07 September 2006

Fighting for Joy Through Treasuring Christ

When our hearts are captivated by the lovely Jesus we bring glory to God - naturally, joyfully.  But when we don't feel like it we seek to glorify God by good works under compulsion.  When we serve God through the force of our will power our hearts are really declaring we'd prefer to cast Him off His throne for all the hard work we have to do for Him.  In other words, if our hearts are not in our service of God, it does not bring God glory.
"These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.Matt 15:8-9
Don't get me wrong.  When a believer doesn't feel joy there is still rest in the grace of Christ who is our righteousness before God.  His perfection covers all our imperfections.  His perfect joy in service of God is presented on our behalf and forms part of that righteousness that we receive as a free gift.  So whether we feel like it or not we are loved, accepted and welcome before God!  This is always true of every believer!! 
Just knowing this gospel truth can begin to stir joy in our hearts.  That's the nature of our relationship with God through Jesus.  We bring Him the problems (joylessness, sin, weakness, failure, shame).  He lavishes us with solutions (grace, forgiveness, righteousness, love).  He gets the glory.  We get . . . . well . . . . everything!!  We get love, joy, acceptance and ultimately we get Jesus Christ.  Christ dwells within us and is formed in us.  And collectively we make up the body of Christ.  Amazing union!!
Fight for joy! Fight to see Christ as infinitely valuable and available and welcoming!!  May the Lord remove the veil to enable us to see all we have received freely in Christ.
He is good!   I've also posted a short article below from Terry Rayburn for your encouragement.  Terry's articles help me treasure Christ and enjoy Him! Be sure to visit Terry's site and enjoy his articles when you can!!

Is God Pleased With You?
Terry Rayburn
Five times in the Bible the words are recorded which the Father said regarding Jesus, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matt. 3:17; 17:5; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22; 2 Pet. 1:17)
But do you realize that your Father now has that same view of you?
"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. " (2 Cor. 5:21) Not only have we been given the righteousness of God, we ourselves have become sons and daughters of God. Amazing!
And so now, as stunning as it may sound, we are brethren of Jesus Christ! "...for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren..." (Hebrews 2:11b)
Don't squirm uncomfortably because you don't feel worthy. He has done it all. He has made you His child. He has made you a new creation, born of Him, not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible. And He has given you a new spirit, and made you one spirit with Him. And He delights in you, the apple of His eye.
And so now, you...
are also the Father's beloved son (or daughter), in whom He is well pleased.


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