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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Our Father Delights in Blessing you with JOY!

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  God always has an abundant supply ready for those who ask!

            When you pray, do you ask God to bless you abundantly?  Or do you think that would be selfish?!  Through the years I’ve discovered that our Heavenly Father DELIGHTS in our coming before Him and asking Him to pour out His blessings on us.    

            Think about it from this perspective.  If you are a parent (or grandparent) and one of your children came to you humbly with open hands, what would be your first question?  Probably something like:  “Do you need something that I can help you with?”  If they responded by telling you their desire but also expressed that they want you to give them what you think is best…..wouldn’t your heart be touched?

            Is that our attitude when we go to our Heavenly Father?  Or do we give Him our “Christmas wish list” and expect immediate results?   The next time you ask God for something, examine your request and see if you can truly say, “God, this is my desire, but I trust that You know what is best for me.”  If we would start praying like this, we might be astonished at all the blessings that would begin to flow.   

            We can take a lesson from Paul in Philippians 3:8  I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”  Paul had discovered the secret to abundance…..a genuine, bold JOYful love for the Lord.

            We can have abundant JOY by drinking the JOY JUICE of JESUS faithfully and praying His best for us is all areas..

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The A, B, Cs of JOY

             Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Drink it ABUNDANTLY!

            If you are one of the JOYful people who has Jesus in your heart, be ready to share the Good News with others. When folks ask why you can be so JOYful, tell them that they, too, can find their own personal servings of JOY JUICE by going to the “storehouse” of God’s Word.  Show them how to have a relationship with Christ!  That’s where the Joy Juice is produced and stored for anyone who asks. 

            Some people find it difficult to tell others about how to have a personal relationship with Jesus.  It’s really as simple as A, B, C.  

A:  Admit that you are a sinner.  Romans 3:23 says: “For all have sinned and fall  short of the glory of God.” 

B: Believe that Jesus died for you. Romans 5:8 tells us: But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

C: Confess your sins: Romans 10:9 says:  "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord', and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 

            A, B, C!  Admit, Believe, Confess. It’s that simple.  Lead someone to Christ today and experience ABUANDANT JOY.

            Remember your A, B, C’s and share your faith (and the joy it brings) with others.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Do YOU Have Abundant JOY?

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Drinking it faithfully is so important to assure abundant JOY!

            ABUNDANCE----what does that word mean to you?  When I hear the word, I immediately think of a huge amount of something!  Sometimes we think we have an abundance of WORK!  Many busy parents find themselves burrowing through an abundance of laundry, housework, yard work and other chores.  Most likely we ALL feel that we have an abundance of bills!!!!!

            But let’s think of abundance in the manner that Jesus taught about in the Gospel of John. Remember the passage we talked about yesterday in John 10:10?I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”   What kind of ABUNDANCE is Jesus speaking of in this verse?

            Bruce Wilkinson (in The Prayer of Jabez Devotional)  tells us that the secret to TRUE abundance is to want what God wants. That means that we love God so much that we put aside our desires and trust that God knows what is best for us.  He wants us to bring our needs and desires before Him, but when we do so, we need to be content with whatever answer He gives us.

            Abundant life in Christ is living every moment soaking up His love, His will and His direction.  It is then that we will be filled with ABUNDANT JOY!!!!!!

           Drink your JOY JUICE every day, trusting God to bless you with His abundant Joy…enough to share!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Live an Abundant Life of JOY

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Help yourself to an abundant serving!

            Listen to the verse in John 10:10 and see if it brings a smile to your face like it does mine!   Jesus said: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

            What an awesome truth!!  Jesus came to this earth, lived and died for YOU and ME…so that we can enjoy abundant life! That’s a life filled with JOY, people!  He doesn’t want us simply to survive! He wants us to THRIVE!

            It’s a sad thing that many people think abundance is simply about wealth, possessions, a big house, an expensive automobile and/or lots of money.  The abundance Jesus is talking about goes far beyond material things.  It’s being content with what God has given us and expressing gratitude and joy EVEN in during tough times.  Some of the most JOYful people you will ever meet are those who have a close relationship with the Lord.  It has NOTHING to do with how rich or poor they are financially and materially.

            Are you living in God’s abundance? We can believe in Christ intellectually…even admire him. We can be moral and religious; but until we give Him every area of our lives, and commit to following Him in a personal way, then will not experience that ABUNDANT life of JOY He desires us all to have!! 

