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Author: Pastor Joyce Roth

Joyce Roth has been on a journey for more of God for most of her life. She believes that following God should be exciting. Not necessarily easy, but stimulating & inspiring! Her passion is first, to understand & walk in “all the fullness of God” and then to pass that understanding on to anyone who will listen. She grew up in rural southern Alberta & has worked alongside her husband in the ministry for the last 25 years. Together they pastor the Victory Church in Red Deer, AB.
EXPERIENCE LIFE, HOPE & FULFILLMENT TODAY!

EXPERIENCE LIFE, HOPE & FULFILLMENT TODAY!

Isn’t that the cry of your heart, to experience life, hope and fulfillment? Not only is this Jesus’ desire for each of us but only He can make it happen for us. In John 17 Jesus prays for His disciples, for us. We know that Jesus always prays according to God’s will, therefore His prayers are answered! I believe it’s in the answers to His prayers that we experience the life, hope and fulfillment our hearts yearn for.

Look what Jesus prays for us:

  1. Keep them safe by the power of Your Name (vs 11)
  2. Give them the same joy I have (vs 13)
  3. Protect them from the evil one (vs 15)
  4. Use the truth to make them holy (vs 17)
  5. Give them the same unity that the you, the Father, & I have (vs 21)

Can you sense the deep compassion and love that Jesus has for us, His disciples?  When we chose to follow Jesus with our whole heart, we can be sure that He is keeping us safe; that our joy is real and based in truth. We can know that we’re being protected from the evil one and that we’re being made holy because we know and believe the truth. Our unity with Jesus and fellow believers becomes a standard that sets us apart. It’s the same unity that He and the Father have.

As this understanding becomes real in our lives, courage and boldness increase. Our actions and speech change. Our priorities change. Just as the first disciples experienced life, hope & fulfillment through their relationship with Jesus, so do we!

This transformation attracted attention then and it does today! True unity and love draw attention. They cause God’s glory to be seen on us and people are drawn to the glory. They won’t necessarily recognize it for what it is, and not everyone will appreciate it. But many will change the way they think and act and chose to follow Jesus.

That’s what we’re all about! That’s what Jesus was all about – winning as many as possible for His Kingdom. Causing everyone to experience life, hope and fulfillment!

It’s really pretty incredible; almost overwhelming to think of the difference we can make just by believing in Jesus prayers on our behalf.  I’m inspired and encouraged by the reality of this truth. What about you?

The Power of Faith

The Power of Faith

Just reading in Psalms this morning and amazed at the power of faith. David’s faith was powerful! How often does he start off listing the things that are going wrong around him and even questioning God’s presence? But each time he ends declaring God’s faithfulness, goodness or mercy and praising God with a song. Pretty incredible. David’s faith in and relationship with God was so strong that he could be perfectly honest with God. He could tell God exactly what was he was thinking because of what was happening around and to him. And then with the power that only comes from faith, he would turn his heart to praise!

How do we get to that place? I think we need to make it a priority to believe in the God of the Bible no matter what we see, think, and feel. Our challenge is to continually renew our minds according to His Word(Rom 12:2) and to commit to a deep “hunger and thirst after righteousness”(Matt 5:6). As we do our spiritual eyes will be opened to the reality of God’s incredible love for us, His perfect plan on our behalf, His mercy towards us, etc! That’s when we realize that all our striving is pointless, and we will raise our hands in surrender to and worship of our all-powerful God! Our faith will become evident and powerful. We’ll choose to turn from our despair, despondency and depression to an enthusiastic trust in God that will show itself in praise, renewed hope and joy! Have our circumstances changed? Probably not, but that’s not our worry nor our focus. The Bible says:

“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalm 55:22

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:8

No matter what the situation or circumstance we find ourselves in we’ll know that his heart is for us! He is with us!! We’ll understand that His ways are higher than ours. That it’s okay to not always understand His answers to our circumstances but we’ll have the power of faith to rest in His promise, His presence, His love!

David understood this. He poured out his heart to God and then He stood in faith, speaking life to his soul by declaring his trust in God’s mercy and his joy in God’s salvation. Then he sang songs of praise to his good God! That’s the power of faith. It can take us from the depths of despair to the heights of spiritual confidence and joy in a short time!

