The Final Word is JOY!

Finally . . . rejoice in the Lord! . . . it is a safeguard for you. (Philippians 3:1) Take another look at joy, Paul says. What is it we haven’t understood? What makes us ho-hum it away, treating it like a good thing, if it happens? If it happens? Paul would stare at us, boiling with near anger that we missed the point. For Paul understood that Joy had grabbed him on the Damascus Road, turned him around, and filled him with an unquenchable thirst what went deeper than good circumstances and stayed longer than a good feeling. So let’s review: Joy is a Person, not a feeling. (Phil. 3:10) Joy is what God does in us, not what happens to us. (Phil. 1:6) Joy is part of the fruit God grows when

Less Struggle-More Joy!

How do we know when something is God’s will? This is where too many of us struggle with confusion. We carry a belief that God’s will is something remote and difficult to understand. It’s the target we always miss but keep trying to hit. That’s why this verse, in its utter simplicity and straightforwardness, is a relief. God works in us so that we can know His will. Then, He empowers us so you we do it. It’s His work that makes the difference, not ours. His will is not a way God teases us with some maize where we can’t find our way through. His will is as knowable as sun on our cheek, as personal as a love letter, and as close as our heartbeat. How? As God lives in us through His Holy S

A Checklist for Joy

Where does your most important, soul-satisfying encouragement and comfort come from? Paul shares the most comprehensive summary of what it means to let the heart of Christ grow in you so that what comes out of you came from Christ first. Read the verse slowly to identify where you are full or empty with what Christ would give. Paul doesn’t beat around the bush. He assumes that as we are re-created by Christ, we want the encouragement and comfort from Christ more than from anyone else. He set up an if-then argument to help us understand how a life-nourishing joy comes from four gifts of Christ. When you have them, you have much more than what covers some circumstantial need. Encouragement M

Growing Joy

How do you grow joy? Paul put his growth plan in a prayer. Paul was a prayer partner for every group of people he taught, wrote for, and preached to. In a very real way, he can become our prayer partner, too, because he left his prayer for us. It’s covers growth territory it will take me all my life to explore. This is one of the best prayers for spiritual growth because it tells you three important ways to grow. What does it have to do with joy? Keep reading! Grow Love We need to know more about who God is and what He says His love is and can do. Since God is the source and composition of everything that love is; we need His perspective, definition, and model. We can’t come up with