Choose JOY

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

The last time ago our ministry leader thought us about “Joy in the Lord” and it really strikes me out! That is why it was made possible because of that idea.

So how do you define happiness and joy? Is there any difference between the two? What does it mean to be truly joyful?

Everyone wants to enjoy life. The world places their source of joy in what they own, in their reputation, in their status, fame, money and other luxurious things. Yet, all of those things are unstable and can easily evaporate. It can only give you a temporary satisfaction.

Happiness is external and comes from experiences and those around us. It is temporary and depends on what is happening at that moment. Happiness is concerned with earthly things while Joy is internal and eternal. Joy comes from the Lord.

If you are looking for the right path, it’s with Jesus Christ. The One who died for you and rose again. He wants your heart because He loves you, that’s why He died for you. All you have to do is accept Him and believe.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9ESV

Salvation is a free gift of God! He can give you a new life like never before. Surrender your WHOLE heart 100% to Him and He can give you outstanding joy like no other, which cannot come from any other source but Him. Joy is a sense of fulfillment not a temporary feeling of bliss. All you have to do is believe in Him, it’s your choice, like God said many are called but few are chosen because few choose to believe in Him but if you do He can make you clean and bring you to the light. I want you to find Him because it’s just so amazing when God makes you a new person, make things clear for you and brings understanding, that’s the joy I have in the Lord!

Have you ever notice that sometimes you have everything in life yet you feel happy in a moment then suddenly there’s a touch of incompleteness again? Well, happiness is like a cosmetic, it is on the outside while joy is character, it is on the inside. Happiness only meets your surface needs, but joy meets your deepest needs. Therefore, happiness is like a thermometer, it just registers conditions. Joy is the thermostat that controls the conditions. Happiness evaporates in a crisis. Joy many times intensifies in a crisis. Happiness is wonder but let me tell you something, friend. Happiness is at its fullest when it is blended with joy, when you know the joy of the Lord.

Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice.” So if you live for happiness, you are a prisoner of circumstances because if the circumstances change, then you are not happy anymore.

Be a model of Joy.

Be a model of Joy.

As Christians there is one thing we should model, it is the joy of the Lord. God designed the Christian life to be an abundant life. The Bible says that the fruit of the Spirit is joy (Galatians 5:22).

Joyless living makes us vulnerable to the attacks of Satan, not to mention that it’s a miserable way to live.

I’ve listed here some simple questions that indeed brings me to understand how significant joy in the life of every people.

  1. Why is joy important?
    a. Joy helps us stay positive and encourage others and reminds us that there is something better waiting for us. Joy draws us closer to God and keeps our hearts from hardening.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”. –Romans 15:13

  1. Where do you find joy?
    a. Possessing joy is a choice. With all the trials and challenges happened to me, I find joy knowing that God is at my side and that He is thinking about me. I find joy when I am able to show grace to someone else because of God’s daily grace to me. I find joy knowing that Jesus finds me worthy even when many people don’t and I sometimes even don’t consider myself worthy.
  2. What kills joy?
    a. Comparing yourself to others. This comes in so many shades that we sometimes fail to see it for what it is and I’m guilty as charged here. You might be looking at someone else’s lighter workload, more vacation time, less pressure, or desirable spiritual gifts. None of it is wise. You will either feel cheated or inferior—and joyless.

God gave us each different gifts—unique gifts, valuable gifts, admirable gifts. But when we compare our ministry or opportunities with others, we are bound to lose our joy.

“But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.”—Galatians 6:4

        b. Impure thoughts. When you allow temptations to play in your mind, you will lose your joy. Christian cannot have impure thoughts day after day without experiencing the conviction of the Holy Spirit. And no one who is under the constant conviction of the Holy Spirit can be happy.

We must have a pure heart to see God for who He is and there is fullness of joy in His presence.

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8

        c. Seeing outside the will of God. This is complicated because we can easily believe it is God’s will for us. Be careful. When your mind is out on a plain of “what ifs,” you will not regain your joy for where you are. If it is the difficulties of ministry or the struggles in your family or another relationship that are prompting your dreams, renew your time in God’s Word, give thanks for the blessings, and stick it out. Finish the race with joy!

“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” —Acts 20:24

  1. What daily strategies help you focus on joy when times are tough?
    a. Pray, pray and pray. Seriously, even when my happiness fades, I never lose my joy. I look around at what God has given me, how He lifts me up every day, how He has protected me and I can be unhappy yet joyful at the same time. My strategy when times are tough is to stay positive, connect with like-minded people who uplift me, and listen to some of my favorite worship and praise music.

There is only one source of Joy – God Himself. The world can offer you a lot to make you happy but finding joy can give you a fulfillment in life. There are many joy killers, but there is one joy-Giver. His name is Jesus.

