Here is another JOY card and something Ruth sent on the topic, that is worth pondering.
|The "negative" version of yesterday's card, filling the background instead of the letters.|
Joy is Love
Lord Jesus Christ passes His joy to people who believe: "As the Father loved Me, I also loved you. Remain in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, even as I have kept My Father's commandments and remain in His love. I have spoken these things to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment: that you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:9-13)
This verse in the Bible shows us what joy requires. First, it requests that we receive and remain in the love of God through Jesus: "As the Father loved Me, I also loved you. Remain in My love."
Second, it asks us to live for a greater purpose, one that is bigger than ourselves: "Greater love has no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends."
The Three Powerful Ingredients that Contribute to Building J.O.Y
To sum it all up, the simple recipe for joy includes three things:
1. Jesus Christ
We should want to receive God into our lives more often, to cherish and honor Him and that can only be possible through our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the primary ingredient for our joy. Without Him, we will never have the joy that only God can offer us.
"...I came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)
We can have the joy we want inside our hearts as long as we try to go outside of ourselves. First, we find joy in God, and then in other people around us. Our joy requires that we spread the love of God to our fellow men.
"Likewise, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." (Luke 15:10)
Last but not least, if we desire joy in our hearts, we should live our lives for a greater purpose, higher than ourselves, and that means giving our lives to Jesus Christ.
"For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." (Matthew 16:25)
The last point about "you" is a little sparse. I would add that no one can really give you joy. You must choose it and find it what you believe to be important. It doesn't come from circumstances being pleasant, dreams coming true, people doing "what they are supposed to," or the world being sane. It is certainly helped by honouring and trusting Christ, and by giving ourselves to the service of others. Yet we must still choose that contentment and hope and peace that make up JOY. Stepping outside ourselves and personal wants can help considerably. The saying is true that the more we give, the more we have, and that brings several kinds of joy. Much more could be said on this. Your thoughts are welcome.
(from Nathan Shepherd)
Here are the first few pages in the writing book.
Blessed Lenten season to all.