From Pastor Caroline (1/21/22) . . .

Divine Joy

January 21, 2022

Do you have joy? Do you want joy? I mean, who doesn’t? I guess the real question is:

Do you know how to receive joy?

When the Israelites returned back home after more than 50 years of exile, they worked to rebuild the temple, rebuild their communities and rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. But they knew that there was still something missing. If they were going to have a reconstituted community, they knew that it had to be built around the word of God.

They told Ezra to read God’s word to them. And so, he did. For hours! Not only did he read it but the leaders took time to explain what was being read. The people realized they weren’t living up to what they had promised God and they were grieved.

But one of their leaders, Nehemiah, told them not to grieve. He said:

“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

When we hear the word of God, we receive divine joy! When we hear God’s word we know that God wants us, just as we are. We know that it is not our efforts that God wants.

It is our love and devotion that God wants. It is our worship. God wants us to put God first in our lives.

We have joy in knowing that we are enough, just as we are. We are enough. And we learn this through reading the word of God.

We are so privileged that we tend to take for granted that we can read the scriptures. Not only can we read it, we can have our own copy of the scriptures. In our own language. We don’t have to gather together to have someone read it to us.

We can have it in paper form, or digital form, or audio if we so choose. We have all sorts of teaching available to us. So much so that we have to be careful to ensure that it is sound teaching.

On many occasions I have had the opportunity to give people their first Bible in a language they can read. They receive it as the treasure that it is, and are so grateful.

Do you read the scriptures?  Do you know what it means for you?  Do you know that it is written for you?  Read your Bible and you will receive divine joy.

God’s word brings you the joy that is your strength.

Peace be yours,

 

Pastor Caroline