Monday, August 2, 2010

Thankful for the joy of salvation, but...

I was reminded by PJ's sermon yesterday of one of the glaring differences between believers and unbelievers: joy.  I think there are two reasons I tend to forget about this.

1. Because of my own sinfulness, I focus on circumstances or feelings, not on the absolute word of God.  This incorrect placement of focus not only dishonors God, but makes my "happiness" dependent on situations and whether or not things are going well.  When my heart is engrossed in God's truth, circumstances may not be great, but my God is.  Circumstances may not be good, but my God is.

2. Unbelievers tend to put up a front that everything is all right.  But again, this is an issue that I need to recognize.  First of all, God's word tells us that unbelievers have no peace of mind, have no joy, have no lasting hope.  I get fooled into thinking that unbelievers are happy and thus have no need for the gospel, but that is such wrong thinking.  Even if circumstantially they are happy and things are going well, they still need the gospel, not just for their sakes, but for God's glory.  The other issue is that I lack the love to reach out to them and really get to know them and minister the gospel to them.  Because I lack that love, I don't bother in spending time with them, so how can I know what they are going through?  Regardless though, even if I knew nothing about someone other than they were an unbeliever, I should at least know that they need the gospel.  But I should also be motivated to get to know them as a means of promoting the gospel.

As PJ always shares, joy is not complete unless it is shared.  If something is so good, you want others to know about it too, right?  For me, the example that hits home is food.  I really like food.  And anytime I taste something that is really good, I have to tell someone about it.  I get excited to tell others.  Well geez, if I'm that excited to proclaim the gospel of food, uhh, shouldn't the life-altering amazing news of the gospel be infinitely more exciting and important to share?

Wow...I am seeing how much I lack love, not just for other people, but more importantly, my love for the Lord.  Praise God for His sanctifying grace!

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