Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Joy Stealers

Like the Hamburglar from McDonalds, these bothersome creatures keep showing up to steal our most precious commodity...our joy. The Christian's joy is his or her greatest witnessing tool, strongest defense against tempation, and greatest relational asset. If you have been letting the JoyThief rip you off you already know this! Here is my list of things that seem to steal the joy frequently.

a.       Anxiety- though the bible says not to worry in Matthew 6 many of us allow this culprit to walk off with our treasured joy.

b.      Angry Words-Strife divides friends, and that gives room to the JoyThief

c.       Discontentment- It is impossible to hang on to joy when you haven't learned to be content Phil 4

d.      Jealousy-All that inner turmoil, even if it never surfaces, kills your joy. Love is not jealous 1 Cor 13

e.       Unforgiveness- This causes our joy to be swallowed up and pilfered  because we are too occupied with business that should be forgiven. Mark 11

f.       Legalism- Binding ourselves to religious and unbiblical expectations and traditions kills joy Gal 5.1

g.      Busy-ness- Overcrowding your schedule  is like leaving the door opn for the thief...

h.      Family Strife-make peace and you will find that your joy is restored.

i.        Clutter- you don''t have to be fastidious, just clean, to protect your joy

j.        Over-thinking- Think it through, make a decision, let it go. Joy always looks forward...

k.      Over emotionalism- If you are lead by your emotions you will find every emotion available to you except joy!

l.        Fear- the twin of anxiety, fear demands a full heightened response, and therefore rips off the joy. Fear Not!

m.    Prayerlessness- Joy comes from God. nuf said!

n.      Failure in Temptation-Guilt, both real and percieved, stifles joy. bring your guilt to God, go and sin no more!\
I suppose there are more but this list is a good beginning check list to find out where your joy went!

Sunday, February 03, 2013


This morning I was awakened wondering why people throw their lives away. Even many who have come to the Lord do sinful, self destructive things. Often these things cost them and those who love them dearly. Untimely deaths, horrific sickness, bondages and habits that limit joy and effectiveness in the Kingdom all come from these self destructive and sinful lifestyle choices. Certainly, there is a difference between having an experience with God and being in relationship with God. That in itself may explain some of this. Many of the people who followed Jesus had no relationship with him. They followed for the novelty, or out of curiosity, or for the fish sandwiches! But they didn't know him.

But we all do some mildly self destructive things. We all know Christ followers who struggle with tobacco,overeating, soap operas, or half a dozen other seemingly mild unedifying and self destructive things. It concerns me that those things, left unchecked will wreck our lives and testimonies for Christ. Maybe I am jaded having been to the funeral of one too many believers in Christ who never fully got what we old time Pentecostals called the victory. God has better.

So this month  I have decided to pray over my life and the life of the church here the simple prayer of Paul from Col 1.10-14. That God would guide us into a worthy life. I challenge you to pray it with me every day.  May God lead us into spiritual health and away from the things that compromise our witness for God.