Jesus Lives

Joy

What I search for in My children is an awakened soul that thrills to the Joy of My Presence! However, you are often subject to a slumbering soul: taking for granted your life with all its blessings, being overly focused on negative things, buying into the world’s version of the good life. I want to help you break free from these worldly weights so your soul can soar in the heights with Me.

Yearning for an awakened soul is half the battle. Many of My children view devotion to Me as a duty, and they look elsewhere for their pleasures. They fail to understand that the Joy of My Presence outshines even the most delightful earthly joy.

Of course, it is not an either/or situation. You don’t have to choose between enjoying Me or enjoying the many good gifts I provide. It is simply a matter of priorities: I want you to treasure Me above all else.

The more fully you enjoy Me, the more capacity you have to appreciate the blessings I shower upon you. As you delight in Me, I am free to bless you bountifully. If you keep Me first in your life, My good gifts will not become idols. Delight yourself in Me, and I will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.

For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.
[2 Chronicles 16:9]

You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence. [Acts 2:28]

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
[James 1:17]

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.
[Psalm 37:4]

Jesus Lives

SORROW

When you’re feeling sad, I want you to anticipate feeling joyful again. This takes the sting out of your sorrow, because you know it is only temporary. Sadness tends to duplicate itself along the timeline—convincing you that you will always be unhappy. But that is a lie! I urge you to turn away from the lie, choosing rather to trust Me and all I have promised you. The truth is, all My children have infinite Joy ahead of them: reserved in heaven, guaranteed throughout eternity! No one can take this away from you.

While you are journeying toward heaven, your earthly path has many ups and downs. Though your down times are uncomfortable, they are not worthless. Pain and struggle can be highly productive when you trust Me in the midst of suffering. Your anguish is comparable to a woman enduring labor pains: Her suffering is very real, and she may wonder how much longer she can bear so much pain. However, all this agony produces a wonderful result—a newborn baby. The mother’s memories of her suffering retreat to the background of her mind as she focuses on this joyous gift. While you labor through your earthly afflictions, keep your eyes on the promised reward: boundless Joy in heaven! Even now you can enjoy growing awareness of Me. No matter what is happening, there is fullness of Joy to be found in My Presence.

“Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.”

[John 16:22]

“A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.”

[John 16:21]

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

[Psalm 16:11]

Dear Jesus

Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Hear Me saying, “Peace, be still!” to your restless heart.

Dear Jesus,

Fearfulness seems to come so naturally to me, as if it’s the default setting when I let my thoughts run freely. Peacefulness, on the other hand, requires continual effort and a degree of vigilance. I need to stay aware of Your Presence with me, to quiet my anxious heart. I confess I often lose sight of You, as the visible world lures my attention away from Your unseen Reality.

Beloved, I understand how vulnerable you are to things that impact your senses. It’s good that you, too, are aware of this weakness. Also, you recognize that I am the answer to your vulnerability. This condition of yours is ever so human: The visible world tugs at the heartstrings of all My children. Because of this common human tendency, My Word exhorts you to be alert and prayerful—fixing your eyes on Me, bringing every thought captive to Me.

The sounds of the world (as well as its sights) tend to lead you away from Me. You need a quiet place in order to hear My voice. As you listen intently in My Presence, I guide your mind to think My thoughts. Bring Me your restless heart, and wait while I speak Peace into its depths—stilling the troubled waters of your soul.

Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

[Mark 4:39]

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

[Ephesians 6:18]

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

[Hebrews 12:2]

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

[2 Corinthians 10:5]

Jesus Lives

HIS LOVE 

My Love for you is unquenchable. It is even stronger than the bond between a mother and her baby. Though she may forget the baby at her breast, I will not forget you! You are so precious to Me that I have engraved you on the palms of both My hands. So, forgetting you is out of the question. Not only do I remember you constantly, I also have compassion on you continually.

