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Category Archives: Joy in Jesus

God’s Word…Life and Truth

“Holy Splendor”

rose

 “Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor” (Psalm 96:9).

Splendor: great and impressive beauty (Merriam-Webster)

My husband recently surprised me with a dozen red roses.

One of the twelve survived the shock of over-fertilizing.

Underserved, I’m now delighting in its beauty.

 Analogy of Christ’s amazing grace:

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

My Jesus is due all my honor and praise.

His holy splendor is displayed in all the nations.

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV).

Facebook friends: May the Psalms draw you near to God.

Sing a new song to the Lord! Let the whole earth sing to the Lord! Sing to the Lord; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods. The gods of other nations are mere idols, but the Lord made the heavens! Honor and majesty surround him; strength and beauty fill his sanctuary.

O nations of the world, recognize the Lord; recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong. Give to the Lord the glory he deserves! Bring your offering and come into his courts. Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor. Let all the earth tremble before him. 10 Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!” The world stands firm and cannot be shaken. He will judge all peoples fairly.

11 Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! 12 Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy! Let the trees of the forest sing for joy 13 before the Lord, for he is coming! He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with his truth” (Psalm 96 NLT).

 

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Posted by on October 29, 2015 12: 04 pm - in Eternal Life, Joy in Jesus, Psalms, Salvation

 

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God’s Word…Life and Truth

 Joy in the Journey

“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. (Psalm 16:11)”

joy in the journey

Anticipating beautiful fall foliage in Minnesota – JOY!

A professor once told me, “Don’t miss the joy in the journey.”

He was right!

Awaiting Jeff’s graduation from Bible College, we explored the

Colorado Mountains…cheered at volleyball games & homecoming courts…made new friendships…and experienced God’s presence.

By the saving grace of Jesus, I anticipate my eternal home with gladness, and thank God for granting me joy in the journey of life.

Facebook Friends, May the Psalms draw you close to God.

“Keep me safe, O God, for I have come to you for refuge.

I said to the Lord, “You are my Master! Every good thing I have comes from you.” The godly people in the land are my true heroes! I take pleasure in them! Troubles multiply for those who chase after other gods. I will not take part in their sacrifices of blood or even speak the names of their gods.

Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance!

I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. 10 For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. 11 You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever” (Psalm 16, NLT).

Faith at Home Moment:

Living for Jesus brings great joy into our lives. Yes, at times we have sad and lonely days during our days on earth, but praise be to God, His presence is with us, filling us with hope, peace, and eternal joy in the journey of life. Our children need to see the joy we experience by living for Jesus. The Gospel is Good News! Take a few minutes each day reading through the Gospel of John with your children. Pray that God will fill you with His joy even in the midst of struggles. An oldie but goodie song to sing along with children: Joy, Joy Down In My Heart – http://www.psalty.com/track/687853/joy-joy-down-in-my-heart?feature_id=140418

 

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“Sometimes I do mean things.”

For I was born a sinner—yes, from the moment my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5).

Children speak from the honesty of their hearts, even when it reflects their sinful nature.

Julia 1While finishing eating our cupcakes for Julia’s 4th birthday, Julia surprised me with these words, “Nana, sometimes I do mean things.” Prior to our little party, Julia had been in our backyard running water from the hose, making a puddle to jump in with her sparkly new shoes. Her momma caught her and gave her a little talking to about her misbehavior. No spanking though, since it was her birthday. I later gave her four affectionate old-fashioned birthday spankings and a pinch to grow on…fondly recalling my childhood memories.

Now back to Julia’s concern over her naughtiness. I asked her, “Why do you think you do mean things?” She quietly answered, “I don’t know, I just do.” Okay, got it! Julia’s sinful nature is becoming evident to her and to others. Because Julia has received the primary teaching of sin from her parents, and by the faithful conviction of God’s Holy Spirit, Julia is clearly beginning to recognize the reality of her inherited bent toward sin.

With her pretty blue eyes focused upon mine, I responded to Julia this way. “I know that you really don’t want to do mean things, but the only way that you will be able to stop doing them, is to ask Jesus to help you.” As she seemed to experience a small sense of relief, I told her I would be praying for Jesus to help her.

My prayer for Julia is the same one that I pray for all my grandchildren: That they will come to know Jesus at a young age, to love Him fully, to obey His Word, and to serve Him faithfully all the days of their lives.

