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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Joyful Treasure of Friendship

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Share with a friend and find delight in drinking in the joy of the Lord together,

            One of the greatest treasures of life is friendship! We are blessed if we have those in our lives who encourage us to be all that God created us to be.  True friends see our potential and help us to see our gifts and positive traits.  They aren’t jealous of our strengths, talents and abilities! They celebrate them with us and encourage us to use them.

            If we are serious about our spiritual walk with God, then we need to be careful about who we choose to be in our closest circle of friends.  Those who are not FOR what God is doing in our life, no matter how friendly they seem, are ultimately against what He is doing. 

            Proverbs 27:17 says: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”  Are you surrounding yourself with those who sharpen you or dull you? In other words, are they pointing you TO God or away from Him?  Are they pushing you toward His plan or pulling you away--- discouraging you, making you doubt what He has whispered to your heart?

            God will send us good friends, if we ask! But we must also be willing to reciprocate the traits of true friendship, as well.  We all need accountability and someone to help us aim toward a high degree of integrity.  This type of friendship brings genuine joy.

          Thank God for that friend who sharpens you and joyfully encourages you.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Glow with Joy

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Glow with the light of Jesus; shine with His joy!

            I’m sure most of us have seen the glow sticks and the glow-in-the-dark necklaces and toys that are such fun for children at the circus or amusement parks. The problem with these kinds of trinkets is that their glow begins to fade after a time.  They don’t continue to glow on their own…..but often they can be refreshed by being in the presence of another light source.

            Consider that you and I respond to life in a similar way. At times we glow and shine brightly with the love and joy of the Lord; but there are those times when we begin to fade and need to be recharged & refreshed! Some people that we choose to hang with can sap us of our energy and glow. They lead us away from God.  But good friends are those who help to fill us and refresh us so that we can regain the light of Jesus in our life. 

            Do you have close friends who edify and encourage you?  Or are you continually being put down and your glow being snuffed out?  We need to be diligent to protect our hearts and minds. Let’s surround ourselves with people who actively are involved in helping us to seek God and His will for our lives!

            Proverbs 4:23 says: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

           Shine for the Lord and surround yourself with those who fill your “wellspring” with His joy.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Pull Together...Toward Joy!

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Drink in the joy of Jesus and know that you are not alone!

            Priscilla Shirer tells a great story (in her book And We Are Changed)  that illustrates the impact of knowing we are not alone:

One day a man was on his way out of town, and his travels took him down a rural, dirt road. Somehow he hit a bump and fell into the ditch.  A farmer who lived nearby saw the accident and rushed over to see if the man was okay.  “Is there anything that I can do to help you?” he asked.

“Yes, indeed.  Do you have a horse or tractor that can help pull my car out of this ditch?”
The farmer said, “Well, sir, I do have a blind cow named Nellie.” The man thought that was odd, but he needed any help he could get.

The farmer went and got Nellie and hooked her up with the chains necessary to pull the car out of the ditch. The two men stood back and the farmer yelled: “Cameron, pull!” Nothing happened. “Sophie, pull!” and still nothing happened.  “Casey, pull!”  The man was beginning to think the farmer was nuts! And then, he yelled, “NELLIE, PULL!” Immediately, the blind cow pulled with all her might and the car came out of that ditch.

The man shook his head in disbelief! “I really appreciate your help,” he said to the farmer. “But why in the world did you call all those other names before you called on Nellie to pull?”

The farmer answered, “It’s really simple. Nellie is blind; if she had known she was doing this all by herself, she would never have tried in the first place.”

           Ask God to send you sisters and brothers in Christ that will help you pull in the right direction….the direction toward joy in the Lord!

Ecclesiates 4:9  Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.”