Living Free - Aug. 13, 2007

Today's Scripture
So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure! Psalm 32:11 NLT

Thoughts for Today
Is laughter really the best medicine? Is it ok for "real" Christians to laugh? Shouldn't we be more serious?

Sometimes the greatest obstacle to the message of Christianity is Christians themselves. We are often perceived as pessimistic, suspicious, critical, judgmental, cranky, stingy people. Wow! People are just not standing in line to see more of that.

How contrary this is to the Christian life Jesus described. He called it "life to the full" ... a better life. Such a life is characterized by joy. When the world sees genuine happiness in the lives of Christ's followers, they will take notice. They will begin to see what real Christianity is all about.

Consider this…
How about it? Does your face need a tune-up? Is your countenance reflecting criticism and pessimism and a judgmental frame of mind? Or the light and love and joy of Jesus.

How's your attitude? Do people around you see a grumbler and complainer? Or one who takes things in stride and sees the best in everything and everyone.

We might not be laugh-out-loud happy all the time, but that inner joy of the Lord should show through.

Children sing "I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart." Do you have that joy? And does it bubble over for others to see? Let people know that Jesus really does make a difference in your life.

Lord, sometimes I forget how much I have to be thankful for. Forgive me for grumbling and complaining. Help me to focus on Jesus. Help me to focus on my blessings—especially the joy of salvation. I will rejoice in the LORD and be glad!

These thoughts adapted from…
Authentic Living by Dr. Mike Chapman. Authentic people who are living in authentic Christian Community are powerful witnesses. Topics for this study include: What Does It Mean to Be Real?, Real Christians Laugh, Real Christians Learn, Real Christians Lean, Real Christians Linger, and Real Christians Love.



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