Sunday, October 22, 2017

God's will - our Joy.

There are books galore about guidance, knowing the will of God and related subjects. Most are helpful and motivational. Fortunately, Jesus didn't have the books by religious or secular gurus to explain how many steps you need to be sure of where you are going. He had a direct link with the One who would guide Him. Also, Jesus relied upon a book to refresh His mind and calling. Today, that book is maligned or marginalised to the detriment of a faith relationship with the Lord.

Christians know that doing the will of God is fundamental to their life, worship and service and the joy inherent in them all. Jesus made a promise to His followers in John 15:11."These things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you and your joy may be filled." (Nestle's Greek text). Therefore, if the joy Jesus knew and which carried Him through the cross can be ours, what is the key to it?  Defining the source of His joy pushes us to realising it is 'doing His Father's will." John 7:16-17 reveals an unbreakable, invisible and invincible link which wrapped itself around Jesus and The Father. 'Jesus answered them and said, "My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me. If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself."'

Why then are there so many miserable and spineless Christians roaming around churches today? They have no doctrinal strength in their mind and no joy in their heart. Why? Because they are either ignorant of, or playing loose with the will of God! It was the joy of doing the Father's will which gave added strength to Christ on the cross. It is that joy which He gives to fair dinkum, true blue disciples. (Australian slang for faithful, committed people). Peter wrote about such folk in 1 Peter 1:8 'Having not seen (Him) you love ... yet believing you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.' The believers to whom Peter wrote were experiencing their own form of Calvary. What bound them to their Cross and turned it into a platform of praise and joy? Love for Jesus which grew out of Faith in Him which was woven in them when they heard the Gospel of the Cross. Now they were able to see beyond the pain to the glory of an unfading inheritance.

That invisible, invincible and incredible link between the true blue believer and Christ stems from the Father. This is grasped from Matthew 17:5. There, on what we call 'the mount of Transfiguration' came The Father's expressed will: "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; hear Him!" Why is this important? Let the apostle John explain. 'He that does the will of God abides forever.' ( 1 John 2:17) 'This is His (The Father's) commandment, that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ...' (1 John 3:23). What do we know about the Name, that is the very person we call Jesus? Read the Old Testament for insights to the promised One. Read the Gospels to understand about the Word (title for Jesus) becoming flesh and blood and  His dependence upon the Will of The Father. Read the other books to discern how the Holy Spirit unveiled The Son in, to and through the Apostles to us.

Many are the fruits of knowing and doing the will of the Father, expressed to us in the person and work of Jesus. As you set your heart and mind on knowing and doing 'His will' a sense of the wonder of unquenchable joy infiltrates and permeates your life. That's summed up by the apostle Paul in his "Rejoice, and again I say, Rejoice!"

Copyright 22 Oct. 2017. Ray Hawkins.

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