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Monday, March 31, 2014


          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  When JOY is in your heart, you can’t help but spread it around!

             As God birthed “JoyJoy Ministries”, He gave me a passion to share a “double portion” of His love and JOY everywhere I go! Now…let me clarify that I am very human, so I don’t always feel and/or act joyful!  Talk to my husband if you want to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth! J

            However, it is my heart’s desire to share the joy of the Lord as often as I can.  Won’t you join me? That doesn’t necessarily mean a speaking engagement or a radio broadcast…that means sharing along the way throughout each day! It might mean a smile or a kind word; it could be offering to help someone in need or spending quality time with a child.  We ALL should be “on a mission” to share JOY with others….a double portion, as scripture tells us. Six times in the Bible, specific reference is made to a “double portion.”

            Isaiah 61:7 promised a double portion of joy and blessing upon Israel: “Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.”

            EVERLASTING JOY…It can be ours by accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. By living each day with the assurance that HE is in control and allowing the message of JOY to be IN US, radiate FROM US and spread THROUGH US!

            May God pour out a double portion of His love and joy into your life so that you may share with others!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Our Joyful Destiny

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Fill your life with the JOY of the Lord and walk forward into a glorious destiny that God has prepared for you.

            Are you boldly running forward into the future?  Or are you hesitant to make choices, worried that you will make the wrong ones?  If we rely on our own wisdom and knowledge, we are handicapped! We don’t always know what is best.  But no one is more qualified to gives us direction and guidance than God.  And He desires to lead us along the right paths.

            Proverbs 4:10-12 says:
10 Listen, my son, accept what I say,
    and the years of your life will be many.
11 I instruct you in the way of wisdom
    and lead you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
    when you run, you will not stumble.

            As I pondered those verses, I thought of the many times I have stumbled.  Was it because I took my eyes off of Jesus and relied on my own strength?  Wisdom comes from learning from our mistakes and listening to God as He directs and often REdirects our path.  He desires to guard us and guide us every step we take…but we have to allow Him to do that!

            We will find our joyful destiny when we do as Prov. 3:5-6 says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.”

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Seek to Know GOD.....and Find JOY

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  As you walk through this day, walk in joyful wisdom!

            What does mean to walk in wisdom?  Charles Stanley writes that “as we walk in wisdom, we see God’s hand at every turn.  We know He is with us. We become more and more familiar with His voice…His prompting…His leading…His tug at our hearts.  We don’t merely know more about God—rather, we truly come to KNOW GOD in a deeper and more intimate way.”

             I once hear a pastor say that the difference between knowing about God and knowing God is about 12 inches….the distance between your brain and your heart! How true!  We can know all kinds of facts and history; we can memorize scripture and be in Sunday School every week.  We can earn perfect attendance awards, be present at all the church services and activities. We can know a lot about God—but to know Him, is a condition of the heart.

            “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.”
 Ephesians 2:8-9

            Knowing God is a gift that we receive from accepting Him as our personal Savior and Lord of our lives.  We allow Him to guide us in our decision making, our words, our reactions.  We desire to become more like Him by studying His Word and applying the scriptures to our daily lives.  And we MUST be still and listen for His voice as He speaks to our heart.

             Seek to KNOW HIM and find joy inexpressible!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Soak Up the JOY

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today? Soak up the joy as you serve others.

            So often when we hear the word “serve”, we cringe.  Servant has a negative connotation for many people….especially when they feel as if they have no choice in the matter.  I looked up the word “servant” in the dictionary and found these three definitions:

1. a person employed by another, esp. to perform domestic duties.
2. a person in the service of another.
3. a person employed by the government: a public servant.

            All those meanings of the word “servant” are accurate in the “world view” of things.  But what about according to the Word of God? The Bible teaches much about  servanthood because the central theme of the Bible is the Servant of all—Jesus Christ.  Mark 10:45 says: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many 

"When we give Jesus Christ His rightful place as Lord of our lives, His lordship will be expressed in the way we serve others. True leadership is servanthood, and the greatest leader of all time is Jesus Christ. Servanthood is an attitude exemplified by Christ 'who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant' (Philippians 2:6-7). "  (, CEO, S. Michael Houdmann).

