Dear Precious Friends,
As we embrace this new day, we are reminded that we have been given a gift. Time is the most precious commodity. We are committing our next 9 days to studying each fruit of the spirit and examining our hearts to see how we are representing each fruit...
As Christians we know why we are here. Jesus is Lord of our lives and we are to put Him first in all aspects. Honor God, Love Him with all our Heart Soul and mind, Love our neighbor as ourselves..we talked about love at great length yesterday.
We have committed to taking each fruit of the Spirit and examining our own hearts so we know what areas we need to work on!! WOW... the fruit we are given when the Holy Spirit cultivates these characters in our hearts is something we could never achieve without God. I find it very interesting that God would have me share joy on today with all that is going on in our world. He always knows what we need before we do!!!
Literally, the "fruit of the Spirit" is what happens when the Holy Spirit indwells a believer. The "fruit" is the product of the Holy Spirit’s cultivation of character in a heart. Galatians 5:22-23 describes what that fruit looks like; the second characteristic listed is joy. As always we turn to scripture for God's truth in how we have joy.
I've been so greatly blessed in my life to have a beautiful spiritual mentor who has discipled me since I was 30 years young. She loves the Lord with all her heart. She has always said when parting ways... "HAVE JOY"... Not "Take Care"... Not see you next time.. etc... but...
I would love for us to examine this more and consider making this our parting words with others... It really stops you in your tracks when you think of it.
The Greek word for joy is chara. Joy is the natural reaction to the work of God, whether promised or fulfilled. Joy expresses God’s kingdom—His influence on earth (Romans 14:17). The Spirit’s production of joy can manifest in several different ways:
The joy of deliverance: When God sets someone free, rejoicing is in order.
1 Samuel 2:1: Hannah was filled with joy at her deliverance from her enemies.
Acts 12:14: The servant girl was so overjoyed that God had rescued Peter from prison that she forgot to let Peter in the house.
The joy of salvation: Our greatest reason to be joyful is that God wants to save us and spend eternity with us. Nothing is better than this.
Luke 15:7: All heaven is joyful when a person accepts God’s provision of salvation.
Acts 8:8: The people of Samaria were joyful as they heard the gospel and saw God’s power in healing the sick.
Acts 13:52; 15:3: Jewish believers rejoiced when they heard of the work of the Holy Spirit in saving Gentiles.
The joy of spiritual maturity: As the Holy Spirit works in us to bear more fruit, we become confident in God’s promises and rejoice in our walk with Him and with other believers.
John 15:11: The fullness of joy comes to those who continue in the love of Christ and obey Him.
2 Corinthians 1:24; 2:3; 7:4; 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20; 3:9: Paul knew joy as the churches gave evidence of the Holy Spirit working among them.
Philippians 2:2: Groups of believers who unite in demonstrating the mind, love, and purpose of Christ bring joy to others.
Hebrews 10:34; 12:2; James 1:2-4: Believers, following the example of Jesus, endure persecution because of the promise of future joy.
The joy of God’s presence: The Holy Spirit draws us to God, in whose presence we can know true joy. Without the Holy Spirit, no one would seek God.
Psalm 16:11: “You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
Matthew 2:10; Luke 1:14: Mary and the shepherds were joyful because Immanuel had been born.
Matthew 28:8; Luke 24:41: The women who went to Jesus’ tomb and the disciples were overjoyed that He rose from the dead.
The Greek chara is closely related to charis, which means “grace” or “a gift.” Chara is the normal response to charis—we have joy because of God’s grace. The next step in the progression is to allow our joy to become an action as we express it, although sometimes joy can be so great it is inexpressible (1 Peter 1:8).
Possessing joy is a choice. We choose whether to value God’s presence, promises, and work in our lives. When we yield to the Spirit, He opens our eyes to God’s grace around us and fills us with joy (Romans 15:13). Joy is not to be found in a fallen world; it is only fellowship with God that can make our joy complete (1 John 1:4).
WOW MY PRECIOUS FRIENDS... I really needed this today!! Focus today to be so filled with the Presence of God that joy unspeakable spills over all the challenges of our day as we fellowship with Him knowing He is King of Kings, Lord of Lords and nothing takes Him by surprise.
Have Joy My Friends!!