Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 2, 2018
At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do”. Luke 10:21
I really enjoy the company of my ministry colleague Mike, since he seems to always look for the things in life to be joyful about and not controlled by matters out of his control. Even though he has his share of suffering: Relational challenges, financial hurdles and family dynamics to manage—he keeps his focus on first finding favor with his heavenly Father. Mike knows the secret of being content with much or little, as he rests in Christ’s acceptance and approval.
Because Mike has such strong self-awareness and God-awareness, he has the capacity for the “joy of the Lord to be his strength”. J- Jesus first, O- Others second, Y- You third, is his sequence for service! Joy is the overflow of learning to love like Jesus. Contagious and comforting—joy brings out the best in others and brings a smile to their faces. People look forward to seeing joy coming! Joy is a calling card many can’t wait to be with and enjoy.
Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit and full of joy over God’s revelation of truth. His joy exploded in thanksgiving to His Heavenly Father. Knowledge of The Holy is hidden from the intellectually proud, but is revealed to the humble in heart. Self proclaimed sages could not see what babies in the faith came to understand: Jesus Christ was the son of God. Prophets and kings longed to see and hear from the Messiah, but the meek disciples were the first to experience their Savior Jesus. It is an extraordinary gift to see with eternal eyes what the Lord has for those who love Him.
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived—the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).
Joy wells up in our hearts and explodes into thanksgiving when we recall the revelation of God. His Spirit convicted us of our need to repent of our sin and receive Christ and His love as the payment of our sin. We rejoice knowing our name is written in heaven. It is an extraordinary blessing to have the assurance of eternal life with the Lord and with all those who love Him. Indeed, we thank our Father for the privilege and opportunity to learn how to walk with Jesus and invite others to know Him. We are Christ’s channel to reveal grace and truth to needy souls.
How can you express gratitude to God for the forgiveness of your sins? What are some evidences of the joy of the Lord in your life? Praise and thanksgiving to the Almighty are fruits of your joyful heart. You thank Him when you see the smile on the face of a loved one stricken by a stroke, who, unable to speak, can hum hymns and tear up at the reading of God’s word. Oh yes, the revelation of Jesus Christ is extraordinary to those with an eye on their eternal dwelling!
“You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit” ( 1 Thessalonians 1:6).
PrayerHeavenly Father, I praise You that my joy is not based on my feelings, but is fueled by Your Spirit, in Jesus’ name, amen.
ApplicationIs my worship of God and joyful living based on my changing circumstances or on my unchanging Savior Jesus Christ?
Related ReadingIsaiah 61:3; Psalm 28:7; 2 Corinthians 1:24; Philippians 2:29, 4:1
Post/Tweet todayWe are Christ’s channel of joyful praise and thanksgiving for other needy souls. #joyfulpraise #wisdomhunters
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