Let’s walk together in the power of faith so that the hopeless, desperate and discouraged people around us will notice and ask how they can experience this power too!

Celebrating JESUS for who He is Today and Tomorrow Part 3

Celebrating JESUS for who He is Today and Tomorrow Part 3

Today is the grand finale in the series Celebrating Jesus as He revealed Himself in “Revelation”. We’re going to go to the last few chapters of the book to see who Jesus will be. I trust these last 4 revelations will cause your faith to arise, your hope to be established and your love for Jesus to be energized!

He is the King of Kings, Lord of Lords   Rev 19:16                                              Jesus is the returning King. We remember and celebrate His first coming as a babe. Soon He’ll come as the victorious “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”! Satan, his tactics and cohorts whom He defeated at the cross will be banished to eternal hell.

He is God with us, Emmanuel   Rev 21:3, 22-23                                                      In Revelation 1, we saw Jesus as the unseen reality, the unseen presence in His church. Here, He becomes seen. The Faithful and True reality who removes all crying, pain, mourning and death. The Glorious reality who removes the need for a temple or for the sun or moon. God with us, Emmanuel!

He is the Alpha & Omega, the Beginning & the End, the First & the Last   Rev 21:6                                                                                                                                 Our God, our King, Jesus; always was, always is and always will be! A firm foundation! A forever God. We can fully trust Him! He is making all things new. We can stand with the overcomers because we know who holds our future!

He is the Bright Morning Star   Rev 22:16                                                              The promise of a new day! Jesus coming as a babe some 2000 years ago promised a new day for those of that time and for us who choose to believe and follow Him today. A new day dawned when Jesus rose from the dead! And there’s more! Jesus, as the Bright Morning Star in Revelation presents great hope, in that a new day will dawn when He comes again to take us, His followers, to be with Him forever! A new day that promises inconceivable joy, everlasting peace, overflowing worship and eternal life in heaven with God!

I don’t know about you, but all this just makes me want to stand and shout! What an amazing God we serve! This year I want to celebrate Jesus with thanksgiving for who He is and all that He’s done and with great hope for all He will yet be and do!! Will you join me? Because as we do, His glory will be seen on us. His light will shine from us, drawing the unsaved, the lost and hopeless among us, to salvation, freedom and to NEW, REAL & EVERLASTING LIFE! That’s what Jesus is all about! He’s the Savior of the world.

“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give Him the glory”  Rev 19:6-7

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

Celebrating JESUS for who He is Today and Tomorrow Pt 2

Celebrating JESUS for who He is Today and Tomorrow Pt 2

Today I want to continue with the topic of celebrating Jesus for who He is today and tomorrow. In reading the book of “Revelation”, the “revelation of Jesus Christ” (Rev 1:1), Jesus shows John who He is now and what He’s going to do. I believe we can draw strength and courage from ”Revelation” as  it presents the reality of the character and presence of our Savior, Jesus today and forever.

He is God with US(Emmanuel)   Rev 1:13                                                             Here John sees, “standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like the Son of Man.” We know the lampstands represent the churches and it says that someone like the Son of Man was in the middle of them. Jesus was in their midst of the churches. He is in His church today! Jesus is moving among us today!

He is the Living One   Rev 1:18                                                                                     He’s not dead nor has He left us. We do not need to be afraid. He has defeated the power of death! He is alive forevermore. His living presence with us is an unseen reality that we should celebrate today.

He is the Son of God   Rev 2:18                                                                                       Let us never forget that Jesus is God. Perfect in holiness, all-powerful, all-knowing. He is the ultimate image of the unseen God. Jesus has final and complete authority over all things!

He is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah   Rev 5:5                                                    Majestic and strong. The victor, the One worthy to open the scroll. However, when John turns to see the victorious, worthy One, he doesn’t see a lion because Jesus didn’t conquer as a lion…

He is the Lamb that was slain   Rev 5:6,                                                                  The Greek word here means “little lamb”. Like a lamb Jesus humbled Himself, surrendered totally and completely to the will of His Father and bore the weight of all our sin on the cross. His sacrifice brought about the triumph! Victory came and still does come through sacrifice!