I believe that teaching children who God and Jesus are comes more naturally for most parents/grandparents, than it does to teach them about the third person in the Trinity, the Holy Spirit.

While recently watching the made for T.V. miniseries, A.D. The Bible Continues, my spirit was reviatlized by the dramatization of the Acts of the Apostles being infilled with the power of the Holy Spirit.

This same Holy Spirit (God’s Spirit) that was poured out upon those early believers is the same Holy Spirit who desires to infill every Christ-follower today.

We need to teach our children the only way to work out the “meanness” in our lives, is to receive Jesus as our personal Savior…to repent of our sins, and allow the Holy Spirit to begin His cleansing work in our lives.

Somewhere along their spiritual journey, new believers sense an internal struggle–the “desire” to sin. This desire comes from the original sin nature, (inherited sin of Adam). The only remedy for the sinful nature is heart cleansing by the infilling (or baptism) of the Holy Spirit.

Teaching our children to understand the difference between original sin (nature) and personal acts of sin is a vital part of training in Christian holiness (perfect love).

Pray for your children to be sanctified (or set apart for God’s holy purpose). See Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonica Church:

1 Thessalonians 5:22-24 (NIV)

22 reject every kind of evil.

23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

It is true, God is faithful to cleanse (purify) the heart from original sin as we consecrate or surrender ourselves fully to Him. He promises to replace the inbred “desire to sin” with an abiding holy-heart desire to please our Heavenly Father above all other. Of course, we will continue to be tempted to sin, but with a cleansed heart, have the power NOT to sin.

The greatest joy of Christian parents is realizing the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of their children. Sanctification empowers every believer to serve Christ with a joyful heart.

The proof of spiritual maturity is not how “pure” you are but awareness of your impurity. That very awareness opens the door to grace. —Philip Yancey  

When David sinned against God, he acknowledged that he was “born a sinner.” And when David repented of his personal sin against God, he sought to be fully cleansed, or purified.

Psalm 51:  A psalm of David, regarding the time Nathan the prophet came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt.  Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just.[a] For I was born a sinner—yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. But you desire honesty from the womb,[b] teaching me wisdom even there.

Purify me from my sins,[c] and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins.  Remove the stain of my guilt. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.  Renew a loyal spirit within me. 11 Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit[d] from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. 13 Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you. 14 Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. 15 Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you.

16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.  You do not want a burnt offering. 17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. 18 Look with favor on Zion and help her; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit—with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings. Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.

Living in the Light (1 John 1:5-7)

This is the message we heard from Jesus[c] and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

Resources for teaching children the basic beliefs of Christianity and the doctrines of the Church of the Nazarene.

My Faith: A Nazarene Catechism for Kids is a concise introduction to the basic beliefs of Christianity and of the Church of the Nazarene. It is designed to give 6th graders a solid theological foundation for their lives. My Faith is available as an 8 week course and a 12 week course. http://www.nph.com/nphweb/html/waol/innerpage.jsp?c=WAOL&cs=CHILD&sc=MYFAI&ss=NA

  • Beliefs About the Triune God, Part 1: The Father

  • Beliefs About the Triune God, Part 2: Jesus Christ

  • Beliefs About the Triune God, Part 3: The Holy Spirit

  • Beliefs About the Bible, God s Holy Word

  • Beliefs About the Human Race and Sin

  • Beliefs About Salvation, Part 1

  • Beliefs About Salvation, Part 2

  • Beliefs About Entire Sanctification

  • Beliefs About the Church

  • Beliefs About the Christian Life

  • Beliefs About the Sacraments and Divine Healing

  • Beliefs About Things to Come

Important Need to Knows

  • The Apostle’s Creed

  • The Nicene Creed

  • The Ten Commandments

  • The Beatitudes

  • The Lords Prayer

  • Agreed Statement of Belief

  • Articles of Faith

  • The Church

  • The Covenant of Christian Character

  • My Faith: Certificate of Completion

A.D.BE SURE TO TUNE IN TO WATCH A.D. THE BIBLE CONTINUES ON SUNDAY NIGHTS, NBC, 8 PM CENTRAL TIME.  DISCLAIMER: DUE TO THE VIOLENCE DEPICTED IN SOME OF THE EPISODES, PARENTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO USE DISCRETION WITH YOUNGER CHILDREN.  HOWEVER, I PERSONALLY ENCOURAGE PARENTS TO WATCH WITH OLDER CHILDREN AND TEENS.  FOR BIBLE STUDY AND OTHER HELPFUL RESOURCES TO ENHANCE YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF A.D. THE BIBLE CONTINUES, THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES, GO TO DR. DAVID JEREMIAH’S WEBSITE: http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/therevolution/home.aspx

