Pastors Message

Devotional – Fight With Joy (Day 5)

Scriptures – John 15:5-8. Ephesians 6:11-17

At first glance these two scriptures seem miles apart but if you hang with me I would like to share with you how they are connected and what on earth they have to do with being grateful and thankful for all that God has done for us. 

This passage in John teaches us the importance of remaining connected to the vine (that is Jesus), so that we bear fruit. When you think about it, none of us have apples growing out of our armpits, so clearly Jesus is talking about some other kind of fruit here. It would be some time before we would get the understanding that the fruit Jesus is referring to is actually the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23). 

The passage in Ephesians tells us that we are in a spiritual war and the way we fight is by having spiritual armor. Have you ever realized the weapons we wield to fight in this war are the fruits we bear by remaining in the vine? It is like a full circle; to fight looks like remaining in Jesus and by remaining in Jesus we bear fruit and that fruit becomes the weapons we use in the fight which keeps us remaining in Jesus. 

The fruit of ‘joy’ is just one of the weapons we can cultivate if we’re going to fight in this spiritual war. In this time and space of big feelings, valid feelings, wacky feelings, lack of feelings – I believe the weapon of joy has the power to transform selfishness into thankfulness, apathy into gratitude, idolatry into recognising the goodness of God. Because joy is not a feeling, rather, joy is the ability to believe that God is who He says He is and can do what He says He can do, despite what the reality of life looks like around us. 

Throughout this week, find some space to connect with God. I encourage you to put yourself in an environment and/or do whatever activity that helps you connect with Him. Then when you’re in that place I want you to remind yourself about the nature and character of God.

Ask yourself these questions: 
1. What are the promises He’s given us in the Bible that you can make your foundation to stand upon?  

2. What has He already done in your life that you can rejoice in?  

3. When and how have you experienced the goodness of God?

We can cultivate the fruit of joy by reminding ourselves of what we believe, by standing upon what we believe, by reading and memorizing scripture that backs up our beliefs, by claiming those beliefs so that we can rejoice in the goodness of God and not the goodness of our circumstances. And with this weapon, we can stand firm in this war. Glory!

Pray with me:

God I thank you for Your Word, I thank You for Your goodness towards me. Holy Spirit would You open my eyes, my heart, my mind and my understanding to recognise when You have been good to me. God I know that apart from You I will just wither away so I surrender again today and make the choice to be connected to You, to remain in You, to follow You. I love You Lord. Would You use me, fill me and lead me into all that You have for me today. Amen.

Written by Lisa Hoffmann, Location Pastor, Citipointe Church Ipswich

https://my.bible.com/reading-plans/26133-faith-love-hope-a-reason-to-celebrate

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Wishing you joy and peace in your day!  Remember, God’s got this.

Pastors will be back next week. I hope you have enjoyed and been renewed by selections from “Faith Love Hope.” If you are interested in joining our Study Group, we use the Bible App – You Version which may be downloaded onto the device of your choice. Please see the Women’s Ministry page for more information.

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