A Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah Day

Have you awakened to a new day with that Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah feeling? But then you run into that person that irritates the Zip right out of you?

People! You can’t live with them and you can’t live without them. The bottom line is that we need each other. At the same time we drive each other crazy.

But is real joy this fragile? If joy is that unstable, is it genuine?

Seventeen times the biblical letter to the Philippians mentions words like joy, gladness, and rejoice. Is there a key to having joy in relationships, not just in spite of them?

There’s a transformative principle that will bring joy into any relationship. There is a key to having authentic joy with the people with whom we interact. What is it?

The writer of Philippians said,

“Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy.”

Philippians 1:4

This principle works! Simple, pray with joy for them. Now don’t stop reading.

But how do I do it? We have a biblical example in Philippians 1:9-11 (NLT).

First, pray that their love will grow. “I pray that your love will overflow more and more.”

Second, pray that they will make wise choices. I pray “that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.”

Third, pray that they will live with integrity. “For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.”

Fourth, pray that they will become like Jesus. “May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.”

So simple, yet incredibly difficult! There’s nothing complicated about this transformative principle, just do it and watch it work.

What makes it so difficult? It is our tendency to be discontent, gripe, and complain. We would rather moan about how bad that person is and wish they would change.

I’m to pray for that person I detest? That’s right. It’s a choice. Choose to be miserable or choose to be sacrificial by making these four requests to God for them. You will be more joyful. Watch what God does. Put some Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah into your prayers for others.

Want to know more? This Sunday at 9am, I will continue the series, “HOW TO IN-JOY LIFE: Simple, but Difficult Steps.”

.

.

.

Find us at BalboaBaptist.Church. Our mission is to bring all people to the saving grace of Jesus Christ and help them grow toward Christian maturity through love, prayer, worship, teaching, and service.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Sheer Joy – But How?

Is true happiness possible? Everyone seems to be looking for it. Where do I start? Can I enjoy for the rest of my life?

Does happiness come with retirement, health, time, sex, or money? Time and time again we see someone with fame, riches, and pleasures, yet a divorce is making them very unhappy.

The Bible calls it joy, gladness, and rejoicing. Is it just pie in the sky? The Bible writer, Paul, said,

“Always be full of joy in the Lord.” Philippians 4:4 NLT.

Note that Paul was not in an ivory tower with servants waiting on him, but wrote this while he was in prison to people who were going through very tough times.

1. First, you will never find happiness. You must choose it. It’s a choice or rather a series of choices about the way you think, live, and act.

2. Then, if you make happiness your goal in life, you will never have it. It is a result or by-product of something else. You will become very self-centered and frustrated if happiness is your life’s objective.

3. Also, intentional steps create happiness. We shape our habits and our habits shape us. These steps are very simple to teach, but incredibly difficult to do.

4. A joy based on circumstances is temporary. Joy built on right steps is long-lasting. You go on a wonderful cruise to the Greek Isles for a couple of weeks – happy! Then the Visa bill – unhappy.

5. We all know how addicting bad habits are. But good habits are just as addicting but without all the bad side-effects. Bad habits are not created overnight. Both good and bad habits take time to develop.

Want to know more? This Sunday, April 23, at 9am, I begin a series of messages under the theme:

“HOW TO IN-JOY LIFE: Simple, but Difficult Steps.”

 


Find us at BalboaBaptist.Church. Our mission is to bring all people to the saving grace of Jesus Christ and help them grow toward Christian maturity through love, prayer, worship, teaching, and service.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Easter Baskets

Guest Blog by Rev. Steve Butler, Associate Pastor, Balboa Baptist Church

When our children were growing up, my wife would signal the approach of Easter by making her annual pilgrimage to the store to procure candy for the kids’ Easter baskets. Not wanting her husband to feel left out, she would buy me a delicious white chocolate bunny. No, we were not modern devotees of ancient fertility rites. We all knew the real meaning of Easter and were grateful for our Lord’ sacrifice and resurrection for us.

Today, chocolate eggs, bunnies, and marshmallow chicks resting on a bed of artificial grass mean spring has come, Easter is here and candy is great. The pagans of former times viewed the rabbits and eggs as symbols of fertility and abundance of life that came in the springtime.  After the deaths of the apostles and the patristic fathers who followed them, the Christian church gave these pagan symbols Christian meanings to move new converts out of a pagan worldview.  Spring green still meant the renewal of God’s creation after the dormancy of winter. Rabbits represented new birth and the replenishment of the species (God’s command to multiply).  Chicks hatching out of their eggshells depicted the resurrection of Christ out of the tomb.

Even though these symbols can be great teaching tools for children, I prefer the traditional symbols that mean so much: the Last Supper with the twelve disciples; the Garden of Gethsemane and Christ’s arrest; the Crown of Thorns and mockery by the Roman soldiers;  the Cross and Jesus’ sacrificial death for all people; the Empty tomb and the angelic declaration, “He is risen! He is not here.”  As I think of these events, I rehearse the truths of the Easter story one more time and I am moved with the same depth of emotion that I have experienced every Easter.

Symbols are important, but they are not substitutes for decisions and actions.   Christ’s claims call for acceptance, trust and commitment.   If you have not responded to the claims of Christ, I hope you will examine them and believe.

So, enjoy the Easter candy and think of the sweetness of the Lord Jesus Christ!

At BalboaBaptist.Church, click “Media’ for recent sermons or more Fresh Bread articles. Please worship with us this Sunday at 9:00am and Bible study classes at 10:15am. Our mission is to bring all people to the saving grace of Jesus Christ and help them grow toward Christian maturity through love, prayer, worship, teaching and service.