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Monday, March 31, 2014

Allow the Joy of the Lord

Abigaile



Have you heard the expression, I want to be the person my dog thinks I am? I want to be the person my 5-year-old granddaughter, Abigaile, thinks I am.

“Gigi,” she asked. “Do you ever run out of adventures?” I assured her that when you love God and people, adventures abound. May I always remember that.

The fact that I am directionally challenged and am often lost is a long-standing family joke. Loyal Abigaile, who has been with me when I was lost, insists that her Gigi is the best “finder” ever because no matter how lost Gigi is, she eventually “finds” her way. May that be true spiritually and physically.

Abigaile loves Jesus and giving the Gospel. On Saturday, we went to a children’s evangelism event. As we listened, she whispered excitedly, “Gigi, he is speaking The Gospel!” May we always share the thrill of the Gospel.

Joy of the Lord
"Joy"


On Friday, I bought a new car. It is tiny, inexpensive, and practical – a Nissan Versa Note – but to Abigaile, it is the greatest car in the world. When discussing car names, she suggested, “Gigi, you have joy in the Lord. We could call her Joy Of the Lord. Her nickname could be Joy. It’s perfect.” May driving that car help me live up to what Abigaile thinks of me – that I have the joy of the Lord.

I am human and sometimes I confuse Abigaile. A rude driver cut in front, almost causing an accident. I expressed my frustrations aloud and she asked, “Gigi, doesn’t he just need Jesus? We need to pray he finds Jesus.” Ouch. Once, she overheard Bob and I having marital “discussion” about something that probably didn’t matter. She asked, “Are you fighting with GrandBobby?” “No,” I answered. “It is just a discussion.” She said matter-of-factly, “It sure sounds like a fight.” Ouch.

The influence I have over Abigaile is precious – a holy honor. I have to wonder how many times I can confuse her before she decides that having joy in the Lord is just a false hope. She is human and needs to see my humanness because I want her to understand redemption, but I also want to model that joy in the Lord is possible in all circumstances. I can’t “fake it” because little Abigaile would see right through it. No, if I want to be the person Abigaile already thinks I am and help her mature in the joy of the Lord, I have a responsibility to keep my relationship with God so intimate and alive that having the joy of the Lord is as easy as breathing. I also have a responsibility to confess and ask for forgiveness when I forget. For our sake and for the sake of people watching us, may we all allow the joy of the Lord.

Scripture


This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law. Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength. So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved. And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them. Neh 8:9-12

Allowing the Joy of the Lord

Grandbobby and Frederick
Making Merriment

 

Let the words of God teach and convict you - the people wept when they heard the words of the law

Go your way and enjoy the gifts of God as in eat the fat and drink the sweet
Share your gifts (portions) with people who are not as blessed.

Do not allow things to upset you – hold your peace.

Make great mirth – mirth means great merriment. Have Fun!

Allow the joy of the Lord to be your strength

Evangelism Tip


Demonstrate Joy of the Lord
Keep your relationship with God intimate and alive so you can demonstrate the joy of the Lord to your lost friends and family. They are watching and it cannot be faked. When they see the difference, they will want what you have. Make sure you give Jesus the credit or they will just think you are a naturally joyful person.

Evangelize America


It is confirmed – six people are willing to travel to hot Manchester, Tennessee in June and spend four days walking many treeless acres of dusty former cow pastures among the unwashed, undressed, painted, and pierced. They will hear loud music and endure decadent behavior to share Jesus with 100,000 young people longing for Jesus without even understanding what they are longing for. Typically, many invite Jesus to be Savior – hundreds even. The event is June 12-15. Pray for us and ask God to prepare hearts. Each person costs about $1,000. Will you help with the cost?

Donate Now For Bonnaroo 

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