Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Grace Motivated Joy

The following devotion comes from John Coursen’s daily devotional, “A Day’s Journey.”

…So that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. Acts 20:24

The word ‘joy’ means ‘exceedingly happy.’ The way to happiness is to testify of the grace of God. Many people grew up in an atmosphere or in a church which said, ‘It’s your responsibility to pray, to study, to serve.’ And they became burdened by a weight of responsibilities they could never fulfill.

Then, at some point in their walk, they understood that, on the basis of the finished work of Jesus Christ, they didn’t have to study; they didn’t have to pray; they didn’t have to worship.
You mean, Lord, my sin is forgiven?’ they said. ‘I’m robed in Your righteousness? I don’t have to work to try and attain Your favor or merit Your blessing?’
‘Yes,’ answered God. ‘It’s all grace.’

‘You mean You love me as much when I’m not doing so well as when I’m studying Leviticus and Deuteronomy?’
Wouldn’t You love me more if I was studying Leviticus and Deuteronomy?’

‘No, I can’t love you anymore than I love you right now.’

And what does that do? ‘Wow,’ we say, ‘I wonder what Leviticus says? Where is Deuteronomy, anyway?’ We find ourselves wanting to study. We find ourselves enjoying worship. We find ourselves freely talking to the Lord. Our Christian walk changes from responsibility to response, and that’s when it becomes a whole lot of fun.

If you want an explosion of joy in your heart today, be like Paul—‘testify the gospel of the grace of God.’ Go to the person you work with and say, ‘Every sin you committed last weekend is forgiven. Every sin you’re thinking about today is paid for. You’re free because, when Jesus died on the Cross, He died for every sin every man has ever done. There’s only one unpardonable sin, and that is refusing to receive His forgiveness.’

An interesting thing happens to a person who’s sharing his faith: he becomes a channel through which the joy and power of the Lord flows. For just as electricity will not enter an object unless there’s an outflow from that object, the power of the Lord will not enter a church or an individual in whom there is no conduit for evangelism. When people say, ‘The electricity is gone from our church corporately or from my life personally,’ invariably it’s because there’s no outflow.

Paul was one who was charged-up, red-hot, and turned-on because he was one who continually testified of the Gospel. He never stopped sharing his faith in Christ Jesus.

May God bless us with a grace motivated joy!

- Bro. Dave

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