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Friday, May 29, 2015

Don't Waste that Joy Juice!

           Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Please don’t let any of it go to waste!

            These days most of us are trying to be more frugal. We don’t like to waste a thing!  We want to stretch our paycheck as far as it will go.  We buy in bulk sometimes so that we get a better deal.  We search for the sales and use coupons to make wise purchases.  How many of you parents tell your children to eat everything on their plate because they don’t need to waste their food? 

One of my personal priorities (as I grow older) is to not waste time! Time is such a valuable treasure. How many hours, days, weeks do we waste worrying about things that we have absolutely NO control over?  Why do we choose to torment ourselves with needless worry and anxiety rather than choosing to have faith in a loving Father that knows what is best for us?   He tells us in 1 Peter 5:7:  Cast your cares upon the Lord for he cares for you.” 

       Do you find it difficult to “trust” because of being hurt in the past?  Be reminded that you are special in God’s eyes and He cares for you!  Make this verse personal.  ”I can cast all my burdens upon the Lord, because He cares for ME!”  There’s no need to hold on to those problems that fill you with anxiety.  Exercise your faith and let go of them; allow God fill your heart with peace and joy!
     Never waste your time by throwing pity parties.  Find the joy God desires for you today by casting your cares upon Him.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

He Has Made Me Glad!

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?   You’ll be glad you did!

            There’s a praise chorus that goes: “He has made me glad; He had made me glad; I will rejoice for He has made me glad.”  The “HE” of course, is God.  And the way to experience that joy and gladness is to have faith that He is in control of ever aspect of your life….from the small, insignificant details to the major decisions.

            When we find ourselves in a situation that is less than desirable, we can still have faith that God will protect, provide and guide us.  To live in the fullness of the joy of the Lord, we must trust Him completely.

           There will always be situations and people that bring us grief and concern.  But if we are determined to trust God whole-heartedly, we will realize that our joy comes….not from the outside…but from the Lord inside of us.    

           When I was a Kindergarten teacher, I would frequently tell my students to put on their “thinking caps”.  Today I’m asking you to put on your “joy cap” by trusting in our Lord to show us the best way throughout each day.  True joy comes from seeking a relationship with God.  Nothing else can fill that void…not money, not material things, not even another person.  God is the GREAT JOY GIVER.  And He wants to give you a double portion of that joy today!

Have faith in God in all circumstances.  Joy is found in your relationship with Him.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

There's Always Room for JOY!

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Have faith that there will always be plenty to share!

            In these times of economic uncertainty, many people are concerned about their financial security.  It’s easy for us to say that we have FAITH when things are going well for us and we have a steady source of income.  But what about when the unexpected happens and we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory?  Maybe our job is in jeopardy.  All over our country, people have gone through this “valley” of despair...some are still without work. That’s a desperate place to be!

            Can we still have faith and joy when life takes a rude turn?  Yes….if we make the decision to put our complete trust in God. In Philippians 4:6 we read these words from the Apostle Paul: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

Someone once say, “Faith is not shown to be real until it is tested.” 

            Many times God allows us to go through tough times to refine and polish our faith; to help us grow spiritually and learn to depend on Him. The “richest” people on earth are those who realize their identity in Christ.  We are His children; and since he’s the King….that makes us royalty! 

            Now, doesn’t that make you joyful and strengthen your faith? 

Faithfully drink your Joy Juice so that you can “be anxious for nothing”!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Start the Day (and End the Day) with Joy

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  As you begin your day, have faith that this day can be a joyful one!

            It really makes a difference when we start our day with a positive attitude of faith in God.  Trusting Him to guide us in the right direction…relying on Him to help us with difficult decisions.  This is faith….not in ourselves…but in an all-powerful, all-knowing God who loves us and wants what is best.

            Many people are going through trying times.  If you aren’t now, hold on…it’s coming!  But no matter what trials come our way, we can always have faith in a God that will never leave us.  That’s a promise!  Hebrews 13:5 reads: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

            In her book Faith Is,  Pamela Reeve writes: “Faith is engaging in the deepest JOY of heaven, knowing His unfathomable love for me as I walk through the thorny desolate now.”  Do you feel that your path is “thorny”?  “Desolate?”  Hurtful?  God understands. We don’t even have to know how to express our thoughts to God….He can read our hearts.  And He is willing to pick us up and carry us along that thorny path, through the difficult patches, until we make it through to the other side. 

