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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Our Growing Joy In Christ vs. Temporary pleasures

.

Look at Paul's life.

From a respected Jewish leader and teacher to a persecuted and then prosecuted leader of a Jewish sect.

It is a life he chose.


Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches
. - IICorinthians 11: 24-28


We talk of how the short term and diminishing pleasures of this world are a poor substitute for the growing joy of a relationship with Jesus Christ. The joy keeps growing for eternity contrasted with a life dedicated to self where repeating a pleasurable act is eventually less satisfying with each occurrence.

But instant gratification is understandable to those that do not have a relationship with God. Moreover a choice to engage in whatever is pleasurable to you is perhaps logical if your life may end in seconds and there is no eternity.

Happily life is not necessarily so futile - you can build a relationship with Jesus Christ that will endure, and that years from now will be stronger and more joyful. This relationship can be eternal. You do have a choice.


Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.


Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept
. - ICorinthians 15: 12-20


Father God,

Thank you that we can come to you knowing that you love us.

We give ourselves over to growing closer to you, to learning how to live in the joy that you have promised.

O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. - Psalm 34:8

Jesus,

Thank you for loving us and for in faith dying that you might be the first fruit of a family of believers living eternally with you. You were the adoption price for entering a family relationship of peace and joy. We marvel at what you have accomplished.

Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. - Romans 14:4

Holy Spirit,

Draw us to the truth, teach us and direct us as we grow in the wonderful promise that is now available to us.

  • Eternity is ours.

  • Joy for eternity is ours.

  • A relationship with the living and loving God is ours.

  • In Jesus Christ

God we love you because you first loved us.

In Jesus Christ's holy name we now continue in conversation and fellowship with you ---


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