Could you use a joy infusion?
When was the last time you had a spontaneous laugh because your heart was absolutely overwhelmed with joy?
Whether you’re facing mundane routines or painful hardships, joy often feels out of reach. But those who know Jesus can live joyfully, no matter what—it’s a gift that can only come from God. Jesus engulfs His followers with great love so that He may fill them with His joy.
Bestselling author Sheila Walsh invites you to discover daily joy. Through funny and inspiring stories, powerful takeaways, and encouraging scriptures, Sheila shows that joy sometimes comes from gratitude, God’s beautiful creation, grace, or simply delighting in God’s goodness and love. And it always comes from spending time in Jesus’ presence. He brings life, restoration, and . . . joy!
The 5 Minutes with Jesus series is the perfect way to start your day with a joyful heart.
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 6.20(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Sheila Walsh is a powerful communicator, Bible teacher, and bestselling author with more than five million books sold. She is the author of the award-winning Gigi, God’s Little Princess series, Peace for Today, Loved Back to Life, The Storm Inside, Five Minutes with Jesus and The Longing in Me. She is cohost of Life Today with James and Betty Robison. Sheila lives in Dallas, Texas, with her husband, Barry, and son, Christian.
Sherri Gragg fell in love with stories as a child, discovering that she could travel to any place and any moment in time between the covers of a book. Today as a writer she takes her readers with her on the journey. Her first book, Arms Open Wide: A Call to Linger in the Savior’s Presence, utilizes cultural background and archeology to immerse the reader in some of the most riveting moments of the Gospels. Sherri is a nationally published freelance writer and award winner in the 2012 Writer’s Digest Competition and lives with her husband and five children in Franklin, Tennessee.
Read an Excerpt
5 Minutes with Jesus
A Fresh Infusion of Joy
By Sheila Walsh, Sherri Gragg
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2016 Sheila Walsh
All rights reserved.
What are your first thoughts in the morning?
A desperate wish for a little more sleep
Anxiety about your job
Worries for your family and friends
I can relate to all of these!
But I have learned a valuable secret: I have the power to stop those dark thoughts right in their tracks and choose joy instead. For me, the first step in this transformation is to turn my worry into gratitude.
I thank God for the bed I slept in and the roof over my head.
I thank Him that, in His faithfulness, He awakened me to a new day and has given me a fresh start.
I thank Him for my calling and the ways He uses it to grow me and provide for me.
I tell my heavenly Father how much I appreciate His promise to faithfully care for those I love.
We aren't able to control our circumstances or the difficulties each day brings, but as children of God we have great power to choose joy by focusing on the ways God blesses us.
Author Henri Nouwen warned us that "it is an ongoing temptation to think of ourselves as living under a curse. ... Jesus came to bless us, not to curse us. But we must choose to receive that blessing and hand it on to others."
And choosing joy in our lives is actually God's will for us, His children. He speaks very clearly through Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 18: "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
Ready to give it a try? Open your eyes to greet the new day and throw the doors of your heart open to joy by making a deliberate choice to embrace all the blessings God has lavished upon your life. Pour out your thanks to Him for each of His gifts, big and small, before you even put your feet on the floor.
There is power in your praise!
Five Minutes in the Word
Let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield.
Psalm 5:11 – 12 ESV
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 100:4 – 5 ESV
Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Habakkuk 3:18CHAPTER 2
Do You Know Who You Are?
Have you ever seen the movie The Princess Diaries?
It's the story of an awkward teenage girl named Mia who can't seem to win at anything. Then one day her long-lost grandmother shows up with the earth-shattering announcement that young Mia is actually a princess!
Mia is quickly thrown into the process of being groomed to become the future queen. But Mia doesn't bring a lot to the table as a princess. She is short on grace, low on manners, knows nothing about governing a kingdom, and her hair is a complete disaster. Not much about her suggests she is worthy of the honorable title. But a princess she is, not because of her appearance or her ability to rule, but because of who she is. Mia is the only grandchild of the queen, and that is qualification enough.
We find a similar story in Scripture, but instead of a princess in the starring role, we have a long-lost prince named Mephibosheth. A descendant of King Saul, he was whisked away by his nurse to keep him safe when another family took over the kingdom. His very identity could mean death and danger.