This is our God, this is Jesus: God with Us, the Living One, the Son of God, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and the Lamb that was slain. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever. As I think about Jesus in this way, there’s an excitement that rises in me. There’s so much more that He’s called us to do and He is right here with us, teaching us, leading us, and empowering us, to do our part in seeing “His kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven”.

So please join me in celebrating Jesus, this Christmas, for all He’s done, for all He is and for all He will be.                                                                                “To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!” Rev 5:13

Celebrate JESUS for who He is Today and Tomorrow

Celebrate JESUS for who He is Today and Tomorrow

We have so much to be thankful for as we celebrate Jesus this Christmas. The fact that our Savior came from heaven to earth as a baby, born in a stable, is incredible. That He ultimately gave His life for us is truly worthy of praise and honor! We need to remember and celebrate Him for all that He’s done.

I wonder if we can build on our Christmas celebrations this year by reminding ourselves that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”(Heb 13:8) The promises and power He represented in the past are true for us today and in the future! In reading the book of “Revelation”, the “revelation of Jesus Christ” (Rev 1:1), Jesus shows John who He is now and what He’s going to do. “Revelation” reveals the character and presence of Jesus today and in the future. Over the next few weeks I want to look briefly at how Jesus is revealed in Revelation. As we add this understanding to our celebrations I believe it will make this Christmas even more meaningful.

He is the Faithful Witness   Rev 1:5                                                                           Jesus did and is doing everything His Father told Him to. He is completely faithful to His Father’s will. He has and always will bring glory to His Father.

He is the Firstborn from the Dead   Rev 1:5                                                         Jesus is the first to have risen from the dead by His own power, never to die again but to live forevermore. He opened the way for us, His followers, to be raised from death to life through the forgiveness of our sins. Real life here and now, and eternal life to come!

He is the Alpha & Omega…the Almighty   Rev 1:8                                              Jesus always was, always is and always will be! There is no one like Him. He has no rival! He is the ruler of all, commanding all the powers in heaven and on earth!

He is the Son of Man   Rev 1:13                                                                                    John sees the glorified Jesus in His human form. As he had known Him years before. The reference here is to Jesus as the One to whom all dominion is given, over all people and nations, forever (Dan 7:13, 14)

As I saw Jesus for who He is now and forever will be, the Faithful Witness, the Firstborn from the Dead, the Alpha & Omega, the Almighty and the Son of Man, something stirred inside of me. I was reminded that God’s got my today and my future in His capable hands, no matter what those days might bring. As I saw Him in that light, my heart overflowed with gratitude. My desire and ability to love and worship Him intensified, giving me renewed confidence in His promises. He said He’d “never leave me or forsake me”. He said He’d “finish the work He began in me” and He’d make me “more than a conqueror”. What an amazing God He is!

Will you join with me this year in celebrating Jesus for who He is today and tomorrow?

COMPLETE IN CHRIST

COMPLETE IN CHRIST

According to Colossians 2:10, as followers of Christ, we are “complete in Christ”. I find the implications of this statement to be both overwhelming and incredibly inspiring!

Complete in Christ! To think that “all of God lives in Christ’s body” (Col 2:9) and that Christ lives in us…

We are complete in Christ! We went from being DEAD because of our sins and worldly thinking to being made ALIVE in Christ when He canceled our debt. He erased the charges against us, by nailing them to the cross! (Col 2:13-14) By grace, through faith we are now complete in Him!

So, what does this concept mean to us? Does it mean we get it right all the time? No, that certainly hasn’t been the case for myself. But what it does mean, is that we have a hope, an understanding within that encourages and strengthens us to keep on. There’s an unseen power in this statement that causes faith to arise in us so we realize that we can BELIEVE, beyond any doubt:

  • that God is sovereign. There is nothing or no-one who rivals Him. He is, was and always will be in full control!
  • that God always knows and does what’s best for us
  • that everything God says about us is true. For example, He says we’re “a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come” (2 Cor 5:17)
  • that we possess the power to live out the following truths. Like Paul said, “I don’t look back, I lengthen my stride, and I run straight toward the goal to win the prize that God’s heavenly call offers in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:13, 14). We can:
    • walk in obedience
    • love each other and our enemies
    • say no to temptation
    • control our thoughts
    • forgive and be forgiven
    • be thankful at all times
    • focus on things that are above” (Col. 3:1), knowing that this world is not all there is.
    • etc, etc!!