 

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Greatest Passion

 Loudest Roar

Passion (from the Latin verb patere meaning to suffer) is a term applied to a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion, compelling enthusiasm or desire for anything. (Wikipedia)

1 often capitalized : the sufferings of Jesus between the night of the Last Supper and his death 2 a plural : the emotions in general b : strong feeling or emotion 3 a : great affection : LOVE b : a strong liking c : an object of desire or deep interest (Merriam-Webster Student Dictionary)

People have a great passion for many things. Just to name a few:

Football – On September 29, 2014, the Kansas City Chiefs fans reclaimed the record for loudest crowd roar at a sports stadium. Chiefs’ fans made enough noise to register a 142.2 dbA reading at Arrowhead Stadium while playing against the New England Patriots.

Vacations & Fitness – (Online Advertisement) Take Your Passion For Fitness on Luxury Adventure Vacations With Reebok Fitness Vacations by Austin Adventures – Two leading brands in the active lifestyle and fitness worlds are teaming up to offer Reebok Fitness Vacations by Austin Adventures. This partnership seems to offer a series of vacations that promote fitness as a way of life. Now you can combine two passions at the same time!

Food – (Quote from chef blogger): “I have a passion for preparing and serving great food. I have a goal of getting a great meal on the table every evening in around 45 minutes.”

Attempting to trick Jesus, a religious “expert” posed the following question.

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 22:36-38).

I believe this is the greatest passion.

There’s no room to be lukewarm as a Christian. In fact, being lukewarm makes God nauseous.

14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth”  (Revelation 3:14-16).

From the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus promises the following:

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled”(Matthew 5:6).

My life passion (mission):  To intentionally pass down my faith in Christ to my children and grandchildren.  2 Timothy 1:5

So, what’s your greatest passion?

In 2015, why not cultivate a great passion for loving God, in your children and grandchildren.

Challenge for 2015:                               Chiefs%20loud_2

  • Break the record for loving God.

  • Pray fervently and often.

  • Give up a favorite beverage (Starbuck’s, soda, etc.) for a month, and set aside this money for a work and witness trip or other service project.

  • Skip the family vacation one year (or more), and instead, spend this allotted time and money towards serving at a local or global mission.

  • Rather than wasting endless hours on social media / T.V., etc., use this time for personal and family Bible study.

  • Purposefully reach out to your neighbors with kindness and the love of Christ.

  • Intentionally share your faith in Christ with unsaved friends, relatives, coworkers, etc.

  • Use your gifts and talents at your local church. Serve together as a family when applicable.

Have a Happy and Fulfilling New Year….

by living a life of passion for Christ.  

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An Unexpected Gift

money giftI was thrilled when our eleven-year-old granddaughter placed a stack of mostly one-dollar bills and a check in my hand. She said, “Here’s some money that I’ve saved up for our mission trip.” Just returning from her birthday party, Ella gave me her birthday money, along with some babysitting money, etc. I could feel my heart welling up inside as I received this unexpected gift.

Several weeks ago, Ella and I attended an informational meeting regarding a mission trip that our church will be taking to the Dominican Republic in June. The leaders shared passionately the love they have for all the children in this impoverished area. This will be Team Mission pic 1Xtreme’s third trip to the Dominican Republic. Joining Team Xtreme, Ella and I will work on the construction of a three-story building project, and attend to the needs of hundreds of children who live on the streets in small hut-like homes. After leaving in our car from the meeting, Ella exclaimed, “Yes, I want to take this trip…but raising $14,000 is going to take a lot of time!” She originally thought this was the cost for each of us to go. (It is actually $1,400 per person). She then said, “I don’t need anything for Christmas, so I’ll just ask for money for our mission trip.” I sensed God’s pleasure in this shared moment with my granddaughter.

