Way back when, possibly during my curly Sue perm days or maybe it was during confirmation classes I was taught an acronym for Joy.
If I could follow this little ‘rule’ for life things would be pretty cheery, pretty wonderful, and joyful.
I don’ t know about you but my life feels more like a battle field over which letter goes first. Some days my kids need my every second and it looks like ojy
Some days I have absolutely had enough and it looks like yoj.
If we could do this, if we could live selfless lives and not put any other gods ahead of our creator chances are our lives would be filled with joy. (I’m thinking garden of Eden good…) The acronym is full of truth; putting Jesus and Others before You is beautiful and it is an instruction given by our creating Savior so it is good, so good. He commanded it when he gave the law to Moses and he confirmed that truth when he was walking on this earth.
When asked which commandment was the greatest Jesus responded:
“The most important is Hear o Israel The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this you should love your neighbor as yourself.”
In case you are wondering no you have not fulfilled the first commandment other gods invade our lives. We love so many other things that will pass away, put our trust in so many other things that will crumble, and fear so many other things in this life that are way smaller than God.
We have joy because of who Jesus is.
We have joy in spite of all the things we put our trust in, in spite of all the worldly things we love, and in spite of all the fearful things around us.
We have joy in spite of ourselves but because Jesus fulfilled the first commandment and because Jesus orders the letters of our lives.
We have hope of an even greater joy.
The joy we experience now is a messy joy. Our days may seem so far from joyful. Our lives may feel like a battle field. Our days may feel mundane, sorrowful, or down right awful instead of joyful.
The joy we have now is messy (and may feel far from joy) because sin runs wild through our own veins and in the world around us…. but because of Christ’s accomplished work we do have joy and we have hope in an even greater joy.
Because Christ became our God
Because God orders our lives
there is JOY!
“The Lord Bless you and keep you
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you
and give you peace.”