            Have faith in your Heavenly Father!  That’s a sure way to experience genuine joy regardless of those thorny, hurtful circumstances.

Faith is the joy of knowing Christ as our personal Savior and Lord of our lives! 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Faith Brings Hope & Joy!

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It’ll help your FAITH to grow!

            We exhibit faith in a variety of ways. When we sit in a chair, we have faith that it’s going to hold us up.  We set our alarm clock at night having faith that it will wake us up the next morning in time to get ready for work. We have faith in our vehicle, that when we turn the ignition, it’s going to start & get us where we need to go. We have faith in some people. BUT, the disappointing reality is that people and things are not always reliable.

            The good news is that we can ALWAYS rely on God!   As Hebrews 11:1 explains: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

        We can be SURE and CERTAIN of God’s character---HE IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS! We can be SURE AND CERTAIN of God’s Word----HE WILL DO WHAT HE SAYS.  When we believe that God will fulfill His promises even though we don’t see it happening, we demonstrate authentic faith. 

            Sometimes God gives us an immediate answer to our prayers.  But more often, we have to wait.  And that’s the hard part.  When God does answer our prayer, His timing is perfect and so much better than we could have imagined.

There are times when God says “no”. Our Heavenly Father knows what is best for us.  True, genuine faith is trusting Him enough to accept the “No” answers, as well as the “Yeses”.  When we can do this, we will…like Paul…learn to be content and joyful.

            Faithfully drink your Joy Juice and trust in the Lord with all your heart.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Trust, Hope and Be Joyful

           Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Trust me….it’s a good thing!

            Trust is a word we use a lot without really thinking of its true meaning.  We tell someone they can trust us…and then we go back on a promise.  We make an appointment and don’t show up….or show up late.  What about on the job?  When you are given a task, can you be trusted to see it through to the end…or do you give up when the going gets tough?

            People let people down.  But aren’t we thankful that we serve an Almighty God that can always be trusted.  Even as we wait for His promises to come to fruition, prayers to be answered, desires of our hearts to be granted, we can trust that our Father knows the perfect timing.  As we wait, His desire is that “we grow spiritually so that the blessings He’s planned, do not harm us, but are a source of joy.” (Charles Stanley) The waiting helps our faith to grow stronger and deeper. 

            Instead of focusing on our circumstances and blaming God for not giving us what we want, when we want it….let’s learn to trust in His love for us.  Sometimes He may allow us to go through adverse situations so that we will choose to trust Him. And that’s when our faith grows stronger.

Romans 8:24 The Living Bible (TLB) sums this up beautifully:

We are saved by trusting. And trusting means looking forward to getting something we don’t yet have—for a man who already has something doesn’t need to hope and trust that he will get it.”      
Trust, hope and be joyful!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

'Fast Pass' to Joy

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Always remember that the joy of the Lord is a blessing!

            Do you get impatient when waiting on the car in front of you to move forward at the green light….I said GREEEEEEN light!? Some of us may admit that waiting in the doctor’s office makes us sick! Do you ever find yourself pacing or strumming your fingers on the table because you’re tired of waiting?  Even Disney World has gotten in to the act of helping us with our major “allergy” to waiting by inventing the “Fast Pass”. For a little extra money you can bypass the long lines and go straight into your selected attraction. Now, that’s a GREAT idea!

            Sometimes we might like to suggest that God give us a “fast pass” when we have waited and waited on an unanswered prayer. We can learn from David.  God  promised that David would become King of Israel. He was anointed by the prophet Samuel when he was a teenager.  However, he did not actually become King until he was 30 years old.  In his time of waiting, God was preparing him to be the wise, Godly leader that Israel needed as he reigned for the next 40 years.

