The Message

Living in Joy

Woman Standing on Beach at Sunset

The greatest part of any healthy relationship is knowing that you are loved unconditionally. That’s how God wants us to relate to Him. He is Love. He so loved the world that He sent Christ to die for our sins so that we could be set free from all the consequences of our own bad choices. Knowing God correctly is the most important pursuit you can make in life. Most people do not know Him. In fact, Jesus will say to many people “I don’t know you!”

That is very scary to think about! Some people have spent their entire life thinking that they had God’s approval and they don’t!

Religion is a big problem and always has been. Why? Because religion is based on conditional love and those who trust in their own good behavior for salvation will find that it will fall short and that will be quite a shock. Salvation is based on a GIFT from God not a reward for good behavior. Good works are not a means to salvation, they are the result of salvation. We really need to get this straight in our hearts.

But, let’s go one step further. What about after we become a Christian, what about after we are saved? Theologians call this time “sanctification”. How should we love during the time between our salvation and our termination? It is possible to be a Christian and not be happy, that’s for sure. But, we are called to live a life that is full of joy so how do we get there? Can we live a life that has joy no matter what our circumstances may be? The answer is “Yes” but we will not know that answer without the help of the Holy Spirit. We will not figure this out on our own. We need a Helper to comfort us and encourage us and fill us with peace that surpasses all understanding.

Jesus said that he came to give us an “abundant life” (John 10:10). He also said that in this world we would have tribulation but to rejoice because He has overcome the world.

We live in a very fallen world that seems to be getting much worse instead of better. The other part of John 10:10 helps explain that. The devil is real and he has come to “steal, kill and destroy”. He is the ultimate joy killer, just the opposite of Jesus. Often, we may feel somewhere in between most of our lives struggling between good and evil. Paul said in Philippians that we must LEARN to be content in any and every circumstance. We must sit at the feet of Jesus like Martha and listen and learn from Jesus. Not being like Mary who was busy and distracted by many things!

Learning requires allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts while we read the Bible. We will not find joy elsewhere, the world cannot deliver that in any form.

Be not conformed to the world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds according to Romans 12:2.

Please take the time to listen to this message by Jack Hibbs titled “When Enough is Not Enough”. We need to learn what God has given us by receiving the truth about living in sanctification by faith not by works or religion. Give up on the conditional and move into the unconditional. You will be so glad you did!

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