We’re complete in Christ! Let your faith arise. Faith to act on the dreams that God has put in your heart to make a difference in this world. Faith to step out and fulfill the call to “Love God, Love Others & Serve”! Let’s allow the reality of this truth to cause us to use the gifts, talents and desires God has given us, to accomplish our part of the Great Commission, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…” Matthew 28:19-20

YOU’VE GOT EVERYTHING YOU NEED

YOU’VE GOT EVERYTHING YOU NEED

Let’s look at one of the most exciting and inspiring verses in the Bible:

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Through Christ, God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing that heaven has to offer. Ephesians 1:3

What an incredible verse! God has blessed us, you and me, with “every spiritual blessing that heaven has to offer”!

When we read this, we should get excited. Not because we’re expecting all our physical and natural wants and desires to be met, but rather because we realize that these spiritual blessings empower us to fulfill God’s plan on earth! As humans I think our first and natural tendency is to have our physical needs looked after but as Christians we need to choose to look past the natural and see these blessings for their true purpose. These are spiritual or inward blessings that when appropriated will cause us to be “salt and light” in the dark and needy world around us!

What are these spiritual blessings? Ephesians 1:3-14

THROUGH JESUS CHRIST

  1. we are chosen by the kindness of God
  2. we are made holy & perfect
  3. we are adopted into the family of God, sons and daughters of Almighty God
  4. we are set free from our sins, forgiven!
  5. we are given wisdom and insight
  6. we will bring praise and glory to God
  7. we are sealed with the Holy Spirit

Notice these blessings all come through Jesus, the greatest spiritual blessing of all time: the Alpha & Omega, the Author and Finisher of our faith, the Risen Lord, the Perfect Sacrifice. It’s only by grace, through faith that we will lay hold of these blessings. And when we do, thanksgiving and praise should flow from our innermost beings like rivers of living water because we understand that we have now been given everything we need to fulfill God’s call. Everything we need to see “His Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven”

What an honor and privilege it is that God would choose to give us exactly what we need to walk with strength, boldness and courage through the physical and natural things this world holds for us. That He would provide a way for us to truly bring Him glory no matter what our physical situations look like.

When we rely on these spiritual blessings we will be a people who let our lights shine for Jesus in the darkest times. This is what we’re called too! This is where true fulfillment and joy really are. We’re way better off having the ability to stand firm in difficult times than we are enjoying physical pleasures for a season; way better witnesses of God’s greatness and glory when we can live in peace and joy while declaring His Lordship in times of trouble and hardship.

Will you join me in using these blessings to fulfill His calling to us: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations”!

DO YOU NEED RENEWED LIFE TODAY?

DO YOU NEED RENEWED LIFE TODAY?

God is a God of life. In every aspect of the word. In every aspect of our lives God brings…God is our life!

Whether we need life renewed in our physical bodies, or our emotional or spiritual selves, God is the source of life.

 

Look at these verses from Romans 8 and see the progression of life God has for you:

Romans 8:2

The standards of the Spirit, who gives life through Christ Jesus, have set you free from the standards of sin and death.

 

Romans 8:11

Does the Spirit of the one who brought Jesus back to life live in you? Then the one who brought Christ back to life will also make your mortal bodies alive by his Spirit who lives in you.

 

Romans 8:25

But if we hope for what we don’t see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

 

Romans 8:32

God didn’t spare his own Son but handed him over to death for all of us. So, he will also give us everything along with him.

 

Romans 8:37

The one who loves us gives us an overwhelming victory in all these difficulties.

 

If we have God we have life! Does it always look like it? Does it always feel like it? No! In fact, sometimes it’s hard to believe that we will ever experience joy, hope or fullness again. But God’s Spirit is ALIVE in you! He can’t be anything but alive. That’s who He is! Remember the “dry bones” in Ezekiel 37?

 

Did something stir within you as you read these verses? Is there a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel of heaviness, depression or grief?

 

Speak and pray these verses over yourself daily. If you can’t do that yet, send me your name and I will pray them over you until you can do it for yourself!

