Christian Joy 100: an Introduction (4 of 4)

My goal in this series is our greater joy in Jesus, even in complex struggles intellectually, emotionally, relationally, etc.  So, each time I will offer a buffet on 8 ‘P’s of good news.  Chew and savor whatever helps your joy in Jesus.  “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!  Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” (Isaiah 55:1) 

 

Last time we began to address the first of two objectives in this series:  to help us joyfully receive God’s ‘counsel’ for Life in Christ.  This time we’re focusing more on leading others based on His counsel to us.  So, it’s fair to ask, “If we’re supposed to lead by following Jesus, where is He going?”

Questions like that can breed greater anxiety or self-focused pride in the ‘right’ step-by-step approach to God.  I’ve been there, too.  At times, I still am.  But God is relationally focused on the grace of His only Son, not mechanically focused on the many rules of our religion.  Again, think of the 8 “P”s like a basketball court, musical score, or highway with its signs and symbols.  Such paradigms are always designed to free us for the big picture, not panic us by tunnel vision on their parts.  Misery and failure would quickly overtake a ballplayer looking only at the foul line and goal when opponents are bearing down.  A musician would be ruined if they only paid attention to their solo and ignored the band’s tempo and volume.  And a driver couldn’t only watch the signs over the road but neglect the symbols on the road.  The parts are interconnected so we can live the big picture, and Jesus is the big picture.

The 8 ‘P’s picture Life as a growing joyful devotion to God by trusting in the work of Jesus and living in the power of His Spirit.  But aren’t basketball, music, and driving about relationship, too?  Yet, as we noted in a previous article, individuals might use any of those paradigms to fight for superiority over people, draw others to themselves, or even use the venues to get away from others.  But the big picture is still relationships.  The good news of the 8 “P”s is relationships of perfect love . . . forever.

Thus, leading others for joy must always flow from and back to Jesus.  But, like ball, music, or driving, there will be times when some pieces are more prominent.  For example, when we’re with a person who seems self-confident for their glory, we may need to lead them to Jesus’ ‘Plain-speaking’ to know Man’s true moral state and then to Jesus’ ‘Presence’ for rest in His grace, not their works; when we’re with a person looking for the meaning of Life, we must point them to Jesus’ ‘Purpose’ of leading us to God for true joy; when we’re with someone who is hurting, we might point them to the ‘Protection’ and ‘Provision’ of Jesus who brings us to His eternal ‘Peace’, etc.  So, leading them for greater calm and perspective always means pointing them to Christ.  For He is the big picture, leading people from the misery and death of self-focus to the joy and Life in Christ.  But a prerequisite to following anyone is knowing them better, whether they’re a point guard, conductor, or professional driver.  And Jesus is infinitely and eternally better than any of them.  So, I’d like to introduce you to more of God and to me and my wife, who is in future videos with me pointing to Christ.

 

 

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If you’d like to know more about who publishes the articles, videos, and other materials on tools4trenches, you can click on the picture of me and my wife.

 

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