            May we be challenged to serve the Lord by serving others!  That’s a sure way to find JOY!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Do We Reflect the JOY of JESUS?

           Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Do you reflect the JOY of Jesus?

            When you look in the mirror, what do you see? I’m not talking about the physical reflection, the imperfections that we all readily see in ourselves on the outside.  Let’s take a deeper look…peer into the depths of your heart. Do you see Jesus?

            I recently read a story from The Word Today by Bob Gass that beautifully illustrates my point. The story tells about: "Bill who was a drunk…converted in a Skid Row mission. Before his conversion he had gained a reputation as a tramp and an alcoholic for whom there was no hope. But when he gave his life to Christ everything changed. He became the most caring person at the mission. He spent his days there doing whatever needed to be done. There was never anything he was asked to do that he considered beneath him. Whether it was cleaning up vomit left by some sick alcoholic or scrubbing toilets used by men who had left them filthy, Bill did it all with a heart of gratitude.

           One evening after the mission director delivered his evangelistic message to the usual crowd of solemn men, one of them came down to the altar and kneeled to pray, crying out for God to help him change. The repentant drunk kept praying, 'O God, make me like Bill! Make me like Bill! Make me like Bill!' The director of the mission leaned over and said, 'Wouldn't it be better if you prayed, "Make me like Jesus"?' After thinking about it for a few seconds, the man looked up and asked, 'Is He like Bill?'  "

            When people look at your example, will they pray to be more like YOU because they see the JOY of JESUS reflected in your life?

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Joy of God's Benefit Plan

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Drinking it faithfully brings lots of benefits!

            When people apply for a new job, not only do they want to know about the salary they will earn, but they also inquire about the “benefits”.   Today, let’s talk about a different kind of benefit package…GOD’S BENEFIT PLAN!  There is none other than can equal the benefits of a loving God who promises forgiveness of sin and eternal life! It’s the BEST plan ever; and it can be yours, just for the taking.  You don’t have to apply for the job; you don’t have to interview; you don’t have to worry about all the other applicants…because God’s benefits are so unlimited, so immeasurable…there is enough to go around for everyone!

            Charles Stanley says that “the daily benefits of following Christ are also tremendous—guidance, provision, protection, comfort, help in resolving life’s problems, and an outpouring of God’s presence.Why would anyone not want to accept those wonderful rewards? Could it be that we don’t totally understand the truth that God WANTS to bless us?  It delights Him to pour out His blessings on His children.

            “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God.” (1 John 3:1)   We are His children; and just as we love our children & grandchildren and enjoy giving gifts them, our God—so much more—lavishes us with His love gifts!
           When we learn to freely accept His gifts, knowing that we don’t have to earn them by applying for the “job” as His child, then we will be filled with “inexpressible and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1:8).


Friday, March 21, 2014

Wisdom and Joy

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It’s concentrated with ingredients which bring wisdom and joy to your life!

            Wisdom and joy!  Those are two attributes that many of us desire.  But do we truly understand the importance of having those two characteristics as a “pair”?  Let’s focus on what they mean……

             “Spiritual wisdom is the capacity to see things from God’s viewpoint.” (Charles Stanley) And spiritual JOY is the calm assurance that God has everything under control, regardless of how “out of control” things appear.  When you have a personal relationship with Jesus, you can trust Him, rest in His promises and “be still and know that He is God”. PERIOD!  End of explanation.

            Yes, it takes faith, a consistent prayer life; and we must stay saturated with scripture to fill in the gaps when doubt begins to creep into our thoughts.   Listening to unwise, ungodly counselors can sometimes confuse us…if we are not “standing on the promises of God”, as the old hymn proclaims.

            Let’s keep in mind that wisdom and knowledge are not the same….just as joy and happiness are not the same.  Wisdom comes from the LORD; and joy comes from a personal relationship with the LORD!  May we desire to have both of these Godly attributes in our lives by allowing God to have complete control of every area. The path to wisdom: 1 Thess. 5:16-18…. “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.”  

            My prayer today is for the joy and wisdom of God to be poured out into your life!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Walk in Awe of God's Love and JOY

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  I fear that if you have not, you will miss out on the joyful wisdom God has in store for you!

            Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” Does that mean we should be afraid of God? “Fear” in this context refers to reverence for God. When we “fear” God, we stand in awe of Him. He is all-wise, all-powerful, ever-present and all-loving. We should see Him through eyes of wonder…a God so amazing Who reaches out and touches our lives in a very real way.  Charles Stanley puts it like this: “To fear God is not to fear God’s judgment; it is to stand in awe that God has all authority to judge and to forgive, to show mercy, and to grant His grace in overflowing abundance.”

             Often when we talk about fear we refer to things like bad weather, the dark or the unknown.  Some people have the fear of heights and flying, of snakes or spiders or going to the dentist!  The “fears” referred to in these instances are NOT the same kind of “fear” Proverbs is talking about.  “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.”

            In Charles Stanley’s book Walking Wisely, he writes, “Wisdom is the capacity to see things from God’s viewpoint. A child was asked if he knew the meaning of the word ‘omniscient’.  He said, ‘Yes’! My mom taught me that word.  It means that God knows everything about everything.’ I can’t beat that definition.”  Can you?

           Let’s walk in the “fear” of the Lord JOYFULLY, knowing that God knows everything about everything and we are under His watchful care!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pursue Godly Wisdom....Find JOY in Jesus!

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It’s a wise thing to start your day with a healthy serving of joy in the Lord!

          In Ephesians 5:15 – 17 we read:  “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”  We are instructed to live in wisdom….to not be foolish, but understand and follow God’s will.  How do we do that?

·        We must choose to pursue wisdom. We are not puppets on a string doing what God MAKES us do.  We have choices about how we walk through this life. We must seek wisdom--GODLY wisdom--and make it a priority.

·        We must also seek God’s plan for our lives. It is important to recognize that we have three enemies: the world system, the flesh, and the devil! Staying in an attitude of sincere prayer will keep us on guard against these enemies.

·        We must apply the wisdom we receive from God to our daily lives. We have all been given a certain amount of time. Let’s use that time in the most productive way to accomplish the most “good” to further God’s purposes here on earth.  But let us caution ourselves against mere “BUSYNESS”! We can choose to be so busy that we miss God’s best plan. Godly wisdom is what we need!

Allow God to take you by the hand and lead you along the path of wisdom.  And along that path, pick the many blossoms of JOY!




Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Walk Wisely and Joyfully...with Jesus

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  The joy that comes from a relationship with Jesus, also brings with it spiritual wisdom.

            Do you desire wisdom?  I’m not speaking of intelligence or being smart by the world’s standards—which is great! I’m not knocking that!  How often I wish I were smarter in many areas.  But what I’d like for us to focus on today is the wisdom that comes from seeing things from God’s perspective…and then responding to them according to scriptural principles. This is how Charles Stanley explains wisdom: “Seeking heavenly opinions on earthly circumstances.”

            In Stanley’s book Walking Wisely, he suggests that there are five reasons God desires for us to walk in wisdom:

  1. God desires for us to become all that He created us to be.
  2. God desires for us to accomplish all of the work that He sets before us to do.
  3. God desires for us to receive, to experience and to enjoy all the blessings He desires to pour into out lives.
  4. God desires for our lives to bring glory to Him.
  5. God desires that we avoid all the pitfalls associated with foolish living.

If these 5 reasons are accurate, then we have one choice if we want to “walk wisely”.  James 1:5 tells us: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”

      Let’s make it a daily part of our routine to go before the Lord asking for a generous serving of wisdom AND joy!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Healthy, Wealthy and JOYfully Wise

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  I’m convinced that a healthy diet of joy in the Lord makes you “healthy, wealthy and wise”!

            Ben Franklin was convinced that: “Early to bed; early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise!”  There is a big difference in the word’s view and God’s view on this subject!  I have witnessed first-hand strong Christians who endure sickness, pain and many kinds of physical attacks on their bodies, yet they are radiant because of the love of Christ and their faith that He is in control, regardless.

            And let’s talk about the “wealth” aspect of the subject… seems so many people in our world today are persistently pursuing wealth: money, possessions, a life of luxury.  But “enough” is really never enough! Ben Franklin had something to say about that too. He wrote: “The poor have little, beggars none; The rich too much, enough not one.”  In other words, if we focus on becoming financially wealthy at the expense of what is truly important, then we will never be satisfied. 