The gift of money that Ella placed in my hand was only unexpected in my mind, not in Ella’s. Ella planned to keep her vow all along.

As I later began to reflect on this sacrificial gift from Ella ($96), I started to think about another unexpected sacrificial gift that was given to the world, over 2000 years ago.

Although God foretold of His Son’s birth in over 100 prophecies, Christ’s birth came unexpectedly for most, but not for all.

It continues to amaze me that God chose a simple peasant girl named Mary, to give birth to the Messiah, in a humble stable that was home to barn animals. Scripture states that God sent the angel Gabriel to prepare Mary for an unexpected delivery.

The Birth of Jesus Foretold (Luke 1:26-38 – NIV)

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

From reading Mary’s response after the angel’s visit, we learn that she was not at all surprised when the time came to give birth to Jesus.  Others who received this unexpected gift were: Joseph, the angels, and the shepherds.  They all received the glorious gift of the Savior that starry lit night, in the little town of Bethlehem.

Luke 2:4-21 – NIV

 mangerSo Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

I love the part where Scripture specifies, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

My Prayer to God

Help me Lord, to treasure up all the unexpected gifts that you give me throughout my life, each day. I praise you and thank you, for the gift of salvation, through your Son, Jesus. And I want to publically thank you for the recent gift of money from Ella, and from others who have recently mailed us sacrificial gifts of money to go toward the cost of our mission trip. They truly are a blessing!

Parents/Grandparents: Teach children to intentionally watch for unexpected gifts, and then encourage them to give thanks when they discover them. Christmas is a great time to start! And as we give thanks, along with our children, I believe that we are in some small ways, giving Jesus a birthday gift.

Some gifts that we may receive throughout the year.

– The gift of time (given by a loved one, a teacher, pastor, friend)

– The gift of friendship (a new friend God brings into our life)

– The gift of labor (mom doing the laundry, dad repairing a toy, grandpa transporting to softball practice)

– The gift of a hug…smile…warm embrace…

– The gift of grace

– The gift of mercy

– The gift of forgiveness

– The unexpected gift of money for a mission trip!

The greatest gift we can expect at Christmas–is JESUS…and His wondrous love. Be sure to watch for this God-given gift in unexpected ways. Then be sure to share God’s gift with those you love, and the “others” who are in need of an unexpected special gift of love this Christmas.

 Merry Christmas!

To all my blogger friends…Facebook friends, and so on…

With the love of Jesus, Charmé

Ella, church Christmas program, 2014

Ella, Living Hope Church Christmas program, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luke 2:4-17 – NIV

 

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People Who Enjoy Life…Praise Jesus

 

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“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4).
Praise and gratitude lead to joy.

I originally wrote and shared this devotional/study while working at Focus on the Family (about 20 years ago now).  I think it may be useful in teaching our children/grandchildren to depend fully upon Jesus in all circumstances.

For the Apostle Paul, rejoicing was not a periodic exercise but a perpetual attitude of the heart. His penned words recorded in Philippians 3:1 and 4:4 call Christians to “keep on rejoicing in the Lord.”
Q. Who wants to prevent us from rejoicing in the Lord?
A. Satan, who “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” 1 Peter 5: 8.
But praise be to God, Jesus said “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” John 10:10.
Q. How does Satan try to accomplish his plan, to rob us from joy and abundant life?
A. By creating unhappy circumstances to occur in our lives.
Note: Sometimes we are responsible for our own unhappy circumstances, other times we are not. Either way, it is our choice on how we will respond to these circumstances.
I love the true story of Joni Earekson Tada. Joni was paralyzed from the shoulders down at the tender age of 17, resulting from a diving accident while swimming with some friends. After a lengthy journey of rehabilitation, which included overcoming thoughts of suicide, Joni chose to trust God to fill her and use her fully for His glory, in spite of her disability.
See Joni’s website: http://www.joniearecksontadastory.com/ for inspiration and help for those who suffer from paralyzation. Not just physical paralysis, but emotional and mental. For you see, Satan also attempts to paralyze people through fear.
Definition: Paralyze
1. To affect with paralysis; cause to be paralytic.
2. To make unable to move or act: paralyzed by fear.
3. To impair the progress or functioning of; make inoperative or powerless: strict regulations that paralyze economic activity