            Charles Stanley’s wisdom is evident in these words: “Many times what you most desire is what God wants for you as well.  However, the gift that would be completely wonderful for you tomorrow may be absolutely destructive to you today.  So He lingers, develops you, and matures your character so that you are fully equipped to receive all He has planned for you.”

            As Lamentations 3:25 says: “ The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.”

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Take Delight in the LORD

          Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Drink it in slowly….paying close attention to God’s timing in your life.

            Though we know that we should respect God’s timing, it’s not always easy to accept it.  We get impatient; sometimes we run ahead of Him.  Ever done that?  I certainly have!  Let’s strive to understand the value of God’s timing.  He never gets in a hurry; nor does He ever lag behind and show up late! Time is God’s tool to carry our His perfect plan in our lives.

            Psalm 37:4 tells us to  Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”  Through the years I have come to look at this verse with a new perspective.   What we truly desire, often, is a desire put into our heart from the Lord.  He has purposed it in our lives and His will is to give us that gift of seeing the desire come to fruition. It brings joy to Him to be able to bring joy to us!

 Charles Stanley encourages us to remember that “timing is everything, and key puzzle pieces are falling into place as we wait.  God is changing hearts and engineering circumstances we have no idea even exist.  Therefore, the delays we face are not a denial of His promise; rather they are an integral part of His strategy to arrange all the details and get us positioned for His excellent plan.”

           Keep praying, walk patiently with the Lord, and expect joyful blessings in God’s perfect timing.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Never Give Up on Joy!

         Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Sip your Joy Juice this morning as you patiently wait on the Lord.

            Have you ever had to “wait on God”?  We all have! And it’s often a big challenge!   Charles Stanley says waiting on God requires “the ability to keep hoping when the nevers of life bombard us—when the minutes and hours, days and years, tick away without any answers to our most passionate pleas at the throne of grace.  It’s the faith to hang on to the Father on the long road, when human reason tells us to give up.”

            Why do you think God makes us wait?
·        One reason may be so that we can learn something important that He’s trying to teach us.
·        It may deepen our spiritual relationship and daily walk with Him 
·        Waiting may give us a new perspective and fill us with wisdom that we might not have developed otherwise.

            Waiting is not always our choice, but it can be a valuable gift.  There will be times when we will eventually understand why God wanted us to wait…because He had such a better plan than what we could have every imagined. But then there will be times when we truly do not understand why the period of waiting is so long. That’s when we have to simply trust. Psalm 37:34 says, “Don’t be impatient for the Lord to act! Keep traveling steadily along his pathway and in due season he will honor you with every blessing.”

            As the scripture says, “Don’t be impatient for the Lord to act!”   Let His joy be your strength (Nehemiah 8:10) as you patiently wait.           

Monday, May 18, 2015

Wait on God....Courageously and Joyfully

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  What are you waiting on?  Go ahead and drink in the JOY of the Lord!

            Most of us would agree that sometimes it’s really hard to wait!  Who likes to wait in long lines? We certainly don’t like to wait long to be served in a restaurant because we’ve come there hungry! Children think Christmas or their birthday will NEVER get here!   Waiting is hard…especially when you are looking forward to something.

            What about waiting on God to answer your prayers?  That can get really challenging! Some people pray for something for years…and it seems that God isn’t listening to these heart-felt requests.  Some people give up on God—thinking that He will never answer that prayer.  Charles Stanley writes in his book, Waiting on God, that ”the only ‘never’ you should focus on is that God will never let you down. Whatever it is you yearn for—no matter how long you have to wait—you can trust the Father to lead you and know for absolute certain that He has your very best interest in mind. The key  is to remember WHOM it is that you’re really anticipating.” 

         Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV) says,  Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

          Joyfully wait…while focusing on the truth that He will NEVER let you down!

Friday, May 15, 2015

A Cheerful Heart...Such a Blessing!

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  It will help you to have a cheerful heart!    
            Proverbs 17:22 says: “A cheerful heart is good medicine” We’d all be a lot healthier if we would take this life-changing medication! Coach Pat Street teaches that….

