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)
Joy comes by Life from God, through God, and for God as revealed in the Bible. (Romans 11:33-36) And resting in our value as purchased by Christ frees us to be present with others.
As noted last time in the first linked video, every supernatural Light in the Bible was Christ’s presence (the first ‘P’ of God’s good news) because of God’s covenant. My wife, Lauren, and I discuss some practical implications in the video below.
The presence of Christ also brings many other specific benefits for His followers. In this next video I describe some of those encouragements. Discuss them with other Christians for mutual edification, and remind each other that each of us needs more than rescue from hell. Real reconciliation and joy between sinful people and the holy God requires Christ for every thought, word, and deed, and He guarantees His presence by sending His Spirit to live in believers to transform, teach, guide, and keep them close to Christ. (John 14:15-16:15, Acts 2:33-38, Romans 8:1-17, Galatians 5:13-26)
His presence is also the foundation of our help to those who do not know the Lord. Jesus’ covenantal presence not only secures His followers’ value before God. His presence is the foundational and sure hope that He will work in and through them with others. I outline implications of this truth in this next video.
Consider my morning today. I had to get up at 4am to help a friend, and I woke up irritated. They needed help and I do love them – just very imperfectly. My human nature wanted to fire subtle jabs at them because I was missing my morning routine, but the Spirit of Christ was present with me and immediately convicted and strengthened me from His Word. “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9); “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful…” (1 Corinthians 10:13); “This is His command: to believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us.” (1 John 3:23); and “For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:13) So, I knew I couldn’t fully trust my emotions; caring for them wasn’t an option; I wasn’t crazy or alone; and denying myself would be painful, but He would honor it.
No, I didn’t hear an audible voice, nor did He bring every word of those verses to my mind. His Spirit simply recalled my earlier studies in His Word. And resting in Christ’s gracious presence freed me to trust in His perfect love for me, not mine for them; His presence guided me to sacrifice for them as He sacrificed for me; and His presence inspired me to confess some of my struggle and share my faith in Him so they, too, might know the joy of His forgiveness and commitment because of His covenant.