I've been reading a devotional book about the different aspects of Joy as it pertains to women. In fact the book is titled "Joy, a Godly Womans Adornment" by Lydia Brownback. I have struggled in this area as I can't always find Joy in a situation or circumstance.
The Joy topic covered in the book include...Joy in ~ going forward, repentance, rejection, no matter what, God's place, thanksgiving, letting go, in the present, eternity, discipleship, wisdom, waiting, good joy/bad joy, path of life, perservering, forgiveness, being home, drawing near to God, blessings of others, responsibility, counterfeit, vulnerability, knowing Jesus, abiding, eating & drinking, wonder, fruit of, all God's Gifts, hard things, today, God's providences, failure, God's care, prayer, discernment, trust, full provision, rejoicing, Christ Alone, submission, & Gods Love.
Each topic includes the Scriptures related directly to the topic and a short 1-2 page devotional. The whole book is only a little over 100 pages long. Its easy to read and understand.
Yesterday, I read the following
"For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit." Romans 14:17
"Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. It is good neither to eat meat or drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak." Romans 14: 20-21
The book followed this with saying...Whether to drink alcohol is a much debated issue among Christians. Many have wine with dinner, and equally as man do not. For those who do, imbibing within biblical parameters entails being careful about when and in front of whom they drink. If our conscience is clear to enjoy that glass of merlot, God takes pleasure in our pleasure, but if we flaunt our enjoyment in the face of someone who believes drinking is wrong, we grieve God and our freedom and joy go out the window. On the other hand, if we believe drinking alcohol is wrong, we are not free to condemn those who believe differently. God is just as grieved when we attempt to forbid something he hasn't expressly forbidden.
For us, the words drinking/alcohol could be substituted with almost anything. Pork or beef, music or no music, holiday or no holiday, sugar or no sugar, sweets or no sweets, vacinations or no vacinations, organic or non organic, etc.
I think this verse closely ties in also...
"So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brothers way." Romans 14: 12-13
(I don't personally believe drinking an occasional glass of wine or something similar is a sin, the Bible does state that drunkenness is a sin. I don't get Joy from alcohol.....now chocolate is another matter)
I heard a sermon on SermonAudio this morning by Voddie Bauchum about judgement, which Greg blogged about yesterday. Here is the link if you would like to listen...
Wishing you all Joy in 2012!