I am sitting in my dining room pondering about you…and life…and God’s Love. I hope you have taken the time to go to royred.org and listen to either (or both) of the traditional (Pastor Harris) or contemporary (Me) lead worship services from last weekend. We will offer services online again this week. Pastor Zahrte will preach in both the contemporary and traditional venues.
Good morning. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it…Psalm 118:24 I love this verse because we are told that this day is a gift from God…and that we can REJOICE and be glad today. The concept of JOY and REJOICING is a common theme throughout the Bible. The key to understanding this is knowing the difference between JOY and happiness. The word Happy comes from the base word “hap” which means lucky. Thus we are “happy” when things go our way (we find toilet paper and bread in the same store). JOY is different…it’s a fruit of the Spirit! True JOY can only come from God! Our response is to God’s gift of JOY is for us to REJOICE. We can REJOICE (find God’s LOVE, JOY, PEACE, etc.) on seemingly good days, as well as not so good days like when the Corona virus impacts our lives, or health, our plans, our jobs and budgets.
A great verse for you to focus on today about REJOICING and finding God’s PEACE is found in: Philippians 4:4-7… Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Did you notice it said to rejoice ALWAYS? There was no * asterisk after that verse that says to pick and choose the situations that make you happy. It says we can REJOICE on sunny days and stormy ones…healthy days and sick days….financially good days and lean days.
Whatever you face today, know that God is with you and that He wants you to receive His LOVE, JOY, PEACE…(see Galatians 5:22-23)Take some time today to read it a few times…and meditate on it…and apply it to your life.
I also have an action step for you today….(and every day for the near future:)Reach out to someone today. Ask the Lord to reveal who needs your call. Maybe a neighbor that is lonely…or a friend who has cabin fever…a relative that needs to hear a caring voice…someone who is ill….someone anxious or depressed…?Call them…take time to listen to them…let them know that you care….and share the JOY that can be found in God’s Word.
Lord….Bless all who read this devotional. Remind each of us individually, as well as us as a family, that you LOVE us unconditionally, that nothing (including the Coronavirus) could ever separate us from your LOVE. Watch over those who have the virus as well as those that are susceptible to getting the virus. Lord be with those on the front lines. Those whose jobs put them in harm’s way: the doctors, nurses, medical teams. Give wisdom to elected officials as they lead. Watch over your churches, staff, leaders, and pastors. Be with the Fandrich and Brinkman families as they are planning funerals with only 10 people allowed to be present. Let us be thankful for all of your blessings and fill us with the Joy that can only come from you. To you be the Glory! Amen.