·        A cheerful heart is a heart at peace. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we have sweet peace in Him. 
·        A cheerful heart is a heart of praise. “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs” - Psalm 100:1-2
·        A cheerful heart is a heart of prayer. Philippians 4:6 tells us to:   “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
·        A cheerful heart is a heart of obedience. Jesus says in John 14:15: “If you love Me, you will obey my commandments”
·        A cheerful heart is a heart of purpose.  Hebrews 12:1 tells us: “. . . let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us”.
·        A cheerful heart is a heart of power. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” –Philippians 4:13 

            Let’s ask God for a cheerful heart …one that overflows with peace, praise, prayer, obedience, purpose and power in Christ.  

The Bible is filled with scriptures encouraging us to be cheerful.  Enjoy your relationship with Jesus by drinking in His Joy Juice continually!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Feast of Joy

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Be sure to have plenty on hand for the feast we’ll be attending today.

            Did you know that you are invited to a feast?  Look at Proverbs 15:15.  This passage tells us: …the cheerful heart has a continual feast. This doesn’t have anything to do with food; but it has everything to do with our continually seeking that JOY of the Lord.

            When we wake up each morning, we have a choice.  We can choose to start worrying about all that we have to do and what might happen; or we can put our trust in God and ask Him to carry us through our day.  If we choose to rest in Him, then we will be continually filled with His Joy.

            Our attitude affects our whole personality.  We can’t always choose what happens to us, but we can choose our attitude toward each situation.  The secret to a cheerful heart is filling our minds with thoughts that are true, pure and lovely...thoughts that dwell on the good things in life (as Philippians 4:8 teaches).  This was Paul’s secret as he faced trials  and it can be ours as we face the struggles of daily living.  

            I suggest that we all choose JOY!  I’m looking forward to attending your feast…and can’t wait to see you at mine!

            Let's expectantly await a delicious, continual feast today and everyday!  And may we make sure to serve lots of Joy Juice!   

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Extraordinary Joy

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  It may be an ordinary day, but let’s look for extraordinary joy.

             Children are masters at finding joy! Have you noticed?  Little guys can pick up a stick and play with more joy than if they had an expensive toy in their hands! Little ones delight in the wild flowers they can pick along their path….and they sparkle with joy when they present that flower to their mom or grandmother. Those of you who are blessed with the company of children will often be reminded of how special the simple pleasures can be.   The spontaneous laughter from those little bundles of energy comes so easily about things we might often miss…like chasing butterflies, listening to the bobwhite’s call or giggling at the puppy dog’s wagging tail! None of these things cost a penny!  Yet, they bring so much simple joy!

            We need to slow down and realize that it’s against the backdrop of the “ordinary” that God’s work becomes “extraordinary”. 

            When we see God in everything, we will experience His joy.  In John 10:10, Jesus said: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”  Abundant life, friends, is God’s plan for us.  If we will only accept each new day as the gift He intends it to be, we will find joy beyond measure….in even the small, simple things of our ordinary day.

            Drink in the Joy Juice of Jesus and look at life from a new perspective.  Your ordinary day may just turn into an extraordinarily joyful one!


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Joy of the Lord IS Our Strength!

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  People who have a steady diet of Joy Juice are healthier…so drink up!

            It has been documented that people who laugh a lot and have a positive, joyful attitude live longer than those who don’t.  Researchers tell us that our physical, spiritual and emotional health varies according to the amount of laughter in our lives!  I guess we could say that laughter is a “tranquilizer with no bad side effects”… a multi-vitamin chocked full of benefits! 

            Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that JOY makes us strong!  “The joy of the Lord is your strength!"
  His JOY in us will produce His strength through us.  Our friend, Mary Southerland says: “A life without joy is like a car without shock absorbers. It will be jolted by every bump in the road.  Laughter and joy are the shock absorbers of life and can radically change our perspective....”

            Christian friends are a great source of joy and strength. That’s a good reason to surround ourselves with brothers and sisters in Christ.   Because of our love for the Lord and for each other, we can face the tough days…as well as the good ones.  We can laugh together, cry together, pray together, support one another….and experience a joy beyond description because…that joy is from Him.  Indeed, “the joy of the Lord is our strength!”

