Joy found in Jesus lasts forever!
Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.
Joy from a Sermon
As a preacher, it is hard for me to actually listen to sermons. But that’s only because I’m using the one doing the sermonizing.
Recently, I was able to worship not as a preacher, but as a participant in the congregation. Pastor Brian was preaching, and this was the first time I heard him preach.
For a moment I felt a joy that was incredible! He preached with a huge smile on this face, and his message was one of joy about the Good News of Jesus Christ that is ours to receive and ours to share.
He shared the story of Jesus’ disciples’ joy in the results of their going out into villages and towns and proclaiming the kingdom of God.
The Joy of the Seventy
A month and a half after Jesus’ baptism by his cousin John, he selected a small group of men to be his closest disciples.
Twelve in number, they learned from Jesus and traveled with him for about three years.
Sometime after the second year, Jesus sent the twelve disciples to “proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal” (Luke 9:2).
After Jesus’ Transfiguration (see Luke 9:28-36), Jesus sends his disciples out again to prepare people for a visit from Jesus.
This time, Jesus sends out seventy or seventy-two (depending on how Luke 10:1 is translated). And he sends them to villages and towns that Jesus will soon visit – again to proclaim the kingdom of God.
The seventy “returned with joy” and shared with Jesus the results of their journey.
Jesus replies with what he saw! That is, Jesus tells them, “I was there! I saw it all! I saw what the Holy Spirit did through your message! It was no less than the defeat of Satan himself!”
But then Jesus’ cautions them to make sure their joy is properly placed.
They are joyful because of the power that was displayed through their message and actions. A power from God himself over the creation – specifically “demons are subject to us in your name!”
Jesus’ caution is that their joy should not be in what they do, but instead in what God has done for them and through them.
In other words, their joy should be in the fact that their names are written in heaven. That God has saved them from all their sins, from the devil, and from death itself!
It won’t be long before the disciples see just what Jesus means – as they will witness the passion and death of Jesus and his glorious resurrection from the grave three days later.
Properly Placed Joy
Pastor Brian reminded me that true joy comes from what truly matters – salvation by grace through faith alone!
My peace and happiness come from the rock-solid truth that Jesus Christ loves me with an unconditional, never-ending love and showed that love by dying on the cross to forgive my sin.
My joy comes from the truth that even though I will most-likely die someday (unless Jesus comes back before then), I will rise from the dead just as Jesus did!
Where do you find your joy? If you find it in things, or other people, you may notice that joy to be fleeting.
But if your joy is found in Jesus Christ and what he has done for you – your joy will be never ending and will be grounded in what truly matters.
Heavenly Father, be our joy when worldly darkness saddens and oppresses us. I pray for the Holy Spirit to ingrain in my heart a true joy founded in what truly matters – Jesus Christ! In his name. Amen.
© 2018 True Men Ministries