The clock is running out on 2017.
This chapter is almost closed, and it's time to exit the dreams, the accomplishments, the hurts and the challenges we have faced this year.
The New Year is right around the corner, and plans have already begun for 2018, the year of "Supernatural Delivery."
Will your 2018 be different in your devotional times, family, ministry, finances and health? Choose to make 2018 your year of "Abundant Joy"!
The words of Jesus in John 15:11 say, "I have spoken these things to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full."
The message of Jesus and joy are intertwined, eternal and inseparable.
Joy is an outward expression of an inward relationship that is the divine influence of Jesus Christ in our hearts and His reflection in our lives.
The top three things God wants you to know from the message of His Word this coming 2018 are: His righteousness, His peace and His joy in the Holy Spirit.
"For the kingdom of God does not mean eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 14:17).
I believe God's is going to give us an extraordinary harvest this year.
But in order to reap this harvest, we must not allow anything to rob us of the joy of the Lord, "our strength." The best way to not lose our joy is to recognize the ways that the enemy tries to rob us of it:
- We can lose our joy by having wrong spirits and dirty hearts, according to David in his prayer of repentance and restoration: "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me" (Ps. 51:10).
- We lose our joy because of bad attitudes and bad actions. Bad attitudes are like small pebbles in your everyday life. They seem insignificant at the moment, but as they add up over time they build to the level of creating a dam in your life that stops the flow of faith and the Holy Spirit leading in your daily life. Bad actions are actions that are taken in our life that are not of faith. Bad attitudes may be small pebbles, but bad actions are like large boulders. Bad attitudes and bad actions are rocky soil where there is momentary joy but no lasting roots for the harvest of God's Word in our lives.
Let me put it another way: Bad attitudes are the pebbles that clog up the well and bad actions become the boulders that cap the well of God's salvation and joy in our lives. This allows us to become hard-hearted Christians who hardly have any joy.
Jesus promises in John 7:38, "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water."
This 2018, don't lose your joy. Instead, live in it!
Join me next week as we begin the new year with "our joy being restored."
Next week, I will be ministering throughout Russia. Thank you for your joyful prayers and encouragement.
Happy New Year!
Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the book of hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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