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Monday, August 31, 2015

Do You Believe...In the Joy of Jesus?

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Do you believe that God has a special serving of JOY…just for you?

We use the words “I believe!” often….. when we’re talking about a variety of things!  We may say:

·         I believe in Santa.
·         I believe in a thing called love.
·         I believe in miracles.
·         I believe in God.

            In the secular arena, as well as the spiritual, we toss around that word “believe” a lot.  Some of us are old enough to remember the gospel song sung by Elvis Presley entitled, “I Believe”. Listen to these words and see if you can identify with some of the reasons to “believe”.
I believe for every drop of rain that falls a flower grows.
I believe that somewhere in the darkest night, a candle glows.
I believe for everyone who goes astray, someone will come to show the way.
I believe, I believe.
Here’s my favorite verse:

I believe above a storm the smallest prayer can still be heard
I believe that someone in the great somewhere hears every word
Every time I hear a new born baby cry,
Or touch a leaf or see the sky
Then I know why, I believe.

            We know for certain that the Someone who hears our smallest prayer and is everywhere….is GOD.  Do you believe?  In Mark 9:23 Jesus tells us, “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 

            May we believe in the JOY of Jesus!

Friday, August 28, 2015

First JOY!

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Set your alarm as a reminder to drink in the joy of Jesus first thing each morning!

            What is your morning routine?  Do you jump out of bed cheerfully and start bouncing joyfully through your day?  Or do you hit the snooze button a couple of times before you can muster up the energy to roll out of bed, ever so slowly?  Some of us are just not “morning people”.  It may be that we’ve overextended ourselves and tried to work too much into the previous day & night, so we wake up tired!

            If you are not in the habit of spending a few minutes at the beginning of your day with God, why not try it for a few days and see what a difference it makes in your attitude, your outlook and in the way you handle the challenges that come your way.  Start slowly….with just a few minutes of prayer, a short passage from the Bible and a little time to meditate over the scripture, asking God to show you what He’d have you see in His Word.   

            Lysa TerKeurst and Proverbs 31 Ministries have created a new app for your phone called the “First 5” App. When downloaded, it will prompt you to spend the first five minutes of your day filling your heart and mind with JOY in the Lord from scripture and a brief devotional.    What’s so amazing is that the more time you spend with God, the more time you will WANT to spend with Him.  God is good at multiplying our time…. if we are willing to commit to spending it  with Him.

            Time spent with God leads to a heart full of joy…and the strength to face life’s daily challenges.  As Nehemiah 8:10 reminds us: “The joy of the Lord is our strength.”

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Have You Lost Your Joy?

             Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Keep it close at hand so that you won’t lose your joy!

            A few days ago I read a sermon (by Tom Shepard) entitled Finding the Joy You Have Lost.  The sermon text was from my favorite book of the Bible…the JOY book…Philippians.  This little book…four chapters…is chocked full of references to joy.

            Tom Shepard gives three guidelines to help us when we feel as if we’ve lost our joy: 

1.      Live each day by GRACE. Legalism can kill your joy. It is important to realize that everything God does in us and through us is by grace, rather than our having to earn it.  Living by grace is the key to joy.
2.      Keep your priorities in perspective.  A lot of people are looking for joy in all the wrong places.   You can be a very religious person but still not have joy. JOY is found in a personal, intimate relationship with Christ.  Make Him your first priority!  
3.      GROW in your walk with Jesus. How do we do that?  Remember three “T”s. 

·         Time….You can’t get to know Him if you don’t spend time with Him.
·         Talk…Every good relationship requires good communication.  Talk to Him through prayer and Bible study…and remember to LISTEN as He talks to you.
·         Trust…Relationships are built on trust. Our God has proven Himself faithful over and over again!  

If you’ve lost your joy, start now by allowing Jesus into your heart. Make Him your top priority by spending time with Him daily and growing in a joy-filled, personal relationship.