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The Joy of My Heart: Meditating Daily on God's Word

The Joy of My Heart: Meditating Daily on God's Word

by Anne Graham Lotz, Terri Gibbs

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Few Christian writers today bring scriptural truth into everyday life like Anne Graham Lotz. Now she brings some of her most thought-provoking meditations into a concise and captivating collection of daily devotions. As the latest addition to the series, which includes Max Lucado's Grace for the Moment, Chuck Swindoll's Wisdom for the Way, and Eugene


Few Christian writers today bring scriptural truth into everyday life like Anne Graham Lotz. Now she brings some of her most thought-provoking meditations into a concise and captivating collection of daily devotions. As the latest addition to the series, which includes Max Lucado's Grace for the Moment, Chuck Swindoll's Wisdom for the Way, and Eugene H. Peterson's God's Message for Each Day, The Joy of My Heart is certain to extend the series sales beyond its current mark of 2 million copies. With its attractive four-color cover and interior, it will be a welcome addition to anyone's personal devotional time.

Editorial Reviews

This handsome 400-page book presents daily devotions by Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of Billy and Ruth Graham. These pithy, thought-provoking meditations touch on themes of prayer, grief, repentance, and the power of God's grace.

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Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
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7.44(w) x 6.88(h) x 0.96(d)

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The Joy of My Heart

Meditating Daily on God's Word
By Anne Graham Lotz

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2004 Anne Graham Lotz
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-529-12447-0

Chapter One


* * *

To know God better is to love Him more.

January 1


In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. GENESIS 1: 1 NKJV

The glorious dawn of God's story begins with the stunning yet profoundly simple statement that in the beginning He created everything (Genesis 1:1)—which means that in the beginning, He was already there. He is eternal.

It is impossible to comprehend eternity. It's been defined as three stages of time: everything before Creation, everything that has taken place or will take place from Creation until the end of the world, and everything that will take place after the end of the world. It stretches back further than the human mind can reach—whether through anthropology, or geology, or archaeology. It stretches ahead farther than the human mind can imagine—whether through science fiction, or scientific observation, or telescopes. God as Creator is eternal and therefore not bound by time. That means He is in your future, and He is in your past, and He surrounds you at present! Would you worship Him now for His eternity?

God's Story

January 2


"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." MATTHEW 5:16 NKJV

One night, when Robert Louis Stevenson was a small boy, his nanny called him to come to bed. Oblivious to her summons, he was staring at something outside his nursery window. The nanny walked over, stood at his shoulder, and inquired patiently, "Robert, what are you looking at?" The little boy, without taking his eyes away from the window, exclaimed in wonder as he pointed to the lamplighter who was lighting the streetlamps, "Look, Nanny! That man is putting holes in the darkness!" You and I may not be able to change the world, but surely each of us can put a hole in the darkness! Turn on the Light! Share what Jesus means to you and give God's Word to someone else!

Just Give Me Jesus

January 3


Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. 1 CORINTHIANS 2:9 NKJV

The Creator who created all the earthly beauty we have grown to love ... the majestic snowcapped peaks of the Alps, the rushing mountain streams, the carpets of wildflowers, the whir of a hummingbird's wings ... this is the same Creator who has prepared our heavenly home for us! If God could make the heavens and earth as beautiful as we think they are today—which includes thousands of years of wear and tear, corruption and pollution, sin and selfishness—can you imagine what the new heaven and the new earth will look like? It will be much more glorious than any eyes have seen, any ears have heard, or any minds have ever conceived.

Heaven: My Father's House

January 4


"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you." JOHN 15:7 NKJV

Prayer is a conversation. We speak to God in prayer, then listen attentively as He speaks to us through His Word.

Do you think the promise that Jesus gave His disciples was like handing them a divine genie in a bottle? And that if they would just rub the bottle with enough faith, the genie would pop out and grant them their "wishes"? As ludicrous as that is, it actually is the way some people view prayer. And when the genie doesn't pop out of the bottle, they become offended with God and resent Him for not being at their beck and call.

