Matthew – Revealing Our Shepherd King

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

When the fullness of time finally came, Jesus Christ was born into this world (Galatians 4:4). Throughout the Old Testament there were many prophecies that would highlight his life, death, resurrection, and ascension as we have seen.

The Bible reveals four major prophecies, each of which each relate to a different Gospel. In Matthew. Jesus Christ is revealed as the king of Israel, and in this day of God’s grace Jesus is our Lord and Savior, and he is also our Redeemer.

In the Gospel of Matthew, we can learn how Jesus as the King and Messiah redeemed all of humanity.

In Matthew many parables relate to a king or the kingdom of heaven. The words “kingdom of heaven” (meaning the king’s reign from heaven), is used 32 times in Matthew, while “kingdom of heaven” is only used 10 times in the other three Gospels combined. In Matthew we have the fulfillment of the King of Israel who was God’s prophesied righteous branch.

“The kingdom of heaven” is Christ’s kingdom, for he was the King from heaven, while the words “kingdom of God” represents God’s heavenly kingdom that has no beginning and no end – spanning all time.

When Christ again returns to earth, he will fully establish his kingdom of which there shall be no end. However, today in grace we are citizens of the kingdom of God and in the future we will partake in the kingdom of Christ, for we are joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).

Today the kingdom of Christ is suspended until the King returns to earth to be the King of kings. Without the king’s presence on earth, his kingdom is held in abeyance. This is why II Corinthians 5:20 says that we are “ambassadors” in “Christ’s stead.”

There is no way that any one Gospel could fully explain the life of Jesus Christ; conversely, when we examine each Gospel and study them in the light that God’s Word reflects, then the true spiritual realities of Jesus Christ’s ministry will become known in a most positive and dynamic way.

Jeremiah 23:5 – Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch {offspring}, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. {Also see Jeremiah 33:15, Zechariah 9:9.}

This righteous branch that God would raise up would be a King, and God’s offspring and is a direct revelation not only to the life of Jesus Christ but also to the Gospel of Matthew.

In Matthew’s Gospel we have the royal (or kingly) genealogy from Abraham through Kings David and Solomon to Christ. The believers during the Gospel period had been hoping for this righteous branch who would be their king; however, they lacked understanding of what a king really was because they were used to the kind of kings that were despots or dictators, such as Herod, who was indeed the opposite of Jesus Christ.

A king from a spiritual point of view would be a pastor, someone who would love and protect his people, someone who would fight for the rights of his people, and someone who would be a leader showing them how to believe and accept God’s grace.

Jesus said in Revelation 22:16 “I am the root and the offspring of David.” David was the king of Israel, and Jesus being born through Mary (as the promised seed), had every legal right to inherit the throne of David.

Now David, what was he? David was a shepherd, he was called as a shepherd to be the king of Israel, this was the true spiritual function of a king – to pastor, to bind wounds, and to dedicate his life to protect his flock, as Jesus had done.

Matthew 27:11 – And Jesus stood before the governor {Pilate}: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.

The words “thou sayest” literally means you said it, or you got that right! Jesus knew who he was because he knew the prophecies written of him. Jesus further said to Pilate regarding this question of whom he was, “art thou a king then? Jesus answered {to Pilate}, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world,” (John 18:37).

God gave to Matthew the revelation to write about Jesus Christ as our shepherd king whom we can look to as “the author and finisher of our faith {believing faith}” Hebrews 12:2.

Matthew 22:37-40:
-37: Jesus said unto him {a lawyer who was tempting him}, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
-38: This is the first and great commandment.
-39: And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
-40: On these two commandments hang {suspend} all the law and the prophets.

Jesus as a loving King and as our example of a genuine shepherd lightened the loads that believers would carry by giving only two commandments that both relate to living in love.

It is enlightening to see how James wrote regarding this very subject of love by calling it the “royal law” in James 2:8. The reason that the law of love is royal is because it was given to us by the King.

Jesus Christ is our example of a genuine King whom we can continue looking to even today as Philippians 2:5 teaches us, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Jesus came into this world to teach and show us how to love God and man, as we continue learning how to enjoy the life of love that is called “a more excellent way” I Corinthians 12:31-13:13).

