How’s Your Joy Quotient?
"Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength" (Neh 8:10).
One of the overriding evidences that someone has a genuine relationship with our living Savior is their consistent attitude of joy and outlook on life. A follower of Jesus should not be a person who always looks at life as if the glass is half empty. Instead, we should be the most positive people on earth. We should see opportunity in the midst of challenges.
The light that resides in you should be like the beam of a lighthouse to a ship that is seeking direction. Our lives should have the fragrance of Christ. People should be attracted to our lives just as the bee is attracted to the nectar in the colorful flower.
The apostle Paul understood this when he said, "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life" (2 Cor 2:14-16).
I must admit I’ve been with some believers whose attitude toward life is more like a porcupine. It’s painful to get too close to them because of their negative and poisonous view of life that criticizes the world around them.
No matter what circumstance you may find yourself in, the joy of the Lord must be your strength. Paul learned this truth even in the midst of his adversities. "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength (Phil 4:12-13).
How would others describe your joy quotient? On a scale of 1 to 10, where would they rank you? Today, make a commitment to greet every circumstance knowing that the joy of the Lord is your strength.
The Four Spiritual Flaws
For reading & meditation – Proverbs 20
"A sluggard does not plow in season; so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing." (v.4) We saw yesterday that diligently tackling life’s tasks and problems produces in the end something exceedingly precious – character. Ever heard of the Four Spiritual Laws? They are used greatly by those involved in evangelism, but today we look at the Four Spiritual Flaws. These are four common misconceptions which many have about the tough issue of the Christian life, and unless refuted diligence will have no meaning. Flaw No 1: Once you become a Christian, you will never have any more problems. It’s not true. In fact, problems may increase. What is true, however, is that Christ will be there to share our problems and get us through – victoriously. Flaw No 2: If you are having problems, then your spirituality is deficient. Some problems can arise from lack of spirituality, but certainly not all. Some of the most spiritual people I know have wrestled with gigantic problems. Consider God’s servant, Job. Flaw No 3: Never admit to anything being a problem; if you do, negativism will take over your life. Nonsense. If you don?t face a thing squarely, then you will live in denial, which is the opposite of integrity. Flaw No 4: All problems can be resolved by the application of the right scripture. Again, not so. I have unanswered questions concerning God’s dealings with me, and I know I might have to wait until I arrive in eternity to see things clearly. Here on earth we are big enough to ask questions but not big enough to understand the answers. Diligence must keep us going.
Father, I would be rid of all flawed thinking. Show me that I am not called to understand, but to stand. Give me grace to keep going even in the face of every one of life’s unanswered questions. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.
For Further Study
2 Corinthians 4; Job 23:10; Psalms 66:10; Isaiah 48:10
1. What was Paul’s testimony?
2. What was Job’s conviction?
Happy Birthday, America!.
Unfortunately, this country has been moving away from democracy as government has grown and taken an overwhelming control over our lives. Freedom of religion mostly applies to the one group which repeatedly vows to destroy us, while those who founded the nation are seeing their religion under constant attack.