When you are experiencing JOY, what is your response? Do you do a happy dance? Jump for joy? High five someone near? Throw a party?
The Bible clearly connects joy with celebration. Here are a few verses:
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. Psalm 94:19 explains this word meaning of joy as a delight or to play.
When was the last time you jumped up and down in delight and glee over something God had done for you? Do you celebrate with God when He pulls you up out of despair and rescues you from stress and anxiety?
Or picture the glee of a child on a swing, jumping off the diving board, tossing a twirling baton or making designs in the nigh sky with a sparkler. Is that how you feel about your relationship with God?
Today, express yourself with the joy of a child and truly celebrate God — in a way more exuberant that you cheer for your favorite sports team!
And make Discovering Joy a party– invite your friends, your church group, your gal pals from work, or be a friendly neighbor and invite those living near you to join you.
The Discovering the Bible series is the result of team effort: Jean E Jones write the Bible study, Karla Dornacher is the artist who creates beautiful coloring pages and book marks, and Pam writes the devotionals to help apply what you are learning to your real life.
In our society, it is easy to conclude that humility is a missing virtue. People elbow others to scramble up the ladder of sucess. Others proclaim themselves to be the god or godess of their own lives– while others would never say it out loud– but their actions show a disreguard for their Creator.
But humility isn’t just missing in our times, we can look back to the Old Testement and see there were seasons that even the nation of Israel failed to honor God as their Lord and Leader. Whenever they sought to humbly follow God’s lead, things went well for them. Their economy flourished, their enemies backed off, their personal well-being improved and they lived in peace. However, whenever they arrogantly decided they had the right to devise their own way of living, God cared enough for their being that a progressive set of steps were set in motion to get them to return to humility.
God sent setbacks to motivate them, then prophets to warn them, and finally calamity to discipline them. Isaiah is one of those prophets who was attempting to get the attention of the nation. In chapter 5, verses 18-23, he presented a number of characteristics that help us recognize humility by describing what we ought to avoid:
The humble accept what is true. “Woe to those who draw sin along with cords of deceit,
and wickedness as with cart ropes.” (v. 18) What a graphic picture of a person who has a cart or trailer loaded with deceitful schemes who is defiantly looking for a way to put them into practice. Rather than dumping the load and replacing it with worthwhile goods, he is defiantly looking for a market for the products that will help no one.
The humble are patient. “[Woe] to those who say, “Let God hurry; let him hasten his work
so we may see it.” (v; 19) Many people confuse God’s historic patience with inability. They think, since He isn’t doing it right now, He can’t do it. The humble realize it is never a question of power. It is simply a matter of timing.
The humble call good things good. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.” This is the age old argument between God’s ways and man’s ways. Ever since the fall of mankind, people have loved the darkness and have searched for ways to justify whatever they want to do. Humility says, “I didn’t create life so I must accept it the way it is. I don’t have the right to redefine life but I do have the privilege of enjoying the good things God has made.”
The humble are willing to learn. “Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.” (v. 21)
The humble love sobriety and self-control. “Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks.” (v. 22)
It seems almost too simple to be a problem. If you were ask people, “Do you want to do what is true, be a patient person, love what is good, be willing to learn and possess self-control?” You would expect most people to say, “Yes.” In action, however, most of us have done the opposite.
In humility, we must accept that we are no different today. We too need to choose to be humble. Today we need to be determined to wait on God. Today we need to be willing to learn. Today we need to bow to God’s will and God’s ways. Today, we need to choose the positive actions of
those who are humble.
Pam Farrel is a woman redeemed by God, a woman who knows that apart from the power of the Creator, she would be a “hot mess”. She is grateful that God gives her the privelege to write and speak to encourage and equip people to live “Love-Wise” . She is also grateful for Bill, her husband of 38 years, with whom she wrote the devotional today’s blog comes from: A Couples’ Journey With God. (Harvest House)
Today, we live in a society where everyone seems to think they should be in charge. The easy access to technology makes everyone feel like their unresearched opinion is as important as any expert who might have spent his or her life studying and preparing to serve and help society. We have a selfie society and a rising rate of narcissism. The vast population have crowned themselves king.
Before we can be a great leader, we must first learn to be a great follower.
I often share with my mentees the illustration of a turtle on the fence post. I ask,”If you see a turtle on the fence post what should you ask?”
Usually one will say, “How did it get there?”
“Exactly. Turtles can’t climb. I am giving you this turtle to place on your desk as a reminder of these verses:
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. (1 Peter 4:6)
Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)”
It is God who puts us in places of leadership to SERVE others as we lead them. If we fail to keep that humble attitude of kneeling before our Creator, and bending our will to God’s plan and path, then God will allow our own arrogant spirit to take its course– and likely we will be the makers of our own demise and the destruction.
One vivid Bible example is King Saul who was given a specific command by God to follow– but instead he thought his own idea was better. God wasn’t going to put up with that arrogant, “I am my own boss” attitude. He sent the prophet Samuel to speak the truth to the King:
“…Look: to obey is better than sacrifice...” (1 Samuel 15:22
“For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and defiance is like wickedness and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has rejected you as king.” (1 Samuel 15:23 )
God soon replaced Samuel with David, “..a man after God’s own heart” as king.
I appreciate my friend, San Rima’s (and Gary McIntosh’s) book Overcoming the Darkside of Leadership because it explains that just as our leadership grows, so does our own propensity for destruction. If we fail to be humble, and address our weaknesses and try to just cover over them with an arrogant and haughty spirit, our fall off the platform will be imminent.
I, for one, need to keep that turtle on my desk as a reminder: CHOOSE HUMILITY
Want to join God’s “turtle” club?
Pam Farrel is a very “grateful-to-God” leader, and the author of 45 books that she
Hello! Maureen Pratt here to bring another blog post to you. This time, I’m going to continue along the theme I began last month and talk more about capturing the visual aspects of writing – how working with a camera when you are writing can help you bring dazzling details to your work of fiction or non-fiction.
Sometimes, when we write (particularly fiction, but also nonfiction), we think that our work has to come from our imaginations. This is, of course, true to a point. But in order to make a place come alive to the reader, we have to draw a more precise picture of the people and places we write about. Even if our town is fictional, and our characters are all made up, they still have to resonate with connections to what readers find familiar in order for those cherished fans to relate to our stories.
Last week, I finished a magazine project (very big whoop of happiness inserted here!). I worked with a photographer with whom I’d collaborated twice before, and our final piece of the puzzle was a photo shoot last week. It was an outdoor shoot – and rain was on the way. In fact, as I was driving out to the site, drops spritzed my windshield as if to warn me of impending gloom.