Friday, October 21, 2022

Complete Joy

 Friday, October 21, 2022

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:1-2

Complete Joy
Believe it or not, one of the greatest experiences of joy we can know is not related to what we can receive but what we can give.  There is no experience that matches being used by God to perform His will.  Many have realized the ecstatic feeling of being a vessel of God to someone in need or the voice of God in comfort.

It does not take long to realize we need the power of Christ to be able to live the Christian life, obey Christ, or serve others.  When serving in His power and wisdom we experience a strange phenomenon.  It is as if we are not in control of what is happening.  There is energy beyond our resource and wisdom from above.  It comes, when we lay down our selfishness and start serving others in Christ, as Jesus Himself has done.  Jesus, our example, was constantly putting others and their needs above His own.  He drew His power and strength from God as He poured out His time and energy for those around Him.  Down to His last breath, He was pouring Himself out for His Bride, the Church; and blessing His Church brings Him joy. 

We can experience the same great joy in our lives when we look past the exhaustion of serving and draw from the strength and power in Christ.  Here is a passage that may not be so familiar but carries a strong message.

For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. Hebrews 6:7 

This speaks to us of the blessings we can receive when we serve others. If we produce fruit from the seed God has planted in our lives and pass it on, we will be blessed in the sowing, watering and reaping.  The labor of service in the Kingdom may be wearisome of body but never the spirit.  While there are many pleasures men can be afforded, there is none like that of knowing you have been used of God to lighten the load of another.  

Joy comes when we are selflessly loving and serving one another.  It helps us get our mind off our own trouble to serve another.  When we focus on a friend’s problems and try to help solve an issue, we tend to see that what we feel is so overwhelming in our own life is not so insurmountable after all. 

Paul shared that his service was an offering to God which brought him such joy he wanted others to experience it as well.  But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.  Philippians 2:17-18  What greater sense of unity is there than for Christians to experience God using them together as one to accomplish His plan and will in the life of another. 

Joy is the byproduct of selflessness, service and submission.  Be filled with joy!

…make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:2-4

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