Let me share something I have been thinking about a lot since Sunday. A friend from church shared this acronym for JOY. J=Jesus, O=Others, Y=Yourself, in that order. Several things I have read this week continues to reinforce this thought. First of all the scripture says in Matthew 22:37, Jesus replied, "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind." This message kept coming to me, "Put your attention on God first and everything else will fall into place." Jesus, first. If we trust God completely to provide what ever it is that we NEED, and we receive with thanksgiving what He provides (or doesn't) we will be much happier. I received an email of a story about 2 women who had been friends for a long time, the one asked the other one day how it was that she was happy all the time. She shared with her friend that she trusted the Lord completely to care for her. She let God provide for her needs and not focus on what she thought she needed. The first friend, thought back over things that she had thought would make her happy, such as a bigger house, it didn't, a better job, it didn't, and then she thought of a day sitting on the floor playing with her grandchildren and remembered the joy she felt. If we let God determine and freely give to use what He knows will bring us joy it often won't be what we think we need. Example, the other day DH and I were driving and saw a beautiful double rainbow.
(Not the best photo to depict the true beauty.) Seeing that rainbow and remembering the promise God made to never destroy the world again with a flood brought me joy. God gave us this beautiful fleeting sign as a promise of His love for us. A sign that is fleeting, beautiful to behold, there, for the observant who takes notice, an atmospheric phenomenon that is created by rain and sunshine occurring at the same time. I have seen more rainbows this spring than I have in the last several years combined. What a simple moment of joy that God gave to me.
Jesus wants us to desire to know Him intimately, to desire what He desires. Jesus first, to desire Jesus above what He can do for us. I know that I have often sought Jesus only when I needed something from Him and usually something big like healing. I am sure that this saddens Him even though He never refuses to help when we call on Him no matter how long we have ignored Him or grieved Him by our words and actions. I don't want to do this anymore even though I know I will fail to always put Him first and what He desires from me. John 6:26 brought this to light in my life. "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled" Jesus had just taught, healed the sick, and fed a crowd of over 5,000. He could see into the hearts of the people and see that they were only following Him in hopes of being fed again not because of who He was. Do we want what He has instead of wanting Him? I know I have been guilty of that. No more. I want Jesus. I want Him first and foremost. Do you know what He says will happen when we seek Him first? Check out this beautiful promise, it is more beautiful than a rainbow after a rain. Matthew 6:33, "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously (means in right standing with God, not can't ever have any fun, Miss goody two shoes ,) AND He will give you everything you need." Let us get our priorities right, seek God first, put other's needs a head of our own desires and let God do the rest. I will share more on the O=others and Y=yourself in additional posts.
Think about putting Jesus first, trusting Him to give you what you need. He will provide far more and greater things than you could ever hope for. Be thankful today that you have the right to seek Him first. People in many countries do not have the freedom to worship openly and are persecuted for their faith. At least we still have our freedom to worship as we choose here in the USA, thanks to the soldiers who have fought and are still fighting for that freedom. Please feel free to leave me your insights on this subject.