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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Child-like Faith Leads to Joy

Have you had your Joy Juice today?  When you’ve had your personal serving, it’s much easier to encourage others along your way.

Each of us has times of discouragement.  Sometimes, that discouragement threatens to turn into despair.  It’s a tough place to be.  It is in those times that we should remind ourselves to ask God for His wisdom and strength.

Angie Smith tells the story of how she and her family were on a vacation cruise and they met a woman who was battling cancer.  Angie’s little girl scooted up next to the woman with no hair and began a conversation about God.  “You see the sky? Jesus made it.  You see the water? Jesus made that, too. You see the birds? Jesus made them.” Then she paused for a brief moment and said, “But I don’t think Jesus can make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.”

What a precious, innocent heart!  We can learn much from children.  This little girl’s thought process “reflects our own tendency to miss certain aspects of God’s character.  We believe His hand is big enough to set the stars in place, but not small enough to intervene in our lives in ways that really matter to us.” (Your Beautiful Purpose)

The wisdom and joy that we can gain from this insight is that God loves us and cares about every tiny detail of our lives. So when we don’t understand His plan, we can still trust Him. Proverbs 3:5 tells us to: Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;”

With child-like faith, let’s trust in the joy of the Lord to be our strength!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Be JOY-Filled!

Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Others are watching!  Be a good example!

What kind of role model are you?  If others acted and spoke and served as you do, would the world be a better place?  Do your words and your actions “match” or do you tell your children to act one way, while you act another?

Marion Jacobsen wrote: “People are not persuaded, they are attracted.  We must be able to communicate far more by what we are, than by what we say.” In other words, when people see us, we want our example to be contagious … a good way. If we are serious about our Christian witness to others, we will strive to----as the scripture says in Ephesians 4:23:

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” 

            Do you desire to be more and more like Christ?  The Bible tells us how.  One of my favorite passages regarding this is found in Colossians 3:12-14. 

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

            Be a Christ-filled example of joy!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Nothing Can Separate Us From God's Love! Now, THAT'S True Joy :)

           Have you had your Joy Juice today?  The security of a personal relationship with Christ leads to delicious flavors of joy.

            Do you ever find yourself overwhelmed with the idea that God wants to spend time with you?  He wants to hear you express your concerns, your desires, your challenges and your questions. He already knows what’s going on in your heart, but He wants you to trust Him enough to bring those things to Him in prayer.

            Our finite human minds have a hard time wrapping around the enormity of truth found in Romans 8:38-39:

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

            Do you doubt God’s unconditional love? Do you think that you’ve done something that is unforgivable in the sight of God?  Have you sunken too low, made too many mistakes, too many sinful choices to be accepted by God?  Please know that these kinds of thoughts are lies straight from our enemy, Satan! NOTHING…NO THING….can separate you from your loving Father. May our prayer be as that of the Psalmist in Psalm 51:17, “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.”

             May our sacrifice of joy be filled with the security of relationship with Christ, knowing that He is with us wherever we go!