Enjoying the Journey

Posts Tagged ‘Joy’

The Most Important Work I Have to Do Every Day

If your days are like mine they often resemble a whirlwind of people and tasks.  Correspondence.  Problems.  Phone calls.  Appointments.  Projects.  Meetings.  Decisions.  Life can become very crowded at times!  Many times at the end of a very busy day I have pulled into my driveway and been reminded by the Holy Spirit that I still had “home work” to do.  Indeed the work we do in our families is more important than the varied work that so often consumes our lives. What is the most important work you do every day? I believe that the most important work that I have to do every day of my life is not done while I am “at work.”  It is not…

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Don’t Lose Your Joy!

This world is full of joy stealers.  Behind them all is a miserable devil whose only delight is to “steal, kill, and destroy.”  It is a rare and refreshing thing to meet someone whose mission is to bring the joy of Jesus into other lives.  Paul was such a man.  In one of the most difficult letters he ever wrote we read these touching words: “Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand” (2 Corinthians 1:24). Joy is rooted in personal faith in God.  Each of us must believe the Lord for ourselves and in so doing discover the joy that only He can bring.  Yet in the…

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A Trip to Mayberry

We have just returned from a couple of days away with the family.  Travels took us to the real “Mayberry” – Mount Airy, North Carolina.  The kids – and their daddy! – have watched every episode of The Andy Griffith Show several times through the years.  This trip, like the show, was a throw back to simpler days and quieter lives.   Riding in Barney’s patrol car and eating at “The Snappy Lunch” have a way of slowing your pace and lightening your heart.  (The pork chop sandwich doesn’t hurt either.)  It was a joy to laugh and just be together.  No, they don’t make shows like Andy Griffith anymore.  But the love for simple things and the enjoyment of life is a…

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Joy in the Midst of Conflict

Lester Roloff used to sing an old gospel song that said, “It’s a battlefield brother, not a recreation room.  It’s a fight and not a game!  So run if you want to, run if you will.  But I came here to stay!”  Our generation would much rather have a recreation room.  Give us the games, because there is little fight in us! The problem with this, of course, is that the fight doesn’t go away because we hunker down in the trenches.  Our adversary keeps shooting his fiery darts.  Casualties are falling all around.  We have ignored the spiritual conflict, but it is hotter than it has ever been. A few days ago I sat in a coffee shop with…

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My First Sermon and What I am Now Learning From It

On a Thursday night in July of 1989 God made clear to me that He wanted me to be a preacher.  I was 12 years old and full of fear about the future.  Today I am more grateful to God than ever to be in the ministry. My first sermon behind a pulpit was given on Sunday, August 27, 1989.  Several young preachers were speaking in an afternoon youth rally.  My sermon was a simple one, taken no doubt from something that I had read or heard from someone else!  “I Have a Secret” was the title.  The Scripture I chose was the story of Paul pleading the case of Onesimus to Philemon.  It is the story of a man…

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Your Countenance Matters

I was walking across the parking lot.  I did not see anyone watching me and was deeply engrossed in some meaningless thought.  Then I heard him say,  “Why are you grimacing?” Grimacing?   Me?  Was I grimacing?  Perhaps, or perhaps my friend could not see my expression well.  Either way we had a good laugh and went our separate directions.  But the question stayed with me. Your countenance matters.  Others are reading our expressions and drawing conclusions.  The conclusions they draw may not reflect poorly on us alone; they may reflect poorly on the God of all joy that resides within us. Yes, your countenance matters.  Ask Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.  It separated them from everyone else (Daniel 1:13-15).…

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Top of the List: Why Was Jesus Thankful?

Like most of you I try to make a list each Thanksgiving of reasons for which I am grateful to God.  Obviously it is never complete because the blessings never end.  This year I have decided not to make a list.  I am taking the list of Another who is far better at thankfulness than I. The Gospel records provide insight not only into the prayer life of the Lord Jesus but into His “praise life.”  The Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief was constantly thanking His Father.  His thirty-three and a half years were spent not only considering the joy that was before Him (Hebrews 12:2) but also the joys that were all around Him.  This is where…

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Working through Your Weariness

This afternoon I had the privilege to spend a few minutes with some of our staff and faculty at Crown Southwest in Fort Worth, Texas.  I thank God for Christian workers who are diligently seeking to pass God’s Word and work on to another generation.  I shared a simple thought with them that has been a great encouragement to me.  The best workers get tired.  Jesus did.  In His perfect humanity, He still grew weary. John 4:5 tells us that “Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.”  In the middle of the day, in the middle of the work, Jesus grew weary. Weariness is a part of life…

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Having Good Days in the Midst of Evil Days

One of the great privileges of serving at Crown College through the years has been the opportunity to hear so many wonderful Bible messages.  Pastor Sexton brings faithful preachers to the college chapel hour each week.  Today our friend, Dr. Dan Reed, brought one of the most encouraging messages I have ever heard. He spoke on the subject of enjoying the journey from 1 Peter 3.  God gives a prescription for those “that will love life, and see good days” (v. 10).  For the record, I am one of those!  I would encourage you to spend a little time meditating on this powerful passage and to apply God’s instructions. In the message Dr. Reed stated that there were three types…

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Enjoying the Journey

I have always enjoyed travel.  As a little boy I had the opportunity to visit a number of wonderful places with my dad and mom.  Now, it is a thrill to take my own children on adventures to new places.  One thing has changed about travel for me.  Like most young people I was always anxious to “get there.”  The anticipation of what we would do once we arrived at our destination was the main thing.  As I get older I am learning that much of the fun of the trip is the journey itself.  And so it is with life. Dr. Curtis Hutson said many years ago, “I know I am going to enjoy the destination, but I want…

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