Unending Joy

Description

Jesus first, others second, ourselves last... Let us instead be the disciples of His kingdom who proclaim His goodness through our everyday acts.

Joy:

Jesus first,

Others second,

Yourself last.

At least, that’s one way to put it.

But is that really how we define it?

Do we really live our lives with our priorities properly prioritized?

Unfortunately, for a lot of us, the answer is no. Sure, it sounds like a great way to live, but our lives are too crazy, too hectic, and way too busy to focus on anything except what needs to get done. Well, at least that’s what we tell ourselves. And, as a result, we find joy in our everyday accomplishments instead of our everyday walk with God.

Imagine how better off your day would be if you started and ended it with Jesus. Wake up 5-10 minutes early and spend it in prayer, keep a journal, or spend time in song--whatever it is that you do to spend time with Jesus, do it! Pray over the day and what God has waiting for you to encounter over the lapse of it. Pray over the friends and strangers that you will share community with in this day. Pray for more and more opportunities to exemplify Christ to others, not only through simple acts of kindness, but through the way you live your life as well.

However, even through our intentionality, we will most certainly find ourselves stumbling. We're fallen people who live in a fallen world. BUT! When we have our eyes, ears, hearts, and minds set on God, we are more likely to be okay with the mistakes that we have made because it is easier to learn from them and share the way we overcome our mistakes with those who are making the same ones. The relatability we share with people through our brokenness establishes relationships. It reminds us that we're not alone. And that's one of the main reasons Whole Magazine exists.

Forgiven.

Accepted.

Redeemed.

That's you, and that's me.

It’s actually quite simple to put the needs of others before yourself, even when you have so much going on. You see, once you get into the habit of starting your day with Jesus, it becomes more of a natural instinct than anything else to put the needs of others before you check the next thing off of your list. As a matter of fact, what you have to do will be the very last thing to cross your mind when you are in the act of taking care of the needs of others. We were created to serve, and sometimes that requires us to be self-sacrificial of our own needs.

But how do we become okay with that?

Well, start making little changes with how you go about your day. Like I stated earlier, spend some time with Jesus every morning! He loves to hear you speak what’s on your heart, and what you might be nervous about taking on that day. Have a few minutes between classes, meetings, or while your sweet baby is napping? Awesome, devote this time to say a prayer in your mind over a friend, your family, or a stranger, even! Pray over his or her day, what might be on his or her heart….just about anything works, really. The fact that you are taking a minute or two to think about someone else immediately makes you selfless in those few moments. And the more that you do this, the more you realize how great of a feeling it is to be selfless!

It’s all about being intentional.

When your heart is overflowing with God’s love and the understanding of how unfathomable and infinite it truly is, you have found pure joy! When you look at the life of Jesus and understand how self-sacrificial and self-disciplined he was, you, my friend, have found pure joy. We are called to live our lives just as Jesus did. We are invited to live in the larger story, God's meta-narrative!

Jesus made no excuses, yet we make all the excuses in the world. Why is that? Jesus was on his feet all hours of the day. He had no idea where he would be at any point during his life, but regardless of how busy his days were he would wake up so incredibly early to spend endless amounts of time in prayer with his Father; OUR Father.

The practice of self-discipline is so important for our religious lifestyles. So many of us go to church on Sunday and drift back into our worldly habits the very next day. Let us not be the people of God who sit still. Let us instead be the disciples of His kingdom who proclaim His goodness through our everyday acts.

Jesus First

Others second,

Yourself last.

JOY.

What a beautiful acronym for an incredibly beautiful word.

Read it.

Now, read it again.

What does this acronym mean to you? How does this acronym apply to your life?

What does your life look like in this very moment? Think about how you started your day, what your schedule for the day looks like, and how you’ll end your day.

It’s never too late to start making changes.

You can even make a few now.

By doing so, you’re one step closer to living your life out just like our Savior did for us.

Jesus first,

Others second,

Yourself last.

Joy.
"It is His joy that makes our joy full." -A.W. Tozer


Written by Emily Townsend

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