“Joy is the serious business of Heaven.” ~ C. S. Lewis
That one makes me smile big time! The thought that JOY is a priority in the minds and hearts of all of Heaven and Her inhabitants is awesomely mindboggling! I have this silly vision of all the angels sitting around God’s boardroom table brainstorming on ways to make joy come alive! Now that would be one business meeting I would love to attend, wouldn’t you?!
JOY, pure joy, is clearly on God’s agenda and that FACT permeates scripture like you will not believe! By one account, the word joy is found over 150 times in the Bible! If you add words like “joyful” and “joyous” to the mix, you are looking at well over 200 references! Add to that the verb “rejoice”, and you are up to almost 500! YES – joy is indeed the serious business of Heaven!
I hope by now you’ve read last Friday’s post about our Pure Joy summer series! We are so stinkin’ excited about it and I pray you are too! We’re taking joy to the outer limits together, seeking it and LIVING it through JESUS – Others – Yourself! We’re kicking things off on May 27th so let’s spend these next two weeks getting ourselves in the same pair of comfy shoes to walk in together, shall we?!
Today, let’s talk about the first letter in the word Joy and what is means for us this summer: J – finding Joy in Jesus! When we walk with Jesus (when we fully rely on Him, trust Him, have a relationship with Him), we can remain joyful, even in times of trouble. But we can’t have that solid and right relationship with Him if we don’t know Him, and know Him well!
So this summer, we are PURSUING Him! We are making it OUR priority to know Him better in order that we might seriously KNOW Him, His joy, and His goodness. How are we going to do that? How are we going to find out what He says about this? So glad you asked!
- Through scripture! Each week, we’ll have a scripture of the week about joy! Our job will be to read it, rewrite it in either another version of the Bible OR in our own words that makes it applicable to us, and even try to memorize it!
For instance, our series verse for the entire summer is John 15:11: “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”. That is from the NIV (New International Version). You could decide to look it up in a different translation (using your own Bibles at home OR even some cool, free online Bible programs like www.biblegateway.com) and you might find something neat like this:
“I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!”
That’s still John 15:11 alright, but this time it’s in the NLT (New Living Translation) and I LOVE that one – I am ALL about the overflow of joy, sister friends, how about you?! Why not make it your verse for this week and see if you can memorize it? Once you have it down pat, it’s yours for the using and remembering anytime you need it! You will then have a little TRUTH nugget in your heart to help you remember that He came to fill us with JOY through knowing Him!
2. Another way we are going for Jesus Joy is through reading what other people have to say about it! We’ve put together an amazing list of 15 books for your reading pleasure by some great Christian authors! We listed three categories: Lite and Lively! (the kinds of books you can pick up and put down, giggle though, even bring to the beach or pool); A Little Deeper! (a bit more meat on the book bones, so to speak, but still easy to read and enjoy); and finally, Deeper Still! (a great collection of books that really get into the heart of the matter of following hard after Jesus! May take a little more concentration or time, but well worth it). The goal would be to pick one of these books (or as many as you want!) to read during our 14 week summer series and spend some time reflecting on what He is saying to you through these authors! You’ll find this list right here on the blog under the page tab Pure Joy Summer Series 2013 Book List (see the tabs above) AND in the Pure Joy kits!
3. Our third way of finding Joy in Jesus this summer is through MUSIC! There is nothing like good ole’ toe tappin’ tunes to get your Jesus Love pumping! We’ve compiled 20 songs – mostly Christian tunes with upbeat tempos and messages, with a few secular songs thrown in for variety! We hope you enjoy the mix. All the songs can be downloaded from iTunes and other online music “stores”. The list of songs is found here on the blog under the page tab Pure Joy Summer Series 2013 Tunes, AND in the Pure Joy kits!
So there you have it! The “Letter J” in a nutshell! Get yourself a notebook or notecards so you’ll be ready to start writing down the weekly scriptures! Print up and get one of the books off the book list (I’ll be referring to all the books throughout the summer so whichever one(s) you pick WILL be discussed on the blog at some point during the 14 weeks!)! AND either download the songs, listen to K-Love, or use a free, cool radio app on your tablet or smart phone to get a chance to listen to these FUN toe tappin’ tunes! I’m so excited to see what Jesus has to show YOU through these joy-giving avenues. It IS serious business, you know! And we cannot achieve it without Him!
One more thing. Throughout the summer I’ll be recommending other blogs that you can “stop by” for another little uplifting look at Jesus. One of my favorites is written by a dear, sweet, sister friend of mine by the name of Francie Winslow! (Could you just already eat her up with a cute name like Francie?!) Her blog is called Up, In, and Out and is simply awesome. I am SUPER excited because she has graciously agreed to guest post right here on this very blog this FRIDAY so be sure to tune in to see what she has to say about how to hear from God! Perfect timing, I’d say!
For those of you here in Glen Ellyn area, tons of Pure Joy Kits are lovingly AND madly being put together as you read this and will be delivered this week!!! I’ll do a quick post on whatever day we deliver to homes so you know to look for them! And remember, you can still get a kit even if you don’t live here! We are saving 5 sweet little kits for blog readers who comment and say they want one! Leave a comment and we’ll be picking those 5 names this week! The lucky winners will be announced right here!
Up Friday: Fancy Francie Winslow’s Guest Post (yippeeeeee)!
Up Next week: The Letters O and Y!
Peace, love, and JOY!