One major prerequisite to receiving answers to prayer is that our requests line up with God's will. How will we know what God's will is? By abiding consistently in His Word. Instead of basing our prayers on "I hope so," our prayers are based on "God says so." And if we are saturating ourselves in His Word, then His desires will be ours.

My Heart's Cry

January 5


You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. PSALM 139:3 NKJV

Recently as I prepared my house for a visit by my father, I began to clean and straighten my house. I even bought fresh flowers to place around the rooms. I wanted my home to look as inviting and pleasing to his eyes as I could make it. Then it struck me—if I felt this way about my earthly father's brief visit, how much more care I should give my home every day, since my heavenly Father lives here.

I am not a good housekeeper. But motivated by the thought that my house is His home also, I try hard to keep it clean and neat. It is not professionally decorated, but it is as pleasing to the eyes as my time and budget will allow. I want those who walk through my door to know that the Lord God lives here. And I hope the reality of His presence is evident to all by the beauty of the outward appearance and an inner atmosphere of warmth and love.

God's Story

January 6


God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 1 JOHN 4:16 NKJV

The first secret to loving others is to immerse yourself in a love relationship with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit-and abide there.

I will never get over the wonder that God the Father
and God the Son do not have
a working kinship
nor a business partnership
nor a brotherly friendship
nor a competing dictatorship
nor a mandatory fellowship
nor an obligatory guardianship
but a love relationship

that has existed since before time and space! And you and I enter into that eternal sphere of unconditional love when we abide in Christ.

My Heart's Cry

January 7


Your word has given me life. PSALM 119:50 NKJV

Sometimes when we are depressed, we feel lifeless. It's hard to get out of bed in the morning. We seem to have no energy to do even the most routine functions. If you are depressed by the greatness of your problems, read God's Word! That's where you find help. That's where you find joy. Let the rushing waters of the living Word drown out all other sounds and voices. There is life-giving power in the Word of God!

At the most difficult times in my life—the loss of a baby, the forced removal from a church, the execution of a friend, the robbery of our home—God's Word has sustained me. There have been times when I have only been capable of reading a few verses at a time, yet the supernatural life-giving power of the Word of God has not only helped me maintain my emotional and mental balance; it has given me strength to go on, even if only one day at a time.

The Vision of His Glory

January 8


"Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." So He said, "Come." MATTHEW 14:28–29 NKJV

When it comes to experiencing God, I have to choose Him at all cost. I have to be willing to step out of the boat, as Peter did in Matthew 14, risking total failure in the eyes of others, in order to discover firsthand His power enabling me to walk on the water when He bids me, "Come." Again and again, I've been confronted with hard choices when I've had to throw caution to the wind and abandon myself to faith in Him, and Him alone ...

when I step into a pulpit,
when I pick up my pen to write,
when I hire a new staff person,
when I commit our ministry to much
more than we have resources to underwrite.

Whenever I choose to step out in faith and trust Him, I'm actually choosing to take Him at His Word, put Him to the test, and just do it! The result is the thrilling adventure called the Christian life. Have you taken the first step?


January 9


No one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. ISAIAH 64:4

I hate to wait. I hate to wait ...
for a traffic light to turn green,
for the doctor to see me,
for the telephone to ring,
for investments to produce,
for the copier to warm up,
for seeds to grow,
for the fax to go through,
for answers to prayer ...

I just hate to wait. Period. Waiting is so hard, especially when I am waiting on the Lord. Sometimes He seems to be s-o-o-o s-l-o-w. But waiting is an essential part of spiritual discipline. It can be the ultimate test of our faith.

If we grow impatient with waiting and take matters into our own hands, we will be in trouble. But if we wait on God, we will be blessed.

Just Give Me Jesus

January 10


If you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord's holy day honorable, ... then you will find your joy in the Lord. ISAIAH 58:13–14

In the beginning, by His own example, God patterned our week to include not only the discipline of work but also one day out of every seven that would be "set apart," different from the other six days.

