14 NOVEMBER

JESUS IS THE JOY OF LIVING

Why do you call yourself a Christian? Do you usually preface Christian with statement of your preferred denomination, like Baptist Christian or Presbyterian Christian? Or maybe you use a broader statement of faith, like Evangelical Christian, which includes a variety of conservative churches. Many Christians do this either out of habit or because, for them, the doctrines of their church are what defines their practice of Christianity, but it’s a relatively new practice. For centuries, once named at Antioch, Christians were Christians, without distinction of differentiation. They all believed the same teachings and were called by one name!

But even in the days just after Christ, some tried to keep certain identity lines. It was hard enough to get a small group of individuals, like the 12 disciples, to agree, let alone thousands spread out over long distances! Paul found that, even in the various places he had visited and planted churches, different ideas and doctrines were introduced by converts from various pagan groups. Or in some cases, Jewish converts tried to enforce the teachings of Judaism as part of being a true Christian. Peter and Paul had to combat these efforts by reinforcing the teachings of Jesus in their letters to those churches. “Can you not see, then, that all those who “believe God” are the real “sons of Abraham”? The scripture foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles “by faith”, really proclaimed the Gospel centuries ago in the words spoken to Abraham, ‘In you all the nations shall be blessed’.” (Galatians 3:7-8 PHILLIPS). 

The blessing of being a Christian is very real. There should be none happier than the Christian because, not only do they have the blessed hope of seeing their Savior in the flesh, they enjoy peace and happiness in their lives, knowing that the Lord will carry them through any trial!

My heart song today is an older hymn, once again from childhood memories:

“I have found a wondrous Saviour,

Jesus Christ, The Soul’s Delight;

Ev’ry blessing of His favor

Fills my heart with hope so bright.

Chorus:

Jesus is the Joy of Living,

He’s the Kng of Life to me;

Unto Him my all I’m giving,

His forevermore to be.

I will do what He commands me,

Anywhere He leads ‘ll go;

Jesus is the Joy of Living,

He’s the dearest Friend I know.

Life is growing rich with beauty,

toil has lost its weary strain,

Now a halo crowns each duty,

And I sing a glad refrain.

Heav’nly wisdom He provides me,

Grace to keep my spirit free;

In His own sweet way he guides me

When the path I cannot see.

O what splendor, O what glory,

O what matchless pow’r divine,

Is the Christ of Gospel story,

Christ, the Saviour, who is mine.”

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 15:13 KJV). Have a blessed day!