         Drink an abundant serving of JOY JUICE by opening every door of your heart to Him…and get ready to share that abundant joy with others. .


Friday, October 25, 2013

Encourage One Another....JOYfully!

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Please encourage those around you to drink it faithfully!

            Why do we need to be encouragers to those around us?  I can think of several reasons right off the top of my head:

  • It builds them up and makes then realize they have self-worth.
  • It demonstrates a caring attitude.
  • When you encourage them, you are displaying a Christian role model.
  • EVERYONE needs an encouraging word.
  • The world would be a much better place if we all determined to be encouragers!

BUT THE MAIN REASON I believe we should want to be an encourager, is simply because “The Bible says so”!  Just as the song says: “Jesus loves me this I know..for the Bible tells me so”.  The Bible also tells us to ENCOURAGE!  Time and time again we find words such as:
Therefore encourage (admonish, exhort) one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
   In Hebrews 3:13 we read: "But encourage one another daily as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness." 

Many other times throughout the Word of God we are instructed to “encourage”.  Are you being obedient?  You’ll be surprised at how much JOY you’ll share and how encouraged you will be when you become God’s “encouraging mouthpiece”!!!

          May we be reminded of the importance of drinking our JOY JUICE, as well as being an ENCOURAGEMENT to all those God brings into our and EVERY day!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Encourage Yourself in the Lord...and Find JOY!

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Drink a few extra ounces if you are in need of encouragement!

             Some mornings we need extra encouragement, don’t we?  Maybe we’re dreading an appointment or have such a busy day planned that we don’t know how we’re going to get it all done.  Many days we wake up tired and just don’t have the energy to face the day cheerfully. How do we make it through days like that? Especially when we are feeling DIScouraged!

            We need to do as David did in 1 Samuel 30. Verse 6 says: David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.  Can we encourage ourselves?  Yes, we can! 

  • First of all we have to get our heads on straight and start thinking about all our blessings instead of all the negatives.
  • Remember that if we’ve have accepted Jesus into our life, He has promised never to leave is or forsake us! 
  • Read the scripture EVERY day! This is especially important when we feel “discouraged”.  You’ll be surprised at how many verses you’ll find in which God speaks words of encouragement to YOUR heart.
  • Stop listening to and repeating the lies of the enemy; instead concentrate on the promises of God!
  • Meditate on His goodness!
  • Pray about everything!

When you do these things, you’ll be “encouraging yourself in the Lord”!  Don’t wait for someone else to come along with the solution to your discouragement. Determine to Be JOYFUL now!

          As we drink our Joy Juice from the Lord, may we faithfully encourage ourselves and others in the Lord!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Be a JOY-filled Pick-Me-Up! :)

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Good job!  I’m so proud of you!!

            An important part of “encouragement” is something called AFFIRMATION!  Letting someone know that you believe in them or they’re you’re proud of them…A pat on the back, so to speak!  Genuine words of affirmation can change a person’s life….literally! 

        We’ve all heard stories of how teachers have made a difference in the lives of their students.  And this is so true!  But I want to come from a different perspective today.  You see, I was a teacher for years; and it was the children who---time and time again--- were an encouragement to me!

            It was such a blessing to get unconditional hugs each day!  And the smiles that were shining from their faces “spoke” encouragement---loud and clear.  Many times, I’d receive an original piece of artwork with an “I love you” scribbled across the page.  Oh, how that picked me up and gave me “affirmation” that I was right where God meant for me to be!

            I believe that we adults could take lessons from our younger friends! Reach out to that someone who needs a hug today.  Generously share your smiles. Whether you know the person or not, remember EVERYBODY needs a smile.  It affirms that the person is important enough to be acknowledged. 

          Share your talents with others who may need just the kind of pick-me-up that only you can give.  When you get into the habit of being an encourager, then the JOY of the Lord pours out from you and flows back to you! 

            Drink your JOY JUICE faithfully by being an encouragement to those God brings into your path today!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Share God's Encouragement and JOY

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Please encourage others to have some!

            It’s easy for some people to encourage others because they have the “gift” of exhortation given to them by God. All of us are not born with the “natural inclination” toward being an encourager…and some of us truly are not gifted in that area.  BUT we should all try to learn to encourage others.

            Let’s look into the Word of God to find some examples of  encouragers”.

