Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Gift of the Day

Madelyn is joy, a gift that transcends the stuff of life.  It's amazing to think that a little two-year old girl has grabbed so many hearts and changes the dynamics of our life through joy.    It's made me realize how we have the opportunity to impact others with joy.
The thing is . . . joy is to be a constant in our life . . . it's not something that comes and goes but, rather, it's an ongoing gift from God.  Joy is dependent on our intentional choices of  how and why we live in a specific manner.  It's the gift of the day.
Consider Jesus' joy:
Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2, NASB).  

There's insight to the power and strength of joy in this phrase:  "Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross."  We usually associate joy to be  a weak attribute, related to happiness; however,  Hebrews 12 puts joy in a different context.  Certainly this passage clarifies joy does not come from being focused on what's happening to ourselves, but rather on God and others.  The same joy set before Jesus on the cross, is now ours.   The word, joy, is derived from the Greek word charis, meaning grace.  If, grace is undeserved and unmerited, then, joy is too.  And, as we receive grace we are to give grace, likewise as we receive joy, we give joy.  Regardless of the stuff we must face,  the git of joy changes our perception of how we move through it all and how we impact the world around us.  This precept requires us to step up to a higher level of living when we receive the gift of Life.
 Here's the thing that I'm learning: Joy should not be dismissed as an unnecessary and weak religious attribute, but rather a divine gift which not only changes the way we see what is set before us in the day but impacts those we come in contact with because it comes directly from Christ.  
Meditate on the joy set before Christ on the cross.
Receive Christ's gift of joy.
See what is set before you in the day through the gift joy.
Live with joy.
Impact the world around you by giving the gift of joy to others each day.

Learning to Kickstart the day with joy, the gift of the day,

(written by Kerrie Carlisle Palmer © 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)