Thursday, November 28, 2013


What incredible passages were on my plate this morning!  On this day of thanks-giving, receiving was the Word I received.  I cannot do justice to all that I received in a little morning devotion, but I pray this snack will nourish.  JOY is the perfect acronym to frame this.  Do you remember how JOY works?   Jesus.  Others.  Yourself.

Receiving Jesus, of course, starts us on the journey.  All of the promises of God are yes in Him.  All believers, rooted together in Him, rejoice in Him.  The process of rejoicing intrigues me.

Others are our mission.  Paul says those he served were letters from Christ written by the Spirit of God on his own heart.  That is how we are to feel about others.  We are not ‘rulers of others’ faith’ we are to be their ‘joy helpers.’  I like that title! 

Yourself is simply a part of the totality.  All that we experience…all of our lives…is called our ‘conversation.’  We speak to the Lord by how we live.  We are to live with simplicity and sincerity, trusting in the grace of God.  

JOY, though deeply desired is not always welcomed in our lives.  The doorway it often enters through is trouble.  The greatest joy comes with the greatest troubles, for the greater the TROUBLE, the greater the room for God!  We naturally live in the Land of YOJ…an upside down world devoid of JOY.   

In the land of YOJ, “yourself” is the first point of trust.  As long as we can produce the results we prefer, we will roll on in our own resources.  When we find our limits, others are usually our next line of defense.  But until we reach the end of the resources in YOJ, we live in poverty!  Need, unveiled by trouble, is the doorway that opens our hearts to receiving Jesus.  There is an amazing bonus when we share our need with others:  Troubles unify us.  As brothers and sisters in Christ seek the face of God for one another, great things happen.  His Kingdom grows! 

As I meditated on this aspect, my heart humbly considers those whom I know (and have known) who face(d) great trials.  If you, as you read this, are one of those whom God has entrusted a trouble that feels crushing, may you catch a glimpse of the JOY God is producing.  His plans are greater than we know; He is doing Kingdom stuff!  May your hearts thankfully receive Jesus…receive comfort and know ALL of God’s promises are yes in Christ.  Stay in Him and let His comfort and joy overflow in your conversation.



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