Obstacles, Challenges and Joy!

It’s time for another joy moment. Last week we talked about the meaning and I shared some scriptures with you. Today we find Jesus having a joyful time.
Before I get into the blog I want to share something with you. I don’t know if anybody has taken on the challenge with me or if I am flying solo. If you are taking on the challenge (I believe one of my friends from Stephenville might be) I would love for you to PM or email me. I have found this to be a very difficult challenge. As I found out this weekend you cannot do it without prayer warriors to help you take on this challenge. I am convinced if God has challenged us he will help us get through. But, at the same time I am convinced Satan will do everything he can to put obstacles in front of our challenges. It is important for you to share your challenge with at least one prayer warrior to help you through. I did that this weekend and I think it will make a difference. So, please don’t try to do this alone. Keep God close by and have prayer warriors helping you all along the way. It may be a difficult path, but I am convinced if we make it to the end God has something waiting for us.
That being said let’s get on with today’s joyful occasion. I prayed about the scripture I wanted to share with you. I wanted us to see when Christ was full of joy and how he must have felt. I looked at the many times he healed someone. I was sure he was full of joy as they walked away knowing someone’s life was changed because he followed God’s directives. I thought about the times he went off to be with his disciples alone and sharing with them on a personal level. I am sure they laughed and had some really fun times that brought a lot of joy to all of them. I could go on with all of the many joyful times Christ had here on earth, but there was one that stood out for me. It might be different for you and that’s okay. I challenge you to search the scriptures and find one right for you.
It is found in Mark 10:13-16, “The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: “Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.” When I was growing up in my church back in Indiana in some of our children’s Sunday school classrooms was a picture of Christ with children surrounding him. I loved that picture. Have you ever looked at the picture and really looked at Jesus face? For me it shows how full of joy he must have been being with those children. After we lost our infant son the church bought a picture of this, hung it up in the children’s wing and dedicated it in his honor. Maybe this is why I love this so much. It helped me afterwards seeing that picture and knowing he was with Christ.
Christ did some pretty heavy stuff. He was always healing, teaching, preaching and doing miracles. Being with these children I am sure brought him some relief and pure joy. Who doesn’t like to be around of a bunch of kids? Their excitement and energy rub off on you. I love the times I get to go back to Indiana and be with my grandchildren. It gives me a break from all the things God has called me to do here. One of my favorite times lately has been on Wednesdays. We have a children’s program after school and I get to share with the older children. But what I love best about this evening is when we go to the playground and let them run off energy. Our Pastor Danny comes and plays with the children. He leaves his busy schedule behind and he is out not on the sidelines, but in the midst of them playing. He doesn’t stop there he goes in and joins them in their snack time. What joy it must be to Pastor Danny to come and be with our little ones. I am sure it brings back his purpose and energizes him; I know it does me.
So, it must have been for Christ. But, there is one more thing to consider before we close. He calls them the very center of life in the Kingdom and he says he wants nothing to get in between him and them.
1 John 3:2 reminds us this, “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” Galatians 3:26, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,…” In both of these scriptures we are told we are God’s children! So we are among those children that surrounded Christ. Mark 10:13-16 is just as relevant for us today if we have accepted Christ. We ARE God’s children; we are the very center of life in the kingdom. He wants nothing between him and his children. He will protect us at all cost just like he did those little ones then.
In this picture the little ones are intent on him. They are finding as much joy in him as he did in them. Which reminds me when I take time to be with Christ and I am intent on listening to him, when I am interested in Him, when I want to feel his hand reach out and touch mine I will find the same kind of joy these children felt then.
Christ was full of joy because he had a captive audience. When we go to him and we are that captive audience we bring joy to Him. We fill His heart with joy. Wow! That blows my mind that I can bring joy to Christ. I know all of this in my head, but how often do I do it? How often do I bring joy to Christ? I think I have a lot to learn and put into practice this month how about you?
Joy is something that comes from the heart not worldly circumstances when Christ was with his children he was full of joy the kind that came from his heart. We can experience that for ourselves and we can bring joy to Christ and others when we interact with Him and each other.
When have you experienced this kind of joy lately?
Dear God, I am in so awe of you every time you teach me and bring new meaning from the scriptures. I always thought of the little ones when I read this scripture never placing myself in this scripture. You have opened up the scriptures and taught me so much about what brings you joy. Help me to be a captive audience for you and bring you joy. May we each find our joy in you and not in the world. Amen

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