Wednesday, January 13, 2016

With JOY we follow

There are a bounty of pleasures in this world that bring us joy. Over the years, it has been fishing, hunting, hiking, kayaking, starting a family, vacationing, Mustangs, Harley's, and various people I've encountered. But as much as I enjoy all these things, they do not compare to following the Lord Jesus Christ.
2016 has hit me square between the eyes. The Lord has made it crystal clear that followers need to follow. In the quest for our next joy adventure, I sense we have forgotten where true joy comes from. It's not in and of ourselves but in the footsteps of following the Lord. It's not simply the knowledge of our salvation but living that salvation in the present. I've confessed that I sought after the things of this world and have pleaded with God to have mercy on me, a sinner. I no longer want what the world has to offer, but I want all that Christ has to offer. What's been so real to me is that in the midst of finding our next fix here, God is longing to give us more. I can almost hear his voice saying, you think that is awesome, try sharing me with others.
He commands us to go and make disciples but it's a lot easier to just sit behind a desk, or walk into a hospital room and pray, or minister at a funeral, or preach a sermon, or sing a song, and the list goes on.
But when we seriously consider our salvation, and the future hope it provides, we can no longer resist taking it to those who have not heard. I strongly dislike using the term lost to compare ourselves. Aren't we all lost in one fashion or another? But to share what it means to be found is the indescribable joy we have in following the Lord. So the place I find myself right now and perhaps you may as well, is where do we go from here. It's not difficult to look that far to see the persecution of Christians. We have a greater chance of sharing any religion but Christianity. But that's where I start to really think. It's not just any religion. It's about a relationship we have with a God who has provided way through his one and only Son that we can do so. It's about a faith and a belief that Jesus has walked this path called life on earth, and knows what we endure. He can identify with us. In following Him, we see the difference He makes and why would we not want someone else to know of that joy? For someone to be willing to die for me and to rescue me from my sins that separates me from my heavenly Father is overwhelming to say the least. Let us be diligent in offering this hope that we no longer need to live this life alone. We are together in this journey following the Lord. Two has always been better than one and taking steps together to share our faith is key to the world finding a new hope. Jesus is all that matters and when He is all that matters, others matter too. Love like the one who loves us.

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