DAY 15 - JOY IN TRANSFORMATION
7th grade was a miserable year. That year in my private school we had to read the entire Old Testament in the King James translation all on our own. As I read, nothing made sense. Sacrifices? Laws? Death? Where is this Jesus I’m supposed to seek? There weren’t clear answers from the adults around either. It seemed my school teachers were so focused on the state of my eternal soul that literally nothing else mattered. I don’t remember any school staff smiling or laughing, asking about my day, or helping a deeply depressed girl feel loved during a horrible time of life. Of course my recollection is probably clouded by adolescent angst, but feelings remain. For years I was left with no use for a Bible that was beyond confusing and with a distaste for grim, joyless religion. But then…Jesus.
I would’ve thought today’s verse was a fallacy before Jesus got hold of me. Joy? Delight in the law? Nah, no way. But then…Jesus! When we allow the Lord full access to our lives, the Holy Spirit reveals those areas in our minds that are bound up in destructive chains of brokenness or hurt, misunderstanding or despair. As Romans 12 so beautifully describes, my own life was transformed by God when He renewed my thoughts, my attitudes. I gratefully gave Him my sullen mind and over time He infused it with joy. This transformation’s deeper than simply having happy thoughts; we’re talking a love of Scripture and being in the Lord’s presence. Psalms 1 is the real deal my friends.
I’m not saying I have it all down. Some days meditating on His Word is difficult (there’s Psalm 1 again). Each day I have to remind myself that without Jesus Christ I can do nothing. His joy is my strength! Maintaining a healthy relationship with Him takes daily time and effort on my part, but going back to BC (before Christ) is NOT an option I can ever consider. What about you? Is there an area in your thought life the Lord needs to transform? Is He waiting for you to surrender the mindset that keeps you bound from the fullness of joy only God can give?
There are so many wonderful opportunities for children/teens to grow in love with the Word of God! From physical copies of the Bible with interesting (i.e., cool) commentary, to digital versions with Bible story videos right on their device, your kids have the exciting world of Scripture right in their hands. How awesome is that?! However, if no one helps nurture that love it’s in real danger of falling away. Read the Word with your kids and teens. Explore its mysteries together. Answer their questions. Enjoy the delightful process of developing a heart and mind that’s open to transformational joy.
PRAYER & REFLECTION
Is your mindset in need of change? Perhaps like me, past experience has clouded perceptions and bound your thought processes. It’s my prayer that the joy found in the fullness of Jesus Christ and His delightful Word be yours via His specialty: transformation. Give the Lord complete access to YOU and you’ll never be the same.