Eternity is rushing towards us.
You and everyone else must be ready.
So much is going on in our world today. From the earthquake in Haiti, to the gulf oil spill, to the economy, etc. One question to ask yourself is how is your attitude? How are you handling all of the current events in our world and in your life right now?
As I have been reading through my Bible, one word kept popping up that hit me: It was the word Ã¢â‚¬Ëœcheerful.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ I became intrigued at how the word was used in Scripture.
Deuteronomy 24:5 says,
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.Ã¢â‚¬Â
WouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t this be great in our society? Get married and take a full year just to be with your spouse! Spend that time getting to know each other so much better and letting God knit your hearts to each other. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t you think that would be a great way to stop so many divorces today? If your spouse was truly your best friend, you would never want to leave your best friend. That is an idea for you and your children to think about in the coming days.
Proverbs 15:13 says,
Ã¢â‚¬Å“A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Once you become a new creation, you have a new heart. Once you have a new heart, you should have a cheerful countenance. How does your countenance speak when people look at you? You can read so, so much from someoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s face. I would look at studentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s faces when I was teaching and try to figure out what was going on behind that countenance. I do the same when I travel. It leads to some very interesting conversations.
Psalm 10:4 says,
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Your countenance is really just a reflection of your heart at that moment. So, you really get to see a piece of someoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s heart by his or her countenance. Think about that for just a second.
Zechariah 8:19 says,
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace.Ã¢â‚¬Â
IsnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t it a blast to have a good church service? IsnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t it joyous when a group gets together and worships and praises the Lord? This verse is actually talking about when people get together and fast during the feasts they celebrate. Have you ever fasted? I have done a few fasts in my time. Sometimes cheerfulness is not at the top of my attitude list as I fast! But we are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. We should be cheerful people!!
Matthew 9:2 says,
Ã¢â‚¬Å“And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Do you ever sit there during prayer time or when you are meditating on the Scriptures and just become cheerful that your sins are forgiven? Do you ever think about the fact that you/I should spend eternity in hell for the wicked sins that we have committed, but we will go nowhere near that place when we die if we are born again? If that canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make you a cheerful person, nothing can.
Matthew 14:27 says,
Ã¢â‚¬Å“But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.Ã¢â‚¬Â
I think there are some tough days ahead in our world. Read the Book of Revelation. Some of those trumpet and bowl judgments will be amazing as these last days play themselves out. Many things will happen well before those events occur. Be of good cheer folks, and do not be afraid! God is still on His throne!!
John 16:33 says,
Ã¢â‚¬Å“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.Ã¢â‚¬Â
When I was teaching school, I would have a prayer time at the beginning of class. One day, I used this verse. At the end of class, this 9th grade boy, Chris, walked up to my desk, dropped his backpack and began to talk. He was really struggling. His parents were divorcing, life wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t so hot, etc. But he was a Christian young man. He had a very nice faith for his age. This verse reminded him that if Jesus can overcome the world, He can overcome the issues that we deal with in life.
Romans 12:8 says,
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.Ã¢â‚¬Â
We need to be people who show mercy to others, and do it cheerfully. We canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be pompous and arrogant as we deal with the lost. We need to be cheerful. Lost and saved people both enjoy being around cheerful people.
2 Corinthians 9:7 says,
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Have you learned to love being a giver yet? I just filmed a new talk on being a great giver. Attitude is so important when we bless others. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do it begrudgingly. Enjoy every minute of it when you bless others. I just bought a lunch for two college students at the airport. One was an atheist, and the other was searching. When I blessed them, they were so thankful. The atheist even stood up to shake my hand. I am learning how to be a cheerful giver, and it has been so great for my development as a man of God!
The word Ã¢â‚¬ËœcheerfulÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ can also mean Ã¢â‚¬Ëœjoyous, prompt to do anything.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ It can also mean Ã¢â‚¬Ëœcomfort, or to be good, pleasing.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ Would people describe you that way?
Luke 9:29 says,
Ã¢â‚¬Å“And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Jesus had and does have a countenance as well. His countenance was altered during the transfiguration on the mount.
This got me thinking. That means when I see Jesus for the first time after I die, His countenance will show off of His face. I would not want His countenance to show that He was disappointed in how I lived my life after I became born again. We all say that we want to hear Him say, Ã¢â‚¬ËœWell done my good and faithful servant.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ Can you just imagine if you heard that from Him; what His countenance would be like? Wow!!
We need to be cheerful people as we follow the Lord. Of course, we do have all of our other emotions, and we will use them as we live this life. But, overall, we should be cheerful and encouraging people to be around. I want to encourage you to be someone that both the lost and saved like encountering. The more you do that, the more you will see the Lord use you in the days to come.
Until the nets are full,