Joy is Our Strength
Run with Purpose
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Key Verse: Nehemiah 8:10
“… for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”
I want to follow up yesterday’s devotional with the Apostle Paul’s conclusion about his inability to make perfect choices every time:
I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:14).
We see here that Paul did not take the attitude that since he couldn’t be perfect, he might as well relax and not try. No, Paul understood that God deserves our best efforts and an attitude that we might not be perfect, but we’ll keep trying.
Christ-followers never give themselves permission to be careless about the daily choices we make. The Apostle Paul’s letter to the Corinthian Christ-followers gives further proof of the effort that he felt all of us should give:
So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should… (1 Corinthians 9:26-27).
Do you think that your efforts in your relationship with Jesus are purposeful and disciplined? Our daily efforts to stay close to Jesus best reveal our joy in the Lord.
If you are like me, we must be careful to never think we are earning Jesus’s love by our daily efforts. NO, our daily efforts must come out of this deep joy that Jesus saves us and we on our way to heaven.
We want to stay close to Him. We want to love what He loves and hate what He hates. It is in this attitude that we press on and daily discipline our lives to be more like Jesus in every way.
What does this effort look like in our daily lives? That is a harder question because I am sure it looks different in each Christ-followers life. Here are a few ideas about what this could look like:
- faithful Bible reading and study,
- faithful prayers, and
- faithful attendance to the weekly gathering of God’s people.
Again, all these thoughts are not ways to earn Jesus’s love but are ways to keep His love growing and flowing in our lives.
Father, with your help, I will put forth my best effort today to live for you and obey you in all my ways. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.