            We can learn a great lesson about spiritual wealth from Paul in Philippians 4:12: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Do you know Paul’s “secret”?  It’s the JOY of relationship with Jesus Christ!

            Today I pray for spiritual health, wealth and wisdom for you! Begin by spending time with the source of true JOY! His name is JESUS!  

Friday, March 14, 2014

FRIDAY'S SERVING: The Lord is Near...Ready to Serve You His JOY

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today? And as you sip on that JOY JUICE this morning, are you perhaps praying?

          Author R.A. Torrey reminds us that prayer is one of the most highly esteemed privileges of life.  He confesses that before he began to view prayer in this way, he found himself thinking, “How much time must I spend in prayer?”   But now he thinks: “How much time may I spend in prayer without neglecting the other (responsibilities) of life?”

            Talk about a change of perspective!  How do you view prayer…as another task on your “list of things all good Christians should do”?  Or do you see it as a gift?   Is it a duty that you must perform and check off your “to do” list? Or do you understand that prayer is, indeed, one of the highest privileges that we can ever have? 

            Take advantage of that privilege often….the Bible teaches us to “pray without ceasing”!  “Pray continually.”  That means to stay in a spirit of prayer. Why?  Because as Psalm 145: 18 says: “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him sincerely and in truth.”  I urge you to call upon the Lord today…no matter what your situation.  He is listening and will JOYfully come near to you!

As you sip your JOY JUICE today, why not thank the Lord for the serving He generously pours out into your life?  Then, get ready to share His love and JOY with others!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

How Great Is The Love (& Joy) of God

       Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Pour a nice serving for yourself this morning! And as you are pouring…..

       Think about all the times you have poured your heart out to God in prayer. Have you ever been so touched by God’s goodness that you can’t believe that He gave you such “an exceedingly, abundantly” wonderful answer to your prayer?  When God blesses like this, you may ask, “Lord, what did I do to deserve your goodness?”

            Well, the answer is: NOTHING!  There is NOTHING we can do that will make God love us any more or any less.  According to author and pastor David Jeremiah, “Let us not forget that our prayers are heard, not because we are in earnest, not because we suffer, but because Jesus suffered… The mystery of why God answers prayer is all wrapped up in the mystery of why He redeemed us; just like the Cross, it points to an infinite love that is far beyond human explanation.”

         In 1 John 3:1 we read:How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”

            It is because of that great love that we can ask, seek and knock on the door of God’s heart today;

             Bask in His love…and feel the warmth of His JOYful embrace that you have never had to “earn”, but He gives freely to each of us. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ask! Seek! Knock! Find JOY in Him!

             Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  In Matthew 7: 7 we find the words of Jesus: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.   

As we pray, we are given these simply guidelines to ASK, SEEK and KNOCK.  And then verse 8 gives us an unconditional promise: “For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

            Doesn’t it fill your heart with JOY to know that when you ask, seek and knock, God hears your prayer?  These verses are promises to the Christian. But we must remember that he may not always answer the way we think He should.  Sometimes he does say “Yes”; other times he says “NO” or “Not yet”.  What about those prayers that you and I have prayed for YEARS and still have do not have an answer? That is when He says: “Trust Me”! Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us why we can trust:
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

 We can trust that God is always going to answer our prayers in HIS best way! And that should fill us with peace and assurance…..blessed assurance, packed full of JOY!

Drink your Joy Juice faithfully! Trust that God will answer your prayers in His perfect and joy-filled way!  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Listen JOYfully as You Pray

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  So often when we pray, we forget that it’s not just about talking to God….It’s just as much about LISTENING.

 Sincere, genuine prayer comes from a heart that desires for God to reveal His best plan for us in all circumstances.  How can we determine that “best plan”?  By taking it to Him in prayer and listening for His direction.  
            In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:7, Jesus taught, “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” In our fast- paced society, we like to have answers quickly!  But God doesn’t work on OUR timetable.  We must learn to trust Him for His timing in our lives, as well as His plan and His purpose.

