Archive for October 3rd, 2006

It’s In Every One Of Us

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006

Today’s scripture: Romans 15:13 & Galatians 5:19-25 (NRSV) (NLT)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two before reading on.

My thoughts (Tom Chittenden):

Joy Boy…the nickname ascribed to my oldest son because of the indescribable joy he brings to my life.

Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee…when it comes to favorite hymns this one makes my top five list because of the indescribable joy I feel as I sing those words of praise and adoration.

Joy…according to Webster’s Dictionary is 1: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires; 2: a state of happiness or felicity (bliss); 3: a source or cause of delight

The “inexpressible joy of salvation” that loving and believing in Christ creates internally (1 Peter 1:8)

“Joy made complete” is the way John describes what the very writing to believers about fellowship with God and other believers brings (1 John 1:4)

“Joy….we use the word in many different contexts, physical, emotional and spiritual in an attempt to convey an intense, ecstatic or exultant sense of happiness. Happiness that isn’t dependent on the circumstances of life. Joy runs deep into our very core and radiates throughout. It is the natural response of something deep in our soul toward someone (such as God, or a loved one) or something supremely, overpoweringly wonderful (such as liberation or freedom)” Robert Longman Jr. 20 Jan’04

It’s significant to note that “joy” is not just one of the fruits of the Spirit, as if the Spirit offers a buffet for us to pick and choose what we would like to add to our life’s plate. Galatians 5:22 clearly announces, “But the fruit of the Spirit is….”, meaning when we receive the incredible gift of God’s Holy Spirit, that indwelling Presence of God, It begins, as Pastor Jeff taught in Sunday’s message, “like yeast working through the entire batch of dough”, to reproduce It’s Own Nature within us. That Nature is love, JOY, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

When we do not manifest JOY or any of the other fruit indicative of the Presence of God’s Indwelling Spirit, it’s not a Source issue. Something of our own creation, whether intentional or not, is quenching the Spirit in that specific area of our life. As one who seeks an intimate relationship with God we should “re-JOIce” to realize the power to change ANY thing “unloving, unlovable, unkind, impatient, unfaithful, not gentle, out of control, not at peace” lies right inside each one of us.

Joy, Spiritual Joy, does not depend on other people, circumstances, and situations in order to manifest itself. Our Joy is deep, complete, and inexpressible regardless of external factors. We absolutely choose our reality when we exercise our free will to either live by our physical nature or live by the fruit produced by the magnificent gift of God’s Indwelling Presence.

Choose wisely! Your JOY depends on it!

Thought for the day: Spirit of God, thank you for the realization that you are present with every step of my life’s journey. Throughout my waking hours and while I sleep visit me to remind me of what my redemption really means. Restore the “joy of my salvation” as I live, breathe and touch the lives of others.

Today, let’s join together in prayer for: the two new Oasis Groups that begin in the next couple weeks, and for their leaders, Chris Tenpas and Kristen Herrman.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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