Jesus can give you a life better than the one you have now, a life full of joy, love, peace, understanding, hope and thankfulness but He wants you to come first to receive Him whole heartedly, turn from your sin and to your own understanding and abide in His truth. Cling to His promises daily, obey His word and fear the Lord! BELIEVE.

“ And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” – Hebrews 11:6

Today, choose JOY!

 

Your sweetest Melody, ❤

Set your heart and mind on things above

This was my devotional note last September 10, 2014 and it reminded me again. That’s why I love to write whenever the Lord speaks to me.

Scripture:

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. – Colossians 3:1-2

Reflection:

In our new life, transformed by Jesus, it is His Spirit who gives the direction to “continue straight” or “turn right now.”  It is His Spirit who empowers us to continue on and complete the journey. When we make the wrong turn, accidentally or on purpose, the Spirit can change the route to get us back on the right path.

Make up our mind to follow hard after Jesus. If we do that, we will always be headed in the right direction for the right reasons.

Prayer:

Father, earthly things distract me. They are shiny and tempting. They cause my mind and heart to take wrong exits and stay too long at rest stops. Forgive me. I can’t make this journey on my own. Capture my mind and heart for Jesus. Help me to keep in step with His Spirit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

What is L-O-V-E?

Photo by: Google Images

Photo by: Google Images

Kung in-love ka sa mga panahong ito, sige basa! Kung feeling mo naman mala-hopeless romantic ang peg mo, aba ituloy mo ang pagbabasa! 🙂

Let’s define L-O-V-E. According to my friend na si wikipedia, it refers to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes that ranges from interpersonal affection. It can refer to an emotion of a strong attraction and personal attachment. Andaming ibig sabihin ng love, pag-ibig, amour, liefde o ai! O Di ba! Sabi nga sa kanta ni John Mayer, “Love is a Verb”. But LOVE is not only a verb. Dito tayo mag-focus ngayon mga ate at kuya.

To understand love correctly, we must see that love originates as a noun that necessarily produces verbs.

Let’s turn to the “Apostle of Love” for help with this:

  • “God is love.” (1 John 4:8)
  • “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
  • “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” (1 John 3:16)
“God is love”: By saying this, John is pointing us to the origin of love. In the previous verse, he writes, “love is from God” (1 John 4:7). True love is a part of and comes from the most beautiful, most valuable, most satisfying Treasure that exists: God. Wala nang iba!
“God so loved the world, that”: It is true that love is a verb. In English, we use forms of the word “love” as nouns, verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. Syempre dinaanan natin yan simula elementary at high school. Hanggang College pa nga eh. But that doesn’t change the fact that love in its divine origin is an action-producing noun. Even used as a verb in this verse, we end up understanding love as a noun. The word “that” makes all the difference. It tells us that God’s love for his Trinitarian glory, and for the Bride he determined to purchase for his Son, was the motive that moved him to the action of giving his Son.
“By this we know love”: True love is revealed in Jesus’s death on the cross. TRUE LOVE teh! TRU LAB! Get? 🙂 He laid his life down for us “for the joy that was set before him” (Hebrews 12:2) in glorifying his Father (John 17:1), receiving glory from his Father (John 17:5), and the full eternal joy of his redeemed Bride (John 15:11). That’s what love looks like.
Ang sabi ni Sir John Piper sa kanyang book na Desiring God, ayyyy. . . Love is the overflow of joy in God that gladly meets the needs of others” (119).
God is love, and love is from God. Therefore, loving others is doing whatever it takes for them to have as much of God as they can.

Demands My Soul, My Life, My All

Anything that looks like love that we do for others — being patient, kind, not boastful or irritable or resentful, giving away our possessions, even martyrdom (1 Corinthians 13:4-5, 3) — that isn’t done for God’s glory and with a desire that others may taste and see that God is good (Psalm 34:8) is not true, vibrant love. Godless love is a hollow shell, a love that has lost its soul, a flower cut from its root. Godless love is sin (Romans 14:23).

It makes you catch your breath, doesn’t it? How often is your “love” sin? O how wonderful is the precious gospel! Jesus fulfilled the greatest commandments for us sinful lovers! There is therefore now no condemnation for us if we are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

But, if you’re like me and see the frequent hollow sinfulness of your love in light of biblical love, you’ll realize that this whole “pursuing love” thing is a much deeper issue than we first thought.

And the remedy is far more than us trying to do more verbs — to produce more actions. We need a deeper transformation, a profound reordering of our souls’ affections. And this only happens by looking at the glory of the great Noun until we delight in him more than anything else.

So that’s where pursuing love begins: look at the Noun — gaze at God in his love. Dive into the greatest commandment before getting consumed in the second. In the long run, because of the actions it will produce, this is the most loving thing we can do this year.

 

Your sweetest Melody, ❤