No greater joy

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are living according to the truth. 3 John 4

When you teach someone the gospel, you invest time and energy into that person. Many times you hear their struggles and their weaknesses as well as good things about them. As the person begins to read and study the Bible, you can almost see the challenges to their thinking. You watch as the person goes from knowing little of the Bible, to reading regularly. As the seed is planted, you can see it sprouting into faith and often blooming into something beautiful.

We moved to another city after living years where we had been. We had taught the gospel to many people. We had many spiritual children. The joy of returning some years later and seeing those who were still there faithfully continuing their walk in Christ brought such joy. Our work did not feel as if it had been in vain. Our efforts had been rewarded.

I have also had the opportunity to talk with unfortunately too many parents who have seen their own children leave the faith. The sadness is great and often brings tears of frustration and hopelessness.

We must do our best to see our children, grandchildren, and others we have taught stay faithful. That is best accomplished by instilling a strong love of God’s word and respect for its authority. There is no greater joy!

#risingjoy #3-John #joy

The world would rejoice

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

I tell you the solemn truth, you will weep and wail, but the world will rejoice; you will be sad, but your sadness will turn into joy. When a woman gives birth, she has distress because her time has come, but when her child is born, she no longer remembers the suffering because of her joy that a human being has been born into the world. John 16.20-21

Jesus was preparing his disciples for events that would soon take place. His death and resurrection were just hours away. The disciples did not understand what he was trying to say. He told them that they would be sad. They would weep and wail. However, the world would rejoice at his death.

Jesus compared the coming days to the birth of a child. The stress that a woman feels during childbirth is both mental and physical. There is the mental stress of the uncertainty of when it will happen and how it will be. Then, there is the actual physical suffering that occurs during the actual birth. However, once the baby is born and she holds the baby in her arms, her joy overcomes her memories of the suffering that she had just been through during the birth process.

Jesus would die. The disciples would see this as the end to their dreams and hopes for the future. But, on the third day, he would rise from the dead and their joy over this event would eclipse all of the sorrow they had felt.

We do not always understand about the death of Jesus, why he had to die. Nor do we understand the significance of his resurrection on the third day. Yet, when we do understand, it brings a joy that surpasses all the sadness and turmoil that accompanies unbelief. Do you understand? Do you have the joy?

#risingjoy #John #joy

Go out and search

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

… Returning home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, telling them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost.’ I tell you, in the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent. … Luke 15.6-7

Jesus taught many times using a parable. According to Merriam-Webster, a parable is a usually short fictitious story that illustrates a moral attitude or a religious principle.

The Pharisees and experts in the law were complaining. They did not like the fact that Jesus was eating with the tax collectors and sinners that were coming to hear his teaching.

Jesus told the parable of the lost sheep. There were ninety-nine sheep safe in the open pasture, but one sheep was lost. The owner went to look for the sheep that was lost. He found it and brought it home. He called all his friends and neighbors to tell them the good news. He had found his lost sheep!

The significance of the parable is the joy that God has to see one sinner repent. There is much rejoicing in heaven over just one! Will we go out and search for the one who needs to repent?

#risingjoy #Luke #joy

Before finding their way back

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

A cheerful heart brings good healing, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17.22

In this verse, we see the contrast between someone who has a cheerful heart and someone who has a crushed spirit. One is optimistic and happy. The other is unhealthy and lifeless. Yet, it is indicated that both are suffering from an ailment, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual.

Our attitudes are so important in this process called life. Positive attitudes seem to bring, if not healing, an extended life. Negative attitudes take us to a dark place that is full of despair and the road back is often long and painful to walk. Many give up before finding their way back.

One thing that helps is our relationship with God. If we have no relationship with him, when the bad times come, we have no strength outside of our own. Our own strength is not strong enough to get us through the bad times. However, for his children, he has stated that his grace is sufficient to get us through whatever circumstance in which we find ourselves, 2 Corinthians 12.9. Paul writes that he would gladly boast in his weakness so that Christ’s power might reside in him.

Let us all seek the power that comes from a correct relationship with God! A relationship that produces a cheerful heart that brings good healing.

#risingjoy #Proverbs #joy

Happy International Day of Happiness

Call it happiness if you wish, or maybe better, joy, gladness, or delight. If you belong to God’s people, you know what it is and where it is found.

The world chases after happiness in material things. The U.N.’s international day focuses on the same. A glance at the rich neighborhoods around, or the rich countries, belies this belief — so many unhappy, broken, frustrated lives — though the majority are not convinced that material things are not the answer.

God’s saints know that joy comes from the presence of God.

“You lead me in the path of life. I experience absolute joy in your presence; you always give me sheer delight” Psalm 16.11.

This is why keeping God’s commands are also such a delight:

“Praise the Lord! How blessed is the one who obeys the Lord, who takes great delight in keeping his commands” Psalm 112.1.

It is no paradox that the letter to the Philippians, whose keynote is joy, was written from prison.

Christians have no reason to worry. They know God and this joy overwhelms the cares of the world.

