• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • January 2015
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Samuel A CainFor the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17 ESV)

Joy is a gift from God, but it also a gift for which we must take responsibility for cultivating on a daily basis. When we receive salvation, the Holy Spirit also imparts joy into our lives. The great blessing of such joy is in learning to live life according to God’s Will. Our joy grows as we increasingly realize that Jesus Christ is our greatest treasure. The Westminster Shorter Catechism affirms this by saying, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”

The essence of true Christianity is to know peace with God through Jesus Christ. Righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit are produced in a relationship with Jesus Christ where we submit to Him as our Lord and Savior. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one may approach God except through Jesus. (John 14:6 ESV)

Someday, each of us will be presented blameless into the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Jude 1:24-25 ESV) In His presence there will be fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11 ESV) We rejoice in Jesus Christ, through whom we have received reconciliation with God. (Romans 5:11 ESV)

LeakThe angelic messenger in Luke said to the shepherds, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy …” (Luke 2:10 ESV) This joy was the birth of a redeemer who would deliver His people from the consequences of their sins. We should be rejoicing at this very moment as we begin to see how great a deliverance we have been given.

Many may consider joy and happiness the same. The roots of each, however, have a different source. Happiness is a product of the world around us. Happiness is dependent upon circumstances and how others treat you. On the other hand, joy is created in the heart of God. Joy is a thoughtful, captivating excellence that rises above circumstances and opposition to a spiritual dimension unfettered by surroundings.

Joy works from the inside out. Joy comes as a result of the faith that resides within us. Joy is a gift of God. It is given to those who believe the gospel, as produced in them by the Holy Spirit as they receive and obey the Scripture. Joy is the result of life with God. It is the result of faith. It is received by faith with the gift of salvation. The joy of the LORD gives us strength to face life’s problems. We are secure in the refuge God’s joy.

Have you tried the way of the world and found it lacking? There is only one place where supreme joy abides eternally. Seek it in the presence of God.

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