            Face the day with a joyful attitude and be ready to share a smile and laugh with those God brings along your path today!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Joy is a Healer

           Have you had your Joy Juice today?  When we are intentional about sharing the joy of the Lord, the Joy Juice is delicious!!!!!

             In case you haven’t noticed, I like to talk about joy.  I believe that the more we focus on something, the more intentional we become about making it a goal.  Who couldn’t use more JOY in their life?  Especially…..Joy from the Lord!

            Joy is a healer! Proverbs 17:22 reminds us that “A happy heart is like good medicine, but a broken spirit drains your strength.”   Many times a happy heart leads to laughter! Doctors tell us that laughter has many benefits:

  • It reduces stress and tension.
  • It strengthens our immune system.
  • It’s great exercise for our lungs and increases circulation.
  • It even reduces pain
  God created us with a need for joy and laughter.  We should surround ourselves with good Christian friends who love to laugh and share joy with others.   Let’s try to see the humor in our circumstances, no matter how gloomy things may appear at the time. If all else fails, let's find some children to keep us company.  Any time we volunteer at school or church in the children’s department or hang with our kids or grandkids, we can be guaranteed plenty of laughter.

            God delights when His children are JOYful.  And JOY is contagious!!!

            Find joy where-ever you go….it’s not hiding.  It’s right there waiting for you to open your heart to a relationship with Jesus. That’s where you’ll find true JOY of the Lord!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Joyfully Passionate for Christ

         Have you had your Joy Juice today?  The best batches are found when we dig deep into the fruitful places of our heart.

            We’ve talked this week about the wisdom that is packed into the short parable that Jesus told about the “Four Soils”.  We know that when Jesus referred to the hard ground, He was warning against a hard heart.

      Let’s talk for a few moments about the shallow soil…or the “Shallow Soul” as John Ortberg likes to call it.  The parable says that some of the seed fell on rocky soil.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that there was a bunch of rocks piled up there….but perhaps only a thin/shallow layer of topsoil with solid rock underneath.  The seed had life until the sun came out.  But then the plant withered quickly because the soil was too shallow for roots.  How does that apply to our souls?

      Richard Foster said, “Superficiality is the curse of our age.” The desperate need of our soul is really not to have more stuff, more talent or to be more successful by the world’s standards.  What we NEED is spiritual depth. Oh, to be just as passionate as the Psalmist who sincerely wrote: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God” (Psalm 42:1) We need a deep, abiding relationship with the Lord.

      Let’s not be shallow and superficial in our faith.  Allow God to prepare your heart & soul with much love & joy in the Lord. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Bumper Crop of Joy

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Is there a connection between the condition of our heart and having joy in the Lord?  

            In his book Soul Keeping,  John Orberg says that when he studies the Parable of the Four Soils found in three of the gospels, he likes to think of the “soil” as the “soul”.

           If we want the seeds…such as JOY…. to grow in our souls, we must prepare the soil of our heart. We don’t want to find ourselves with a HARDENED SOUL.  Jesus said that some seeds fell on the path.  The path is where people walk.  It’s hard and dry.  Our hearts can become like that….so hard that even a good seed can’t grow. 

         What causes a hardened heart?  Sin, unbelief, anger, pride, resentment, bitterness, guilt, envy, jealousy. Underneath the hardness is often fear.  The fear of being rejected. The fear of looking foolish. The fear of being hurt..again!

        But here’s the HOPE:  It only takes a tiny bit of softness in the soil to give the seed a chance! The seed is strong---stronger than you can imagine.  Because it’s planted by the Master Gardener! Just look at any sidewalk….One tiny grass seed can break through the hard cement if it can find a little room to breathe. That says to me that a hardened heart, a hardened soul, is not hopeless.  When that seed breaks through, we will find the fruit of JOY!

May the soil of your heart and the soul of your faith overflow with a bumper crop of JOY!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Plant Seeds of Joy

           Have you had your Joy Juice today?  When we prepare the soil in the garden of our heart, God can plant some healthy seeds of joy.

            The Parable of the Four Soils is a powerful illustration that Jesus used to teach about the importance of the soil of our hearts.

