Monday, September 5, 2011

"Our Truest Joy"

There is a reason the Lord Jesus Christ said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).  Because it is more blessed to give than to receive.
     Certainly all born again believers affirm in principle this primary truth of Scripture.  We also seek to live accordingly.  However, our spiritual enemies continually wage both direct and subtle warfare against the loving character of the Lord Jesus being revealed in us.  We are not above selfish pettiness of attitude, intent, word and deed. 
     "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ... for ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?" (I Corinthians 3:1;3).
     The Apostle Paul's statement provides the most direct definition of carnality in Scripture, namely, to "walk as men."  Believers are called rather to "walk, even as He walked" (I John 2:6).  Furthermore, we are superabundantly energized by the indwelling Holy Spirit to live our lives according to the unselfishness of the Lord Jesus.  "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).  This we must believe regardless of how strong the temptation may be to please ourselves at the expense of God and others.  Our truest joy is self sacrifice.  "And if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all" (Philippians 2:17).
    Our flesh lusts against this truth, as influenced by the devil and the world (Galatians 5:17).  A greater Influence, however, works in us "both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).  Deep in our redeemed hearts we know - it is more blessed to give than to receive.  Let us rejoice that the Lord Jesus has revealed such Truth in us, and then let us submit ourselves in faith and expectation that the Truth will be revealed by us.  Joy awaits us as we walk accordingly, the joy of God, the joy of others, and our own joy as the sublime character of Christ fills and overflows our hearts.
"He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."
(John 7:38)

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