Thursday, August 21, 2014

The happiest people you meet should be.....


Isaiah 12:6 “… Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”
  It always seems odd that various preachers, both local and national, frequently mention
the long faces they encounter on those in their congregations. Does it seem strange to anyone else that people who have encountered the grace of the Lord Jesus would be
characterized by anything other than an extremely positive outlook on this life we lead?
Those called by a loving God into adoption as members of His family have real answers to
the basic questions that all people ask: Where did I come from? Why am I here and where
am I headed? We have been given the gift of forgiveness, our sin accounts have been
erased by the once and done sacrifice of God become man. Our future is eternal, hopeful,
blessed and certain. Yet.....

I am reminded, here, of my favorite Wendy's commercial from bygone days. A lovely
old woman sits in front of a plate staring at a hamburger about the size of a large lima
bean and asks, "Where's the beef!"

Well...Where's the joy? 

We are still struggling with life! Becoming a Christian, unlike what some modern
preachers seem to suggest, does not promise an end to the issues we all face in this
messed-up world. We certainly have support but the challenges continue.

We still sin! If anything, we are now much more aware of this sin and that can cause
us to be troubled and depressed if we do not remember that we have been washed by
the precious blood of Christ once and all for sins past, present and future. The sins are
not overlooked; they are forgiven.

We have to earn our salvation, don't we? There it is. That issue with being
certain, underneath, that there is still a scorecard. What if we draw a "go back three
spaces" card? What if we aren't actually good enough to be called righteous. Aren't
we supposed to be working toward our salvation?

God may have forgotten me! He's busy, you know. I haven't heard from Him
in awhile. I'm really pretty insignificant in the scheme of things. NO! God took
the time to woo you, brought you to justification through the work of Jesus Christ
and you are therefore His. He will not forget you, He will not relinquish you, and He
will not be unaware of you at any time.

So, c'mon. One of the major forms of bringing others to Christ is in the way we
live. Evangelism is often wordless. People can sense and see real, not feigned, joy
in a person's actions, even in a person's countenance. 

Forgiven? Without a sin account? Adopted into the family of your Father Jehovah God? 
Preparing for an eternity in His presence? Aware of why you are here, what you
are doing and where you are going? JOY! JOY! JOY!

Praise God!