  • Joseph learned the need for encouragement. He was not a natural encourager…and didn’t become one until God disciplined him into becoming one. We see examples of his encouragement in Genesis 49 when he not only forgave his brothers, but he encouraged them. Joseph ended up being an encouragement to the whole people of Israel.
 You see, we can’t use the excuse that “we weren’t born with a personality” to encourage people.  The Bible instructs us to be encouragers…and that settles it. 
  • Sometimes God might call us to be an encouragement to someone by helping them fulfill God’s purpose in their life.  Remember Aaron and Hur in Exodus 17?  They held up Moses’ arms during battle. This story reminds us that sometimes GOD calls us to lift others up… to help them accomplish a specific task that God has anointed them for. 

            Who does God want you to “lift up” today?  Be willing and available to be used by God to share His encouragement and JOY with others!

            Today I am encouraging you to be an encouragement to someone by sharing God’s encouragement and JOY!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Are YOU a JOYful Encourager?

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Let me encourage you to drink it faithfully!

            One of the most positive characteristics that a person can possess (in my opinion) is the gift of  “Encouragement”.  Some people seem to have a natural inclination toward edifying and building others up. Others have developed the skill through the years.  But those who are so natural with sharing encouragement seem to be the ones who have the God-given gift of exhortation.  

What does it mean to have “the gift” of exhortation? In the New Testament, encouragement and exhortation are part of the same thing, and often are used to translate the same Greek word.
A person who has the gift of encouragement will most often:
  • Recognize someone’s need and respond to that need in a caring and appropriate manner.
  • They will know what a person needs to hear and they say it in a timely fashion.
  • Their way of providing encouragement is unique and fits their own personality and experience.
  • They’ll have lots of friends, because people love to be around them! After all, EVERYONE  needs encouragement!
Romans 12 tells  us about the different gifts given to believers. In this passage, Paul teaches us that if we have been given the gift of encouragement, then we should encourage!  Whether is comes naturally or you truly have to work at, please find someone who needs your encouragement today! When you GIVE…joy will come back to you and YOU will also be encouraged! 

            Be encouraged to drink your JOY JUICE faithfully and generously share with those God brings into your path today!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Be a Strong JOYful Argument FOR Christianity

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  There is no need to argue about it!  It’s a good thing and can help you to help others!

            As Christians, we are Christ’s church.  I’m not talking about an actual building.  I’m referring to the group of believers who profess Jesus as their Savior and Lord.  As His followers, we are to imitate His example, show love and compassion to others, no matter who they are.  The fruit of the Spirit should manifest itself in us. In Galatians 5: 22-23, this fruit is listed and LOVE is the first one on the list.

When we show compassion in His name, we are modeling the love of Christ.  We can do that in simple ways…it doesn’t have to be anything huge or costly.  An encouraging word or simply an attitude of joy can often make all the difference to people who have given up hope.  A little smile can brighten their day. . 

            C. S. Lewis said that the best argument for Christianity is Christians: their joy, their certainty, and their completeness.  Lewis also warned, however, that Christians can also be the strongest argument against Christianity when they are somber and joyless, or self-righteous and smug, or narrow and repressive.  Then, said Lewis, Christianity “dies a thousand deaths.” Let’s resolve to be happy people, angels of joy and missionaries of mercy wherever we go…! (Taken from The Bible for Hope)

            Ask the Lord to reveal to you who needs His love and compassion in a special way.  Then be sensitive and obedient as you allow Him to use you in that person’s life.

            Find JOY by sharing His love and being a “good argument” for Christianity.



Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bear Each Other's Burdens and Share JOY in the Lord

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Be sensitive and compassionate as you share with others.

             Many of us have asked the question, “Why me?” especially when heartache and brokenness comes into out lives.  I’m not sure we are ever prepared to accept the loss of a child, the diagnosis of a terminal illness or the betrayal of someone we completely trusted.  It’s normal to ask, “Why me?” in those kinds of situations.

            When ministering to others who are going through deep sadness, we should be sensitive to their hurt.  Nothing we can say or do will take the intense sadness away…so why do we try to “fix things” for them?  Often, well-intended words do just the opposite of what we mean them to.  Even quoting scripture at the wrong time can pierce the heart and agitate! YES, God is faithful! YES, God is good! But when grief is “fresh”, words should be few.

            Nice little “plastic, spiritual phrases” as Barbara Johnson calls them, do not help people unlock their grief.  It’s so much better simply to put your arm around a grieving person and say, “I love you.” 

            There will come a time in each of our lives when we are the one who is grieving.  We must pray for guidance; trust the Lord for strength. But, also, we need to remember that He gives us one another to help us carry our burdens. Will you be the “burden bearer” for someone in their time of need?  Through the tears, we can allow the joy of the Lord to sustain us, uplift us and be the foundation of wisdom through which we reach out to others.

