Not From Joy But Unto Joy

2019-03-01 08.33.55

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Psalm 51:12

My six year old climbed up on my lap yesterday after kindergarten and asked me as he chewed on his apple slices, “So, are we goin’ to church tonight?” I replied, “no today is Thursday, we were just there last night. I don’t think anyone will be there tonight.” To which he replied, “that’s alright Jesus is everywhere I’m sure we could just live there too.” Then he started explaining to me all the fun games we could play in the halls and rooms if we lived there! As I was listening to my six year old’s grand ideas I thought to myself, this may very well be the reason larger organizations moved to allowing only a select few to have access to the master key! I also thought, wouldn’t it be grand if everyone of His children felt the same ferociously gentle intrigue of Jesus pulling them into the Body of Christ like my six year old!!

My thoughts turn to how can I share that ferociously gentle intrigue of Jesus with others that I feel pulling me? I think of the burning bush in Exodus 3 for an example of God’s ferociously gentle intrigue. Starting in verse 3, So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight – why the bush does not burn up.”  When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses, Moses!” To which Moses replies, “Here I am.” Well of course he does!! And since God has His attention He can gently let Moses know I AM will be all that He is for all that Moses doesn’t even yet know he needs yet! Who would not want a romance of this kind, one full of never ending mystery of the utmost ferociously gentle intriguing sort!! This must be shared right!! What motivates people to step out of pride, fear, or indifference to share the gospel?

I think of John 4 when Jesus talks with the woman at the well. She is no scholar yet nearly an entire town comes to know Jesus because she simply shares what she does know and the passion He has stirred in her heart! John 4:29-30, 39 Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ? (Maybe sometime we just need to say come see and lets seek Him together.) They came out of the town and made their way toward him. Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony… 

In this same chapter Jesus is talking to His disciples about the harvest and urges them that the time is NOW! I tell you open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. John 4:35 The part that gets me though is where He says, the sower and the reaper may be glad together. (Verse 36) I get the reaper being glad, I mean how exciting is it to see someone come to Christ, to be baptized right!! But the sower?!? Think of a farmer they worked all day sowing the seed and at the end of the day they look back and the field looks exactly the same as they started out…joy?!? I think that comes when God answers the prayer to work out Psalm 51:12 authentically in our hearts. The joy that comes in the sowing is not from sowing but the knowledge of our salvation being restored unto us daily in our hearts and minds as we yield to His will and carry our cross because He did so; that we might have salvation as ferociously gently intriguingly mind blowing as that is!!

The joy of our salvation is what overcomes what might hinder our sharing the gospel. The ferociously gentle intrigue of who He is and the fire of His word stirring a passionate joy with in our hearts overcomes our pride which really stems from anger and grumpiness and other unjoyfulness right! It overcomes our fear of what might happen in our work place or what others might say because the realization that in all our sinfulness we have been saved, rescued we have eternal salvation!!! That’s so crazy I gotta tell somebody!! And it moves us right out of indifference of being too tired, the urgency of truth welling up within cannot be contained like the women had at the well!

The key is love isn’t it… knowing, feeling, believing we are so crazy loved by Jesus in-spite of ourselves which can only come by knowing Him, His Word and if someone doesn’t have a bible how will they know?! US!! John 15:11-12 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

Jesus may the joy of our salvation in You be restored unto us this day so that, we will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills will burst into song before (us) you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12 

God bless your day! 🙂

 

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