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Friday, December 29, 2017

God's Promise of Joy!

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?   It will be such a blessing if we’ll learn to drink it faithfully!

            As we near the end of 2017, I’d like to thank each of you who have listened throughout the past year and sipped your JOY JUICE along with me each morning. As we reflect over the past year, each of us had some unexpected things to happen…some good, some bad.  There were times of joyful celebration…and there were tough times like deaths of loved ones, health issues, marriages that fell apart. Where is the joy in those kinds of things?

            Keep in mind that God never promised us that we’d always be HAPPY! Instead, through people like Paul and James, He reminded us often that we will have trials and tribulations throughout our life!  But even then, we can have JOY.  It’s in the truth that GOD will be there to walk with us through those tough times…and we’ll be better for having gone through them.

            James 1:2-4 tells us, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

  • Thank you God for being with us through the times of heartache.
  • Thank you, Father, for giving us your strength when we didn’t think we could make it!
  • Thank you, Lord, for friends and family who stand beside us when we need help AND to celebrate with us in times of happiness.

In happy times and through our challenges, let’s call upon God’s promise of joy in relationship with Him.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Joyfully Praise Him!

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  It’s an amazing drink that makes you feel warm and JOYful from the inside out!  You may even want to sing!

            Christmas Day has come and gone, but let’s remember that the JOY of Christmas can last the whole year through!  We should “marvel” at the goodness of God for sending His Son to the earth for us.  We should see the “amazing” truth that without Him, we are lost.

            Let’s revisit the passage in Luke that tells about Mary and Joseph taking Jesus to the temple and meeting Simeon.  Verses 29-32 tell us that Simeon was moved by the Holy Spirit and knew that he was meeting the Messiah, Christ.  He was overjoyed…and broke out in praise!  Here are his words again:

 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
   you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
 and the glory of your people Israel.” 

Verse 33 tells how Joseph and Mary reacted to Simeon’s words:
The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.” 

            Do you see the joy in this short passage?  Simeon….overflowing with joy for living long enough to see the Messiah…singing praises to God.  And Mary and Joseph quietly marveling over the continued revelation of God.

            It doesn’t matter whether we loudly rejoice or quietly marvel over God’s goodness.  The important thing is to praise Him…joyfully….for His faithful love.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Praise God with a Heart of Joy

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Don’t stop singing the songs of joy simply because Christmas Day is over!

            This month we’ve made it our mission to be on the lookout for examples of JOY throughout the Biblical account of the birth of Christ.  We talked about many of the familiar parts of the story….like the angels singing to the shepherds and the presentation of the gifts to Jesus by the wise men.  But so often we stop there…

            Well, as Paul Harvey used to say, “Here’s the ‘rest of the story!’”  In Luke 2: 25 – 31 we read:

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him.  It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.  Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
  “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
 For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations."

            Joseph and Mary had taken Jesus to the temple to be consecrated to God according to the Law. There they met Simeon who knew by the Holy Spirit’s revelation that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah! JOY flooded his heart….so much so that he felt his life was now complete.  He praised God for allowing him to live long enough to see Christ.

             Let’s praise God, as Simeon did, for the birth of Jesus and for sending us a Savior!