2), but in the end Sovereign God will dwell in Zion (3:21)….and there will be peace on His Holy hill, in Jerusalem (3:17).


The question Joel raises for you and me today is whether or not we have believed and received God’s saving grace through Jesus Christ our Lord. Will we participate in this peaceful coexistence with God, or have we just been spectators at the game of life?

“Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful!

May the fire of our devotion light the way.

May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe,

And the lives, we live inspire them to obey”

by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)


The Day of the Lord

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Joel 3

There is a lot of history as well as prophecy in this small Old Testament book. Beginning with a severe drought following invasions of locusts, as we have already glimpsed, Joel sees this as punishment from God for the sins of His people. He uses the picture of these locusts to illustrate a future invasion in the Day of the Lord.

Centuries later, John is given a vision expanding on what we learn from Joel about that Day. In Revelation 16 John describes the war of Armageddon, which consists of several battles. First there will be the campaign of the Antichrist into Egypt (Daniel 11:40-45). Zechariah explains the Lord’s second coming. ”A Day of the Lord is coming…Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations [who have been attacking Jerusalem], as He fights in the day of battle. On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives and the mount of Olives will be split in two” (14:1-4).

Joel is given a preview. When God sets out to restore Judah and Jerusalem, the nations will gather together in the valley of Jehoshaphat, which may refer to the Kidron Valley on the East of Jerusalem. Kidron is known by Jews, Christians, and Muslims as the Valley of Judgment. Jehoshaphat means “The Lord Judges”. Another name for this is the “Valley of Decision”(3:14). Here indeed is where the nations will be judged for their treatment of God’s people (3:2).

Leaving them in no doubt, God lists their offenses. They scattered God’s people among the nations and divided the land – “My land” declared the Lord (Joel 3:2b). They sold the Jews and introduced their children to prostitution (3:3). The Phoenicians and Philistines who were notorious slave traders swept all before them, people and even the sacred temple treasures. God then calls these primary offences to account, requiring all-out war (3:9).

However, faithful to His people, God has not left them without hope. He actually spells out how His Divine intervention will take place, in the midst of battle. “I will drive the northern army from you, pushing it into a parched and barren land….and its stench will go up” (Joel 2:20). God Himself will meet the nations in the Valley of Jehoshaphat (3:12). After many generations, and centuries of time when pagans sat in judgment about God, finally He will judge them. Multitude upon multitude will gather on the Day of the Lord, to face the One whom they have rejected.


Jesus gave His listeners a preview of that day, signs we are looking for, as I write. He warns that God’s children should not be deceived by false prophets; when we hear of wars and civil unrest we are not to be frightened. He could have been describing the global chaos of our day. “Nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and [pandemics] pestilences” as well as cosmic disturbances (Luke 21:10-11). Family disruptions will end in estrangement or worse. “You will be betrayed by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death” (Luke 21:16).

However, God once again gives us hope. Looking past the judgments which will surely come, His blessings will follow. He describes the Millennial reign of Christ. Remember, Joel doesn’t have the advantage we do today of knowing who the Lord [Yahweh] Jesus Christ is. Yet God gave Joel the vision of abundance which will bless the people who celebrate the consummation of the Kingdom of God. Judah and Jerusalem will celebrate as never before!

by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)


Our Jealous God

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Joel 2:18

“Then the Lord will be jealous” (2:18). What does it mean to be jealous?  Jealousy carries the particular sense of “zealous vigilance” and tends to be applied more exclusively to feelings of protectiveness regarding one’s own advantages or attachments. It is not to be confused with envy, which covets what someone else has (Merriam-Webster).

Israel had been chosen by God to be His particular people. Throughout scripture we see the trend of God’s desire, to build a Holy nation from which would come the seed of Abraham, promised to bless all nations. God’s love for Israel was longsuffering throughout generations of rebelliousness and rejection, Oddly enough, they envied the lifestyle of other godless peoples, failing to appreciate all they had in their God! His covenant was eternal but discipline, and even punishment, was sometimes required for “children” who were so wayward. Yet His zealous vigilance continued. Joel records some remarkable statements made by God in Chapter 2.

