Friday, April 24, 2009

Are You Joyful?


Joy is a command-(Phil. 4:4 Phil. 3:1) Paul was emphatic about us rejoicing in the Lord. This command came from someone who was in chains in a dank and dark prison cell.
I awoke this morning in a bad mood, dark feeling, hopeless, focusing on outward circumstances. As I pondered these thoughts, I was reminded of a great teaching by C.J. Mahaney on joy in a pastors life, one of the major points of the teaching was on the truth of the gospel and not on the circumstances or even on my sinfulness. Focus needs to instead be on the finished work of the cross, the reality of the gospel.
I am the worst sinner that I know because I am fully aware of the sin that resides inside of my heart, therefore I must without any hesitation focus intensely on the truth of the gospel, as Jerry Bridges says to "preach the gospel to myself." I need to hear the good news of the gospel everyday of my life, Because everyday there will be a tendency to visit the dark places of my soul. I need to daily come to the realization of my desperate need of my savior Jesus. I cannot attain this on my own I need a daily infusion of the gospel into my heart and my life, My prayer is that Jesus would reveal daily the sweet truth of the gospel because I am indeed a great sinner, but praise God! Jesus is a great, even greater savior! Oh how I need Christ and the transforming power of the gospel.
I want my life to be characterized by joy, because I have been forgiven greatly, it should definitely be making a difference in my life.

How about you? are you modeling joy in your life? What ways has the Lord been enabling you to do that?

Some great books that would definitely help in preaching the gospel to yourself are "The Discipline of Grace" by Jerry Bridges "Living The Cross Centered Life" by C.J. Mahaney and also a great book on the atonement is "The Great Exchange" by Jerry Bridges and Bob Bevington all of these books can be found at http://www.wtsbooks.com/

1 comment:

asacrificeofpraise said...

Ron, i understand the focus on outward circumstances. i often also wake up the same way... not feeling well, hopeless, troubled. in church this morning the pastor said "what is the gospel? the gospel is God's love..." remembering that truth has given me much hope over the past few weeks.

lately God has been showing me my sin but more than that has been showing me His mercy... to me... to my undeserving self. the more I've seen His mercy to me, the more joy it has brought to my hopeless, self-centered days.

i am far from Paul's rejoicing in the middle of a damp dark prison, but by God's grace, I am beginning to see my trials and pains as sovereignly ordained by a good God who loves me. and that thought brings me joy.