            God loves us more than we will ever be able to comprehend and He’s waiting for us to come to Him with the needs and concerns that are on our heart.  “He gives us, in essence, an open door into his almighty presence,” says David Jeremiah, “and into His infinite storehouse of riches and blessings.”

            So remember to ASK, SEEK, KNOCK and the door will be opened.  That’s what prayer is all about!  Pray, and learn to listen for God’s direction toward JOY in your life!

May we daily ASK for wisdom, SEEK His plan and KNOCK on the door of His heart to receive unspeakable, indescribable JOY in the Lord!  

Monday, March 10, 2014

"May the God of Hope Fill You With JOY..."

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  And have your watched others drink in the JOY of the Lord?

        Are you a people watcher?  I confess that I am; and through the years I’ve observed a lot of different personalities.  It’s become obvious to me that those who have the most genuine JOY in their lives all have something in common: A consistent prayer life!

            What is prayer? It’s communication with God!  Opening our hearts to Him, offering our adoration, giving Him praise, seeking His forgiveness and provision…But it is, also, a lot about LISTENING to Him speak.  Prayer is a private conversation between you and God; it’s not a one-sided monologue! He listens as we pour out our hearts to Him; and we should listen as He answers.   We won’t hear an audible voice, but we can listen for the “still small voice” as He speaks through scripture and in a variety of other ways.

            The primary purpose of prayer, according to Chuck Swindoll is “connecting with God in order to transfer His will into our life.  It’s co-laboring with God to accomplish His goals.”

            So, let’s saturate our day with prayer, releasing our cares and concerns to Him. What a great way to insure that JOY is a part of each and every day!

This is my prayer for you  from Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Friday, March 7, 2014

Pray...with JOY!

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  I pray that your heart will be filled with joy as you bask in the love of Christ.

            If you’ve listened this week to our JOY JUICE segments, you are aware that we have been looking at the life of Nehemiah to glean leadership principles and truths about living a Godly, committed life. One of the main themes throughout this book is  “prayer”.  The discipline of prayer will do more to equip us for life and its unexpected turns and twists than anything else we can do.

  • It is NOT our attempt to gain the Lord’s favor or to get Him to give us what we think we need.
  • It is NOT the means by which we become successful by the world’s standards.
  • There is NO magic formula for prayer.

The basic truth is…The Lord loves us; and he wants to provide what’s best for us, so we don’t need to DO anything to persuade or convince Him.  Prayer does not change God, but it changes us as we open our hearts to him.  Nehemiah’s example points out several things we need to know about prayer:

    1. Far more important than the time we spend in prayer is our attitude of prayer. Are we genuinely humble and are our hearts pure?
    2. When we pray do we offer God authentic, heartfelt praise…putting all thoughts of ourselves aside to concentrate on our adoration of God?
    3. A vital part of our prayer life should be the recollection of God’s faithfulness through the years. Do we always remember what He has  done for us and worship Him for Who He is?

 As we pray with joy let’s look upward, backward, inward and forward.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

May We JOYfully Pass the Test!

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  I can promise that focusing on your personal serving of joy in the Lord will nurture a deeper relationship with God.

            In the book of Nehemiah we are given an inside, personal look into the life of a man who was sold out to God.  Nehemiah was promoted from cup-bearer to builder of the wall to governor of his people.  And what is important to note is that unlike so many people who receive promotions in their careers, Nehemiah remained humble, faithful and realized from Whom his blessings came!

            Nehemiah nurtured his relationship with the Lord. Chuck Swindoll puts it this way, “In spite of his salary, the privileges, the politics or the pressure, he said in effect, ‘My accountability to my Lord is the focus of my life.  I fear Him too much to indulge myself.’ “

            In verse 19 of chapter 5, Nehemiah prayed:  “Remember me, O my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.”  Now before we jump to the conclusion that Nehemiah is bragging on himself a bit, let’s realize that he was praying to God to hold him accountable for his actions and to treat him accordingly.  How many of us pray like that?  Do we REALLY want to be held accountable for our actions …..and treated accordingly? 

            What truth do we glean from Nehemiah’s example?  “Adversity forces us to trust, to wait on God, to turn to Him for strength.  Often, promotion brings a host of difficulties: pride, temptation to abuse privileges, distraction from the basic objectives, and an inclination to overlook the needs of  other people..” (Charles Swindoll)

            Will you pass the test of prosperity?  Follow the example of Nehemiah and joyfully trust in the Lord.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Discouraged??? Drink in His JOY!

