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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Lift Someone Toward JOY!

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

            Some people are “pros” at encouraging others;  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…but that doesn’t mean we can’t become one!

            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.  If we love God, we will be obedient! 

           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 to do.  

            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!

            May I encourage you to be an encouragement to someone today by sharing God’s encouragement and JOY!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Be a Joyful Encourager

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  May I encourage you to drink it faithfully! 

            One of the most glowing characteristics that a person can possess (in my opinion) is the gift of  encouragement.  It seems to come more naturally for some people than others.  I’ll bet you can name a few individuals who are a constant source of encouragement in your life. They have the ability to edify and build others up in all types of situations. As Christians, we should all be encouragers.  God gives the gift of exhortation; and when we use that gift, we spread His joy.  

             What does it mean to have “the gift” of exhortation? In the New Testament, encouragement and exhortation are part of the same concept 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.
  • They’ll have lots of friends, because people love to be around them! After all, EVERYONE needs encouragement!
Romans 12 teaches about the different gifts given to believers.  In this passage, Paul tells us that if we have been given the gift of exhortation, then we should put it to use!  

            Let’s be alert…on the lookout for that person today that really needs an encouraging word or act of kindness. When we encourage others, it has a boomerang effect.  It comes right back to us…along with a bucket full of JOY! 

            Drink your JOY JUICE faithfully and generously share encouragement with those God points out to you today!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Vitamin V and Joyful Victory!

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It’s a sure way to give you victory over the “worry-bug”!

            I hope you’ve had your immunization against the Worry Disease.  It’s a simple, daily shot of the multi-vitamin called "Victory in Jesus"! The way to “victory” is to be in a continual spirit of prayer and gratitude.  One of the passages I use a lot when I am speaking to groups is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.  It’s a very simple passage to quote, to memorize, to share.  But it’s not always easy to apply.  As a matter of fact, without God’s help, I don’t think we can do it.  “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

      Often we put the emphasis on the first part of that passage, the “be joyful, pray always, give thanks in all things” part.  But the last few words are just as important, if not more so:  FOR THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS FOR YOU!”
         God loves YOU!  God want the best FOR YOU! God doesn’t want you to be anxious…about anything!  He wants YOU to be filled with HIS joy; He desires for that personal communication through prayer to be constant.  And it brings Him joy to hear us being thankful because a thankful heart is a joyful heart!  That’s how to have VICTORY over worry!

      Be immunized against worry by giving God control of your life.  Rejoice, pray and be thankful!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Think on JOYFUL Things!

               Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  If you’ve memorized the verse in Philippians 4:4 and apply it to your daily life, then no one has to remind you to drink your Joy Juice!

“Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say: Rejoice!!!”

This is the theme verse for JoyJoy Ministries. Do you know where Paul was when he wrote these uplifting, positive, joyful words?  IN PRISON!!!!!!!!!  Yet, he was joyful!  How? Why?  Because of his relationship with Christ!

            We’ve talked this week about “worry”.  Paul had every reason (by the world’s standards) to worry about his life, the state of affairs, his friends. But he knew how to prevent that old “worry-itus” disease from setting in.  It’s called “preventive medicine”.

            Let’s look at the entire passage of Philippians 4:4-8:

          "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
        Finally, brothers,
  • Whatever is true
  • Whatever is noble
  • Whatever is right
  • Whatever is pure
  • Whatever is lovely
  • Whatever is admirable
If anything is excellent or praiseworthy----THINK ABOUT SUCH THINGS!"

            That’s the way to prevent Worry-itus!  Joyfully focus on the true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy things that come your way today!  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cure Worry-itus and Be Contagious with JOY

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  When you put you trust in God and drink in His joy, you might discover the cure for worry-itus!

            Would you like to know the truth about worry?  According to The Jeremiah Study Bible, these are the facts:
·        40% of the things people worry about never happen.
·        30% of our worries are related to past matters, which are now beyond our control.
·        12% of our worries have to do with our health, even when we are not actually ill.
·        10% of our worries are about friends and neighbors and are not based in evidence of fact.
·        Only 8% of our worries have some basis in reality, which means that over 90% of the things we worry about never happen.

