Good Morning Beloved

To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.
1 Peter 3:8-9 (NASB)

     ‘Tis the season to be jolly. We hear that in overhead speakers walking through the mall, from the lilting voices of well meaning carolers strolling through downtown streets, at school and church holiday programs, on all Christmas music all the time radio stations, it just seems to be the order of the day this time of year. It seems to say “let’s put all of our daily grind lives aside and be jolly because it is the season after all”.
     As I go about my day during this time of year I see anything but folks being jolly.  According to Webster’s dictionary jolly means happy, cheerful, good-humored, jovial. Instead I see people rushing around, being short tempered, standing in long lines, spending way over budget and feeling pressured to out do the previous year. Sad. I get caught up in it myself.
     The apostle Peter tells us here that we should all be harmonious, brotherly, kindhearted, humble, sympathetic, being a blessing; not just at this season but as a way of life. Looking at the first three words of verse 8 “to sum up” Peter had just spent verses 1-7 giving advice on how women with unsaved spouses should live so that those spouses might be won to the Lord. He also gave advice to men reminding them to love their wives giving them honor as fellow heirs in Christ. So summing up those previous verses Peter tells us to live in harmony, being kind so that we may inherit a blessing. Not at just one time of year but as a way of life.
     I would like to give you a challenge and I am going to take this challenge myself. I am calling it my “365 Days of Joy” challenge. Every day for the 365 days of 2016 I want to be a spreader of joy.  Join me in a quest to live in harmony, be sympathetic, be brotherly, kindhearted and humble in spirit. When someone wrongs you do not wish them ill but bless them instead. At the end of every day write down what you accomplished. Did you call a person who cannot get out of the house? Did you see the perfect parking place and drive past only to park a bit further away so that someone else might enjoy it? Did you pray for a person in front of or behind you in line at the grocery store? Maybe you prayed for the cashier helping you. You know a couple that needs a date night but cannot afford a babysitter so volunteer to babysit so they can spend some alone time. During this year someone you know will have major surgery. Take time to give them a call checking on their welfare. As someone who has been there those phone calls mean the world! Let someone go ahead of you in line anywhere you are in line. The possibilities are endless. The kindnesses are limitless. Choose to live a kinder gentler life. Pray and ask God to give you your marching orders for that day. How can you be a blessing?
     At the end of the year go over the 365 opportunities God gave you to be a blessing and how you were blessed in return.  Reflect on how your life changed by having a new mindset. Even on the days you are alone or didn’t go anywhere you can still be a blessing. You can pray for a missionary then send them an email telling them you prayed. I would LOVE to see your journal at the end of the year. Please pray and ask God to help you to live out these verses.
     If you accept this challenge let me know. I will encourage you all the way! Every day is the day to be jolly, happy, cheerful, jovial, good-natured. In the words of King David “The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous.” (Psalm 34:13a NASB). God bless you as you are striving to live a life for Jesus in a world who desperately needs Him. Spread joy everywhere you go. Jesus Only You.  JOY ❤

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