Once David was on the throne, he sought out Mephibosheth, brought him into the palace, and treated him as one of his own sons. Why? Mephibosheth was the only living child of David's best friend, Jonathan. God gave this crippled man, who was a prince but felt so insignificant that he called himself a "dead dog" (2 Samuel 9:8), one incredibly happy ending.
Now for another example of royalty. Look in the mirror. Yes, look in the mirror. Do you know who you are? You might answer with your name or a role you think defines you — wife, daughter, mother, employee, volunteer. But the most significant answer is ... you are a child of the King. And that's a capital K King!
The stories of Mia and Mephibosheth highlight a beautiful truth for children of the King. Our value in this life comes not from what we can accomplish or achieve but in who we are. When Jesus paid the price for our sins, God made us His very own daughters. We can joyfully cry out with the apostle John, "What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it — we're called children of God! That's who we really are" (1 John 3:1 THE MESSAGE). God's love is a defining love — it changes everything.
I am a child of God.
Five Minutes in the Word
You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
1 Peter 2:9 – 10
In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.
To all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.
John 1:12 – 13
"I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
2 Corinthians 6:18
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
1 John 3:2CHAPTER 3
The Wonderful Ordinary
I was the least likely to be chosen.
Don't believe me? Here are some reasons why.
I walked in my sleep until I was almost eighteen. I couldn't go for more than two miles in a car without throwing up. The school nurse told my mom that I'd probably never be able to travel far from home. My father's suicide when he was thirty-four years old left a huge scar on my heart and a deep loneliness inside. The word that comes to mind when I think of the first thirty years of my life is sad. When someone you love with all your heart takes his or her life, it shatters your sense of worth. Not worth staying around for ... on the bargain pile ...
Even now, dear reader, as I write these words, I am again overwhelmed that God would use such a broken person to bring the hope and joy of Jesus to others. I grew up believing I had nothing to offer anyone.
Have you ever felt like you just didn't have anything "special" enough to be used by God? Well, I have great news for you! You are exactly the kind of person God loves to call into His service.
You see, God doesn't look at things the way we do at all. We usually pick the gifted, the charming, the people who appear to have it all together for the big jobs. But God would rather use the ordinary people of this world to do His most important work.
I can't help but smile when I read Jesus' prayer about His disciples (and notice how Luke set it up): "Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, 'I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things [about the presence of God's kingdom and the fall of Satan] from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do'" (Luke 10:21).
I can just imagine the disciples hearing these words and thinking, Well, thanks a lot. ... If they were beginning to have any delusions about how brilliant and fantastic they were, I guess that prayer cleared things right up!
Being likened to children rather than to "the wise and learned" might have been a hard truth for the disciples to hear, but it brings me a lot of comfort. I am so glad I don't have to be the smartest, most eloquent, most polished person in the room in order for God to use me in His kingdom work.
And if the miracle of God using people who don't have it all together-people like the disciples and me — can bring Jesus joy, how much joy should it bring to me?
God still calls the ordinary to do His kingdom work and know His joy!
Five Minutes in the Word
God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things — and the things that are not — to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
1 Corinthians 1:27 – 29
For Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:10
[God] told me, "My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness."
2 Corinthians 12:9 the message
Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12
Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.
Titus 3:14CHAPTER 4
Yet I Will Rejoice!
I was sitting on the Santa Monica Pier one sunny summer day when I saw the strangest thing. A seagull landed on the arm of the chair next to me, grabbed the lip gloss right out of the hand of the young woman who was about to use it, and flew off with it. She stood up and yelled at the feathered thief, "Are you kidding me? I just bought that!"
She plopped back down beside me and said, "Nothing in my life works!"
Have you ever felt like that? Have you ever found yourself saying, "There's no justice"?
The prophet Habakkuk would answer yes to those questions, but he would be commenting about more serious matters than lip gloss. He looked around his world and wondered what had happened to God's justice. So he turned to God, and he was brutally honest.
In Habakkuk 1, the prophet asked God hard questions about why He hadn't yet addressed the injustice and idolatry running rampant in Judah. When God responded, saying that He would indeed bring Judah to justice but He'd use their greatest enemies, the Babylonians, to do so, Habakkuk was dismayed! As far as Habakkuk was concerned, Judah's crimes paled in comparison to those of the Babylonians. He couldn't fathom why God would allow such a vile nation to prosper, much less use them to punish His chosen people. God assured Habakkuk that He would eventually bring His just judgment to the Babylonians as well, but Habakkuk would have to wait a very long time for that to happen.