David Jeremiah encourages us to look at our prayer life as if it’s composed of three circles.  The first is the “Worry Circle”, in which the word nothing is written because the Bible says, “Be anxious for nothing.” The second is the “Prayer Circle, with the word everything written inside. The Bible says, “In everything, let your prayers be known to God.”  The third is the “Thanksgiving Circle”, with the word anything written in it. “Be thankful for anything,” says the Word of God.

     That, my friends, sounds like the cure for “worry-itus”!

     Let’s determine—with God’s help—to worry about NOTHING, pray about EVERYTHING, and give thanks for ANYTHING.  Get rid of “worry” and be filled with His JOY!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Chillax!!! Live in Peace and Joy

           Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Don’t be anxious….instead, drink in the joy of the Lord and quit worrying!

            Do you suffer from the disease of “worryius”?  It’s contagious!!. Most of us battle it from time to time. But I have some good news and some bad news.  Let me give you the bad news first: YOU ARE NOT ALWAYS IN CONTROL!  And the good news: YOU ARE NOT ALWAYS IN CONTROL! How can that be both bad news AND good news?!

            Our human nature is to want to be in control of our choices and our plans. But the “bad news” is that even the wisest of people, sometimes do not know what is best!  When we relinquish control of our life to God, we can trust that we have Someone “watching our back”!  We have Someone Who loves us more than we can imagine.  We have Someone Who knows our circumstances and is protecting us because WE ARE HIS!  That’s the good news of peace and joy.
          SO…let’s “chillax”! To  recover from “worry-itus”, we need to do as The Great Physician has told us and take our medication called the “pill of peace”…which is found in John 14:27:

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; …... Let not your heart be troubled , neither let it be afraid.”

          It is absolutely impossible to worry and live in peace at the same time.  Give your worries to God and enjoy the peace that Jesus died for us to have. 

           Be aware that anxiety and worry are attacks from the enemy intended to distract us from serving the Lord with joy!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Do Your Plans Include JOY in the Lord?

             Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Even if your day isn’t going the way you’d planned, drink in the joy of the Lord.

            I have a confession to make! Not only is my DAY not going the way I had planned…but for several days lately, many of my plans have been turned on  end.  Nothing major, mind you.  I’m should be embarrassed to complain because it has just been minor irritations and delays that have thrown a monkey-wrench into MY plans!  We all have those days. We start the morning with high hopes to get a lot accomplished and then, out of left field, comes an unexpected situation that has to have our attention.  Interruptions happen when we least need them or want them! We may begin a project that we are determined to complete and the phone rings or someone knocks on the door and we have to leave that project by the wayside.  Our plans are put on hold.

             Maybe the best thing we can do is to step back and take assessment of each new day:
  • Did we start the day with prayer, asking God what HIS plan is for us?
  • Are we willing to sacrifice our good plans for HIS best plan?
  • Do we understand that He has a purpose and that our plan may not be a part of it?
  • Are we willing to let God be in control and instead of  “stinkin thinking” (Zig Ziglar), so we have the attitude of Christ?

Philippians 4:6 tells us to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”

            Even when our day is interrupted by the unexpected…may we be joyfully confident that God has a wonderful plan and we can truly “be anxious for nothing”.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Be Ye 'Joyful' Doers of the Word

             Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Why should we drink it?  I believe it’s so that “it may go well with us”, as the scriptures say.

            How diligently do we search the scriptures?  Do we zip through our Bible reading just so that we can check it off our list of “things to do today”?  Or do we even consider that we should be faithful in reading it?  Many times we are so distracted that when we do read, we don’t remember what we’ve read.  There is a marked difference in reading the words and meditating on the truth of scripture.

           The Bible says, Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15). And in James 1:22 we are admonished to  “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves”. 

            How can we truly understand and apply the truth of scripture so that we can be “doers of the word”?  First, as we read the Bible, we should consider the context of what we are reading.  Who is the author?  Who is he writing to?  What are the circumstances? In-depth study can show us the precise meanings of the words in the original language; and, also, we might find related passages that give additional insights.

            Studying to show ourselves “approved unto God” involves more than simply learning the facts. Meditation on the text is an important step. We should allow the Holy Spirit to guide us as we study and show us how to apply God’s Word to our daily lives.

            Let’s drink in the Joy Juice of Jesus faithfully as we meditate on the Scripture and become “doers” of His Word.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Words of Scripture Bring Joy

         Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  You may have a serving day or night, morning or evening….any time.  It’s always fresh and ready.

