Tis the season to be Jolly

grinch

YOU KNOW SPRING, summer, fall and winter, but do you recall the most famous season of all? As a popular song proclaims this time of year, “TIS THE SEASON TO BE JOLLY.”

It seems the “jolly-season” starts earlier and earlier because people just can’t wait to be jolly. Why do we wait until now to be jolly? For some, it’s hard to be jolly, even during the ‘jolly-days’. Folks who are off to war, or upset over a recent election. Still others find it difficult to be jolly because they don’t have enough money to buy more STUFF.

What is Jolly? Is it the ability to have more stuff? Is it the congested roads as we race across the country to be with folks that we hardly speak to at other times of the year? Perhaps it’s the dread of the extra pounds that we’ll ‘resolve’ to lose after the new year. The jolly season contains mixed feelings, especially as we consider unresolved goals and issues from this year.

The reality is this, a single season to be jolly is contrived. Being Jolly is an idea that should continue throughout the year. Especially among God’s people [1Peter 3:15].

Life is always filled with ups and downs. Instead of calling them problems, we ought to call them challenges. Everybody’s got them. Are we to wait until the challenges of life are gone before we feel jolly?

Jolly is the joy that springs forth from an attitude of hopefulness.  Jolly is a mindset, not a season. Jolly is HERE (point to head) not here (jiggle belly). Why do we wait for a season to be jolly? Are we going to go back to being miserable after the season is over? Perhaps our new year’s resolution ought to be jolly all year long. Is it possible? I believe that it is because God says that it’s so. Paul was joyful in prison, [Phil 1:18]. Peter taught of hopefulness in the persecuted saint, [1Peter 3:15].

When does JOY actually begin? Does it start the day after Thanksgiving, or does it start within your heart as a child of God? The eunuch, in Acts 8:39, went away ‘rejoicing’ upon his resurrection from the watery grave of baptism. Can a Christian be anything but joyful (jolly) regardless the time of year? As the ‘Grinch’ said, “What if (it) doesn’t come from a store? (Our joy) came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags.” it was delivered upon a cross.

How can we be Jolly? Here are a few things to think about that may help us keep joy in our lives throughout the year: [Phil 4:8]

  • whatsoever things are true,
  • whatsoever things are honest,
  • whatsoever things are just,
  • whatsoever things are pure,
  • whatsoever things are lovely,
  • whatsoever things are of good report;

In the context of the above, can we also meditate on what goes well rather than what goes wrong? A habitual daily pause to look for the joyful things in life may be part of the answer to a perpetual joy. What is good, joyful or jolly…

  • About yourself?
  • About your life?
  • About your relationships?
  • About what you’re doing?
  • About the love IN your life? (notice I didn’t say love OF your life?)
  • About doing your BEST at what you do?
  • About knowing the reason why you get up every day?

The truth is, there’s no better time to be joyful, than today. Why wait for a season, a present or a person to make you happy? If not now, when? When the economy gets better? When people stop being mean? When the stars align? You’re not promised that much time [James 4:14].

I am resolving to be jolly all year long and I challenge you to do the same. Why wait to be happy, after?

Don’t worry be Happy

We like to complain, “It’s hot, It’s cold. I’m too fat, I’m too short. I’m too old”…. yackk yackk yakk! We need more cheese in this world, with all the whine that’s going around. We whine (make excuses) about everything. Weather, ourselves, each other. Get over it!

GOD MAKES GOOD THINGS
Complaining about life is an insult to God and to His creation.

Ge 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Ge 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Ge 1:31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.

OUR ATTITUDE
God made us, we were made in His image. But it’s our attitude, not our appearance or health that separates us from God. Moses complained that he wasn’t a good speaker, God got angry. (Ex 4:10,11)

Zig Ziglar calls it “stinkin thinkin”. Look to the scriptures, there are wonderful words of comfort from our Creator; “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, 31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” Isa 40:28

God has a question for us when we complain about the troubles of life; “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” Job 38:4. I think that it’s morally wrong for Christians to remain unhappy. We can have sorrow and complaints, but to continue to talk about them, elevating them above our hope in Jesus, then what are we saying about Him? What are we saying to the world about our Savior?

