Friday, May 24, 2013

Freedom From Negativity

The word JOY connotes a very strong image in my mind. I see a child, with a huge ear to ear, eyes-closed grin, grasping  balloons which are slightly lifting her feet off the ground.
(Ya, like that!)
Reading the 35 verses in scripture that mention joy I sensed an unspoken element:
freedom from negativity
Negativity in one area of our life robs us of joy in ALL areas!
The overriding theme of JOY in scripture is that it is
found in God's presence.
We cannot be in his presence if we harbor grudges, envy, unforgiveness, wrath, if we think evil, harbor untruth, are easily provoked . . . any sin which we hold on to!
The thing that all of these have in common is:  negativity.
So, we find JOY in God's presence.
But we cannot be in HIS presence if we allow anything negative to cling to us.
"Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble,  AND TO KEEP ONESELF UNSPOTTED FROM THE WORLD."
~James 1:27
I  have understood this verse to mean we should keep ourselves free of sin and the influences of the world, but I now sense the more subtle aspect of simply keeping anything negative from clinging to me; whether it's a news story that is upsetting, or something closer to home.
I will not let negativity rob me of

Friday, May 3, 2013

No Greater Joy

"I have no greater JOY than to hear that my children walk in truth."     3 John 4

I have recently been blessed with another granddaughter whose middle name Joy is taken from mine, Joyce (a great improvement, in my opinion!)

As, coincidentally, my blog theme is JOY, I thought I could talk about grandchildren for a moment. (If I MUST!!)

A friend told me at the arrival of my first grand, that children are God's reward to us for raising our children.  It sure seems that way!

My own grandmother was one of the greatest spriitual influences in my life. She never "preached" to me, she just quietly and graciously lived a life of love and faith.
As I grew older I heard of some of the difficulties she had to deal with in her life over the years, but she never complained or seemed bitter.
The Lord came first in her life. Everyone knew that. But I don't ever remember her saying that. She just lived it.

Turning again to my own grands, I know I want to be that kind of influence in their lives.

Before my sons were even born, and continuing now into their adult lives, my prayer has always been for their salvation. At this point they all have obeyed the Gospel call and continue to lead faithful lives, and  "I have no greater JOY than to hear that my children walk in truth." 
 I agree John. There is no greater JOY.

Except now I realize that that JOY continues on into the lives of our grandchildren.

I'm going to do all I can to help my grands find their way to the Light of God's grace so that I can one day say

"I have no greater JOY than to hear that my  grandchildren walk in truth."