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Monday, May 08, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY – IS THERE A HOLE IN OUR BUCKET? Part 1.

Joy is the byproduct of obedience. – Source unknown.

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation." With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. – Isaiah 12:2-3. TNIV

Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition, when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. - C.S. Lewis.

This week we are going to be studying JOY! The happy state that results from knowing and serving God. - Holman’s Bible Dictionary. Joy is found over 150 times in the Bible. If such words as “joyous” and “joyful” are included, the number comes to over 200. The verb rejoice, appears well over 200 times.

Joy is the fruit of a right relation with God. It is not something people can create by their own efforts. The Bible distinguishes joy from pleasure. The Bible warns that self-indulgent pleasure-seeking does not lead to happiness and fulfilment. Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 records the sad testimony of one who sought to build his life on pleasure-seeking. The search left him empty and disillusioned.

Proverbs 14:13 offers insight into this way of life... Even in laughter the heart may ache, and rejoicing may end in grief. Cares, riches, and pleasures rob people of the possibility of fruitful living… The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. - Luke 8:14.

Pleasure seeking often enslaves people in a vicious cycle of addiction... At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. - Titus 3:3. The self-indulgent person, according to 1 Timothy 5:6, is dead while seeming still to be live.

Many people think that God is the great Kill-Joy. Nothing could be a bigger lie. God Himself knows joy, and He wants His people to know joy. Psalm 104:31 speaks of God Himself rejoicing in His creative works. Isaiah 65:18 speaks of God rejoicing over His redeemed people who will be to Him "a joy."

Joy in the Christian life is in direct proportion as believers walk with the Lord. They can rejoice because they are in the Lord...

"Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again, Rejoice." - Phil 4:4. Joy is a fruit of a Spirit-led life. (Gal. 5:22).

Sin in a believer's life robs the person of joy... Psa 51:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. When a person walks with the Lord, that person can continue to rejoice even when troubles come. Joy in the Lord enables people to enjoy all that God has given.

An anonymous friar in a Nebraska monastery wrote the following late in life: If I had my life to live over again, I'd try to make more mistakes next time. I would relax, I would limber up, I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take more trips. I would be crazier. I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers, and watch more sunsets. I would eat more ice cream and less beans.

If I had to do it over again I would go places, do things, and travel lighter. If I had my life to live over I would start barefooted earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would ride on more merry-go-rounds. I'd pick more daisies. – Source Unknown.

Our text says to draw water from the wells of salvation with JOY! Joy is the bucket that holds the water that satisfies your life. Too many times, we allow our buckets to get a hole and leak out all of our joy.

This week we are going to discover how to overcome... A HOLE IN OUR BUCKET!!!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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