In God’s eyes we are royalty because we are His sons and daughters, and as we put on the mind of Christ we will discover Our Shepherd King who gave the ultimate sacrifice – his life – so we may receive and enjoy the more abundant life.

Our Ministry and Word of Reconciliation

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

After our salvation, do we still fall prey to temptations and are we swayed by the sin nature? Yes, all Christians will be tempted and stumble even after salvation, and it is at this point that all too many believers feel that they have lost their salvation, that their relationship with God has been totally severed, and condemnation thus begins reigning in the conscious mind. So what do we do at this point to regain our good standing with God? From the time of our salvation, onward, until Christ returns, we simply confess our mistakes or shortcomings to God in prayer to receive forgiveness. This is a major component of our God-given ministry and word of reconciliation.

I John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he {God} is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We can say, it just cannot be that easy, but the Bible says it is because God is faithful! The word, confess means to agree in our minds that yes, we indeed have made a mistake. God allows us to honestly admit to Him personally that we have made an error. This is the way God designed our continued forgiveness. God knows that we will blow it from time to time, so He has given to us an easy way back into fellowship with Him. When we become honest within our hearts and simply say something like this: “Yes, I blew it. I am truly sorry. I will try my best to walk with You today. I am honestly thankful that You have cleansed me from any and all unrighteousness, and I thank you for this in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ.” Then our heavenly Father instantly and faithfully forgives and cleanses us from our shortcomings and again shows us that we have His righteousness to walk with Him in His divine love. The reason that our God can completely forgive us is because of what the Savior from sin has accomplished for us.

Through your continued forgiveness, you may honestly believe that you are never alone, you are not an island unto yourself, you have God in Christ in you, you are a fellow worker with God, your Savior, and with fellow believers. You will never be separated from the love of God or from the love of your Savior (Romans 8:35–39). You are a member in particular of a unified body (I Corinthians 12:27), a “whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:16). You are in Christ, and thus YOU are GOD’S BEST!

II Corinthians 5:17–18:
-17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature {creation}: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
-18: And all things {that have become new to us in Christ} are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

Jesus Christ has reconciled us to God by what he accomplished for us back in the times of the Gospel period. Now in this time of God’s divine grace that we live in and enjoy, the Epistles make known to us that God has given to us the actual ministry of reconciliation. Indeed, we may help inspire others into their own salvation, and thus show others the ministry of reconciliation they themselves can enjoy in Christ. However, this ministry is primarily given to the individual believer so we may continuously have our own reconciliation that is confirmed before our heavenly Father. When Jesus was physically here he reconciled people back to God, but today in grace we live in the completed work of Christ, enjoying our own reconciliation. This is a God-given right, and we can always walk within our reconciliation before our God.

II Corinthians 5:19:  To wit {to know}, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them {not charging their sins back to them}; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

With the word of reconciliation does not come the permission to impute sins to others; we do not condemn anyone as per instructions from God’s Word ― rather we bless and love one another with the word of reconciliation. All too often in Christian circles, we become proficient at fault-finding and being critical of the sins of others, but God in Christ did not do this ― they did not impute or condemn us, rather they forgave and loved. The Bible says in Romans 2:1, he who “judgest doeth the same thing.” We have been given the word of reconciliation to love, to encourage, to bless, and to instruct people into the ways of God’s love and forgiveness. We should be so thankful that God accepted us and that we have received the grace of God and His forgiveness, and reciprocate these blessings. This is the fountainhead of Christianity, of love, of life enjoyed with our heavenly Father. In the Old Testament we read, “O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth” (Psalms 94:1), and the New Testament also says, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19). Vengeance is never given to man to dispense ― ever, in the Bible. We repay “the kindness and love of God” to one another (see Titus 3:1–7), and Romans 13:8 says, “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” We owe God’s love to one another; this is what we may repay to our fellow man and in doing so we will have fulfilled the law.

