And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me (Luke 9:23)

Some might not connect this verse with joy, but it is actually the path to true joy.  In Discovering Joy in Philippians: A Creative Bible Study Experience, we look at a key verse that connects denying our selves, picking up the cross and joy.

If you look at some of the key words in Greek, you gain the HOW of walking toward Jess and toward joy.

Deny means to say “No” or repudiate — so to deny yourself could be applied to ask, “Is anything competing for my love for Jesus?” Sometimes our self wants to prioritize belongings, indulgences, hobbies, work or even relationships as more important than Jesus.

Pick up is to raise or lift. This reminds me of our call to lift Christ higher:

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,... (Gal 6:14)

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” (Rev 5:3)

Follow mean to accompany Jesus. At the root of this compound word is a picture of walking alongside, as along the road or to join as a disciple. One example is :

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.  “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”  At once they left their nets and followed him. (Matt 4:18-20 emphasis added)  

As you look at the year ahead, ask yourself:

How can I say “Yes” to Jesus and prioritize him as number 1?

How can I elevate and lift of Christ and the cross?

How can I follow Jesus closer, as a committed disciple?

 

Pam Farrel is author of 52 books including being co-author of Discovering Joy in Philippians, Discovering Hope in the Psalms, and Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament (co-authored with Jean E Jones and artist, Karla Dornacher, from Harvest House Publishers). www.Love-Wise.com 

 

 

 

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Author Pam Farrel sharing her book, Discovering Joy in Philippians

“Do everything without grumbling… ” Phil 2:14

Maybe 2019 was tough year and you find yourself complaining a lot. You want to break the habit, but aren’t sure how. Here are twelve helpful tips to remember when you are tempted to grumble:

1. Turn on worship music
2.Go on a prayer walk
3. Do Bible Art
4.Bible study
5.Post a verse on social media
6. Go out in nature
7.Play with your kids or grandkids
8.Donate time and talent to a good cause
9.Help someone less fortunate
10. Look for a silver lining
11. Count your blessings
12.Praise God for His names or traits.

You might also want to do a Bible study on joy:
Discovering Joy in Philippians: A Creative Bible Study Experience

Pam Farrel is the author of 52 books including bestselling Discovering Hope in the Psalms; Discovering Joy in Philippians, and Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament.

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Picture the contrast between a funeral and a wedding.

A funeral is somber, reflective, full of sadness, grief, perhaps even remorse.

A wedding, especially one between two godly believers, is full of gladness, delight, gless, bliss,  rejoicing and packed with hope on the horizon.

The wonderful majesty of God is that He has the ability and desire to turn our mourning into a wedding dance!

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have  taken away my clothes of   mourning   and clothed me with   joy…(Psalm 30:11)

I like to jump into the original language to dig into word meanings, With the descriptive synonyms, this sentence could be amplified to mean:

My WAILING and LAMENT  You have OVERTURNED into MERRY DANCING (with Timbrel and joyous instruments). You have LOOSED and FREED me from my SACKCLOTH FUNERAL clothes of grief and mourning and GIRDED and EQUIPPED me with DELIGHT, HAPPINESS, EXTREME REJOICING, PLEASURE, EXCEEDING JOY AND MIRTH like a FESTIVAL! 

Only God can transform your grief, wailing, mourning and lament into a Festival of Exceedingly EXTREME JOY!

What do you need God to transform in your life that would free you to live a life of joy in Jesus?

Trade in your funeral attire for a party dress! 

Let God transform your life as you unpack the delightful new Discovering Joy in Philippians: Creative Bible Study Experience. 

Come join me for a festival of joy– bring me to speak to your church group or join me online for the Discovering Joy in Philippians FREE Bible Study. Register Today.

  

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One of the benefits of writing about joy, like Discovering Joy in Philippians: A Creative Bible Study Experience,  is that you learn many unique facts that can in turn help you and those in your ministry.

In the New Testament, a common word is JOY! χαρὰ  (chara) from chairó is in N. T. 74 times! When God repeats Himself– that is a sign of importance or priority– so obviously His ability to help us walk in joy is on His heart!

To great someone and wish them JOY, was a a common greeting and farewell salutation. (Wouldn’t the world be a better place today if we exchanged our casual, “What’s up , dude?” For “May you be joyous and thrive!”

Some of the meanings for this word, Joy, are:

To rejoice ; Be glad: cheerful

  Rejoice exceedingly

  To be well/ thrive

  To lean in; favorable disposed to   happiness 

and our ability, the power to actually walk in joy is because this word, joy, is often  connected to God’s grace & redemption. Yes, life transformation and a welcome entrance to heaven is plenty cause to rejoice!

But by far, my favorite descriptive meaning of JOY! (χαρὰ ) is that Joy is CALM DELIGHT! This is my favorite definition because it gives me something to DO when depression, stress, discouragement comes rolling my way.

For example, if I get bad news, instead of giving into discouragement, anger, frustration or any of many negative, non-productive emotions, I can push pause, stop, and pray, Lord, right now show me what I can do, think, say that will calm me (or calm the situation). Or Lord, what can I I do, think, say, experience that would be a healthy delight?  

To prepare for success, today, make a list of things you can do, say, think that seem to calm you.

Then make a list of healthy, positive delightful distractive, experiences, thoughts, actions you can do when negative circumstances or emotions come your way.

Join me for some CALM DELIGHT, and be a part of my FREE online Discovering Joy in Philippians: A Creative Bible Study Experience.

Click to learn more or register.   

Pam Farrel is one of the three authors of Discovering Joy in Philippians (coauthored with Jean E Jones and

Karla Dornacher)  When Pam is not writing, she enjoys calm delights like drinking cold iced tea while resting on the deck of her live aboard boat, kayaking or paddle boarding near her “home” on the ocean or walking the beach hand in hand with her husband, Bill. Together they co-direct Love-Wise.

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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!

I would love to add to your glee and delight by having you join me for Discovering Joy in Philippians online Bible Study beginning Sept 18. It’s free! (That’s cause for delight!)

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.

 

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