OUR SPEECH

Jas 3:9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

EXAMPLES of Positive attitudes

  1. Stephen, As he lay dying, he said these words about his accusers, “And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” Ac 7:60
  2. Paul; “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. 25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;” Php 1:21

OUR ABILITIES
God has provided for each and every one of us with something to contribute.

  • 1Co 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
  • 1Co 12:12-31; (12) For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
  • Ga 6:14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
  • Talents; Mt 25:15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

Be Happy for Jesus

Many an ugly, sick or poor person has brought someone to Christ! If we only spoke about the love of God when we feel great, then we’re missing huge opportunities. 

  1. Ro 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
  2. Peter told folks to appear hopeful in the midst of persecution; “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” 1Pe 3:15

Even if there seems to be nothing in the world to make us happy, we should still act happy. The reason, one day the Lord shall return to take us to a far better place.

Perhaps your own reiterated cries deafen you to the voice you hoped to hear” ― A Grief Observed – CS Lewis.

spencer
Borger, Tx
806/274-5021

Ask me how to make your calling and election sure. 2Pet 1:10

4 step formula for success

The other day in the panhandle of Texas, I heard of a lady that had been kicked out of her apartment by her boyfriend. She had called her former employer, this person had only used her once to clean a rental house, seeking help. She wanted to avoid any shelters so as to be able to keep her kids, though her kids were with other people. She had no money, no one to turn, no place to go zip, nada, nothing.

Without trying to sound incompassionate, this question came to mind; How does one get to a point in their life that they have nothing? How do you burn every bridge so that you have no bridge to cross? I’m speaking about people that have options and without disabilities to prevent them from having some semblance of success. (incidentally, I’ve met folks with major obstacles in their lives and have overcome)

How do you live an honest life, lacking nothing?

Would you like a life like that? Honest living, lacking nothing? There are little treasures in the scriptures that God gives us to better enjoy our lives. He said in 2Pet 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, KJV. These “things” are more than just the churchy stuff. He provided information about life.

So, turning to the scriptures we find this little gem…

1Th 4:12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

Here we see a worthy ideal, having an honest life toward folks, and a lack of nothing. This verse says “that ye”, meaning that the formula is in the previous verses where we find the 4 step formula….

1Th 4:9 ¶ But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. 10 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; 11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

Let’s break this down for you…..

  1. LOVE – In vs9 He says that we are to love one another, then in vs10 to “increase more and more“. We should do more than just increase, but that He was urging us strongly to make this increase. Notice the word “beseech“.
  2. Pursue PEACE– In vs11 we see “study to be quiet“, meaning that we need to seek peace, a quiet life. Do you see how these first two steps can really change how our lives unfold?
  3. Mind your own business – Also in vs11 we see “to do your own business“. This is about being a busybody, or meddling. I think it’s referring less about what to avoid and more about what to do, take care of your stuff, look after your needs. This is not a selfish ambition, but rather making sure that the beam is removed from your own eye. Mat 7:5
  4. WORK with your own hands – now this may make sense to some of you, but to others this is a four letter word. From the very beginning, man has been assigned work to do. Work is the thing that provides all the necessities of life; food, clothing and shelter. If you don’t work, someone has to. Think of work as a blessing, not a curse. Though work is a struggle for mankind, it’s still the only thing that provides for our needs. On another note, there’s another benefit to work, Eph 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. KJV

Love – Peace – Mind your own – Work

Had I told this to certain audiences, they would reject this formula simply for being from the Bible. If I were to share this without the scripture reference, they would hail it as just good ‘ole common sense. These things work whether you’re a believer or unbeliever……..

……if you’re an unbeliever, then what’s the point of any of this? If you don’t have a hope of heaven in Christ, then you’ve got nothing and that is one bridge you want to keep from burning. He’s told us how to cross that bridge too. Click here to see what saves you.

 

spencer
Borger, Tx
806/274-5021

Ask me how to make your calling and election sure. 2Pet 1:10