Our circumstances are sometimes joyful and other times they are disappointing, discouraging, and sometimes extremely painful.
If we gauge our rejoicing on the ups and downs of our circumstances, we will never fulfill Paul’s command to rejoice continually.
Paul declares that in order to be joyful there is a prerequisite: being or having a thankful heart and attitude, toward God and for others. (Phil. 1:3, 4)
Thankfulness produces joyfulness and joyfulness produces thankfulness.
These two qualities are interdependent or interchangeable. They go hand in hand.
Q. Can we be joyful when our focus is on “grumbling” about our unfortunate circumstance(s)?
In the book, How to Be a Christian and Still Enjoy Life, the author, Fritz Ridenour states:
“We aren’t made happy by what we have but by what we are thankful for.”
Paul learned how to experience thankfulness and joy in all circumstances…and then was able to share this unexplainable joy to others. His letter to the Philippians was written while imprisoned in a Roman jail, with the threat of execution facing him.
Q. How can Paul’s letter to the Philippians encourage us today?
A. First and foremost, I believe:
1. We must all come to terms with the fact that we are all going to face many trials and sufferings throughout our lives.
2. If we enter the trap (of Satan or the world): that our joy is based on our circumstances, we will live sad defeated lives, with little or no hope.
3. But,…if we, like Paul, learn (through God’s Word) that our joy/thanksgiving is based on our relationship with the Lord and His purpose for our lives, and not by the ups and downs of life, then we will experience true and meaningful joy, and an everlasting hope that no one or any circumstance can rob us from.

 Acts 16:25-34

Passing on the joy of salvation to others even in the midst of our sufferings

Paul and Silas responded to their imprisonment with praise, rejoicing, and thankfulness.
Results: They drew attention from the other prisoners. A miracle took place:
1. An earthquake occurred…opening the cell door and unlocking the shackles.
2. The conversion of the jailer and his entire family.
3. Fellow prisoners became charter members of the Philippian Church.
Share personal testimonies of how you have allowed God to use your sufferings for the glory of God and the witness to others.
Pathway to Joy and Thankfulness
Q. How can we (as Christians) develop a pattern in our lives, which emulates Paul’s positive attitude in the midst of negative circumstances?
1. Stay close to other believers. (Phil. 1:4, 5) Paul was not a spiritual lone ranger. He relied on his involvement with other believers to help maintain his joy. He was in partnership with other believers. The Greek word Koinonia – means “to have in common”). I.E.: fellowship through Bible studies, small groups, corporate worship, mentorship
Joy results committing ourselves to others–even at a cost. (Outreach to others!)
2. Be confident in God’s faithfulness. (Phil. 1:6)
It’s easy to have joy when things are going well, but when the bottom falls out, we (the flesh) can feel that God has deserted us, thereby shutting off our joyful praise.
Paul reminds us that God always finishes what He starts. Circumstances are not a barometer to qualify our response to God. We rejoice in the Lord…because no matter what the circumstances look like, God has promised to complete a good work in and through us. (Phil. 1:3-6)
3. Practice forbearance. (Phil. 4:5) “Let your gentleness be evident to all.” “Love does not demand its own way!”
Gentleness means being more content to let another win than to selfishly fight for our own rights. (See Corinthians 6:1-7)
I won’t ask how many of us need growth in this area. Being first to raise my hand!
Paul was so full of praise and gratitude, his life was one big experience of reaching out to others.
4. Pray instead of worrying. (Phil. 4:6-7) A life Scripture for me.
When we learn to let go of our anxieties and thank God for what He will do, we reap the peace of God which transcends all understanding. Endless joy!
5. Think positively.
Q. How often do we miss out on inner joy because we direct all our focus on our problems?
Paul instructs believers to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts. (Phil. 4:8)
6. Put your faith into practice. (Phil. 4:9)
Believers marked by rejoicing and thanksgiving are busy doing God things—growing, serving, and working out their faith in everyday life or circumstances.
The more involved we become with those around us and in God’s “program” (rather than our own program), the more we will enjoy life.

Conclusion: Pray for God’s help to remove any hindrances that prevent you from receiving His everlasting joy. Be mindful when praying this prayer that God may or may not choose to remove your unfortunate circumstance(s), but He will be faithful to complete your joy even in the midst of it.

Memory Verse:

  “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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