I Corinthians 3:9 informs us that “we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry {garden}, ye are God’s building.” What an awesome privilege! God walked with Adam and Eve in the garden, and today He considers us His very own garden, and we are His building. We walk with God in a very unique way and with incredible privileges because we are labourers together with God. “We then, as workers together with him {God}, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain” (II Corinthians 6:1). To receive the grace of God in vain is to never acknowledge Him and all that we are to Him in grace as His beloved children.

Every time we confess our sin to God, every time God cleanses us from unrighteousness, we are using the ministry of reconciliation, and by being in fellowship with Him, we may help others into this wonderful, cleansing ministry. God has, “quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:5–6). This is God’s elevated view of you and me because we are His garden and His abode; we are members of “the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:21–22). Can you imagine that we are the actual habitation of God? Well, the Bible says so, so this must be true!

The word committed in II Corinthians 5:19 above, means to put into ― us, and what God puts into us is His Word, the Word that gives us the God-given right and permission to continually be reconciled to God. The Word of reconciliation would almost be totally worthless if it came without the ministry that allows us to use it. The word ministry means to have a service for benefit that can be fully applied. It also comes with the God-given permission to walk within our calling of God in this ministry.

Within the ministry of reconciliation that each of us has, we also have been given the Word, placed within our hearts, and this is what gives us the ability to be reconciled. You see, we have Christ in us (Colossians 1:27), and he is the Word (John 1:14), and thus we have the Word in us. Spiritually speaking, we are inseparable from God by being in Christ and by being heirs of heaven itself (Romans 8:16–17). The more we learn about the Christ within, the more of the Word of reconciliation we can aspire to for daily use as we become ever more gentler, Christ-like people, and certainly more happy in our daily travels.

II Corinthians 5:20: Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you {call you} by us {the Apostles}: we pray you in Christ’s stead {place}, be ye reconciled to God.

With the ministry and Word of reconciliation, we have been given an appointment, a God-given ambassadorship to live here on earth in Christ’s stead, enjoying the true reconciliation that Christ made available for us. We being ambassadors for Christ today represent his completed work not only for ourselves, but also for the people we know and talk with, and we may witness to them with all the authority God has commissioned and given us as Christ’s own ambassadors who “shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life” (Philippians 2:15–16).

We are citizens of heaven itself (Colossians 1:13, I Thessalonians 1:12), and we are ambassadors here on earth for Christ (II Corinthians 5:20), and we are commissioned to share the Gospel with others. God has given to us diplomatic immunity from the course and evils of this world (Ephesians 2:2–6), from the old man nature (Romans 6:6–12), from sin that can so easily beset and entangle us (Hebrews 12:1), so we may be free to serve Him and enjoy our lives immersed in the graces of God.

II Corinthians 5:21: For he {God} hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Jesus took our sins, becoming sin for us, so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ, who is now in us, with the Word and ministry of reconciliation. This is what allows each believer to maintain their fellowship with God; we have the ability to continually be renewed in the spirit of our minds by the Word that we have received, and that Word becomes manifested as we believe that we have been given the ministry and Word of reconciliation. Thus, we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

II Corinthians 5:17–21 (The Amplified Bible)**:
17: Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!
18: But all things are from God, Who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation [that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him].
19: It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor).
20: So we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. We [as Christ’s personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled to God.
21: For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

Joel – Revealing Our Heavenly Standing

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Scriptures refer to the children of Israel who believe as the meek, and the meek will inherit the earth, “the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” (Psalms 37:11). On the other hand, in the New Testament Epistles we learn that we inherit heaven itself and we will have free rights to visit and enjoy the earth.

The children of Israel hoped for and anticipated the kingdom of Christ to be restored and be given back to them. However, we, the children of God, are members of His Church (we are called to be members of the body of Christ), and have received in the present-tense our heavenly standing with God in Christ because God “hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6).

The Book of Joel reveals to Israel that their glorious future is centered in and around mount Zion, and they will dwell there in eternal safety (Zion is a Hebrew word, while Sion is the Greek equivalent). Zion was the place where God desired to place His name, and was the place of the children of Israel’s spiritual homeland, and is the place where their future hope will finally rest.

Joel 2:32 – And it shall come to pass {still a future time for Israel}, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant {those who believed} whom the LORD shall call.

