Madison Christian Church

Devotional for Oct. 14, 2018

I love seeing a joyful spirit at the church. I have been seeing that on our workdays and in people who’ve been coming in through the week to work on the basement remodel project. That joy is contagious. I love seeing a joyful spirit on Wednesday nights too! It’s so evident. And all of that carries over to Sunday mornings. Our fellowship at MCC is refreshing to me.

But let’s remain vigilant in prayer and self-examination to make sure we do not give an open window or open door to the enemy. He can slither in to any house, family, marriage or church undetected. And when he’s there and infests the place with his demonic forces the whole atmosphere can change. And even one person can be a conduit for him. So we need to remain on guard. Thankfully the Spirit of the Lord is powerful and we can overcome evil with good. And the love and joy from the Lord is more powerful than anger and gloom from the enemy.

So let’s continue to pray for the Lord’s provision and protection.

Nothing destroys enthusiasm and momentum like a gloomy face. If you want to ruin an atmosphere in a home, at work, at a party or in a church, just walk around with a frown, scowl – or more accurately a pout.

The fruit of the Spirit is given to us by Paul in Galatians 5:22,23. The first mark of the presence of the Spirit in our lives is “love”. That should be expected. The love of Christ is how Jesus said people identify us as His disciples. But the very next in this list is “joy”.

I don’t want to make too much of the importance of an order in a list like this.   I mean “self-control” is the last. Does that make it less important?! Of course not. But it is at least interesting to me that in describing the fruit (evidence) of the Holy Spirit in us, the very next thing the Lord led Paul to say after love, is “joy”.

There should be a joy in us that others notice. If others would not describe me as a person who displays a “joyful” attitude, something is out of alignment in me spiritually.  Pray that the Lord continues to bless us with an atmosphere full of the love and joy of the Holy Spirit. Let’s keep that kind of momentum going!