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Monday, November 20, 2017

Thankful Hearts of Special Joy

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  When our hearts are thankful for God’s daily blessings, we are filled with a special kind of joy.

            Can you believe it’s already Thanksgiving week?  A year passed quickly, didn’t it?  As we reflect on these past twelve months, we realize much has happened.  Good things, accomplishments, many ‘gifts of joy’…..along with difficult times, sickness, loss of loved ones. Change….in many ways.  YET God showed his faithful love in every situation.

            Many times…especially when we are hurting, we tend to fixate on the losses and difficulties.  But today, in order to prepare our hearts for Thanksgiving, let’s choose to think on God’s goodness and faithfulness. I often go back to the passage in Philippians 4:8 when I find myself needing encouragement.  

“Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.”

            Thanksgiving is almost upon us. We don’t want it to be just another day. Let’s begin to intentionally focus on the true, noble, right and pure things; may we choose to look at what’s good and admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.  I’m pretty sure we’ll begin to see our blessings of joy much more clearly.

            One of my TRUE blessings is YOU! May each of us focus on the joy of Jesus!

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Path to Wisdom and Joy

            Have you had your Joy Juice today? When you drink it faithfully, you’ll discover wisdom and understanding.

            The key to wisdom is trusting in God to show us every step of the way.  That’s easier said than done, because our human nature is to want to be in control.  When we come to the point in our spiritual walk that we relinquish control and give everything to the Lord, that’s when we will begin to discover what Godly wisdom is all about.

            The passage in Proverbs 4:10 – 13 explains: “Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many.  I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.  When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble.  Hold on to instruction; do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.”

             Though it is important to have friends who give Godly counsel, we must remember that people don’t have all the answers.  GOD…on the otherhand… does. He wants to guide us “in the way of wisdom” as the scripture says. 

            In verse 23 of that same chapter of Proverbs we are told: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”  

            Our heart dictates to a great extent how we live. Solomon says to guard our heart, making sure we concentrate on those desires that will keep us on the right path”…the path to wisdom and JOY!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Gifts of Joy & Wisdom

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  It’s a gift from God, along with wisdom.  

            My Bible commentary says that “wisdom comes in two ways: it is a God-given gift and also the result of an energetic search.  Wisdom’s starting point is God and his revealed Word.  In that sense, it’s His gift to us.  But he gives it only to those who earnestly seek it.  Because God’s wisdom is hidden from the rebellious and foolish, it takes effort to find it and use it.  The pathway to wisdom is strenuous.  When we are on the path, we discover that true wisdom is God’s and that he will guide us and reward our sincere &persistent search.”

             Proverbs reminds us that there are many benefits to wisdom….favor with God and people, reputation for good judgment; success; protection, honor, justice, constant learning and understanding. 

            Proverbs 3:13-15 says: “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.  She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.” 

            When we get to the end of our life here on earth, it will NOT be important how much wealth we’ve amassed, nor how successful a career we’ve had or how many awards are hanging on our wall.  True JOY will come with the wisdom of knowing Him and being able to praise Him throughout eternity.

           Pursue wisdom by accepting the gift of JOY in the Lord and sharing Him with others.