  • If our hearts are hardened…like the soil in the story Jesus told…then we may hear but not understand the Word because of sin in our life.  Satan can easily pluck the message away, keeping our heart dull and preventing the Word of God from making a difference in our life.
  • Our hearts may be like the stony ground mentioned in scripture.  We may profess JOY in hearing the Word, but we don’t let it sink in and change us.  When troubles and difficulties come, our faith disappears.
  • Then there is the thorny soil which refers a heart that is so full of the things of this world…riches, pleasures, success by the world’s standards. All of that chokes out the Word and we do not grow spiritually.
  • But, don’t lose hope! The last type of soil mentioned in the parable is the good soil.  That person hears, understands and receives God’s Word.  If the soil of our heart is good soil, then we will notice major changes in our life and we will produce good fruit.

             May the soil of our heart always be good soil, prepared and ready for God to plant His seeds and produce the fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23)


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Prepare the Soil of Your Heart

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  It’s made of delicious ingredients fresh from God’s Joy garden!

            The Parable of the Sower /Four Soils…is a story that Jesus used to teach the multitudes and his disciples.  The beauty of the Word of God is that its value never diminishes. This parable still teaches such an important lesson for Christians in today’s society.

            Matthew, Mark and Luke recorded this parable in their gospels. It tells about a farmer who scatters seed which falls on four different types of ground or soil.  Let’s note that in this parable, the SEED is a constant.  It’s a symbol of God’s continuous desire to plant good seeds in our hearts. The FARMER or SOWER is also a constant.  God is always there, continually scattering good seeds…generously.  BUT the SOIL is the variable.

            Four different types are listed:

    • The hard ground represents someone who is hardened by sin
    • The stony ground pictures a man who delights in hearing the Word; but his heart is not changed
    •  The thorny ground depicts one who seems to receive the Word, but whose heart is so full of the pursuit of riches, pleasures, and lusts til the good seed has no room to grow.
    • The good soil portrays the one who hears, understands, and receives the Word of God.

                Prepare the soil of your heart so that seeds of joy may sprout, grow and flourish.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Scatter Joy!

          Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Let’s start a habit of scattering seeds of joy all along our path.

            One of the “grown up” songs that I remember singing as a child in my beloved country church was entitled “Scattering Precious Seed”.  I liked it then because of the catchy tune…but I didn’t have a clue what the words meant. 

“Scattering precious seed by the wayside;
Scattering precious seed by the hillside.
Scattering precious seed o’er the field, wide,
Scattering precious seed by the way.”  

            In my little girl way of thinking, I could see myself planting seeds in a garden….literally. Now, as an adult, I understand the depth of the words of this old hymn.  If we are committed Christians, indeed, we should want to be scattering the seeds of our faith everywhere we go. 

            Jesus told this parable (which was recorded in Matthew, Mark and Luke.) 

           "A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them.  Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow.  But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died.  Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants.  Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!"(Matthew 13:3-8)

           We are called to joyfully scatter the seeds…and then trust God to help them multiply!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Joyfully Say to God: "WHATEVER!"

           Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Are you prepared to do whatever God asks you to do…even if it’s uncomfortable?

            We’ve talked this week about leaving our “comfort zone” and stepping out by faith into God’s plan.  That’s not always so easy to do…especially when we are enjoying our comfortable spot.  Being a Christian is the most wonderful decision you can ever make, and though there is much joy along the way, we are not always guaranteed “comfort.”

  • In Matthew 16:24, Jesus asks His followers to die to themselves, to take up their crosses and follow him. These are not “comfortable” actions.  We must be willing to step outside our comfort zone in order to be obedient to His commands.
  • Christ calls His followers to stop seeking earthly riches (Matthew 6:19)
  • To not worry about the future (Luke 12:22)
  • To live sacrificially & to seek the good of others (Matthew 22:39)

               All of these are contrary to the values of the world.  When we leave the “old way of life” to live as a “new creation” in Christ, we have to learn a radically different lifestyle! That often calls for us to leave the security of our “comfortable spot” in life.

             Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone.  As long as God is guiding you, He will take care of you…and you may discover an abundance of joy in the Lord.