Today’s message is from Pastor Pam Sutherland of the St. Paul United Methodist Church & Fort Gibson United Methodist Church
My sister Susie likes to share light-hearted and comical things on Facebook as a way of bringing some joy and laughter to folks. She sees it as a kind of ministry to combat some of the negativity that too often rears its ugly head on social media. Susie is one of those people with a great sense of humor. She has a contagious laugh that comes easily, naturally, and often. Whenever we have our sibling reunions it’s always fun to get her going and then watch her laugh uncontrollably while the tears stream down her face. She always overflows with joy even though, like everyone else, she has experienced her share of trials and tribulations.
In Galatians 5:22 we read that JOY is a fruit of the Spirit that come from living in step with the Spirit of God rather than living according to our own selfish desires. In fact, joy is listed right after Love. Some theologians believe that the fruit of the Spirit is love and that the rest of the list – joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control – simply describe what love produces in our lives. So perhaps joy happens when we do those loving things like: “love our neighbors as ourselves,” “do unto others as we would have them do unto us,” and “honor others above ourselves.”
If we want more joy in our lives maybe it’s a matter of simply looking for someone to show love to each day. The Bible describes real love as something we do rather than something we feel. Is there someone you know that is going through a hard time and needs some extra love? Reach out with a call, a card, a text and let them know you are thinking of them. What about the people you meet in the store, at work, on the street? Can you share a kind word and a smile? If we love our neighbors, treat others the way we want to be treated, and honor others above ourselves, we may find our lives are growing in joy! You may remember a children’s song with the lyrics, “This is my commandment that you love one another that your joy may be full” based on John 15:11-12. Maybe you’re singing it in your head right now. If not, check it out here:
My sister Susie has always been an example of real love to me and everyone she meets. No wonder her life overflows with joy! What about you? Does your life overflow with joy? If not, who can you show love to today?
Grace and peace,