Love and Joy

img_3462.jpgGalatians 5:23-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

I want to talk to you for a minute about the first two, love and joy…I’ll take on the others another time!

I have talked about love quite a lot. Luke 6:45 says, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”  So if I searched my past articles I imagine that the subject of “love” from one perspective or another would have the highest number, maybe that is in my heart.

There are three types of love, Eros, Filial and Agape. Eros is the sensual type of love that exists between husband and wife, Filial is the love we feel for our family or close friends, and Agape is Divine Love or the love of God. This is the love we must have for our fellow-man, the kind of love that makes us more like God. I feel that having all three types of love in your life are important and can make you complete, but the most important of all these is the Agape, Divine, love with which we love each other. The scripture tells us that God IS love.

Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Psalm 16:11 You will show me the path of life; In your presence is fullness of joy; At your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 27:6 …therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in the tabernacle;
Luke 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

I researched the word, JOY, and found that it is referenced in the Bible 187 times! You knew it was coming, didn’t you?  If you look at the few verses I have listed here you can see some different “joys”. Look at the first one; WOW it says that the Joy OF THE LORD is our strength! So when you are feeling like the spiritual 98-pound weakling, you just put your hand in HIS and He will give you strength the way that Popeye got strength from eating Spinach! I could use that from time to time, couldn’t you?

Then we find the Psalmist David telling about the fullness of joy…think of having FULLNESS of joy all the time and he further says that at His right hand are pleasures forevermore! I think we could all use a little of that!

This next one is the one I have had to struggle with, the sacrifice of joy! Face it, when something has happened that made us feel our world turn upside down, wasn’t it hard to just forget it and PRAISE the Lord? Well if you said no, then come to talk to ME! That is a big tool that the devil tries on me, often, to get me upset or distracted so that my praise is hindered, but would he use the word SACRIFICE if it were easy! But here is the best part, the part that gives us this, sometimes elusive, emotion of joy…”Tidings of great JOY” it was to US, we are included in the “ALL people.” Isaiah 9:6 refers to the coming of Jesus and calls him the Prince of Peace! And the angels said that it was good tidings of great JOY to know that Jesus was born!

If you don’t have Love or Joy in your life, pray and ask Jesus to come into your heart, you will find the inner peace that helps you feel the love and the joy that you are missing!

Excuse me while I stop and read this aloud to myself right now, I wrote it because I was the one who needed it tonight…

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