For the majority of people today, there is very little difference between the way they keep Sunday and the way they keep Saturday. Sunday has become more of a holiday than a holy day. Sunday was not designed just so we could sleep late, meet friends for brunch, do extra yardwork or housework, attend the latest movie, or watch the playoff game on TV. Sunday should be not only for physical rest and restoration but for spiritual refreshment and expression of our devotion to God.

Has the day that is supposed to be set apart fallen apart? Consider what you can do to keep Sunday special—different from the other six days of the week—and discover "your joy in the Lord."

God's Story

January 11


"They will be mine," says the Lord Almighty, "in the day when I make up my treasured possession." MALACHI 3:17

As we totally yield our lives to the control of God's Spirit within us, He uses:

the responsibilities and relationships and ridicule,
the opportunities and obstacles and obligations,
the pressures and pain and problems,
the success and sickness and solitude ...

He uses all things to work for our ultimate good, which is increasing, progressive, glorious conformity to the image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:28).

We are God's treasure! When God the Father looked throughout the universe for something to give His only Son in reward for what He had accomplished on earth, the Father handpicked you! You are the Father's treasure—His priceless gift of love to the Son!

Heaven: My Father's House

January 12


"We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard." ACTS 4:20

It has only been a couple of years since our youngest daughter, Rachel-Ruth, gave birth to our first grandchild—a little girl named Ruth Bell Wright. My husband and I are totally enthralled with this little girl. She fills our hearts! We can't help talking about her to anyone who will listen. I'm not afraid to talk about her. I don't plan in advance how I will talk about her. I don't worry about offending someone with my talk about her. I don't go to classes to learn how to talk about her. I don't read books on how to talk about her. I pick up that little girl, feel her snuggle up against me, touch her soft little cheek, and melt! Little Ruth Bell fills my heart! And what fills my heart comes out on my lips!

Why do we seem to make speaking up for Jesus so complicated? If He fills our hearts, He is going to come out on our lips! Like Peter and John, we will not be able to help "speaking about what we have seen and heard" of Him!

My Heart's Cry

January 13


But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ROMANS 5:8 NKJV

Has someone suggested to you that:
If God really loved you,
He would heal your disease?
If God really loved you,
He would never have allowed you to lose your job?
If God really loved you,
He would bring your spouse back home?
If God really loved you,
you would be healthy and wealthy and problem free? Yet God has said that the proof of His love is none of those things! The proof of His love is that while we were sinners, passing Jesus by on the road of life, He sent His only, beloved Son to die for us.

Would you thank God, not just for saying, "I love you," in words, but for proving it?

Just Give Me Jesus

January 14


The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone ... forever. REVELATION 20:10 NKJV

As a girl growing up in western North Carolina, I loved to hike in the mountains. But whenever I set out, my mother's admonition, "Watch out for snakes!" would ring in my ears. Although I can remember killing only one snake myself, I was present several times when snakes were killed by others. Each time I observed a fascinating phenomenon. After the snake was killed, its body invariably continued to twitch until sundown. Even though its head was crushed, rendering it powerless, the dead snake's writhing body was enough to keep me at a distance.

We need to remember that ever since the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Satan has been a defeated foe. His head has been crushed. As we seek to climb higher in our faith, what we are confronted with is merely the twitching of our defeated foe. But sundown is coming! One day even the twitching body of that old Serpent, the devil, will be destroyed.

God's Story

January 15


We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ROMANS 8:28

Why does God let bad things happen to good people? to innocent people? to children? to me? Sometimes His ways seem so hard to understand! In Romans 8:28, Paul wrote to reassure believers who lived in a city dominated by Nero, a madman with absolute power. He wrote encouragingly, "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."


Excerpted from The Joy of My Heart by Anne Graham Lotz Copyright © 2004 by Anne Graham Lotz. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Billy and Ruth Graham, is the president and CEO of AnGeL Ministries, a nonprofit organization that undergirds her efforts to draw people into a life-changing relationship with God through his Word. Anne launched her revival ministry in 2000 and has spoken on seven continents, in more than twenty foreign countries, proclaiming the Word of God in arenas, churches, seminaries, and prisons. She is also the award-winning author of ten books, including her most recent, The Magnificent Obsession.

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