            When researching to write this week’s Joy Juice devotionals on “meditation” I came across an excellent article on the Institute in Basic Life Principles website.  The author of the article was not named, but he or she most definitely knew a thing or two about meditating on the Word of God.  The article states:

“The words of Scripture are living words. (See Hebrews 4:12.) They contain eternal wisdom held in the shell of human words. God wants us to ‘break open’ these human words and begin to discover the rich wealth of personal application and understanding that they hold. This goal can be accomplished as you memorize and meditate on Scripture.”

In Colossians 3:16, the Apostle Paul said, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom”.  In order for the word of Christ to “dwell” in us, we must learn to meditate upon it. How do we do that?  The author goes on to give us several keys:

1.      Worship God in your spirit as you quote God’s Word back to Him.

2.      Personalize the passage; turn the Scripture into a first-person prayer back to God.

3.      Give attention to each word of each verse

4.      As you memorize and meditate on a passage, look for Biblical concepts and patterns

5.      One of the most critical times to meditate on God’s Word is as you go to sleep each night.

6.      Respond to God as He teaches you. (That’s what leads to genuine joy)

 Mediate upon the Scriptures so that they may “dwell in you richly in all wisdom”.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  There is only one way to make sure you have a genuine recipe of the “real thing”.  It has to be squeezed from God’s Word!

            There are many ways to get from one point to another!  There are lots ways to decorate a house or paint a picture.  There are countless ways to dress and a variety of ways to a variety of things.   A few days ago, I posted on Facebook a picture of big pot of peanuts my husband had just pulled off the vines. I had captioned it “Peanut Boiling Time”.  I’ve always boiled peanuts on the stove in my “perfect peanut-boiling pot”…..  One of my friends commented on my post that I should try them in the crock pot; that’s a good way to cook them, too, he informed me.  Well, it had NEVER occurred to me that I could cook them any way other than how I had ALWAYS done it in the past.   Isn’t that indicative of many of us when faced with change or a “new” way to do things?

            We think that because we’ve always done it “this way”, that’s the ONLY WAY.  But if we are open for change, we might just learn a “better way”.  That’s true of most everything, but there is definitely one exception. If someone tries to tell us that there is a variety of ways to heaven, we need to stand firm in our belief that JESUS is the one and only way.  Christians are often accused of being narrow-minded.  BUT….we did not invent that claim.  This is not our claim; it is His. We are merely relating His message.  Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6, NASB)

            There may be many ways to do most things…..but JESUS is the only way to heaven! Rejoice if you know that truth!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

All Day Long....Meditate on JOY!

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  The joy of the Lord comes freely to those who meditate consistently on the Word of God.

            Is Godly meditation only for preachers and spiritual leaders?  No, of course not!  It’s for all of His children…all of us so that we might be able to grow in our relationship with Him. Listen to the words of Psalm 119:97-100:

 "Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.  Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me.  I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts."

            The writer of this Psalm was in love with God and His Word! He was passionate about mediating on God’s Word all day; he desired the wisdom and insight he would gain by soaking it in and learning all he could regarding God’s statutes and precepts.  Are we that passionate about reading the Bible? Or do we let most everything else take priority?  Do we wait until we can find the time or do we MAKE the time to read His Word?

            More often that not, I’m afraid that the majority of us rush through the day with all kinds of obligations, responsibilities and a flurry of activity only to get to the end of the day and realize we never spent time with God. What can we do about that?  Let’s ask Him to remind us how important it is to be saturated with His Word.  May we develop such a love for Him that our appetite is ravenous and we can’t get enough of the “Bread of Life”!  When our love for Him grows, our JOY in HIM will overflow. 

            Start now by opening The Book the brings indescribable joy in the Lord!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Meditate on the JOY of JESUS

                 Have you had your Joy Juice today?  As you are quietly waiting, reflect on the joy found in the pages of God’s Word.

            In order to really listen to God and hear Him accurately, we must be quiet and meditate on His Word. He will not shout above the noise.  He wants us to put all the clutter and commotion aside and focus on Him—turn off the turmoil and uproar of our busy worlds.  The Bible teaches us that King David was the expert in listening to God.  In the book of Psalms we find that David wrote many of those passages while he was quietly waiting and reflecting upon God.  As a ‘man after God’s own heart’, David first had to know the mind and heart of God. To a large extent, David accomplished the through the persistent practice of Godly meditation.” (Charles Stanley,  How to Listen to God.)

