Monday, February 6, 2012

Cup O' Joy: Finding { Joy}

1 Min

Galatians 5:22-23
New International Version (NIV)
 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, 
forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 
23 gentleness and self-control. 
Against such things there is no law.

Joy -  true joy - originates from God and from living in close connection with God, not from our immediate situation or emotional state. That's why Paul could write about his joy from a prison cell. God wants us to know his joy now. Not tomorrow, not even when we are healed,, not when sorrow has passed, not when we've lost ten pounds, not when we've paid off our debt, received a promotion or bought a bigger house, but now!
  Lasting joy is not tied to God's blessings, God's gifts or God's people, but to God himself. Today, draw upon God for your joy.

5 min

Pray: God, Help me to differentiate between deep, abiding joy and fleeting feelings of happiness. Help me to look to you and not to my circumstances or other people - as my first and only source of joy. Continue to pray as the Spirit leads you, or just sit quietly in God's presence.

10 min

Galatians 5:1-26

New International Version (NIV)

Galatians 5

Freedom in Christ
 1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. 2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
 7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9 “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty. 11 Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12 As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!
Life by the Spirit
 13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Sing songs of {joy} to God...

Psalm 100:1-2

New International Version (NIV)

 1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
 2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
   come before him with joyful songs.

Proverbs 15:30
New International Version (NIV)
 30 Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart,
   and good news gives health to the bones.

Be joyful always!

1 Thessalonians 5:16

New International Version (NIV)
16 Rejoice always;

Know that there is a time for everything, but most importantly slip in some laughter and a silly dance to get you through those tough times!

Ecclesiastes 3:4
New International Version (NIV)

 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, 
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,

Even in troubled times, we can rejoice in God

Habakkuk 3:17-18

New International Version (NIV)

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
   and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
   and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen

18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
   I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Word to take with you today:

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