DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT WEDNESDAY - HAVE WE LOST OUR JOY? Part 2.
Joy is the by-product of obedience. - Traditional.
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. - John 15:11.
Yesterday we discussed whether we had lost our joy as Christians today? Have the sins and burdens of the enemy and the world stolen our joy? As I travel around and preach in Churches, I sense that a lot of Christians have lost their joy, as I meet and talk to Christians I know they have lost their JOY! In the famous words of a Christian author who wrote the book… ‘We Should Be The Happiest People On Earth!’ And so we should be!
Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition, when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. - C.S. Lewis.
What has happened, that so many should lose the joy of the Lord? This week we are looking into what causes this and how to restore our JOY! Today we discover that …
JOY GROWS OUT OF REAL WORSHIP!
The reason I said ‘Real Worship,’ is that most Christians, don't ‘REALLY’ know how to worship the Lord… salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."- John 4:23-24.
Worship according to Jesus, involves 2 elements... SPIRIT and TRUTH.
WORSHIP IN SPIRIT
When we worship in the spirit, we are opposed to religious rituals and ceremonial posturing, and to the showiness of the symbols of office, and external worship. We need to worship our Lord with the full backing of the Holy Spirit, and with a glad and sincere heart, full of joy and gratitude for what He has done for us… For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. - Rom 8:5.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. - Rom 12:1.
God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit! For we are the real circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh-- Phi 3:3.
A conference at a Presbyterian church in Omaha. People were given helium filled balloons and told to release them at some point in the service when they felt like expressing the joy in their hearts. Since they were Presbyterians, they weren't free to say "Hallelujah, Praise the Lord."
All through the service balloons ascended, but when it was over 1/3 of the balloons were unreleased. Let your balloon go!. - Bruce Larson.
WORSHIP IN TRUTH
We do not worship through the medium of the shadows and types, nor by the way of sacrifices and bloody offerings, but in the manner represented by all of these… he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh,how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.- Heb 9: 12-14.
I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. If it were possible for a created soul fully to 'appreciate,' that is, to love and delight in, the worthiest object of all, and simultaneously at every moment to give this delight perfect expression, then that soul would be in supreme blessedness.
To praise God fully we must suppose ourselves to be in perfect love with God, drowned in, dissolved by that delight which, far from remaining pent up within ourselves as incommunicable bliss, flows out from us incessantly again in effortless and perfect expression. Our joy is no more separable from the praise in which it liberates and utters itself than the brightness a mirror receives is separable from the brightness it sheds. - C.S. Lewis.
Unspeakable Joy is ours when we really worship Him in Spirit and in Truth!
Loving Father, I thank you for the love that you have for me, I thank you that Jesus said His joy is in me! Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to divest myself of all flesh in my worship to you, help me to worship in spirit and in truth, in Jesus wonderful name I pray, amen!