            Speak with your actions of compassion. Be sensitive to the Lord’s leading and share His joy by bearing one another’s burdens.    

Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Comfort-Able to Share His JOY

         Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  There is a special serving just for you…and it will bring peace and comfort, as well as JOY!

            Many times we find ourselves right smack dab in the middle of a situation that we did not choose!  We would have avoided it at all costs, if at all possible!  Needless to say, this type of circumstance put us outside our comfort zone and we feel “out of control”.  In our own power, we feel helpless and hopeless.

            What we must realize is that God is always at work in our lives, even when we are not aware of it.  In fact, Jeremiah 1:5 says that God knew us even before we were conceived… so HE KNOWS our story—past, present and future.

  “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
    before you were born I set you apart;”
(Jeremiah 1:5)

            When we find ourselves in an uncomfortable place, let’s remember that God is also in that place with us!  He is more concerned about our spiritual growth than he is our comfort.  Many times it’s in those tough spots that we grow the most! As Lysa TerKeurst says:  God’s goal isn’t to make us comfortable. His goal is to make us comfort-able—able to take the comfort we have received and give it to others.”

Listen to what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4: “Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

            Let’s pass along the comfort of God and experience JOY in the Lord!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Let the Messiah Make Your MESS into a JOYful Message!

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Sharing the joy of The Lord with others is a message all people need.

               Today we read from Luke 17, verses 11-19:   

Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?  Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

              All ten lepers were healed...but only one came back to express his gratitude!  Why do you think the others didn't return? (Weren’t they thankful? I believe they were!) Could it be that they had been shunned by people so long that they were in the habit of setting themselves apart? Maybe they thought no one would be interested in hearing their story. Maybe, just maybe, they wanted to quietly put their disgraceful and messy lives behind them!

          "When it comes to the messiness of your own life, do you tend to be more like the nine lepers, wanting to put your difficult past quickly behind you? Or are you like the one leper, eager to tell your story as an act of gratitude and worship" (Lysa TerKeurst)....and JOY?!

           "When the Messiah touches our mess, it becomes our message to the world!" (Lysa TerKeurst).

                                 Quotes taken from Lysa TerKeurst's book When Women Say Yes To God 

Monday, October 14, 2013

His + Story = A JOYful History

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today? Do you have a history of drinking it faithfully and consistently?

          Some people love to study history. Though I'm not a history buff and was never the star student in school in the subject of history (or anything else), I do realize that we can learn a lot by the discoveries, inventions, decisions and especially the mistakes of others through the years! And in many cases, history truly does repeat itself!

      All of us have a life story...our own personal history. Lysa TerKeurst writes that history is "His + story".  Indeed, God weaves His plan, His story into each of our lives. Some parts of our own history don’t appear very “Godly”. We have made poor decisions along the path of life. Circumstances have come our way that blind us from seeing and understanding how God could be a part of the situation. Let’s be reminded that if we will remain faithful and obedient, He will ultimately use it for our good.

Romans 8:28 says: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

ALL things....even rejection, even abuse, even abandonment or loss. All things work toward God's ultimate plan for us! We must focus on His love and accept His plan for our lives knowing that HIS STORY will be our history.

            May each of us will allow God to be in charge of our story as we strive toward living a life of JOY.  

Friday, October 11, 2013

Make JOY-filled, Godly Choices

             Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It’s always refreshing!

            This week we’ve focused on how to have the JOY of the Lord regardless of what’s going on in our life.  We’ve discussed how important it is to have a relationship with Jesus and trust Him to catch us when life’s rug is jerked out from under us.  It’s for certain that we don’t know what the future holds, but we DO know WHO is there to help us now and in the future.  We’ve also been reminded that our precious children are gifts from God and that we should extend GRACE to our family members. 

            These truths are so important when it comes to having JOY in our lives, but many times we lose sight of them. We find ourselves reacting in anger or in selfishness.  At times we allow hateful words to escape our lips before we even think.  And once those words are out, they can never be taken back.

            How can we make wise, Godly choices that build up and edify the people around us?  That’s what most of us really would like to do!  Have you figured out that we can’t do it alone? Thank goodness, God is always there and we can count on Him.  Let’s stay “prayed up” so that we will have the boldness to face each new day and make wise choices.

