'joy' Tagged Posts

'joy' Tagged Posts

Daily Devotions

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing.” vss. 1-2a Isaiah 35:1-4 Isaiah lived in a semi-arid land, right on the edge of the Judean desert, and he annually observed the effects of the rainy season. When the winter rains come in January or February, the desert blooms. Areas that appear to be barren much of the year suddenly are…

Daily Devotions

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” vs. 13 Romans 15:7-13 One of the signs of God’s presence in our lives is the appearance of hope in the most unlikely times. Hope confounds us with its elusiveness. It comes and goes with maddening irregularity and resists our most determined manipulation. Paul tells us that hope has a connection with…

Daily Devotions

Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.” vss. 6-8 1 Timothy 6:6-12 The wisdom in these few short verses is overwhelming. Obviously, accumulation was an issue even for first century followers of Jesus, and some seem to have been infected by the notion that more is better.…

Daily Devotions

By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.” vs. 22 Galatians 5:18-25 Paul’s picture of kingdom living is timeless and seems too good to be true. How is it possible to live in community and experience such extraordinary fruits in ourselves and in others? He makes it sound so easy–all we need to do is become love-slaves of Christ, and the Spirit will…

Daily Devotions

For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another.” vs. 13 Galatians 5:1, 13-18  The freedom that Paul was talking about to the Galatians had little to do with the ordinances and rules of the Jewish Law. And for us it has nothing to do with escaping the strict moral and ethical codes of a pietistic upbringing. Our experience of freedom…

Daily Devotions

You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.” vs. 11 Psalm 16:7-11 We wouldn’t know it from the television and streaming programs we watch in our leisure time, but there is a good and decent way to live, and it is possible to find joy and pleasure in daily living. We don’t have to have one crisis after another and be so afraid that we…

Daily Devotions

For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” vs. 5       Psalm 30:1-5 The psalmist has had a near death experience and wants everyone to know his triumphant story. We don’t know what had happened, perhaps it was a serious illness, but he had prayed to the Lord for deliverance–and his prayers had been heard. And now his praise is effusive. He wants…

Daily Devotions

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” vs. 24 Psalm 118:24-29 Over the last decades praise songs have been slowly making their way into the worship services of most congregations. At first they were resisted by liturgical purists who insisted they lacked the depth of the old chorales. Because of their repeating choruses they were called by some, “the songs without an end.” Often the words for praise tunes come…

Daily Devotions

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.” vss.1-2 John 2:1-5 The opening prayer in the Lutheran marriage service begins with these words, “Eternal God, as you gladdened the wedding in Cana of Galilee with the presence of your son, so by his presence now bring your joy to this wedding.” What it doesn’t say is that Jesus…

Daily Devotions

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” vs. 4 Philippians 4:4-5 As Paul brings his love letter to the Philippians to a close he says good-bye by encouraging them to be people of joy. This is the best way to show him honor and give him thanks, and he even repeats it. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” It’s doubtful that he’s telling them to be happy all the time. Being happy is…

Daily Devotions

You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” vs. 11                        Psalm 16:6-11 Even though God is always at hand and the divine marker is in our DNA, many are blind to those indicators and live in what seems a totally random religious pattern. They follow one god for a season and then another, and often end up worshiping at the altar of materialism–always a good…

Daily Devotions

So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” vs. 36 John 8:31-38 In Christ we live by grace and truth and not by the law–and this is all a gift, not our own doing. Therefore, John tells us, we have been set free, and furthermore as Paul told the Galatians, since we have been set free, we should never again submit to the slavery of the law. These are important truths, ones that we learn to…