The Prescription for Jesus Joy
By Wendy Pope

“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew
10:30 (NIV)

Have you ever been around a person who displays real Jesus joy? This person is hard to miss. A person with real Jesus joy has a peace in the midst of turbulent storms, hope in seemingly hopeless situations, and can smile through tears of personal trials. This person can be overwhelmingly intimidating or incredibly inspiring to be around. One thing is for sure, this person has discovered the secret. The secret to real Jesus joy is tucked in the heart of today's key verse. The secret to real joy is losing your life for the sake of Christ.

In the economy of the "me first" mentality of the world we live in, losing your life doesn't sound like a plan that would lead to personal joy and life satisfaction. Jesus' words were as radical to those with whom He was speaking then as they are to those who read them now. How can losing your life lead to finding it? To answer this question we must consider the focus of the scripture: His sake.

He is the focus. We are to lose our life for Him. He must be considered first in everything we say and everything we do. When we take the focus away from our wants, rights, needs, and desires, it becomes easy to lose our life for His sake. He then leads us to turn our attention to other's wants, rights, needs, and desires. Somehow, through the surrendering of ourselves, the sacrifice we make for others brings Jesus joy into our lives so that our wants, rights, needs, and desires no longer seem to matter.

What I find so amazing is that when I reach the end of myself, I find myself. I find the self I want to be. The me who puts others first without thinking twice. The me who is willing to spend myself for the comfort and convenience of a stranger or friend, without considering what it will personally cost. This is the self I want to be, but unfortunately I sometimes fall short of the goal if I don't remember the simple prescription that was given to me when I young child:

J Jesus
O Others
Y Yourself

Are you losing your life for His sake? Do you want to be the person described in the beginning of today's devotion? I do. Today let's be less self-centered and commit to losing our lives for the sake of Christ instead. Let’s follow the JOY prescription.

This prescription comes with a warning label, however: too much service can bring about resentment to all service. Therefore, it must be taken with prayer, and a commitment to serve in ways that don’t exhaust us to the point of spiritual burnout.

Jesus joy is approved under all medical plans and can be taken on an empty stomach, with or without water. Just swallow, smile, and serve!

Dear Lord, thank You for Your timeless Word and its amazing power in my life. I need Your help to apply this precept. It is not always easy to put others first, but I trust the truth of Your Word and want to be a person who displays real joy. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Sponsor a child through Compassion International

i am not but i know I AM by Louie Giglio

Out of the Mouths of Babes by Wendy Pope

For more insight on the topic of joy visit Wendy Pope’s blog

Application Steps:
Ask God to reveal any joy substitutes you may have. Explore ways He can deplete these substitutes and replenish the space in your heart with joy. Use a Bible concordance or visit www.biblegateway.com to find other scriptures on the subject of joy.

Reflections:
Am I experiencing real Jesus joy?

If yes, list examples to support your answer.

If no, list reasons to explain your answer.

What can I do to put Jesus and then others first?

Power Verses:
Matthew 25:40, "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." (NIV)

Luke 13:30, "Indeed there are those who are last who will be first and first who will be last." (NIV)

Philippians 2:12, "Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling." (NIV)

© 2008 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.


8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a person who needs concrete examples rather than general ideas. Can you give me some examples of exactly HOW to put Jesus first? I understand how to put other people before myself (not that I'm good at it), but I've never been able to figure out exactly HOW to live my life with Jesus first.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, good morning Lord, starts off with His name on our mind secong, pray,asking for His leadership.Third,have a devotion time. Private time with God will be your "Putting Jesus 1st". Time with Him is the answer.

Anonymous Natasha from Canada said...

Wendy,
I want you to know that the Lord used your article today to drive a message home to me in only the perfect way that he can. I thought I would share it here.
On Mother's Day, we were at church and I showed my 2-year-old daughter the statue of St. Francis holding baby Jesus. She was fascinated, so I had her say "Hi, Jesus", which she pronounced perfectly (not to brag - this is part of the awesome thing that happened). Later, upon leaving the church, my daughter Arwen showed me the statue again, this time calling the baby Jesus, "Joy". "Look, Mommy! Baby Joy!" I thought it was just a fluke thing, as you know that small children tend to choose words that are easy to say. Arwen tends to name babies well though. She has a baby at daycare whom she calls Baby Kyle and her cousin is Baby Josh. Why she chose "Joy" for the statue of Jesus was odd for her. She also tends to be very good with pronounciation and, if she can't pronounce something, will at least form part of the word. Nevertheless, at the time I didn't think much of it.
The next time we were at church was to drop off a few things for a bake sale. Once again, Arwen, my daughter said, "Look! Baby Joy!", referring to the infant Jesus statue. Again, it didn't capture my attention too much. I though it was cute and just said, "Yes, that's baby Jesus", thinking that she had just chosen to name the statue herself.
But, yesterday made me pause. We have a board book that depicts baby Jesus in the manger. Arwen pulled it out and sat on my lap, asking me to read it. I pointed out the donkey and the mouse around the manger. Arwen, in excitement, shouted, "Look! Baby Joy! Baby Joy!" and pointed right to the baby in the manger.
It startled me that she had actually recognized the baby in the manger as the same one in the statue. Again, I wondered, why was she calling him "Joy"? It didn't even sound the same...
Then, your article hit my mailbox. It all made sense. I felt the flood of his presence and knew the Lord was sending me a message. It was no mistake that he used my daughter, a small child, to deliver it too. You're so right about it all -- Joy is from Jesus. He is Joy. And the ability to put our lives in his hands and let him lead us is the only way to have true joy.
Praise be to him for that!
And many thanks for all you do.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the first blogger,
I am no expert but to me, putting Jesus first means inviting him to dwell in me: let His thoughts be my thoughts; let His words be the words I speak, and let His actions be the actions I take. So that it's not me that people see, but it's really Jesus living through me. I hope this helps you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once a person ask Jesus into their heart they become part of the family of Christ. The next step is to learn as much as you can about the "head" of your new family. The Father,Son,and the Holy Spirit is the Godhead,three in one. To learn requires time spend in His word.Private quiet time just as blogger #2 suggested. The time alone with God will equip you in ALL areas of your life. Put "Jesus time" in your life each day and you will be amazed at the results. Before long you will gain an solid relationship with God. Build your life around God.

Blogger pancakesluvjesus said...

To put God first have a daily time with God with bible reading and prayer before you start your day.I do it first thing because that makes God a priority in my morning.
Go to church faithfully and get involed in the activities there.Have fellowship with others christians is a wonderful way to stay close to God.

OpenID fallingintofavor said...

JOY: Jesus Others Yourself. I will never forget that! I'm happy that I'm close to the Jesus Joy. I'm forcing myself to keep my focus on Him.

Along with what the others said, I think putting Jesus first: being willing to let God interrupt your plans and to-do lists. And putting other people first is a way of honoring Jesus, and dethroning pride, ego, flesh. You're on your way :)

"In the economy of the "me first" mentality of the world we live in, losing your life doesn't sound like a plan that would lead to personal joy and life satisfaction"

So true, but, yes, it does lead to joy and life satisfaction :) and something I daily try to get across to my children. Thanks for sharing!

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