Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Gift of Joy

Discover a bit about the joy-filled purpose of your life through this Easter devotional. Jesus knew the purpose for his life on earth. He endured the cross with that purpose in mind. In "The Gift of Joy," Warren Mueller encourages us to follow Christ's example and discover the joy-filled purpose for our lives. 

As Easter approaches, I find myself thinking about the death and resurrection of Jesus. The purpose of his life was to offer himself as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind.The Bible says Jesus became sin for us so that we could be forgiven and found righteous in God’s sight (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Jesus was so certain of his purpose that he predicted when and how he would die.  (Matthew 26:2).
As believers and followers of Jesus, what is our purpose? 
Some would answer that it is to love God while others might say that it is to serve him. The Westminster Shorter Catechism states that man’s chief purpose is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. While considering these ideas, Hebrews 12:2 came to mind: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (NIV) Jesus looked beyond the suffering, shame and death he knew was to come and focused on the joy that would be. 

What is this joy that so motivated him? 
The Bible says that there is great joy in heaven whenever a sinner repents (Luke 15:10). Likewise, the Lord rewards good works and there is joy in hearing him say, “Well done good and faithful servant.” Therefore, Jesus anticipated the joy that would happen when each person would repent and be saved. He also looked forward to the joy that would result from each good work done by believers in obedience and motivated by love. 

The Bible says that we love God because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). Ephesians 2:1-10 tells us that by nature we are rebellious towards God and are born spiritually dead. It is by his love and grace that he brings us to faith and reconciliation. God has even planned our good works (Ephesians 2:10)! 

What then is our purpose? 
We can give him joy! What a wonderful God we have who honors sinners like us by giving us the ability to give him pleasure! He rejoices and experiences joy as we respond to him in repentance, love and good works that brings him glory! 

Give Jesus the gift of joy for he is looking forward to it! 

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