Contending For Our Joy - Part 2

Contending For Our Joy Part 2
3 Essentials For Keeping Joy

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." Nehemiah 8:10 (NKJV)

We are looking at two-part devotional called, "Contending for our joy."  In Part 1 we discussed how as Christians, we can be tempted by the enemy and therefore lack God's true joy.  We looked at Scriptures showing this was in violation of God's command to, "Rejoice always."  We looked at God's ultimate tool for changing our attitude, which entails our taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and casting down any thought coming against the knowledge of God (2 Cor. 10:5).  

We then looked at two things to address our lack of joy in our Christian walk they are:

a)    We need to repent of our lack of joy, knowing it is sin
b)    We need to contend for our joy by taking responsibility on our part to engage into this spiritual warfare against the enemy.  

Q:    As a Christian believer how can I contend for the Joy of the Lord?

I propose 3 essentials for every christian man and woman so they may be able to contend for the joy of the Lord.  

1.    We need to read the Word of God daily

If we think upon the things of God - His promises and truths contained within His Word - we will have joyous attitudes.  We will believe there is a purpose for our life, and we will be able to trust God in every situation - knowing He will use it for good for those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).  The second essential thing we must do to contend for the Joy of the Lord is-
2.    We need to pray continuously

We must always remember apart from God we cannot do anything (John 15:5) so we need to tap into His power, and we do this by praying.   It is biblical for us to pray for joy and to pray for others to have joy as well.  We can see the Psalmist doing this.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Psalms 51:12 (NKJV)

And the 3rd essential thing we must do to contend for the Joy of the Lord is-

3.    We need to be involved in serving

The joy we find in God will reach its pinnacle when it is shared with others in variety of ways of love.   This is because love is the overflow of a joyful heart.   Perhaps Jesus demonstrated this best when for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross (Heb. 12:2).  He also gave these words on His joy remaining in us as we served others.

"These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.  This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down ones life for his friends." John 15:11-13 (NKJV)

I want to encourage you today to think about these three essentials to having a joy-filled Christian walk.  Open your Bible daily and spend time prayerfully reading and meditating upon what you are reading.  Ask God to open up an opportunity for you to serve others as if you are serving Him (Col. 3:23).  

STUDY QUESTION: According to Nehemiah 8:10 what is the source of our strength?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Do you feel God's joy in your life?

APPLICATION: If you are lacking joy then pray as the Psalmist did in 51:12.  Now begin to implement the 3 essentials covered in this devotional.

Father, thank You for Your Word.  Thank You for allowing me to come to You in prayer.  Thank You for the opportunity to serve others as unto You.  Fill me with Your joy today Lord so I may be a light unto those who don't know You.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000