       Pray upon waking;  pray as you crawl out of bed, as you brush your teeth and ready yourself for the day; pray as you drive or ride; pray without ceasing, as the Bible instructs.  When we pray about everything, God will lead us to make better choices….choices that will glorify Him, as well as bring JOY into the lives of our family members, friends and acquaintances. 

        Drink that JOY JUICE and pray for God to give you wisdom in how to share His JOY!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Is Your Home an Oasis of Peace and JOY?

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Do you have some stashed in every room of your house? The label on some bottles may even say “GRACE JUICE”!

            Our home should be a place of refuge and rest, yet many times we allow it to be a place of strife and dissention.  Often it’s because we forget to extend GRACE to our family members.
            What do we mean by “GRACE”?  According to Richard Blackaby,  Grace is an undeserved gift.  It uplifts the soul.  It builds up.  If there is one place we should be generous with grace, it is within our home.  The home is where people first experience love.  God’s grace can make the home an oasis of peace and joy. 

            In his book Putting a Face on Grace, Mr. Blackaby explains:

·        Grace doesn’t insist on being right.  It seeks to make things right.
·        Grace doesn’t demand to be heard.  It strives to listen and to understand.
·        Grace doesn’t claim its rights.  It voluntarily lays them aside.
·        Grace doesn’t look for wrongs. It seeks out what is right. 
·        Grace builds up your spouse, strengthens your marriage, encourages your children, and helps you all to become like Christ.

Let’s remember the Lord’s words in 2 Corinthians 12:9 when he said, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

            Invite Jesus into your heart and home and get ready to find the JOY of the Lord  in every room!!!!!

           Keep your home stocked with delicious JOY and GRACE….and always be ready to share with your family members.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Patience and JOY

             Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Children love to drink it!!

            Years ago, when my children were small, I was trying to study my Sunday School lesson while the children were supposedly playing quietly in the next room.   I had hardly begun to study when the first interruption came, and then another and other! Exasperated with them I said, “I want you to go play and let me study!  The next one that interrupts is going to be in big trouble!”  They dropped their little heads and started out of the room.  But before they were completely out of sight, one turned around and bravely asked, “What’s your S.S. lesson about this week, Mommy?”  “It’s about PATIENCE!!!  Now, go play!”

            As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I realized that God was speaking through these innocent children and teaching ME a lesson!  Was I demonstrating the patience and grace to my children that I was going to teach others about on Sunday?  I thought about all the times that God had been patient with ME…..and here I was… not willing to do the same for these precious children who were gifts from God. What a pitiful example I was being!

            It was at that point that I closed my book and Bible and I joined them for some “mommy time”! Study time would come later, when they were asleep!  I was reminded of the verse in Psalm 127: 3 that says: Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward (a gift) from him.  Parents, let’s remember that spending quality time with our children speaks volumes …as well as demonstrating the JOY of the Lord.

           Serve JOY JUICE to your children generously and patiently! Be a consistent, shining example of His love and JOY!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Because HE Lives....WE Can Have JOY!

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Be prepared for your day by bringing along an extra serving!

            One thing’s for sure….when we wake up each morning, we never know what life might bring!  We may receive good news; maybe a new baby is on the way or someone gets engaged or a loved one gets a great doctor’s report!!  On the other hand, we may have the breath knocked out of us by devastating news such as a terminal diagnosis or the heartbreak of betrayal and a marriage falling apart.

            Though we can’t see into the future, we know the One Who holds our future.  The words of a beautiful old hymn come to mind. “Because He Lives!”  I can almost hear my beloved daddy now bellowing out the words as he sang from the depths of his heart and soul….words that he believed with his entire being and taught his family by example.  The chorus expresses why we can have JOY regardless of our circumstances:

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone!
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives!

     If I could add my own twist to this beautiful chorus, it may go something like this:
     Because He lives, I can have JOY regardless,
     Because He loves, my JOY is complete!
     Because He longs for a relationship with me
     Life is abundantly JOYful and, oh, so wonderfully sweet!

                Drink your JOY JUICE faithfully, and know that “because He lives” in your heart, you can experience the sweetest kind of JOY!

Monday, October 7, 2013

The JOY Guarantee

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It’s a MUST if you want to experience true JOY!

            Ever noticed that some people are optimistic and upbeat no matter what’s going on in their lives…..While others are always pessimistic and critical?  We all have times when it seems that the rug has been jerked right out from under us.  But we have a choice about how we “land”.