            Be aware that “GODLY MEDITATION” is not to be confused with the practice of Eastern religion.  According to J.I. Packer, “meditation is the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on, and applying to oneself, the various things that one knows about the works and ways and purposes & promises of God”.
           That pretty much covers it, don’t you think?  Unless we choose to meditate on the things of God and truly allow God to speak to our innermost being, then we will allow the noise of the world to drown out His message to us.

            “Mediation is God’s way of crowning our lives with His success and prosperity of soul, spirit, and body,” says Charles Stanley.  “It is also a catalyst to obedient living.”   And may I add, when we are meditating on God’s Word, living it out in obedience in our daily lives, then we will experience His genuine JOY!

             May we retreat to our quiet place and meditate on God’s personal message of joy. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Serve the JOY of the LORD, Faithfully

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Hope you plan to have plenty on hand for the weekend.

            We all look forward to the weekend, don’t we?  For many of us, it’s time to make plans with family, for fun or relaxation.  Many times our plans include “catching up on chores” or tackling a project that we’ve not had time to work on during the busy week.  All of us make plans….whether they are spontaneous or well-organized.  But are we so caught up in our own plans that we forget that God has a MASTER plan for our lives?
What is His Master Plan?  We each have a specific purpose, but God’s Master plan is based on the fundamental concepts of: 
  • Love
  • Faith
  • Grace

In Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus taught: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.”

          To love God supremely should be our hearts’ desire!  When loving God is our main goal,   we will be on a continual pursuit of HIS PLAN and HIS PURPOSE for our life.  And with that comes faith and the acceptance of His grace in our daily walk.

            Albert Schweitzer once said, “The only really happy people are those who have learned how to serve.”   To put that in the spiritual perspective: When we love God and live according to his plan, our heart and life will be overflowing with JOY in the Lord as we seek to serve others!!!

           Please drink your Joy Juice faithfully…and plan to share generously with all those he brings into your life!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Variety of Gifts OF Joy and FOR Joy

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It comes in a variety of flavors, you know!  Find the one that suits your taste!

            God loves variety…that’s obvious.  Look around you!  At every turn you see variety… two people are alike (not even twins); there are countless varieties of flowers, trees, plants which add to the beauty of nature.  Even the clouds in the sky and billions of snowflakes that fall all over the world are each unique in their formation.

            Because of his love for variety, He has created YOU for a special purpose.  He has gifted you with special abilities for serving Him.  These gifts are given to us….not because we have earned them or deserve them!  Because of His great love for each of us, He has uniquely gifted us.

            1 Corinthians 12:11 speaks of gifts: "All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines."

       We don’t get to pick and choose our gifts.  It’s not like asking for what we want for our birthday or making a Christmas wish list.  GOD GIVES US WHAT HE KNOWS WE NEED to fulfill His plan and His purpose.  We should thank Him for giving us the gifts He has lovingly selected… and realize that we have a responsibility to use and polish those gifts.  We must, also, remember that we can take NO CREDIT for what God has freely given us…..ALL GLORY should go to HIM!

            So as you celebrate your God-given gifts, drink your special flavor of JOY JUICE…and always be willing to share with those He brings into your path as He  accomplishes His purpose through you.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Plug In to the Source of Joy

           Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It will help get you ready for the ministry God has prepared for you.

            Each of us who are Christians has been called to ministry.  Now, that doesn’t mean that all of us will be preachers, teachers, or on staff at a church somewhere.  We’re not all gifted with the same skills and passions.  But we ARE all called to minister to others in our own unique way.  We just have to be “plugged in” and listening to God as He leads us.

            A while ago, I plugged in my iron and gave it a few minutes to heat up.  When I thought it was hot, I began to press my husband’s shirt.  It was soon evident that my efforts weren’t making any difference in the appearance of that shirt! So I tested the iron…it was stone cold!  I glanced to make sure it was plugged in….yes!  I began to fret and stew about how I was going to get those wrinkles out of my clothes!  I was certain that my iron had DIED!