 

PS If you aren’t sure you “have God” but realize that you need Him to get back what you’ve lost, all you need to do is invite Him to be part of your walk. He will be life to you!

And then, respond to this blog. Let me know of your decision and if you have any questions. Then, go to church! If  you’re in our area you’re welcome to join us at Victory Church – www.vcrd.ca

THE VALUE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

THE VALUE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

Is there value in righteousness today? Or has the time for being righteous passed? Looking at the seemingly easy and prosperous life of unrighteous people around us can be discouraging and frustrating. It can cause us to  wonder why we choose to follow Jesus and try to do what’s right?

While reading Proverbs recently, I was reminded why I do what I do and believe what I believe. I was encouraged to stick to it! Here’s what I found!

 

Benefits of Righteousness (from Proverbs 11 & 12)

  1. Righteous people effect the good of their homes, their city and ultimately their nation.
    1. A righteous wife brings honor and comfort to her husband
    2. A righteous man is dependable and consistent and therefore honored
    3. Righteous people care for others, not just themselves
    4. Righteous people are wise, honest and humble
  2. The righteous person lives a spiritually abundant life.
    1. God protects the righteous
    2. God rewards the righteous.
  3. Righteousness will lead us where we long to go!                 Everlasting life is on the way of righteousness. Eternal death is not along its path. (Prov 12:28)

 

Choose Righteousness

Don’t get sidetracked! Don’t lose hope or faith! Don’t compromise to please people! The world needs us to choose righteousness today. To set a standard for truth and love. This won’t always be an easy or pleasant choice but it will bring us the greatest inner joy and peace we can imagine. So let’s keep our eyes on the big picture, the ultimate goal. Let’s let our lights shine so brightly that everyone we come into contact with sees Jesus in us! Gain strength, hope and encouragement through a daily relevant relationship with God. He promises to be everything we need in every situation!

 

Living righteously, puts us in a place where God can pour out His blessings upon us! Living righteously secures our eternity with God in heaven! The promise from Jeremiah 29:11 stands true for the righteous, “I know the plans that I have for you…plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope.”

 

Will you choose righteousness today? Will you choose to keep your focus on Gods plan and His ways? It will be well worth it in the end!

Keeping Your Hope On

Keeping Your Hope On

Hope is crucial for survival! Hope strengthens us. It empowers and drives us. And hope causes us to have peace even during the storms this life throws at us. As followers of Jesus, hope inspires us to be and do what God wants. It helps us to be effective ministers in a world that tries desperately to undermine and steal our hope with bad reports from Drs, terrorism threats, financial burdens or relationship crisis. These are not imaginary schemes. They’re very real issues in our society. So how do you keep your hope on?

The early church in Acts 2 is a great example of “keeping your hope on” in the midst of troubled times! The Romans occupied Jerusalem and treated the Jews with disdain. The Jewish religious leaders weren’t happy with the church, either. And yet, the church was filled with excitement and anticipation. They were an incredibly effective force in their city and surrounding area.

How was this possible? I believe it was because the church had just experienced firsthand the plan of God. This plan that caused hope to arise as Jesus came on the scene, preaching and teaching the truth of the Good News of the Kingdom of God. This plan that brought hope for today through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Hope because through faith in God’s plan our sins can be forgiven, our relationship with God restored and knowledge that the devil is a defeated foe! This plan brought hope for the future because Jesus ascended to heaven to be seated at the Father’s right hand, interceding on our behalf and preparing a place for us. And the final part of God’s plan, hope forever. The pouring out of His Holy Spirit on the disciples: “the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of advice and power, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord”(Isa 11:2). The Spirit who is our Helper, our Advocate, our Guide, our Comforter, our Teacher and the One who sends us out to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ!

What a plan this was and still is! This plan brought hope to a people whose outward circumstances hadn’t changed. It brought peace, excitement and anticipation for something more. Something better! God’s plan is the same for us today. It is just as powerful and effective as it was then! When we believe in God’s plan we will be able to “Keep our hope on” no matter what the situation around us. “Keeping your hope on” brings enthusiasm, purpose and greater opportunity for today’s church to effectively share the Good News of the Gospel! The world needs us to keep our hope on!

Never forget Gods promise in Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope.”