#presence-of-God #joy #happiness

So full of joy

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

“Just as the Father has loved me, I have also loved you; remain in my love. If you obey my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. John 15.9-11

People run after so many things searching for something that will make them happy, bring them joy. Our world today is a very selfish one. Most look out for number 1 above all others. Have you ever thought about what it would be like to have complete joy? To be so full of joy that you are overflowing with it? Most of us want that, do we not? Jesus tells us in the verses above how to have that complete joy. But it does not come without a condition. I must remain in his love. How do I do that? Jesus tells us the answer to that question as well. I must obey his commandments. Obey. We do not like that word. Because it means that I may have to give up something that I want to hold on to. There is a reason that we teach our children to be obedient. That reason is to grow into an adult that is responsible for their actions and respects authority, ultimately God’s authority. If children do not learn early on to obey their parents, they will have difficulty obeying God. Do not set your child up for failure. Teach them to be obedient as you are obedient to God so that you both can be filled with the complete joy that Jesus offers.

#risingjoy #John #joy

MOST: Into this moment God packs his fullness

  • Meditate on this verse:

    The Lord strengthens and protects me; I trust in him with all my heart. I am rescued and my heart is full of joy; I will sing to him in gratitude. Psalm 28.7 NET.

  • Offer this prayer:

    Heavenly Father, thank you for exercising your power in my life which saves and strengthens and protects me.

  • Savor this thought:

    Into this moment God packs his fullness.

  • Take this action:

    Show your joy and speak of it at every opportunity.

#most #joy

Delighted to tell: Daniel 4.2

“I am delighted to tell you about the signs and wonders that the most high God has done for me.”

Daniel 4.2

Daniel was a special servant of God for a special time in Israel’s history. God used him in a special way, with visions and revelations. He was delighted to serve God and show him to be the only God.

Daniel’s delight before King Nebuchadnezzar ought to be ours as well before people of the world. How do you feel about evangelism? Are you excited to tell others about what God has done in Christ?

#votd #Daniel #joy #evangelism

I was glad: Psalm 122.1

“I was glad because they said to me, ‘We will go to the Lord’s temple.’”

Psalm 122.1

The writer knew the value of being in God’s presence together with the people of God. To be inside, v. 2, where God has built his abode, v. 3, to pray and praise together, vv. 4-9, is a great joy.

God is in the midst of his family, the church. We gather together to praise God and pray for one another. Does this give me joy? Do I assemble with high hopes?

#votd #Psalms #church #joy

Because in everything: 2 Corinthians 7.16

“I rejoice because in everything I am fully confident in you.”

2 Corinthians 7.16

As problems were being resolved in Corinth, Paul expressed strong confidence in the saints to set things in order. This was a cause of great joy to him.

Expectations often determine or influence outcome. Is my confidence, first of all, in the power of God to work in my life and in the life of others, even when problems arise?

#votd #2-Corinthians #joy

Experience joy: John 17.13

“But now I am coming to you, and I am saying these things in the world, so they may experience my joy completed in themselves.”

John 17.13

Jesus prayed to his Father before his betrayal. He looked forward to returning to the Father. He also desired to fulfill his mission of revealing the Father’s will to mankind. He knew it was the source of true joy.

Do I desire, like Jesus, to go to the Father? Do I desire to hear Jesus’ words? Do I desire the full joy that lasts? Do I know how to receive it?

#votd #John #prayer #joy

He Holds the Key

This little item popped out during my journaling time today. You might find a tune for it.

In Christ is all my satisfaction,
To joy he holds the key;
He knows my heart’s true direction,
He knows and cares for me.

#poetry #joy #Christ

A continual feast: Proverbs 15.15

“All the days of the afflicted are bad,
but one with a cheerful heart has a continual feast.”

Proverbs 15.15

The afflicted are those whose hearts are heavy because they let circumstances weigh them down. The cheerful heart is one who decides, in every case, to be joyful.

Our attitude affects our enjoyment of life. The decision to develop a positive disposition makes all the difference.

#votd #joy #Proverbs

The joy of the Lord is your strength: Nehemiah 8.10

“Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

Nehemiah 8.10c NLT

The people of Israel cried while the words of the law were being read, v. 9. Their sins had caused the destruction of the land. But now they were being restored and it was a time for joy.

The joy the Lord gives and the joy he has in his obedient people makes them strong. Joy comes from the Holy Spirit, 1 Thes 1.6. His power turns sadness into rejoicing.

#votd #joy #strength

Too occupied with my own thoughts

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2 NIV)

со всяким смиренномудрием и кротостью и долготерпением, снисходя друг ко другу любовью, (К Ефесянам 4:2 Russian)

O LORD God, thank you dear Father – for always remaining faithful to your people who often act in unfaithful and ungrateful ways. Forgive my sins of omission when I have clearly recognized a person in need of hearing about forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus Christ your Son; but I was too occupied with my own thoughts or on some urgent errand, that I didn’t stop and humbly, gently, lovingly, kindly and patiently share my faith with them. Bless my friends here and in other nations with the joy of salvation until that day when we together meet Christ our Lord at his glorious appearing. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key, FL 32625

Cedar Key Church of Christ

#david-binkley #sin-of-omission #joy