Have you ever lost some of your joy and excitement of being a Christian? If so, how did that happen? Pages and books are written on the subject. What might be the more important questions are these: Should I allow my Christianity to wane? and How can I get the joy of being a Christian back? The first question is a no-brainer. Finding the answer to the second question might be more complicated but let’s try to keep it simple.
Jesus was ministering to those who were watching and listening to John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus. Jesus revealed that up to that point and time, John was the greatest man ever born of a woman in the earth. Why? Because he pointed people to the one who would shortly reveal Himself to the world—Jesus! Matthew 3:1-3 (NLT) “In those days John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began preaching. His message was, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” The prophet Isaiah was speaking about John when he said, “He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the LORD’s coming! Clear the road for him!’”
The religious leaders of the day were having a fit about it. They were all about humiliating sinners and elevating themselves. John was all about exalting Jesus! John knew all men were sinners. He was baptizing people in the river Jordan pointing them to repent and receive the Messiah who would shortly come. He knew the worthy one would soon reveal Himself and he was preparing their hearts for that moment!
All the time that John was proclaiming the soon-coming Messiah, the religious leaders of the day who were vehemently jealous of John’s popularity, were plotting against him. It was really the devil working through men—coming at him on every side. Nothing is new today, Satan has worked in and through men—mean-spirited opposers of this simple gospel of Jesus, to create the tug-of-war through all the ages. They attacked John and anyone who was tempted to believe or share this wonderful truth. These battles manifest in our life with the intent of creating weary Christians who feel beaten down and give up.
Jesus saw it happening and the people being shaken by it. He gave the simple words revealing the simple answer to those who had become affected and who could or would lose their joy of Him. It was an eternal word crying out into our lives today that we read in Matthew 11:28. The Message Bible speaks it beautifully saying, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
The second question was, How can I get the joy of being a Christian back?The answer was and always will be simple. Lift up Jesus! Lift Him up in your own heart. Remember what He did for you! Remember all that He has done in your life. Remember all that He declares that He wants to do in and for you! It is a gift of His grace. And in this grace, He is always reaching out to you with more of His love! Worship Him for it! Read about it. Share it with others. Boldly come to His throne room of grace and ask Him to help you again and again. He will! He will refresh you in a personal and intimate way. And when He does, share that touch of His love with others who love Him. Share His gospel and love with those that don’t know Him. Not as duty, but as a conversation of the greatest event and greatest love you’ve ever experienced. Just lift up Jesus! Do you know what will happen when you do? Jesus told us in John 12:32, “And when I am lifted up on the cross, I will draw everyone to Myself.”
When you lift up Jesus out of pure love spilling from your life and testimony, people are drawn to Jesus and you are refreshed in the process. And you also will draw closer to Him. Again and again. Their discovery and excitement will only refuel your own. Then the insignificant elements of our life, and the devil’s attempts to discourage us and rob our joy will fade away. The joy of Jesus will fill our heart! This is the life of joy in Jesus we long for. Not a relationship of obligation, but out a pure love of never forgetting the one who saved you. It’s not something to be forced. Exalting Jesus in your heart and in the hearts of those around you produces this rhythm of His grace. It is the refreshing you need. It is all about our Almighty God’s personal love for you and His intimate reach into your life—Rhythms of Grace!
Colossians 4:6 (NIV) “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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