Israel anticipated this day of deliverance that “shall come to pass”; however, when Jesus Christ came to deliver them they rejected him and crucified him. Oh, I know that the Roman soldiers did the dirty work, but they did it for Israel as all four Gospels plainly teach us.  Peter, addressing Israel in the temple said, “ye {Israel} have taken {Jesus Christ}, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2:23)!

So the man who said “every Christian living today had a part in the death and crucifixion of Jesus” obviously did not read his Bible. “Then answered all the people {Israelites}, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children” (Matthew 25:25). You and I had nothing whatsoever to do with the crucifixion and humiliating, torturous death of Jesus; it is totally ludicrous to take the blame for Israel who insanely rejected their longed-for Savior and Redeemer and put him to death.  However, we have everything to gain by believing in his resurrection, because he now resides within our searching hearts.

Joel 3:17 – So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then {still future} shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers {unbelievers} pass through her any more.

This is obviously a future prophecy to and for Israel, and we know this because Zion in Jerusalem has three major factions fighting over it, as well as several minor groups all staking claims to that place. However, we in the Church of God have received a heavenly calling and standing.

II Corinthians 5:20 reads, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ,” and an ambassador can only fulfil his mission in a foreign land. We are ambassadors here on earth today because heaven is our home, and in heaven is where we have Our Heavenly Standing!

We are physically here on earth as ambassadors for Christ, and we are spiritually seated at the right hand of God.  When Christ returns to earth, then, and not until then, will the prophecies of Zion be fulfilled for Israel, (including the future prophecies recorded in Daniel and Revelation).

However, today in grace our spiritual homeland is in heaven. Jesus said in Luke 13:35, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” He was teaching them that their temple was empty in Jerusalem because God was going to begin dwelling within the hearts of believers wherever they may be (John 4:19-24, Acts 7:48, 17:24;,I Corinthians 3:16), who today believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9-10).

Today, God’s blessings do not emanate out from the earthly temple at Jerusalem, but come out from the actual home of heaven’s throne and from God Himself. Hebrews 3:1 tells us in the Church of God that we are “partakers of the heavenly calling,” while Israel would be partakers of the earthly calling. And today, Israel’s calling is held off until our gathering together up to Christ; then and only then will the calling to Israel again commence.

Hebrews 12:22-24:
-22: But ye are come unto mount Sion {our spiritual homeland up in the heavenlies}, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
-23: {and we have come} To the general assembly and church of the firstborn {Jesus Christ}, which are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
-24: And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant {New Testament}, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel {who offered sacrifices for his sins, for Christ offered himself for our sins}.

Today in God’s grace we are members of His Church, which is the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:17-23, I Corinthians 12:27). We currently are already members of God’s family, being partakers of the heavenly Sion (Zion), with heavenly citizenship from above.

Galatians 4:26 reads “but Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” Jerusalem is our mother because we are born from above, from God’s heavenly home, and we are citizens, as opposed to the earthly “Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children” (Galatians 4:25).

When the calling of Zion in Jerusalem is again restored we read that “no strangers would pass through her any more,” and today it certainly is filled with strangers, believers, and unbelievers; this is why Romans 9:6 records, “For they are not all Israel, which are of {in} Israel.”

Christ Jesus will establish his Kingdom and restore the children of Israel in Zion at Jerusalem on God’s timetable, and this is still a future event (Acts 1:6-7).

Today, while that future prophecy still awaits Israel, anyone who will believe, Jew or Gentile (Galatians 3:26-29, Colossians 3:11) may partake of Our Heavenly Standing with God in Christ (Ephesians 2:6, 18-22), as we together in the body of Christ enjoy the more abundant life.

A Merry Heart (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Often we hear it said that it is best to not talk about religion, however, I do not agree with that statement, for when God lives in our hearts and we talk about the truth that is in our hearts and in our thinking, then “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34). The outpouring of our inner joy composes a merry heart that becomes personally inspiring from within, and harmonizes our lives to God’s very nature (II Peter 1:4). When we Christians allow “the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord” into our minds and hearts, we cannot help but share the treasures of God’s lovingkindness towards us, and of His “grace and peace,” which has been “multiplied” in our lives, as this tenders a merry heart in believers.