            Will we choose to fall head long into disappointment and despair….enjoying our misery and wanting everyone to know about it?  OR do we allow God to cushion the blow by catching us before we hit bottom? I’m not saying that our faith will keep us from heartache and difficulties.  What I am sure of, however, is that we can trust our Savior to be just that….our Savior!  Complete trust in Him will assure that Jesus will be there to catch us, when life takes us by surprise.  THAT’S what James was talking about when he wrote: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.”

          Remember that happiness and JOY are not the same. To guarantee JOY in your life, trust in the Savior who is an expert in catching us and holding us up.  His arms are strong and loving; just the place we need to be to experience true JOY in all circumstances.

            Experience the security of Jesus’s loving arms as you drink your JOY JUICE faithfully…..And remember… it pleases Him greatly when we share His love and JOY with others!     

Friday, October 4, 2013

Open Your Heart to the JOY of Jesus

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?   Do you have a best friend?  I’ll guess a  certain name and face popped into your mind.  Good friends are truly joyful blessings.  BUT I’d like to remind you that our BEST FRIEND should always be Jesus!

            If we don’t spend time trying to get to know Jesus by reading the scriptures and spending time in His presence, then we are not growing spiritually.  

            Robert Boyd Munger wrote an article entitled, “My Heart, Christ’s Home”. Does that describe you?  Has Jesus set up residency in your heart?  What we must all come to realize is the true devotion...

·        is not a duty. It is a delight!
·        it is not an exercise in piety. It is a privilege.
·        and it is not so much a visit as it is a homecoming.

Munger goes on to say, “Without question one of the most remarkable Christian doctrines is that Jesus Christ Himself through the presence of the Holy Spirit will actually enter a heart, settle down and be at home there.  Jesus came into the darkness of my heart (he says) and turned on the light.  He built a fire in the cold hearth and banished the chill.  He started music where there had been stillness and He filled the emptiness with His own loving, wonderful fellowship.”

            Isn’t that beautiful description of how Jesus can enter your heart and life …and become your best friend?!

            Open your heart and let Jesus come in to stay! That’s when you’ll have a heart of true, genuine JOY!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Too Busy for JOY???

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Hope you’re not too busy to spend time with your friend, Jesus!

            Something as simple as “busyness” can be a deterrent to our relationship with Christ…if we allow it to be! How often do we let activities, chores, responsibilities and even pleasures get in the way of our relationship with God?  Some of us are workaholics and think that we don’t have time for “quiet time” with Him.

            I read about a support group that was being organized for workaholics.  It was a twelve step program.  A flyer advertising the meetings had a unique blurb at the bottom:  “If you are too busy to attend these meetings, we will understand!”

            Oh, my!  Do you think God understands when we’re too busy to spend time with him?  Or too tired? Look at it from this perspective: Satan enjoys using our hectic schedules, our stressed bodies and our emotional upsets to come between us and our relationship with God. He wants us to be too busy to care!

            Even those in the ministry can fall prey to this tactic.  All of us can be so busy doing good things that we forget about our own spiritual growth and the importance of spending time seeking God’s guidance.  Without prayer time and getting into the Word of God on a regular basis, we will grow stale.  We will become overwhelmed and lose our JOY in serving.  Regardless of the “good” things we are doing, if we are not putting God first, then we have our priorities out of order.

            Take the time to get alone with your friend Jesus today.  I’m sure He has a personal message of JOY just for you!  

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The JOY of Relationship with Jesus

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Your friend Jesus has prepared a special recipe just for you!
            Sometimes I think we fall into the trap of believing untruths from our enemy, Satan! He wants us to think that because of some decision we’ve made in the past or wrong choices that have negatively influenced our life, we can’t be loved by God! We don’t deserve God’s forgiveness. Don’t believe it for a second!

            None of us is worthy of what God freely gives...but it’s ours just for the taking!  He is our friend; He loves us unconditionally; He wants to wash away all those bad choices and give us a fresh start with Him.  It’s a “heart issue”.  If we are truly repentant and remorseful for the things we’ve done and we ask for His forgiveness…we are forgiven.

            1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  It’s as simple as that!  

  • Confess your sins.
  • He will forgive and purify.

The challenge is the daily living---making the right choices.  We certainly cannot do this in our strength. We must rely on Jesus, our Friend, our Sustainer, our Wise Counselor Who will direct us step by step.  Yes, we will stumble because we are human.  But He is there ALWAYS to lift us out of the mud and clean us up again.

            The JOY of a relationship with Jesus will fill you with strength and peace.  Trust Him with your heart today!