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Too discouraged to drink it?  That’s when you need it most!

            I agree with Charles Swindoll when he says: “discouragement is nothing more than a barrier Satan erects between great people and great achievements. I wonder how many great triumphs we might have seen but didn’t because (we) simply lost heart.”

            As we study the example of Nehemiah, we see that the challenge of rebuilding the city wall turned out to be more difficult than anyone could have imagined. There were times of extreme discouragement…BUT Nehemiah did not allow the discouragement to go unanswered.  The first thing he did was to rally the people around the goal.  He directed their attention to the LORD and away from the rubble! In Nehemiah 4:14 he showed his leadership by telling them to “remember the Lord who is great and awesome…..”

            How do we “remember the Lord”?  By calling to mind the things the Lord has said! By reading and meditating on His Word.  When the people’s attention was refocused on the Lord, they resumed the task at hand…rebuilding the wall….and serving one another by working around the clock in pairs.

            Nehemiah demonstrated exemplary leadership qualities.  Each of us can identify with that feeling of discouragement…it can be debilitating at times. BUT it does not have to be a terminal disease.  Let’s face each difficult situation with confidence in God and trust Him to show us the way…to JOY!

            May I ENcourage you to NOT be discouraged, but to allow the JOY of the Lord to be your strength!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Integrity and Joy

             Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Drink it with integrity!

            In the book of Nehemiah we learn much from the example of this great leader. Nehemiah not only possessed the qualities of an exceptional philosophy of leadership, but he lived it out.  At the beginning of the book, Nehemiah served as a cup bearer to King Artaxerxes. That doesn’t sound like an impressive leader, does it?    But through this seemingly insignificant role, Nehemiah proved his faithfulness and trustworthiness.  He gained the trust and confidence of the king; which facilitated the decision by the king to allow Nehemiah to take a “leave of absence” to go Jerusalem to rebuild the wall.

            Reflecting on our own lives, let’s ask ourselves:
  • Are we faithful and loyal “servants”…spiritually and otherwise?
  • Do people around us see us as trustworthy and a person of integrity?
  • When God lays a plan on your heart, do you trust HIM to show you the way or do you give up because you know you cannot do it in your own strength?
  • Are you in a job or a role that you see as insignificant?

          Let us take encouragement from Nehemiah!  Because of his complete trust in God’s plan and God’s timing, he went from cupbearer to builder to governor!  No matter where we are, we are to serve the Lord…faithfully and with total commitment. Our example should be one of integrity and complete surrender to God’s plan.  When we are in the center of His will, we will find the kind of joy that Nehemiah had in serving the Lord.

           As David wrote in Psalm 32:11:
“Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones; and shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart”.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Pray! Trust! Receive His JOY!

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Hope so!

             One of my favorite verses on joy comes from Nehemiah 8:10: Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” I’ve used this verse countless times, but God has been pulling me into a deeper study of the book of Nehemiah and, wow…have I been inspired!

            For starters, Nehemiah demonstrated his TRUST in God repeatedly.  In the midst of overwhelming circumstances and against insurmountable odds, HE TRUSTED that if God had a plan, HE would make a way! Nehemiah was born into captivity; he was a servant to the most powerful king in the world at that time….and yet, God touched his heart with a plan to return to the “city of his forefathers” more than 1000 miles away to rebuild the wall of the city.

            Do you know what Nehemiah did?  He PRAYED and he TRUSTED! Charles Swindoll says of Nehemiah: “When God puts His hand on a plain, ordinary person whom He has destined for leadership, that person is given mountain-matching abilities.”

            So what does that mean for you and me?  When we find ourselves in an impossible situation, we can do as Nehemiah did….PRAY AND TRUST!  Swindoll says, “Prayer makes us wait, clears our vision, quiets our heart and activates our faith.”   When we give it to God, we can be guaranteed that HE’S GOT IT!  Trust in Him to work HIS plan, for HIS good and for HIS purpose!  That’s when “the joy of the LORD becomes our strength”!

             PRAY, TRUST and receive His JOY!