The Battle for Joy!
Hebrews 12:2 “Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
As Christians, we are all instruments in the orchestra of God’s joy. Does that describe your experience of joy? Let us ask ourselves at the very beginning what is joy? Is joy merely a form of bloated happiness as many people believe, including those in the church? Can joy be seen as going around everywhere with a silly grin etched into your face? That kind of joy is dependent upon circumstances and feelings!
C.S. Lewis once wrote: “Joy is never in our power, and pleasure is. I doubt whether anyone who has tasted true joy would ever, if both were in his power, exchange it for all the pleasure in the world.”
True joy is not to be confused with mere pleasure or feeling good! True joy is to be a way of life and it is to permeate every facet of the person and not just the emotions! True joy is to be a deeper, inner joy whereby the source, object and target is to be God and God alone!
What is joy and how can you experience such joy? Play or download the mp3 audio to hear more about joy and its place within the life of the Christian Disciple!!
Fruit and Light
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5:22-23)
These are perhaps some of most popular words within the church today, particularly western reformed Protestantism… Look at those words again – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control… Beautiful words which I am sure fill you with a sense of well-being and are pleasing to your mind and to your soul… They are indeed beautiful but they are to be maintained by the Christian, because they are evidence that you have the Holy Spirit within you. Come and listen to the Podcast to find out more about the fruit of the Spirit and being light!
“‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.’” John 14:1-4
What is heaven like? People, both believers and non-believers have an opinion about Heaven! To some its where everybody will meet up after death providing they weren’t too bad in this earthly life! The caricature of the comedians is that heaven will be floating around on clouds and playing a harp! So what does the Bible, the foundation for all serious Christian thought, have to say about heaven? Come and listen to find out more!
Jesus is building His Church
Jesus is building His Church – particularly at this time of COVID19 pandemic. Building involves growing, so the Church is growing – globally and locally. Have you ever wondered what constitutes a growing Church? Do you know that it isn’t just a list of names on the church roll or a social club. Neither is it a large number of people who have made “decisions for Christ”. If it is not those things, then what does indeed reveal a Church which is living and growing in both spiritual quality as well as numbers? Come and listen to the Podcast to find out more!
A Strategy to Cope in time of COVID19 (Hebrews 3)
I wonder how you have changed over the years. It is almost 40 years now since I first became a Christian and started following Jesus Christ. I haven’t fallen away from Him in that time, but I have known some people who have. A question as we start: “How can we, as 21st century Christians, keep from falling away?” Particularly at this time when we have a global pandemic due to the Corona Virus. The answer I believe, is what I would call it the COPE strategy: Consider, Persevere and Encourage.
1. Keep Considering! (Hebrews 3:1-6)
- Moses was cool
- In Comes Jesus
- How is Jesus better than Moses?
- What about us?
2. Keep Persevering! (Hebrews 3:7-12, 15-19)
3. Keep Encouraging! (Hebrews 3:12-14)
If you would call yourself a Christian and you are unsure where you are, then please do look back and remember what Jesus has done for you. Consider Him as you look back to your first profession of faith in Him. Consider that just as He died, you died in the waters of baptism. Consider that just as He rose to physical life, you rose from the waters of baptism and will also rise again when you physically die. Consider that just as Jesus will be glorified, so too will you be glorified before the Father – if you hold out until the end. Be assured of who you are – you are a child of the living God – hold out to the end. He has a firm grip on you, so maintain your grip on Him! Remember who you are! The way to cope with the rigours of 21st century life as a Christian believer is to keep considering, keep persevering and keep encouraging – all in the power of the Holy Spirit who lives with you and seals you as God’s child.