1 JOHN 1:7 – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
THEME OF THE DAY. THE TWO GREATEST JOY-PRODUCERS IN LIFE. I know it is rarely good to use words like, “I never”, “I always” or like the theme of today’s nugget, “the greatest”. When we use those all-inclusive claims, we put ourselves out there and not in a good place. Just think of the times we’ve said, “I never” or “I always”. Are these claims true? Really? May we boldly say, “I never” and “I always” and those statements ring 100% true in our lives? I cannot make that claim, though I have made those claims. However, not in today’s nugget. I am 100% confident what I am about to share is true. The two things we are going to explore are the two greatest joy-producers in life. Nothing is higher. Nothing will produce more joy and inward contentment. Nothing, or no one. But before we do, here is something we need to distinguish. Joy is not happiness. Happiness is of the earth, temporal, and based on circumstances. Joy is heavenly, eternal, and not dependent on circumstances. Happiness is fleeting. Joy is lasting. So, let’s identify, then rejoice over the two greatest joy-producers in life. And as we do, we should ask ourselves, “Are we experiencing the joy from these producers?” or “Are we seeking fleeting happiness, knowing nothing of this lasting joy?” Should the latter define us, the futility of trying to be satisfied with earthly happiness instead of pursuing eternal joy, may the Lord help us shift directions in our lives starting now. Okay. The two greatest joy-producers.
Everlasting and satisfying joy comes from knowing God. Not about God but knowing Him in regular personal encounters through His Word and prayer. Jesus said, “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). Friends, we are wired to know God. In arguably one of the best books ever written, Knowing God, by J. I. Packer, he writes, “What were we made for? Knowing God. What should our aim in life be? Knowing God. What is the best thing in life? Knowing God. What is the eternal life Christ gives? Knowing God. What in us gives God the most pleasure? Knowing God.” Oh, we may go throughout life having “happy times” and enjoying happiness through human relationships, significant accomplishments, great vacations, and a host of other temporary things, but they end. All of them. Even great marriage and human relationships because humans die. And when “happy” circumstances, relationships, and things end, so does the happiness, but not in knowing God. The joy produced in this relationship only deepens and will never end, in this life and the life to come.
The second greatest joy-producer naturally flows from the first. It is obeying the God we have come to know. The Apostle John writes, “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:6-7). The eternal joy of the believer, experienced in this life and into the next, is fellowship with the Lord. It is indescribable, fills the heart with enduring contentment, and frees us from the world and its sinful attractions. This fellowship either enjoyed or forfeited is based on one thing – our obedience to His Word. Joy rises and falls on our obedience to the Lord. He has made it so for two reasons; to give us a clear “road map” to joy and to test how sincerely, or intensely we want His fellowship. And think about this for a minute . . . what may possibly thrill our hearts, satisfies our souls, and bring us greater pleasure in life than the privilege to obey God? The answer is nothing. As we obey Him, we get His joy. Oh, what an experience lies behind our loving obedience to such a great and good God. May the Lord of our joy help us believe knowing and obeying Him are the two things bringing the greatest joy and pleasure into our lives
PRAYER: “Father, help me to see my greatest joy is in knowing and obeying you.”
QUOTE: “The joy of the Lord is not the same as happiness in life. The former is lasting. The latter is not.”