Bringing Joy

Mark 8:34-35

“If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.”

Thought for the day:  Does it bring me joy?

Packing to move is not a fun thing to do but it is a time to establish how we will live in our next home or our next place. Recently I have been sharing with friends about my need to find solace in giving possessions to charities or to sell some to help us when we move. In my thoughts, it has been very overwhelming to see the things my husband and I have accumulated over the years with the deaths of all of our parents since we married. I have heard “Ask yourself the question when you pick up an item ‘Will this bring me joy?’ and ‘If your house caught fire, would this be something you would want to save?’” Both of these statements have helped me and I found myself just last night asking, “Will this bring me joy?” and most of the time my answer was no. Granted, I was cleaning in the kitchen so I had not gotten to those memory items, but it actually gave me joy to put things aside to give away. I am prayerful that when I get to the part of our attic where my mother’s boxes of items are stored that I will have that same feel of joy. I know my mother would not want me to keep items that do not bring me joy.

My devotional that I read this morning was based on the scripture, Mark 8:34-38 when Jesus said, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” The devotional spoke to me as I realized that the worry I have over having too much stuff has taken some of my joy away as I have tried to be closer to God. As I look at a houseful of things and I make decisions on what to give away and what to keep, will I look at the items as possessions that I want to keep just to look at, or will I work to give God “a heart purified of possessions.” The devotional ends with these words, “Nobody can fight properly and boldly for the faith if he clings to fear of being stripped of earthly possessions.” (The One Year Worship the King Devotional – Chris Tiegreen)

Prayer:   Father, thank you for the words you give us through friends and through the scripture. They seem to come at the perfect time to help us go through our trials in the moment. Help us discern what those words mean in our lives. Amen.


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