If you are a Christian, tell your face about it. You may not see it the rest of the day....
but others will.
La Moyne is good at this. Recently she had to have another injection in her hip joint.
She said that the needle looked to be a foot long!
Afterwards we met with two couples who were members of Foothill Baptist Church
in Los Altos, California where I pastored (1966-1971).
The Varners live here in Norman and the Spigners were visiting from California.
Though hurting, La Moyne made it.
She was genuine (as usual) with her smile, fellowship and joy.
The next morning when I came in the kitchen, there was a note from her.
Due to pain, she had been unable to sleep, so she cleaned out the freezer/refrigerator...
for the trash pickup early that a.m.
In that note, she had also expressed her love for me.
I know that she doesn't like for me brag on her.
But when I do, I'm bragging on Jesus....
for as she knows, she couldn't 'do...nor be' without Him.
As I read her note, I reflected back on a song we heard on Gaither's program entitled....
Today, please allow me to share Scripture and Study on JOY:
I Peter 1:6-9:
"We greatly rejoice though there has been heaviness through many trials.
Those trials of our faith have been more precious than gold that perishes.
God has given JOY UNSPEAKABLE and full of glory."
"No matter what we're going through, we must run the race with patience looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our Faith, Who for the JOY that was set before Him, endured the Cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the Throne of God."
"God is my salvation, I will trust and will not be afraid for He is my strength and my song. Therefore, with JOY I shall draw water out of the wells of salvation."
God's wells never run dry!
Oklahoma lakes were dry because 2005-06 were so hot and dry...
but God has filled them all (and then some!) in 2007.
God can (and will) fill your life to overflowing, but remember...
'we may not can hold much, but we can overflow a lot'.
Isaiah 51:11 calls it 'everlasting JOY' which is like a steady stream...
and not an intermittent stream. Receiving is 'must', but so is 'overflowing'.
"God shows us the path of life and in His Presence is full JOY and pleasures forevermore.
Please note that it is His Presence and His Path....all we have to do it follow!
"They that sow in tears shall reap with songs of JOY." (Also Isaiah 35:1-2)
Jeremiah 15:16 speaks of the JOY of the Word of God...
and Jeremiah 31:13 speaks of God turning 'mourning into JOY'.
Luke 15: 7-10:
There is JOY in Heaven of seeing the lost, found.
We are partners of Heaven in seeking the lost.
Recently the young lady who administered the ultrasound of my abdominal aorta, shared her concern about her Dad's spiritual condition. We have been praying for him and were thrilled to hear from her yesterday that she's seeing some answers to prayer.
The Beloved Apostle John (in the Gospel and the Epistles) shares many times about the full JOY that we have in Christ.
John 15 is especially good on this as it uses the analogy of Christ as the Vine...
and we are the branches.
It emphasizes the importance of yielding ourselves to the fulness...
that is available in Christ and the Precious Holy Spirit.
Adrian Rogers (a great pastor who died last year) preached on 'God's Joy' (John 15).
Here is an outline study of that sermon:
1) God's Abounding Joy is full, complete and sufficient.
2) God's Abiding Joy is ever present.
Steadfast in sorrow
Triumphant in tribulation
Lasting in losses
Abundant in affliction
3) God's Abundant Joy requires:
Our surrender - like the branch to the Vine
Our dependence - without Me, you can do nothing.
Our obedience - "Trust and Obey for there's no other way to be happy (Joyful) in Jesus"
Our rejoicing - Our names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life, thus our JOY is past, present, future and eternal.
The key to all of this is what Jesus said in John 15:11-13:
"These things have I spoken unto you, that my JOY might remain in you...
and that your JOY might be full.
This is my Commandment that you love one another as I have loved you.
Greater love has no one than this, that you lay down your life for your friends."
Please be encouraged by this paper, to study I John with JOY on your mind...
and see all that God offers to fulfill (fill full) that JOY.
The key words that He uses for this full JOY are found in:
fellowshipping, knowing, and loving.
I John was written for 4 reasons for Christians then and now:
1) To add to their JOY (I John 1:4)
2) To guard them against sin (I John 2:1)
3) To warn them against false teachers (I John 2:26)
(Beware of 'Negative Neds' and 'Pessimistic Petes')
4) To strengthen their faith in Christ and assure them of Eternal Life (I John 5:13)
We have all been blessed (made more JOYFUL) by those who continue to serve the Lord with JOY in spite of difficulties in their lives.
Joni Eareckson Tada is one whose life has ministered to us....
especially to La Moyne after being diagnosed with Lupus in 1977.
In one of her books, Joni told of following Biblical instructions in seeking healing from her quadriplegic condition.
When someone said that possibly Joni's physical healing didn't come, due to 'lack of faith' on Joni's part, Joni replied, "What 18 yr. old would NOT want to be healed?
But God has chosen to not heal my body this side of Heaven, so God's Will be done....
That response (and Joni's life) has helped La Moyne greatly down through the years.
Fanny Crosby lived almost 95 years and was blind most of her life.
She wrote many beautiful songs that are in our Hymn books.
This week I read this statement by her:
"Oh what a happy soul I am! Although I cannot see, I have resolved that in this world, contented I will be!"
This reminds me of Paul's words in Philippians 4:11:
"I have resolved that whatsoever state I am in, therewith to be content (JOYFUL)".
Annie Johnson Flint (my favorite poetess) was afflicted with extreme arthritis to the point that she had to surround herself with pillows so that she could sleep with less pain. Due to her condition, her poems mean SO much more.
One of my favorites by her is "What God Hath Promised":
God hath not promised skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
God hath not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
God hath not promised we shall not know
Toil and temptation, trouble and woe;
He hath not told us we shall not bear
Many a burden, many a care.
God hath not promised smooth roads and wide,
Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
Never a mountain, rocky and steep,
Never a river, turbid and deep.
But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the laborer, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love.
(Annie Johnson Flint)
Think what we would have missed....
if these 3 ladies had not allowed God's Grace to give them full JOY.
Please allow Jesus to give YOU full JOY....so that you may overflow that JOY to others.
Dearest Travis, thank you for another really great article. You and La Moyne are SO blessed to have one another and your love for each other just shines through so brightly. Yes with Jesus we can have joy unspeakable and full of glory, and it should show on our faces. (smile) In His love, your friend, Sharon