        After a few frustrated moments, I decided to examine the outlet once more…and I made an enlightening discovery!  The previous night we’d had company, and in a quick clean up job, I’d set my crock pot on the laundry room floor.  Instead of plugging in my iron that morning, I’d picked up the cord to my crock pot instead.  All I needed to do was to plug in the right cord, and my iron worked perfectly!!!!!

            How many times have I fretted and worried because I didn’t think God was “working like I thought he should”.  But He was there all along….just as powerful as ever!  I was the one who had not been plugged in to the right Power Source! 

            Plug in to God today so that you will be filled with JOY and can share your JOY JUICE with others who need to know about the true power source.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

An Attitude of JOY

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Give some away and you might be surprised at how joyful you will be!

            Jesus taught that our attitude should be like His (Philippians 2:5).  He didn’t come to earth to BE served but TO SERVE and GIVE His life!  Are you willing to fulfill God’s plan by “serving” and “giving” in the ways He leads you?  Since serving doesn’t come naturally to most of us, we should ask God to give us a “servant’s heart”.  Mother Teresa once said:  “Holy living consists of doing God’s work with a smile.”

            What a beautiful expression…”with a smile”…with a heart like Christ, with an attitude of JOY.  That’s what serving is all about!  When we are seeking God’s plan for our lives, He will guide us to the acts of service He has planned for us.  In order to be filled with the JOY of the Lord, we must empty ourselves of selfish attitudes and pride and anything that distracts us from Him.

            Rich Warren reminds us of the comparison between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea (The Purpose Driven Life).  Galilee is a lake full of life because it takes in water but also gives it out.  In contrast, nothing lives in the Dead Sea because, with no outflow, the lake was stagnated.”

            Are you a “Galilee” or a “Dead Sea”?  If we take, take, take and never give back, then we are going to be a “Dead Sea” never fulfilling God’s plan for our lives.  BUT when we take in the things of the Lord by studying His Word and growing in our relationship with Him, we’ll be joyful Galilee, overflowing our banks with His love and freely sharing His joy with others.

            Drink, serve and give away your JOY JUICE today as you fulfill God’s plan for your life.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Joyfully Glorify God...That's the Plan!

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It’s in God’s plan that we drink it faithfully!

            Do you ever wonder about God’s plan for your life?  You were created for a purpose.  God didn’t form you and me accidentally or because He was bored and didn’t have anything better to do.  We are ALL a part of His Master plan. We are told in Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I made you in your mother’s womb, I chose you.  Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work.” 

            Have you found your “special assignment”, your purpose for life?  Let me tell you in a nutshell: TO GLORIFY GOD IN ALL THAT YOU DO!  Now, because we are all different, with different personalities, different abilities and interests, different strengths and weaknesses,  our individual purposes will take on different looks……but each of us should strive for the same the goal….TO GLORIFY GOD!

            Many times we feel inadequate when we compare ourselves to others.  We think we could never measure up ….so, why even compete?   Let me put your mind at ease….we are NOT supposed to be in competition with one another when it comes to serving God.  We are “in this thing together” (as Sandy Patty and Gerbert used to sing)  and God uses each one of us to complete the large puzzle.  We are all shaped differently to complete his plan.  Like puzzle pieces, some of us have smooth edges, some are oddly shaped; but we all come together to make a beautiful picture of His love and grace….and, of course, JOY!

            YOU are a part of God’s plan and sharing His joy is a part of His purpose for you and me! Let’s do it!

Sunday, September 7, 2014


         Have you had your JOY JUICE today or is your heart so full of other things that you can’t find room for the joy of Jesus?

            “NO ROOM!”  That’s what the inn keeper said when Joseph was trying to find a place for he and Mary to stay the night Jesus was born.   When we recall the story of our Savior’s birth, it is sad to hear those words “NO ROOM”. 

            But, how often to do we use those same words when Jesus comes knocking on the door of our heart…our spiritual house?  Do we say, “NO ROOM for those plans; I have my own.”  “NO ROOM for prayer and Bible study; I’m too busy.”  “NO ROOM for forgiveness; that person hurt me too deeply.”

            Rick Warren gives a good analogy that is applicable to this subject of “no room”.  He says: “It's like this: How many people do you know who cannot park a car in their garage? Garages are made for cars.  That's how they are designed.  That's what gives the garage its purpose. But we fill them up with all kinds of other stuff that they were never designed to hold.

