Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Thessalonians Words ~ Day 10: Joy

Day 10: Joy

"For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy." 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20

Joy is a deep-down sense of well-being in the heart of one who knows with confidence that all is well between them and God. This is a joy that withstands the trials of suffering and opposition. A joy that is not dependent on good circumstances or happy emotions. All Christ-followers can experience this joy, which is a gift from God.

But Paul shows us in today's verse, a joy that is a special experience for the preacher, evangelist, and discipler. (And we can all find ourselves somewhere in that list!) A special joy that comes from seeing the reception of the gospel message in those preached to, from seeing them grow in the Lord, stand firm in their faith, and become sharers of the gospel themselves. Paul describes a joy greater than no other that comes from investing one's self and time in the lives of others for the sake of the Lord.

He expresses this joy again later in this letter:
"How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?" 1 Thessalonians 3:9

He speaks in a similar fashion to the church at Philippi:
"Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!" Philippians 4:1

Another thing we see about this special joy is that it is both present and future. It gives Paul joy in this life as he witnesses the transformation of Christ in their lives and as they grow in their faith. It is also a joy he looks to in the future - in the next life. Jesus said, "I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 5:10). Paul will share in that rejoicing with the angels when he stands before the Lord in heaven. He will glory in His heavenly reward, which he refers to as a crown, and he will rejoice when those he discipled stand before the presence of the Lord with him in heaven. It is a holy joy!

Jesus commissioned His followers to "go and make disciples" (Matthew 28:19). May we be about the business of carrying on His work of making disciples and experience this special, holy joy Paul's speaks of, both in this present life and in the glorious life to come!

Today we look at the Free Bible Commentary site. A great tool with study notes for every book of the Bible from a retired seminary professor. Go to the Bible Study Techniques page and locate How to Use the Free Bible Commentary Site document from the list at the bottom of the page. I won't be adding anymore study technique pages until after the weekend in order to give you time to try the techniques added over the past ten days. Go through them slowly and get to know the tools and sites and then try going through a small passage of Scripture on your own using these study techniques and tools. I would love to hear how you did either n the comment section below or in The Words Facebook group. Of course, you are free to email me as well!

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