|If I could paint "joy" it would look like this|
We’ve heard the acronym before. But it’s time to revisit it. It says that our focus should be:
In that order.
Jesus. Jesus set aside his divinity for my sake. Gave up his glorious place in heaven temporarily to come to this small blue planet twirling in the dark sky. He became a helpless infant in order to share in our experiences and teach us how to live. He suffered a horrible death and took upon himself the full wrath of God so we don't have to.
Others. Jesus’ second commandment is: love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus showed us how to love others. By spending time with others; giving them our ears, our hands and our hearts, sharing Jesus with them.
Paul reminds us of this focus in Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all.
You. It’s easy to put ourselves first. Not so easy to put ourselves last. Often our frenzy is fueled by fear—of feeling overwhelmed and under prepared. Luke 2:8-10 reminds us of the very first Christmas.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”
When we become fearful; feeling like we’re never going to get it all done; when the joy starts slipping away and the gotta do’s poke their way to the front of our brains, it’s time to stop and fear not. Then it’s time to do what the angels did: sing a song of joy.
Once we focus on Jesus first and others second, we may be surprised how the third slips silently into place...
...enabling us to sing a song of J.O.Y.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, please remind us that when we want JOY in our lives, we must put Jesus first. Help us to find the only true joy that is because of you. Amen.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? How can you find joy today?
Today’s post is part of the Christian Writer’s blog chain. This month, our theme is “joy.” Please visit my friends’ blogs by clicking on the links in the right-hand column.