“I will restore the years the locusts have eaten” (Joel 2:25 KJV). This reminds us of how Joel began, citing the desolation left behind repeated swarms of locusts! This promises that God’s judgment will pass. Israel’s jealous God takes pity on His people (2:18). This mighty Creator of all things views the helplessness, the weakness of His people, with compassion. Never again will they be such an object of scorn (2:19). In fact God will take on their cause, scattering the northern army into the desert (2:20).

Read Ezekiel 39 for details of this event, at which time “The Sovereign Lord declares…. The nations will know that I am the Lord, the Holy One of Israel” (Ezekiel 39:7). “I will display My glory among the nations”(39:21). This will not be a happy time for the nations, but “the house of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God” (39:22, 28). Whatever the circumstances, in the end God remains faithful! God continues “I will no longer hide My face from them, for I will pour out My Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord” (39:29).

Joel calls the people to rejoice and be glad (Joel 2:21, 23). The promise will remove their fear, filling them with hope. Men and women will receive God’s blessing as He pours out His Spirit on them all (2:28, 29). The wonders of their all-powerful God will be seen in the cosmos as well as on earth, but “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (2:32). When Joel wrote this he couldn’t have fully understood the import of his prophecy, but God gives us hindsight as we remember in Jerusalem, hundreds of years later, that promised deliverance came from Calvary (2:32). Zechariah prophesied the day would come when Israel would look on the One they had pierced and grieve bitterly for Him (12:10).


Who would want to live without the watch-care of our jealous God? Some prophecies have been fulfilled. Yet we still wait. As we have seen – “The day of the Lord is great; it is dreadful” (2:11). Yet we are reminded that God “is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love” (2:13), creating an atmosphere of joy and gladness in a spirit of righteousness (2:23). What a day that will be when old men dream dreams and young men will see visions as God pours out His Spirit on His servants, both men and women! (2:28-29). Hallelujah!

by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)


God’s Invitation

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Joel 2

What does God’s grace mean to you today? Someone has described it as “unmerited favour”. If this definition is true it helps to explain God’s invitation to His wayward people. “Even now” in spite of everything, rejection, worshiping other gods, denying My Sovereignty, declares the Lord, “return to Me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning” (Joel 2:12).

It was the custom of the Jewish people to tear their garments when overwhelmed by grief and sorrow, but through Joel God tells them their hearts need to be broken. “Rend your hearts, not your garments” (2:13). The reality of repentance is internal change, not external show.

What would give them the confidence to return to God after years of apostacy? God Himself reminds them of His character which is “gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love”(2:13). What an awesome God! All He requires is sincerity of heart, as we have seen. The heart was considered to be the seat of emotions and intellect. Perhaps, if repentance measures up to God’s standard He will even bless His people once again (2:14).

There is a wonderful celebratory aspect to Joel’s prophecy. With trumpets, the people will gather together to fast and pray, consecrating themselves together in a holy assembly. Perhaps they will then hold one another accountable to the covenant they make with the Lord their God. Everyone including nursing babies is included in the call of God. As they weep, the priests must acknowledge their total dependence upon God [Yahweh]. Suddenly they will be gripped with the realization they need to bear witness to the nations around them! Theirs is the only true GOD (2:17). As we have noted before, it is through Israel the seed of Abraham, that all nations of the earth will be blessed (Genesis 12:3). This happy promise has been fulfilled through the Messiah, Jesus (Galatians 3:8).

God’s invitation comes to us twofold today, since we have this stunning call from ages past. We also have the words from the lips of our precious Lord and Saviour: “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). His rest isn’t calling us to idleness, but rather to that exquisite peace of mind which being right with God provides.