II Peter 1:2:
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.

This knowledge compels us to thoroughly enjoy a merry heart as we speak of the graces of God. Another wonderful verse of Scripture is, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). When God comes into our lives and we begin thinking His Word, we literally become what His Word says we are, “Keep {or guard} thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). The issues of life are those thoughts that define you as a person: for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he (and you and me).

Nevertheless, if we cannot talk about the inner joy we have experienced in God’s Word, then we might unintentionally begin to suppress what we have received and felt in our hearts from knowing our Savior’s love for us. “He that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast” (Proverbs 15:15). The continual feast is the enjoyment of life to its fullest, walking hand in hand with God, with our Savior, and with fellow believers, so, on with the festivities!

Proverbs 27:19:
As in water face answereth to face {gives a reflection}, so the heart of man {reflects what is in the heart} to man.

Paul said of Jesus “he cannot deny himself” (II Timothy 2:13); Jesus never denied who he was to anyone or what he believed, rather he lived with confidence in who he was, and he is our example (Philippians 2:5). We have the God-given privilege to believe and to conduct ourselves as those who have allowed Jesus Christ and God along with their joy into our hearts.

II Corinthians 5:20:
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech {call} you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

We are ambassadors for Christ, regardless of whether or not we ever share God’s Word with anyone. It is true that at certain times it may be inappropriate to share God’s Word, for instance, when we are being paid to work; however, there are times when it is appropriate to talk about God’s wonderful Word with our families, friends, and acquaintances. Besides, everyone else is speaking up to tell us what they think and believe, while what we Christians think and believe is in regard to the salvation of our souls and our being reconciled to God and that we are in Christ’s stead ─ these are certainly things worthy to speak up about while we fulfill our calling.

King David in Psalms 16:9 wrote: “my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth” as he spoke of his coming Savior. Knowing and speaking of Christ causes our hearts to greatly rejoice, and a glad heart comes to us by speaking about the accomplishments of Jesus Christ on our behalf. Witnessing to others that Jesus died for our sins (and theirs also), that he was resurrected and seated at the right hand of God, that he is returning for us at some future moment to take us home, surely causes one to experience and enjoy a merry heart.

Today, so many believers feel hesitant to even acknowledge that they are Christians when an appropriate time to speak the Word presents itself. Often believers feel guilty by association because they see other Christians behaving incorrectly or hear unbelievers make fun of religion or of God’s people and so many Christians do not speak up. We are not in God’s secret service wherein we hide the joy of our hearts from the world around us until we arrive in church on Sunday morning, but we are in God’s family, with God-given permission to speak and conduct our lives as the ambassadors of Christ. This is our heavenly commission!

When Christians suppress godly issues of the heart, Christianity becomes more of a subculture rather than mainstream. God’s wholesome Word shines in our hearts and this we can speak about with God-given authority (Philippians 2:16).

Life’s spiritual principles and gifts are evidenced by receiving and giving, but if a Christian believer begins to suppress the free course of God’s Word, the receiving end of his or her life can become limited ─ stifled even. Nothing on this earth can quench a believer’s merry heart more than inaction to the truths he has learned and believed from within the Scriptures to be true. Jesus Christ has made us free (Galatians 5:1), and has given us many reasons to enjoy a merry heart, including eternal life (I John 5:10-11).

Proverbs 15:13:
A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance {makes one glow with excitement}: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

Proverbs 17:22:
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

To genuinely experience God and our Savior’s presence, let us seek to enjoy the benefits of having and maintaining a merry heart. Presently in grace, we have and enjoy a union with our heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, giving us every reason to experience the heavenly panacea that comes into our inner souls from the Physician of the human heart ─ Jesus Christ.

We can invite God’s healing Word into our homes and fellowship with Him around the accomplishments of Jesus Christ for us, as we bask in the love of God. We may then reach out to other people who come across our paths with the words of life that have been so graciously given to us. In Isaiah 55:11, we read “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.” You see, when we speak of God’s Word, of His love, of His grace, and of our salvation, He will prosper and watch over those words that we have placed into our hearts to speak so that we may be assured of speaking words that will reach out with prosperous blessings to others who then also receive a merry heart.

