Wednesday, December 17, 2014

No Cranky Christ Followers

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

It’s Christmas time, I love it! I love the sights, sounds, and smells that comes with it! I celebrate both the secular and sacred — mostly sacred, though, because of the message it brings to the world. I love the words that are associated with Christmas and wish that they would be so apparent the rest of the year. Take the word JOY, for example. “Joy to the world,” announced Isaac Watts in 1719, “the Lord is come.” Long before him, an angel proclaimed, “I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” [Luke 2:10]. The apostle Paul summed up kingdom life in just three words: “goodness,” “peace,” and “joy” [Romans 14:17 New Living Translation].

To borrow from a famous commercial line: “Joy, don’t leave home without it!” In his book, Happiness Is A Serious Problem, Dennis Prager posits that you owe the world, and especially your Creator, a happy [joyful] spirit. When you go through life with a cranky attitude, it is a bad reflection on God. It makes Him look bad. 

Sure, it’s easy to lose joy. One phone call, one eMail, one conversation and, bam!, there goes the joy. One TV commercial which convinces you that you are sub-human because you don’t eat, drink, wear, or drive what they offer and, bam!, joy goes out the window. 

There are many killjoys in life so you must work hard at being joyful. The place to start is where King David started when he was at a low point in his life, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and sustain me with a willing spirit” [Psalm 51:10, 12].

No cranky Christ followers, please, because “…the joy of the Lord is your strength” [Nehemiah 8:10]. Go ahead, say it, “Lord, YOUR joy is my strength.” Don’t you feel better already!

For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17 [New Living Translation].

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