By the final chapter, however, Habakkuk turned from questioning God to praising Him. He began his psalm by asking God to "in wrath remember mercy," and he ended it with some of the most beautiful words in Scripture: "Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation" (Habakkuk 3:17 – 18 ESV).
Habakkuk knew dark days were ahead. And yet ... he found that he had reason to rejoice.
Habakkuk had discovered a precious truth: when God is your treasure, you can lose everything and find that your reason to rejoice remains untarnished.
Don't wait until the difficult days come to begin finding joy in God alone. Start today. Then no matter what comes your way, you will find your joy unshaken.
Rejoice, for we know the end of our story!
Five Minutes in the Word
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
One day spent in your house, this beautiful place of worship, beats thousands spent on Greek island beaches. I'd rather scrub floors in the house of my God than be honored as a guest in the palace of sin.
Psalm 84:10 the message
Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
1 Peter 1:21
This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Nehemiah 8:10CHAPTER 5
Grace Welcomes You In
Mary Johnson lives next door to the young man who killed her teenage son. When she sees him at the mailbox, she doesn't glare and turn away. More often than not she says, "Boy, how come you haven't called to check on me?" Oshea laughs good-naturedly. You see, Mary, the mother of the boy he killed, is now like a mother to him.
It wasn't always so. A few years ago, while Oshea was in Stillwater Prison, Mary decided she wanted — after twelve long, angry years — to have a face-to-face meeting with the man who had taken her son's life. When she met Oshea and told him about her son, she began to cry. Oshea did the only thing he could think to do. He took the grieving mother into his arms to comfort her. Mary says she felt all of her anger just melt away.
Mary forgave Oshea, but that was just the beginning of the grace she offered him. She chose to love Oshea as her own son.
Oshea says he sometimes struggles to absorb Mary's forgiveness because he still hasn't totally forgiven himself — but, he says, he's learning from Mary. Can you imagine the joy and hope Oshea must feel knowing the one he hurt the most has not only forgiven him but actually loves him?
Mary's kind of mercy — Jesus' kind of mercy — is overwhelming. Just ask Peter, one of Jesus' closest friends.
He'd vowed never to leave Jesus' side, but to save his own skin, Peter walked away from his Lord when Jesus most needed him. Peter must have wondered if Jesus could ever forgive him.
But then Jesus showed up on the beach one morning and called Peter to join Him for breakfast. And in that culture, inviting someone to a meal was never just about sharing the food. It was a sign of acceptance and ... forgiveness.
Can you even imagine the immense relief and overwhelming joy Peter felt in that moment?
Peter had seen Jesus share meals with the most notorious sinners. Welcoming them into friendship like that was scandalous grace. And now Jesus spread the table of grace and acceptance and forgiveness for Peter: Come. Have breakfast. I forgive you. I love you. Come, friend, and know My peace.
Maybe you, like Peter, have wondered if your actions have taken you beyond the reach of grace. They haven't.
Hear Jesus' invitation: Come! The table is spread for you. The Bread of Life has been broken for you. The blood of the new covenant has been shed for you.
Jesus welcomes you with scandalous grace and calls you "friend."
And the joy that comes with that kind of accepting, never-ending love can fill your heart to overflowing and will never end.
Grace sets the table for you and welcomes you in.
Five Minutes in the Word
You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.
Psalm 23:5 NLT
[The Lord] said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.
Psalm 36:7 – 9
"Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool."
Isaiah 1:18 ESV
Excerpted from 5 Minutes with Jesus by Sheila Walsh, Sherri Gragg. Copyright © 2016 Sheila Walsh. 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 MINUTES WITH JESUS A Fresh Infusion of joy By Sheila Walsh with Sherri Gragg This is not a typical devotional; the author starts with short stories, about 2 pages in length, and then offers some Bible verses, three or four, that go along with the stories. The main difference is that the subject of the stories is joy. Throughout this book, you will be able to see and feel the joy of Jesus. It will help you to live more joyfully and accept the gift of joy that only God can give. It is easy to read and understand. Some of the stories are inspiring and some are funny, but all are an encouragement to life. Grace, creation and other things can bring joy into our lives and the author shows God’s goodness and love in the stories shared. I would recommend this book be added to your daily reading time and used with any other forms of daily readings that you may use. It would make a great gift for someone you wanted to share some joy. I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255