Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! (Psalm 100)
What could possibly be the right thing to give my bride for her birthday? I thought and thought and finally came up with a way-out idea. I decided to buy her a dog. I picked out a cute one at the dog store and brought her home. I hid her in a box and put a note on my bride’s desk that said my name is Joy and I love to play hide and seek. Come and find me. She did and they bonded instantly. They have been joined at the hip ever since and the little puppy has been every bit of her name.
The Bible says a lot about joy, 155 times, in 38 books of the Bible. Joyful is mentioned 25 times. In the book of Job, one of Job’s friends utters some insightful words: “…the exulting of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless but for a moment?” (Job 20:5). There can be no true joy apart from God. Joy is a prominent feature of the true worship of God in the Old Testament. Wherever people know, love, and worship God, His love instills a joy, that only He can give, into the hearts of His worshipers (I Chronicles 15:16) Merriam-Webster defines ‘rejoice’ in this way, ‘to feel joy or great delight’.
Here are the five Biblical highlights on joy:
▪ Joy Is A Gift From God
▪ Doing God’s Will Increases Our Joy
▪ Circumstances Cannot Take Away Our Joy
▪ The Only Thing That Can Steal Our Joy Is Sin
▪ Christians Should Rejoice Always
What are you grateful for today? Will you take time to thank Him?
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
A Baptist minister named John Harper was on board the Titanic when it sank in the Atlantic Ocean in April 1912. He had a seat on a lifeboat alongside his sister and six-year-old daughter, but gave it up so he could stay on the sinking ship to preach to its doomed passengers. He even gave his life jacket to another passenger, who miraculously survived the disaster.
Rev. Harper continued sharing the gospel on the ship as it sank and then with those in the freezing water before he died. His daughter, Annie Jessie, went on to become the longest-living Scottish Titanic survivor.
Before the Titanic set sail, Pastor Harper wrote a letter to another clergyman, dated April 11, 1912. He thanked his fellow minister for his kindness when they had been together recently and closed his note, “The warriors are with me here and are doing well so far on the journey. With kindest love, your loving auld Pastor, John Harper.”
The letter recently sold at auction for more than $55,000. Its author’s sacrificial service after he wrote it was beyond price. Jim Denison
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At night we tie the dog up and let the kids run loose. —Ken Whitten
John 14:12 records what we have to imagine was one of the most shocking things the disciples ever heard Jesus say:
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”
Upon hearing this, the disciples must have been floored. They had seen Jesus give sight to the blind, feed the five thousand, and raise Lazarus from the dead. We’re going to do “greater things than these” Jesus? Yes.
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We are called to…
… Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength
… Love Your neighbor as yourself
… Take up your cross and follow Him
… Go therefore and make disciples, teaching and baptizing them
… Love as you have been loved
… Forgive as you have been forgiven
… Do the work of Him who has sent you as long as it is day. For night is coming when no one can work
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
If being a Christian is a criminal offense, is there enough evidence to place you in jail or just enough for you to receive a warning ticket for acting like one?
Did you ever wonder what worship might look like if we began singing songs to God instead of just singing about God?
Moral Therapeutic Deism – worshipping a creator God who blesses people who are good, nice, and fair and helps believers be happy and feel good about themselves.
Jesus did not come into this world to save us from hell, rather He came to save us from sin. —Ken Whitten
One-time Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz said, “Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.”
We can’t learn from the problems of our past if we refuse to shine a light on them and acknowledge them. —Dineen Wasylik
Now go therefore and make a difference… Be a world changer and glorify God through it all. —Marty Stubblefield
Are you failing, surviving, or thriving? —Jim Denison
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)