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Friday, August 26, 2016

Wellspring of a Joyful Life

                Have you had your Joy Juice today?  May our hearts be filled with joy and Godly wisdom.

                Proverbs 4:23 says: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” 

The “heart” in this verse does not refer to our physical heart…but to our feelings of love and desire. In this sense, our heart leads us in the choices that we make, daily. “Solomon tells us to guard our heart above all else, making sure we concentrate on those desires that will keep us on the right path. Make sure your affections push you in the right direction. Put boundaries on your desires; don’t’ go after everything you see. Look straight head, keep your eyes fixed on your goal, and don’t get side-tracked on detours that lead to sin.”  (Life Application Bible NIV footnote)

                Indeed, we need to pray for God to help us guard our heart.  Let’s ask Him to give us Godly friends who influence us and encourage us in the right ways.  Let’s pray for discernment to distinguish between good and evil, to be sensitive to His leading even when people are pointing in the opposite way.  May we learn to hear Him clearly and be so steeped in His Word that we guard our hearts as the true “wellspring of life”.

                Guard your heart; but keep it open to Godly wisdom and abundant joy.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Choose Wisdom; Choose Joy!

                Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Life is filled with choices! Choose joy; choose wisdom.  

                Proverbs 4:5-7 challenges us to make wise choices. Solomon’s words should be hidden in the depths of our hearts so that we will be ready to apply them in every aspect of our daily lives. Listen to this passage: “Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her and she will watch over you.  Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.” 

                Solomon clearly says….CHOOSE WISELY! Does wisdom simply drop into our lives?  Does it easily grow in our hearts? Is it something we can pick up at the grocery store or order online?  Do we go to bed one night and wake up the next morning “wise”? Don’t we wish it was that easy?  Godly wisdom takes resolve and perseverance!

 As my Bible footnote explains:
It takes a determination not to abandon the search once you begin, no matter how difficult the road may become. This is not a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ step, but a daily process of choosing between two paths—the wicked and the righteous. Nothing else is more important or more valuable.”

                Wisdom is supreme! Choose Godly wisdom and find joy in the Lord!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Soak in Wisdom and Joy

                Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Wisely soak in the joy of the Lord and you’ll radiate with His love.

                Studying the scriptures gives us much food for thought; if we are serious about our relationship with God, the verses in Proverbs challenge us to live a life of discipline, wisdom and joy. In Chapter 3 verses 3 & 4, we read: 

“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”  

Then in verses 5 & 6, we find a familiar “go to” passage that we often claim when we don’t understand what is happening in our lives: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” 

                Those verses are power-packed with truth! However…..when we are distraught, disappointed…maybe even in a state of despair, it’s difficult to live in that truth.  Love and faithfulness are to be a constant in our lives.  But do we often let our circumstances dictate our emotions and decisions?  When we truly, wholeheartedly, live for Christ, then we are to trust Him in ALL things. This kind of unwavering trust and faith in God leads to wisdom and joy and the Lord’s favor and a good name and a straight path.  Sounds like a pretty good goal to me! 
            Be faithful, loving, obedient, trusting and be joy-filled!