The same thing is true in our hearts. Your heart was made to contain God, but when you fill it with worry and stress and guilt, you have no room for God.  Your heart may be crowded with good things, work or sports or hobbies, but they were never designed to take first place in your heart. In fact, you can be serving God and working for God and still miss God. Even good things do not have the power to hold your life together when the heat is on.”

May we begin the process of de-cluttering our life…and making room for what is most important…the JOY of relationship with Jesus! 

THURSDAY'S SERVING OF JOY JUICE: A Special Invitation for Peace and Joy

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Ask Jesus to join you as you begin your day.  He may be waiting for your special invitation.

             Marsha Brickhouse Smith wrote a devotional entitled “Is Jesus Truly Living in Your Heart?” She posed some very honest questions regarding why we don’t always feel that Jesus is “there” in our spiritual house.  She writes: “Lord, I asked you to live in my heart, but there are times it feels so empty. Are you really here? Lately, as I've prayed, it seems the prayers go no higher than the ceiling." 

           "Well, my precious child," He (Jesus) responded to my heart, "I was waiting for you to ask. There are reasons for the times when your heart feels so empty. You see, when I try to occupy that space in your heart -- that room that I need to go into -- I try the door, but find it locked. I love you so much that I gave you the keys to all the rooms. And there are those doors I cannot walk through because they are locked. You asked me to be Lord of all, but when I try to enter those rooms, the doors will not budge."

            Has Jesus been barricaded from entering some of the rooms of my and your spiritual houses---rooms when we hide our secret sins; places of independence where we think we can “do it ourselves”; maybe even corners where we have things of our past stashed and don’t want to let go.  How foolish to think that He doesn’t already know what we’ve done, how we feel and think!

             May we give Jesus the Master key to every room of our life so that we may be truly “at home” with Him, living in peace and joy.

WEDNESDAY'S SERVING of JOY JUICE: Fix Your Eyes on Jesus and Build a Spiritual House Filled with Love and JOY!!

             Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Stay strong, stand firm and drink in the JOY of the Lord continually!

            Often times our “spiritual houses” need attention.  If the foundation is not strong, our faith begins to sag and groan.  If we don’t find a way to repair the weak places, then when the storms of life come, our “houses” will begin to crumble and maybe even collapse.  The winds of change, sorrow and pain can play a major role in the condition of our “spiritual house”.  It is imperative that we make sure our foundation is solid…(built on The Rock)!
               The Bible tells us in Hebrews 12:2, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…That’s the key to a firm, solid foundation…fix our eyes on Jesus…continually!  Not just when things are sun-shiny and going well.  But in ALL times—which includes the messy, rainy days. 

                If we want a “spiritual house” that can withstand the earthquakes that come when we least expect them and the disasters that we are never quite prepared for, then we need to make sure our eyes are fixed on JESUS.  How? By reading God’s Word, by having an active prayer life, by surrounding ourselves with friends who love us with a Christian love & who will pray for us and hold us accountable for “repairing” the weak places in our foundation.

             Let’s open our hearts to Jesus, totally accepting His construction plan and allow Him to create a spiritual house in us which radiates with His love and joy!

TUESDAY'S SERVING of JOY JUICE: Are We Building JOY-filled Spiritual Houses?

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It’s the cement that holds the walls of our spiritual house together!

           As Christians, we are building spiritual houses.  Some build their house on a firm foundation, but regrettably, others build by the world’s standards. Who or what is the foundation of your spiritual house? I think that answer depends on the Who or what is at the core of your faith.  Jesus called us to build our house, our foundation, on the Rock, because He is the Rock of our salvation. If we choose any other foundation than Jesus, we must understand that it will not stand firm when the weight of life is placed upon us.

Often, we build our lives upon people. We hope that they can hold us up when we’re falling down. But, if they fall, who will hold us up? God tells us in Isaiah 2:22, “Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he?  People are like you and me. They have limits. God is limitless!  

Today let’s do a house inspection and look for cracks in the foundation, evidence of weak spots where we often walk and find the areas that need cleaning and repainting with the varnish of love and joy.  Sometimes we need to enlist the help of an objective inspector to help us find the trouble spots.  We all need accountability partners to tell us what we need to hear and to hold us to the truths of scripture.

May we all take a close look at our spiritual houses to see if they need some renovations.  Be sure to call the Master Architect and allow Him to start the remodeling project NOW!