From Mourning to Joy and Dancing

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11  You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.  You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,  12  that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!– Psalm 30:11, 12 NLT
 

God is so good to us all the time.  He is always working for us, turning evil into good and our times of mourning into times of joy and praise.  It is His heart’s desire for us to live lives full of joy.  Not happiness and pleasures, which are fleshly and temporary, but abiding joy deep down in our hearts.  Joy that no one can take from us.


John 16:16-24

Joy, that is not pretended or unrealistic, but joy that is the fulfillment of the promise that Jesus made to His disciples and to us.  It isn’t because we deserve it or have earned it in some way.  It is simply because He loves us and wants us to love Him.  He gives us His peace and joy so that we can be free to praise Him in every situation.  So, that we can sing praises to Him and not be silent.  It is true that there are roaring lions out there and one.in particular, that is trying to destroy our joy and us physically.  It is hard to ignore a roaring lion, but as Spurgeon points out, Samson’s roaring lion yielded honey.  God can produce joy and sweetness from the worst of situations.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 12-02-2018

Spreading the Word Produces Joy

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You became imitators of us and of the Lord. In spite of a great deal of suffering, you welcomed the word with the joy that the Holy Spirit produces.
​- 1 Thess. 1:6 ISV​

God has chosen each of us and has a plan for each of us.  We are sanctified, set apart, for a particular purpose.  Our faith produces works that are a part of that process. We show our love for Christ by laboring and helping others. We are able to endure because of the hope we have in us, the hope that we have because God has poured His love into us. When the Gospel is preached, it goes forth with power to accomplish whatever purpose God has intended for it.  The power is the Holy Spirit which can cut us to the bone and convict us of our need for redemption.  This is the message Paul and his companions preached among the Thessalonians and in all the other places they traveled.  They were successful, not because of their powers of persuasion, but because they were completely obedient to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. It is the same message that each of us should be preaching every day with our lifestyle and as St Francis of Assisi encouraged us to do: “Preach the Gospel at all times and if necessary use words.”  We should follow the example of Paul and live lifestyles that are worthy of imitation, just as we have become imitators of Christ.  Then those who are suffering will receive the message with great joy.  Their joy will be observed by others who will want to know the source of such great joy.  The kind of joy that endures in the midst of suffering and persecution, the kind of joy that is caught, not taught.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 07-09-2018

“The Joy of the Lord”

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15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.Romans 12:15 NIV

It appears that most of us do a decent job of mourning with others in times of the loss of life of a loved one.  We support them with cards, meals and our presence at the home or other places.  We even do a fair job of supporting those who lose their homes or jobs.  But, how do we score in rejoicing with others?  Are we as diligent in being available to celebrate the joyous times in their life? We get good scores on weddings and if it is close family, we do okay on birthdays. But, if you are like me, (and I hope that you aren’t), I can’t tell you a single date of a wedding anniversary of anyone in my family or any of my friends. In today’s society, maybe the divorce rate would be lower if we made a big deal of wedding anniversaries. When was the last time we sent a card or email congratulating someone on their new job or new home?
Or the most important time of all, when have we sent a note, card or email welcoming someone to the family of God?  Maybe we could make a huge deal out of celebrating our second birthday by giving gifts to others. If we don’t remember the date, we could just pick one and celebrate that date every year. I definitely need to work on rejoicing with others, maybe we all need to give it some thought. If we rejoiced more, perhaps. others would want what we have.–The joy of the Lord.
10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”–Nehemiah 8:10 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 03-22-2018

Does the Success of Others Bring Us Joy?

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29 It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the bridegroom’s friend is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success

​. – John 3:29 NLT​

Over and over in Chapter 3, we are reminded of John’s faithfulness and steadfastness in following the plan that God had laid out for Him. In today’s society, with all of it’s “me first” attitudes, we need this constant reminder. We, like John, need to know our place in God’s plan and be faithful in carrying out that plan. God’s plan is for us to teach and preach the “foolishness” of the gospel. God has gifted each of us with a special gift that He wants us to use in spreading His Word. What is our gift and how are we using it to further the Kingdom of God here on earth? There is not one job in God’s Kingdom that is not important. Every part of the body has to function well for the Church to work as God planned it. Do we do our job with gratitude that God has chosen us to help Him? Are we filled with joy when those that have more visible jobs are successful? Do we honestly and fervently pray for those in authority over us? Are we “filled with joy” when those around us are promoted to a position over us? In our hearts and minds, we must see ourselves as less important and Jesus as Lord or as Paul puts it, we must mortify the flesh and follow after the Spirit.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 08-14-2017

In His Service

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 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, — Mark 10:43 NIV
 

Jesus left His honor and glory in heaven and became a man. Not just any man, but the perfect man, a man without sin. He spent His time here serving others and humbled Himself, even to the point of allowing Himself to be crucified on a cross. A sinless man dying for the sins of a corrupt human race. Yet, He did it without complaint. If our Creator and Redeemer humbled Himself to that degree, how should we respond to that act of love? We are to follow His example and humble ourselves. We should consider it an honor to be ridiculed for righteousness sake. Because of His obedience, God exalted Jesus to the highest position and put everything under His feet. If we humble ourselves and stay obedient in serving others, God will exalt us in due time.

1 Peter 4:7-10 NLT


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 01-15-2017

The Prince of Peace

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Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

— Phil. 4:7 NLT


When we follow Paul’s advice, we find that we have a whole new outlook on life. We also find that the joy of the Lord is contagious and those around us will soon be rejoicing with us. Then God’s peace will guard our thoughts and our emotions. This peace is not an absence of offenses and bad situations, it is a peace in those situations. We live in a world of wars, violence and chaos, but we, as Christians, can experience an inner peace in the midst of the storm. As someone once said, “When we are in a storm, sometimes God calms the storm and sometimes He calms us.” Either way, we can have that peace that the world knows nothing about. So rejoice and give thanks, sing spiritual songs, psalms and hymns. Thanksgiving and praises are the life jackets in the sea of life.It is good to know that singing “Joy to the World” is appropriate anytime of the year.  Our joy-giver is also our Prince of Peace.

27 “I’m leaving you peace. I’m giving you my peace. I don’t give you the kind of peace that the world gives. So don’t be troubled or cowardly.–John 14:27 (NLT)
 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 12-21-2016

The Joy of Your Salvation!

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12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,  and make me willing to obey you.
— Psalm 51:12 NLT
 
When we have one of those days that we can’t seem to find the joy of the Lord, perhaps we need to look into our recent thoughts and actions. Have there been any changes in our attitude toward God and His blessings? Did we take time to thank Him for our salvation or did we just take it for granted? Jesus did not have to die, He chose to die for us. After each prayer, do you take time to thank God for the answer and just give Him praise for Who He is and what He has done and continues to do. If you are not finding joy in this season of joy, perhaps you have moved away from God. He inhabits the praises of His people. He will hear your praises and you will feel His presence. Slip into His arms and find rest, joy, and peace. Not just today, but every day.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 12-05-2016