Friday, April 06, 2012

Real Reason for Joy

The Real Reason for Joy: Reflection

Do you remember these lyrics?

I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart
Down in my heart
Down in my heart
I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart
Down in my heart to stay!

I sang this tune as a kid in Sunday school. Back then, joy meant a whisker rub from my grandpa, a trip to the candy store, playing with my friends, riding my bike around town, mastering a new song on the piano, and buying new school clothes each September. Simple things they were, but they brought a smile to my face and a song to my heart.

Some things never change. Today joy means cuddling with my grandkids, hearing their giggles, and seeing their fascination with a ladybug. It means riding motorbike with my husband. Receiving an email from a reader saying one of my books has changed her life. Planting flowers in my backyard and watching them flourish. Sipping hot chocolate with friends on a cold evening. Seeing the sunset's reflection on Mt. Baker. Meeting with God every morning.

But the greatest joy of all comes from something I may never fully understand:

For love's sake, Jesus gave up His heavenly throne to dwell among us. He endured ridicule and torture, was forsaken by His Father, hung on a rugged cross until His life ebbed from Him, and was buried in a borrowed tomb.

Everything changed three days later. Angels appeared. Boulders moved. Soldiers fainted. Resurrected life conquered death and birthed hope. Sorrow bowed and opened the door for joy.

 I'll never fully understand the scope of Jesus' work on mankind's behalf, but this I know the Good News brings joy that bad news cannot thwart.

How should we respond? The Psalmist says it well:

"Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! I will praise you as long as I live, lifting my hands to you in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy" (Psalm 63:3-5).

Take time .. to reflect on Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. Let it awe you. Let it change you. And let it fill you with unquenchable, unending songs of joy in your heart!

Source: Growing with Grace April 2012 – Issue 70
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Sunday, April 01, 2012

"Who is Jesus?"

Do you know Jesus?

If you do not know Jesus and would like to know more - when you have time to spare go to this site and browse reflectively - there is a small booklet, videos and testimonies available.

To Those Who Do: What would you say if someone asked you "Who is Jesus?"

Are you prepared to give an answer?

 It is important to know our own testimony of what Jesus has done and be able share the basics of the path to salvation. How do we do that?

We start by reading our Bible, meditating upon God's word - spending time waiting upon Him and listening. May you truly be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer 29:11 NIV