True, some may shoot the breeze just to kill time, but we Christians can share the Word of life from our merry hearts and actually lead someone into eternal life, because when we speak the words of God, we are never alone, for Christ the Lord works within us to confirm the Word we speak.

Mark 16:20:
And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.

Just in knowing that Christ the Lord works with us gives us every reason to radiate a merry heart, especially when we realize that he confirms the Word we speak. Now, what are the signs that follow? This can be something different for every believer; it is a personal blessing for talking in Christ’s stead, and God will become your “sufficiency” in this life as II Corinthians 9:8 promises, “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, {so that you} may abound to every good work.”

Acts 14:3:
Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

Philippians 2:16 reads, “Holding forth the word of life” for it is God’s Words that give us purpose, reason, and vitality (and also offers these benefits to those to whom we speak), and provides us with all the spiritual treasures needed to enjoy our lives with a merry heart.

“There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.” ~Celia Thaxter~

“If we have the opportunity to be generous with our hearts, ourselves, we have no idea of the depth and breadth of love’s reach.” ~Margaret Cho~

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart.” ~Helen Keller~

“A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.” ~Washington Irving~

“God has two dwellings: one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart.” ~Izaak Walton~

A Merry Heart (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Often we hear the phrase “you cannot talk about religion and politics.” However, I do not believe this is a true statement, for when God lives in our hearts, then “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34). It does not really matter what people say we should not talk about when the truth is in our hearts, and in our thinking. And as we allow God into our lives we cannot help but share the treasures of His lovingkindness towards us, and of His graces of which we are partaking. Another wonderful verse of Scripture is “for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).

When God comes into our lives and we began thinking His Word, we literally become what His Word says we are. Nevertheless, if we cannot talk about the inner joy we have in God, then we could unintentionally begin to suppress the inner joy we have in our Savior, and with God’s healing Word.  Paul said of Jesus “he cannot deny himself” (II Timothy 2:13), Jesus never denied who he was to anyone or what he believed, rather he lived with confidence in who he was, and he is our example. We have the God-given privilege to believe and to conduct ourselves as those who have allowed Him into our lives and hearts.

II Corinthians 5:20 – Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech {call} you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

We are ambassadors for Christ, regardless of whether or not we ever share God’s Word with anyone. It is true, that at certain times it may not be appropriate to share God’s Word, like when we are being paid to work, however, there are plenty of times when it is appropriate to share God’s Word with our families, friends, and acquaintances.

Today so many believers feel hesitant to even acknowledge that they are Christians for so many reasons, one being that some feel guilty by association when they hear of another Christian behaving incorrectly and unjustly project this attitude of guilt upon themselves. If we heard about a bad doctor, do we stop going, or do all the doctors stop receiving patients? No! Neither should believers. We are not in God’s secret service, but in His family, with God-given permission to speak and conduct our lives as the ambassadors of Christ. This is our heavenly commission.  When Christians suppress godly issues of the heart, Christianity becomes more of a subculture rather than mainstream.  Life’s greater principles are evidenced by receiving and giving, but if a Christian believer begins to suppress the free course of God’s Word, the receiving end of his life can become limited. God through Jesus Christ has made us free, and has given us many reasons to enjoy a merry heart.

Proverbs 15:13 – A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance {makes one glow with excitement}: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

Proverbs 17:22 – A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

To genuinely experience God and our Savior’s presence, let us seek to enjoy the benefits of having a merry heart, having a union with our heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ. We can invite God’s healing Word into our homes and fellowship with Him around the accomplishments of Jesus Christ for us, as we with our families bask in the love of God. We may then reach out to other people who come across our paths with the words of life that are graciously given to us from the written word of our Father of Lights.

Philippians 2:16 records, “Holding forth the word of life” for it is the Word of life that gives us purpose, reason, and vitality, and the Word of life gives us all the spiritual treasures to enjoy our lives with a merry heart.