Monday, September 24, 2012

Don't Get Robbed - Part 2

"Keep your lives free from the Love of Money & be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you: never will I forsake you.' "
Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)

This verse from Hebrews tell us to "be content with what you have". God blesses us with so much. Yet, too often, we seem to still want more. We can become jealous & resentful of the blessings of others. How many times have you thought to yourself "it must be nice" when someone is sharing about something like a new home, a new car, an awesome vacation, a windfall, etc. As i think about this, i'm embarrassed to admit how many times i've done that.

When you compare & covet the blessings of others, you are not only breaking a commandment, you are also robbing yourself of joy. When we focus on what others have, we are silently questioning God's goodness. But, an attitude of gratitude brings joy. And thankfulness is the key to that attitude. When we choose to be content, over coveting, our lives become more enriched & we recognize our own gifts from God. Think of the things that you are guilty of coveting & compare them to what has eternal value.

"So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper...' "
Hebrews 13:6a (NIV)

Another joy robber is busyness. Boy! Do i know about that one! Years ago, i had a poster in my room that read, "The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get". I know that it was meant as a reminder to not rush through things haphazardly, but to do things right the first time. But it can also apply to busyness. When we're "over booked", "have too much on our plates", or as i said this past summer, "my plate is full & so are many side dishes", it's very easy to get distracted from God's blessings. In turn, our joy can go quickly down the drain. When we over book, we can miss opportunities to "lie down in green pastures" so that God can restore our souls. (See Psalm 23)

"Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain."
Psalm 127:1 (NIV)

It's easy to say "If I don't do it, it won't get done." But the first verse of Psalm 127 tells us differently. We need to learn that sometimes, saying "no" can be a holy thing. Ask the Lord to help you say "yes" to the things that are needed & "no" to the things that distract you from Him. Listen to the Spirit as He show you the difference & reveals how you can become less busy.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Don't Get Robbed!

It's been said that joy is a state of mind, not a state of affairs. But there are some joy robbers out there that sneak in & can rob us blind!

Anxiety is one....
"An anxious heart weighs a man down."
Proverbs 12:25 (NIV)

Do you find yourself taking on the care & struggles of others? It is the will of God that we care for people, but it is not His will that we allow these cares to become worrisome burdens.

"Cast your cares on the Lord & He will sustain you."
Psalm 55:22 (NIV)

The word "cast" means to heave...just like you would throw a heavy bag of garbage in a trash can. Check out Psalm 68:19. God says He "daily bears our burdens" if we well just let Him.

Sometimes we spend more time worrying about something than praying about it. Worry causes us to lug around cares & anxieties like a bag of garbage.

"Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."
Nehemiah 8:10

When we worry, it's like trying to dance while carrying heavy baggage. It IS possible to live in this world & not lose our joy, but we have to consistently give our worries to the One who wants to carry the load for us.