I want you to really come to know—practically, through experience—My Love, which far surpasses mere knowledge. The Holy Spirit, who lives in your innermost being, will help in this amorous quest. Ask Him to fill you up completely with My fullness so that you may have the richest measure of the divine Presence: becoming a body wholly filled and flooded with Me! Thus you can experience My Love in full measure.

Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it. If a man would give for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly despised.
[Song of Songs 8:7]

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands.”
[Isaiah 49:15–16]

“I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.”
[Hosea 2:19]

That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!

[Ephesians 3:19 amp]

Jesus Lives

ABIDING IN HIM

I want you to live close to Me, seeing things from My perspective more and more. Walk as a child of Light, for My radiance is all around you and also within you; it transforms you inside and out. Remember that you were once darkness until My Spirit quickened you to Life, empowering you to live in My holy Presence. Dwell on this blessed remembrance until gratitude for My glorious grace wells up within you.

Trust Me to lead you step by step through each day. I provide sufficient Light for only one day at a time. If you try to look into the future, you will find yourself peering into darkness: My Face shines upon you only in the present! This is where you find My gracious Love that never fails you. Live ever so near Me—flourishing in My transforming Light.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. [Ephesians 5:8]

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
[Ephesians 1:4–6]

“The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you.”
[Numbers 6:25]

Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God.
[Psalm 92:13]

Jesus Lives

DESIRING HIM

You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I know the full extent of your weaknesses, and I realize that seeking Me wholeheartedly requires massive, sustained effort. I understand the brokenness within you and all around you. You are easily distracted by this disjointed world and by your restless thoughts. I don’t expect perfection in your pursuit of Me; it’s not about that at all. It is the effort itself that pleases Me—seeking Me even though it’s so hard.

Actually, the strenuousness of this pursuit blesses you! As you strive to find Me in your moments, your focus is on Me. While you plow your way toward Me through countless distractions, your awareness of Me increases. Even if you don’t feel close to Me, you find yourself communicating with Me. So there is a sense in which your efforts to find Me are self-fulfilling: I am richly present in your striving. As a result, you feel more alive—more solid and real—when you are actively pursuing Me.

Your willingness to pour yourself into this quest delights My heart. This challenging journey is all about perseverance. As long as you continue seeking Me, you are on the right path. My Presence continually moves along before you—keeping you from stagnating and showing you the way forward. In spite of the difficulties of the arduous trail you are following, your success is certain: I will be found by you!

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.
[Jeremiah 29:13–14]

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
[Hebrews 12:1]

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance.
[Romans 5:3]

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness.
[2 Peter 1:5–6]

Dear Jesus

I comprehend you in all your complexity; no detail of your life is hidden from Me. I view you through eyes of grace, so don’t be afraid of My intimate awareness.

Dear Jesus,

It is totally amazing that You understand me—all of me—with absolute accuracy. That could also be terrifying, if You saw me through eyes of law rather than grace. Unfortunately, I often view myself legalistically: evaluating how well I’m performing. I realize how silly that is, because my performance will always be insufficient to meet Your holy standard. That’s why I desperately need Your grace! Please help me see myself, as well as others, through eyes of grace.

Beloved, come to Me and receive My unfailing Love. You are troubled by fear of failure, but My Love for you will never fail. Let Me describe what I see, as I view you through eyes of grace. You look regal, for I have clothed you in My royal righteousness. You also look radiant, especially when you are gazing at Me. You are lovely as you reflect My Glory back to Me. In fact, you delight Me so much that I rejoice over you with shouts of Joy! This is how you appear through My vision of grace.

Because I am infinite, I can see you simultaneously as you are now and as you will be in heaven. The present view helps Me work with you on things you need to change. The heavenly vision enables Me to love you with perfect, everlasting Love.

The best way to see through eyes of grace is to look through the lens of My unfailing Love. As you persevere in this practice, you will gradually find it easier to extend grace both to yourself and to others.

How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
[Psalm 36:7]

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
[Psalm 34:4–5]

The Lord your God is in your midst. . . . He will exult over you with joy, . . . He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.
[Zephaniah 3:17]