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Joy by Pastor Johnathon

There are times where we find ourselves describing joy to be a connection of happiness. If you look it up, you will also see that the definition will also use the word happiness to describe joy. That might be the case, although, we are talking about the joy that comes from the Holy Spirit. The same joy Jesus had when He did His Father’s will for His creation. The joy of Jesus was His absolute self-surrender and self-sacrifice to His Father— the joy of doing that which the Father sent Him to do— “...who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross...” (Hebrews 12:2). “I delight to do Your will, O my God...” (Psalm 40:8). Jesus prayed that our joy might continue fulfilling itself until it becomes the same joy as His. So we find that there could easily be two different kinds of joy. One that brings you great happiness.

The second one joy, which comes from the soul. One that we as Christians should all experience. This kind of joy, which comes from the soul, is not like many other feelings you may experience. This joy comes from within the inside which is gifted by the Holy Spirit. The only way we can find ourselves receiving this wonderful joy, is by simply following Jesus Christ and allowing Him to work through us. Meaning that we must be willing to do His will as Jesus was so eager to do His Father's will. In order to be filled with joy from the soul we must answer at least one question. Are we in a place where we have a relationship with Jesus Christ, which living our own comes to terms of our calling? Which is coming to a place He wants us to be in order go be witness to others and proclaim His Good News, for then we will be filled with the joy Jesus had. The joy from the soul.

“If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:10-12

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Go ahead, put all of your eggs in one basket. by Kristy Proctor

 Acts 1:8, reveals to us that when the Holy Spirit comes on you, be God’s witnesses and bring people into the Kingdom from all over- to the ends of the Earth.

  An old saying teaches us not to put all of our eggs in one basket.  The thought behind that idiom is that you shouldn’t invest all of your time, efforts, thoughts, and energy into one particular thing and risk losing it all. This is true in many cases. But, the advice is not appropriate for all situations.

We do need to put all of our eggs in God's basket and count our chickens, or blessings, before they hatch with a true desire to please Him in all things- not out of obligation, guilt, or worldly gain. Witness and spread the Good News, near and far.  Share the Word in creative ways, invite people to church and/or small groups, participate in a church community inside and outside the walls of a church building, and live a Chirstlike life. 

Martin Luther said- I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all, but whatever I have placed in God’s hands… that I still possess.

 

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Devotional from Pastor Amanda

John 1:43-51

43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” 46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49 Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

Jesus starts his ministry by calling disciples. He calls Andrew, a follower of John the Baptist. Andrew in turn tells his brother Peter. After this Jesus calls Phillip who find Nathanael. Within two days Jesus has called two disciples and ends up with four. Nathanael’s reaction to the story of the Messiah seems about right. We think he is crazy because we know who Jesus is, but for most of the people all they saw was a wandering homeless teacher, who was from a town of ill repute. Jesus performs a minor miracle to prove his authority. However Jesus’ next words are the most interesting element of this passage. “You will see greater things than these”. What if the words of Jesus have a connection with Andrew and Phillip calling others to meet Jesus? What if the greater things happen because disciples were obedient to the call and called others? The other text for this Sunday is the call of Samuel. Callings have a great importance in the Bible. The call beckons people to do something, to be a disciple, a leader, and a blessing. The power of Jesus is seen not in the miracle of the fig tree but in the miracle that takes place every time the Gospel, the Good News, is spread.

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