Do you have joy in life?
By Pastor Lee Hemen
April 14, 2009
…then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. (Philippians 2:2)
Paul did. He writes, “make my joy complete.” The joy that Paul knew was found in the unifying nature of the change Jesus brings about in the individual’s life through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. And herein these next few verses in Philippians we discover that because of this Paul saw the church of Christ as something wonderful and special. It was made up of spiritually changed people who are “like-minded.” All headed in the same direction: Toward Jesus! They all have the same goal: To see the world changed by the power of Christ. How in the world could these once sinful people get their collective act together and do something like that?
Paul knew it was possible because they all shared the “same love” of God. It is the love that God “so loved the world” with that he gave his one and only Son as a sacrifice for our sins in order to bring us back to his presence. It is the same love Paul would be “convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39) It is a love that cannot be measured by human means.
It is a love that causes those who were once far away from God to draw near and be dear to him now. It is a grace that so totally changes the person that they no longer want to live for themselves, but now they desire only to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. But more than this, it has created a unit, a body of believers called the “church.” The ekklēsia, the “called out ones” of God, to do his work and will in the world. The body of Christ that is “one in spirit and purpose.”
My dear reader, do you have joy in life? If you do not know the Lord and are not changed by his power and presence then you have no idea what I am writing about and Paul’s words to the Philippians sound hollow on your sin-deaf ears. It is the joy that causes one to give hilariously, it is the joy that is unspeakable, it is a joy that flows from the throne of God, and it is a inner joy that can never be shaken by life’s circumstance. If you do not understand then you are still looking for something or someone to make your joy complete and it can never happen until you come to the source of all joy.
However, there is hope for you when you come to the joy of the Lord and become “like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose” by placing your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.
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