Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Joy of the Lord

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

RayMcDHappiness is circumstantially driven – while Joy is spiritually derived. This is one of my favorite sayings. I believe I created it some 35 plus years ago. When I did a Google search for these words – the first and only post that matches is this devotional thought I posted online last year. I’ve used that phrase for 3-4 decades.

The meaning of the phrase is that things or circumstances make us Happy – but Joy comes from our relationship with Jesus. Happiness is temporary – while Joy is lasting – even eternal. Continue reading

August 24, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joy Is Better Than Happiness

Acts 13:52

And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

RevRayA friend of mine posted this on Twitter this morning – It’s not about happy. It’s about joy. #FindJoy.  It made me think of a saying of mine – Happiness is spiritually driven while joy is spiritually derived. Although happiness is a good thing – joy is lasting while happiness is fleeting. Joy is better than Happiness.

Today’s passage ends a section of the Book of Acts that describes the Gospel being taken to the whole of the region – including to the Gentiles.  The church began in Jewish circles – of course – since Jesus and the early disciples were Jewish.  And although many were moved to accept Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah – some had a hard time being open to the message that God was also available to all people – including the non-Jewish people. In the King James Version of the Bible the word for non-Jewish people is pagan – the ungodly.

Here are a few verses from just before today’s passage concluding with today’s verse. Acts 13:49-52 – 49 The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. 50 But the Jews incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. 51 So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. Continue reading

June 4, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Joy of the Lord

Hebrews 12:1-2

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

RevRayToday we will finish a three day look at Hebrews 12:1-2.  Tuesday we wrote a post titled – Throw Off Everything that Hinders.  Yesterday we wrote one titled – Keep Your Eyes on Jesus.  Today we will finish looking at Hebrews 12:1-2 by addressing the remaining words – who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I titled today’s devotional thought The Joy of the Lord because the first words we deal with today says – who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame.  I have a hard time considering what Jesus went through a joyous time.  I have a saying I often share – it goes like this – happiness is circumstantially driven while joy is spiritually derived.  When I think of the cross and what Jesus endured – it is the circumstances I am looking at first – the flogging – the ridicule – the humiliation – the agony of the cross.  Those circumstances absolutely do not line up with happiness.  No one would describe what Jesus endured as a good day – a happy day – a day one would love to repeat time and again! Continue reading

April 18, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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