Jesus reminds us there are only two important goals in life. The health and wealth we so often see as a measure of success cannot compare with that heartfelt worship we owe to God, which flows out of hearts filled with gratitude. Nor do they demonstrate that we are indeed followers of the One we say we worship; He does not exist to make me healthy and wealthy. Jesus gave up every right in order to provide mankind with a relationship with His heavenly Father.


God not only invites us into His service, but He also empowers us to know and do His will. In the most magnificent ways little things take on new meaning – kindness and sharing. We will be rewarded for things in heaven that we weren’t even aware pleased God here on earth, when our hearts are right with God.

If we accept God’s invitation to love Him with all our heart and soul and mind, we will find ourselves loving our neighbour that much, and even more than we love ourselves. (Matthew 22:37-39).

by Marilyn Daniels (marilyndaniels.net)



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Joel 1

From chapter 1, in the book of Joel, we learn something about desolation. One commentator describes it in three different ways – the character of desolation, the reaction to desolation and the picture of coming desolation. Let us review: Locust swarms have devastated the land; famine ensues. Even the bark of the fig trees has been eaten, laying bare the branches (1:4, 7). Their destruction leaves nothing untouched; the loss of grain, wine, oil, fruit, is unprecedented. We are left to wonder which would be worse, the physical hunger or the spiritual wasteland. There is nothing left to sacrifice to God, resulting in spiritual barrenness.

Joel, led by God, recommends official mourning with sackcloth and fasting. He knows their only hope is in God. “Cry out to the Lord” (1:13, 14). The nation is called to repent as they gather before their Holy God! This is the reaction God desires when anyone falls away from Him. His heart is full of mercy and grace! He remains faithful to His covenant of love, in spite of momentary punishment. Joel went on to describe how future apostacy would remove all joy (1:16) just as fires ravage the land (1:19-20). The day of the Lord has come! This “Day of the Lord” is the theme of Joel’s prophecy. He explains it in three ways.

1.Chapter one links historically, with prophecies from Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel:

“Wail for the day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty. Because of this, all

hands will go limp, every man’s heart will melt. Terror will seize them….”(Isaiah 13:6-8a).

“But that day belongs to the Lord, the Lord Almighty – a day of vengeance….the sword will devour ‘til it is satisfied” (Jeremiah 46:10).

Alas for that day! For the day is near, the day of the Lord is near – a day of clouds, a time of doom for

the nations” (Ezekiel 30:2b-3).

We must note that the Day of the Lord will bring much fear and desolation! (Joel 2:11b). Jesus also warned about the Day of the Lord. Luke records His prophecy – wars, earthquakes, famine and pestilence will precede His return (Luke 21).

2.Joel also uses this historic plague as an illustration of the gravity of the ‘day of the Lord’ (Joel 2:1). Isaiah goes on to detail the day of the Lord as “a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger – to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it” (Isaiah 13:9). He goes on to say that God will punish the world for its evil, putting an end to man’s arrogance. Through it all there will be cosmic disturbances as God gives vent to His “burning anger” (Isaiah 13:10-13). It is not a pretty sight! This illustrates the partial fulfillment of prophecy of things yet to come.

3. There is an eschatological “day” coming when the great tribulation will take place followed by the Millennial reign. “In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel” (Isaiah 4:2). Joel has been sent to warn God’s people “Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill…for the day of the Lord is coming” (Joel 2:1). Ezekiel warned the nation of Israel to become watchmen (Ezekiel :33). This is the holy responsibility of all children of God.


We must realize we have not been chosen by God simply for us to go to heaven, but rather to be used to accomplish God’s purposes here on earth! Lest we get too caught up in watching for the “Day of the Lord“ let us remember Jesus’ words warning that the fields are ripe unto harvest, but the workers are few (John 4:35, Matthew 9:31). Spiritual desolation is all around us! Let us, like Him, be about our Father’s business (Luke 2:49).

by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)