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Your personal relationship with Jesus: These things I have spoken to you, that My Joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full - John 15:11

Divine Note #5 – Feb. 2, 2009

Dear Women of the Word,
As God transforms my life, it’s easier to share my testimony so that others can see how He changes in our lives. My dad passed away unexpectedly at the age of 36, on February 6, 1970, when I was 12 years old. That impacted my life in many ways and has made me a relationship expert – as in what not to do in relationships. But the main point that I want to make is that for many years, I dreaded the month of February and the sad memories.
Over the years, I’ve discussed it with counselors, friends and family, and I even took grief seminars and read books -- all in an attempt to cope with unresolved grief. But it wasn’t until I accepted God’s free and unmerited grace, that I can now say that everyday of my life is joyful. I no longer dread February and instead, my heavenly Father has given me the ability to have wonderful memories of my human father, who was a very talented, loving and handsome man. So, whatever is impacting your joy, GIVE IT TO GOD NOW, don’t let it rob your joy anymore!
We are all going to have a February full of love, joy and big God Hugs!
Blanca

Your life can be increasingly full of joy as you develop your relationship with Jesus. As you put more effort into studying the Bible, praying and listening to what He wants you to accomplish while you are on Earth, you will have calmer days and a better mood. But God's promises have requirements. In verse 10, Jesus says, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” There you have it; Jesus was not exempt, so we are not exempt from following God’s commandments. If we want to have the Holy Spirit’s indescribable joy, there is no room for secret sin or behaviors that are inconsistent with what God expects from His daughters.

As Pastor Paul said today, the measuring stick is perfection (Matthew 5:48) and we all fall short because we are humans. So how do we keep interior purity, so we can maintain joy or get joyful? The first thing we need to do, as Pastor Paul suggested, is to admit that we need help.

Try these practical suggestions.

  • Don’t attempt to figure everything out (this is where faith kicks in).
  • Mind your own business, you don’t have to have an opinion about everything (I constantly battle this problem).
  • Stay in today.
  • Pray before you act on something.
  • If you’re married or in a relationship, read 1 Peter 3.
  • Pick the right battles.
  • Be positive about the people in your life (yikes, this one is hard, too).
  • My favorite advice is from Dr. Charles Stanley: Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.
When we treat others as Jesus has treated us, our lives will become more joyful!

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Comfort

Psalm 119:76 Comfort me with your love, as you promised me, your servant.
Job 4:4 Your words have comforted those who fell, and you have strengthened those who could not stand.
Strength

Psalm 18:1 I love you, LORD. You give me strength.
Psalm 29:11 The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.
Psalm 118:14 The Lord gives me strength and a song. He has saved me.
Isaiah 40:29 The LORD gives strength to those who are weary.
Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is your shelter, and his everlasting arms support you.
1 Corinthians 15:58 … don’t let anyone move you off the foundation of your faith.
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Sin on the journey

Before I know it, sin drips from my mouth and floods my mind. Oh the struggle.
Romans 7:22-23 I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin. So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin. Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free. 
My current struggle is in not easily recognizing the extent of my sinfulness. I can easily preach it, but continuous righteous living eludes me.
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