Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thursday, August 8th ~ Miriam

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Corinthians 9; Psalm 137; Esther 7-8.
Today's scripture focus is Luke 10:17-20.

17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” 18 And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”

My only thoughts on this passage today really only focus on the last verse.  I don't know about you, but I've had some pretty great blessings in my life.  I had a strong family unit growing up.  I have a strong marriage and three beautiful, healthy children.  I have known about God, if not known Him, my entire life.  I've had good friends, in particular Christian friends.  I have my hearing and my sight to enjoy the beauty of God's creation, as well as man-made art and music.  I have a strong, healthy body with which to serve God, my family, and those around me at my jobs and in my community.  As a Christian, I also have the Holy Spirit to guide me and give me strength in areas where I alone am weak.  However, all other joys pale in comparison to having your name recorded in heaven.  

Mark Driscoll's sermon:  Jesus Rejoices in the Holy Spirit

From John MacArthur's sermon:  The Joys of a True Disciple

They rejoiced in power over the kingdom of Satan, protection from the kingdom of Satan, third thing, and this will be quick, they rejoiced not only divine power over Satan's kingdom, divine protection from Satan's kingdom, but divine preservation in God's kingdom. I love this, verse 20. "Nevertheless," as good as all this is, guys, as happy as you are, "nevertheless, do not rejoice in this." And what He means by that phrase is don't limit your joy to that, don't limit your joy to that, that the spirits are subject to you. Oh, that's reason for joy, and I rejoice with you, and I was thrilled to see Satan going down over and over like flashes of lightning. But don't limit your joy to that, that the spirits are subject to you, that's just temporal. That's only going to happen here in this life. Go beyond that and rejoice, verse 20, "That your names are recorded...where? heaven." Not only that you're going to enjoy the power of God in this life, but that you're going to enjoy the blessing of God forever.
Could you imagine how encouraging it would be if Jesus came to you personally and said, "By the way, John, your name is recorded in heaven, just in case you had any doubt,"? The seventy never had a doubt again. Jesus said, "I know you're happy about the power over and the protection from Satan, but let me tell you a cause for greater joy, your names are written in heaven, egraphe, recorded on record permanently in heaven. Jesus is saying you're the real deal. You're the true disciple. You're the genuinely converted. You came and you gave your life to embrace Me, and I'm telling you, your names are written in heaven. You rejoice in that. That's the greatest joy. Even the triumphs that we have over Satan are just for this life. That's not the supreme joy. That's not the most wondrous reality. The most wondrous reality is that our names are recorded in heaven. Whatever self-denial, whatever cross bearing, whatever submission was required, whatever turning away from the world and what it offers, the ultimate prize is ours, to be enrolled in the Book of Life. In Jewish thinking there was a book of life, Exodus 32:32 and 33 talks about it, Psalm 69:28 talks about it, Isaiah 4:3Daniel 12:1Revelation 3:5Revelation 13:8. There was a Book of Life and God has written the names of His own in the book. That's the way they did it in ancient times. In towns they had a book and all the citizens who were in good standing were in the book. God has a book and all the citizens of heaven have their name there. And He says your names are there because you're My true disciples. If you're going to rejoice supremely, rejoice in that.
Amen.  Happy Thursday!

Tomorrow's scripture focus:  Luke 10:21-24
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage:  2 Corinthians 10; Psalm 138; Esther 9-10

1 comment:

Tammy said...

The ultimate prize is ours - truly the most amazing thing to rejoice over.