November 2005 Calendar Article
Our Theme for 2005:
Living for Jesus
Living Joyfully for Jesus
—By Tinea L. Watkins
What does “living joyfully for Jesus” mean? I believe that Maya Angelou summed it up quite well: “A joyful spirit is evidence of a grateful heart.” When our desire on a daily basis is to be thankful no matter the outcome of the day . . . that’s a good start. In Psalm 118:24 we’re told to rejoice and be glad, if for no other reason than the fact that God made “that” day; that’s a good point for living joyfully. Also, in James 1:2-3, James tells us to “count it pure joy” when we face many types of difficulties. He didn’t say rejoice only when we felt like it or when it’s most convenient for us. When we stand firm with God during times of trials, we’re going to be stronger at the end. And the best part of all . . . we’re not doing it alone. God is right there beside, in front of, and all around us, providing everything we need to make it through.
Being thankful is only a part of living joyfully for Jesus; the other part is living a spiritual life. In Galatians 5:16-26 we’re given instructions on living life by the spirit, and according to 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 we’re to add “praying continually” and “not quench the Spirit” to our “to do” list, which completes the package. If we do these things daily, we will be better prepared to handle difficulties when they come our way, as referenced in Ephesians 6:10-18.
Living joyfully for Jesus is in fact living a Spirit-filled life, with prayer, thankfulness and joy as its by-products.
“God Give Me Joy”
God give me joy in common things:
In the dawn that lures, the eve that sings.
In the new grass sparkling after rain,
In the late wind’s wild and weird refrain;
In the springtime’s spacious field of gold,
In the precious light by winter doled.
God give me joy in the love of friends,
In their dear home talk as summer ends;
In songs of children unrestrained;
In the sober wisdom age has gained.
God give me joy in the tasks that press,
In the memories that burn and bless;
In the thought that life has loved to spend;
In the faith that God’s at journey’s end.
God give me hope for each day that springs,
God give me joy in the common things.
— Thomas Curtis Clark.