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Archive for April 24th, 2021

My Joy … Your Joy

MEDITATION:

Written by Oswald Chambers (1874-1917), a Scottish Baptist evangelist and teacher, best known for the devotional “My Utmost for His Highest.”

What was the joy that Jesus had? Joy should not be confused with happiness. In fact, it is an insult to Jesus Christ to use the word happiness in connection with Him. The joy of Jesus was His absolute self-surrender and self-sacrifice to His Father— the joy of doing that which the Father sent Him to do— “…who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross…” (Hebrews 12:2). “I delight to do Your will, O my God…” (Psalm 40:8). Jesus prayed that our joy might continue fulfilling itself until it becomes the same joy as His. Have I allowed Jesus Christ to introduce His joy to me?

Living a full and overflowing life does not rest in bodily health, in circumstances, nor even in seeing God’s work succeed, but in the perfect understanding of God, and in the same fellowship and oneness with Him that Jesus Himself enjoyed. But the first thing that will hinder this joy is the subtle irritability caused by giving too much thought to our circumstances. Jesus said, “…the cares of this world,…choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful” (Mark 4:19). And before we even realize what has happened, we are caught up in our cares. All that God has done for us is merely the threshold— He wants us to come to the place where we will be His witnesses and proclaim who Jesus is. Have the right relationship with God, finding your joy there, and out of you “will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). Be a fountain through which Jesus can pour His “living water.” Stop being hypocritical and proud, aware only of yourself, and live “your life…hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). A person who has the right relationship with God lives a life as natural as breathing wherever he goes. The lives that have been the greatest blessing to you are the lives of those people who themselves were unaware of having been a blessing.

PRAYER:

A matin, from the Byzantine Rite. The Byzantine Rite consists of liturgical texts developed to guide services of vespers, compline, midnight office, matins, and hours. The original Rites were developed in the late 4th century.  They have been adapted and are still used by Eastern Orthodox churches today.

As you have once given light

to the blind from birth,

shine upon my soul, which does not see your light,

O merciful Lord,

but lies buried in the darkness of sinful forgetfulness

and in the cares of this life. Amen.

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