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  • Writer's pictureOlufunmilayo Adekusibe

DO YOU HAVE JOY?


 

Today’s Readings:

Acts 15:7-21

Psalm 96:1-3,10

John 15:9-11

 


If you went through school at any level, you must know at least one teacher or lecturer who derives joy from punishing or humiliating students. What makes this situation pathetic is that they justify their poor treatment of students on the claim that life was not easy for them in their time. So, is that why you want to traumatize and kill other people’s children? School, by its very nature, instils the discipline of scholarship and morality.


At the end of a person’s time in school, they are certified based on character and learning. Such teachers are fixated on learning with no care for character. And with learning, the focus is on instilling fear and forcing respect. Such an attitude discourages the love for learning. This is also the pattern that some Jews in the early church were displaying towards Gentile Christians. At the first Council of Jerusalem, the contention was, “Should Gentile Christians be circumcised or not?” (Male circumcision is what is referred to here). The Jews believed that it is circumcision that admits you into the circle of God’s chosen people. Baptism became the means of admission into the new covenant (John 3:3-5). Because they were first circumcised, they wanted the Gentiles to do so first before approaching the sacrament of baptism. Peter and the other apostles confirmed that such a burden is unnecessary. To the Gentile converts they wrote: “You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols…and from fornication. Avoid these and you will do what is right” (Acts 15:29).


Why do we think that people should undergo unnecessary suffering to attain what we have received often for free? None of us had to pay or do anything to earn Jesus’ sacrificial death. It was while we were sinners that Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). The need to see others suffer needlessly before they receive something that is free or something to which they are entitled cannot be Christian-like. It shows that we lack the joy of Christ which is a fruit of our love for Him and His love for us. Today, examine the motives behind your actions. Are your actions borne out of love or selfishness? Are you afraid that the success of others will take away from your achievements? Remember, all blessings come from God (James 1:17). If He has blessed you, He will bless others too. And sometimes, He wants to bless them through you.


Don’t become an enemy of another person’s progress. God will still bless them even when you stand in their way. But there is a special blessing for you when you let yourself become a channel of God’s love and peace. Lend a helping hand today to whoever you can. Make life a little more comfortable for others. If you treat others with the same love that God treats you, your joy will be complete.

JUDE-MARY OWOH


 

Prayer:

  1. Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.

  2. Lord, thou has been our dwelling place in all generations.

  3. He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

  4. May the joy of Christ which passes human comprehension be ours as we assist those God is pleased to put in our way today, in Jesus’ name.

  5. Father, we put in Your fatherly care and love, our children, youths and young adults, draw them nearer to You, teach them Your way of holiness and lead them, in Jesus' name.

  6. We bring before You Lord, all Christian homes, unite them in Your love, and open the parent's eyes to their responsibilities as parents, in Jesus' name.

  7. Father, grant that our leaders may see their call to national service as a ministry to the glory of God, in Jesus' name.

  8. Father, in nations of the world, especially our nation, heal the wounded, comfort the hurting, and grant Your peace, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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