We have a new clock that plays music on the hour (Christmas carols right now) to alert us to the time, and also to entertain us. Thus, the clock serves both pragmatic and pleasurable functions.
"Let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful" (Titus 3:14).
"God… giveth us richly all things to enjoy" (I Timothy 6:17).
Life in the Lord Jesus Christ involves privileged responsibility. God provides His good grace to fill us with the joyous peace of relationship with Him, and also enjoyment of the gifts He gives. Upon this basis, He sends us forth to live in a manner that faithfully represents Him in demeanor, attitude, word, and deed. Our Father has no interest in fellowship with us that does not grace our hearts with the capacity to receive and enjoy His ongoing gifts of "life and breath and all things" (Acts 17:25). One of the strongest Old Testament warnings directed toward Israel involved their failure to gladly appreciate their Lord's generosity. "Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee… because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart for the abundance of all things" (Deuteronomy 28:45; 47). One cannot genuinely relate to the living God in faith and faithfulness without being enabled to know pleasure, His pleasure, in the grace He bestows. Concurrently, such joy leads to the most solemn seriousness regarding trust and trustworthiness. A glad heart in Christ constitutes a heart also devoted to doing the will of God as a primary expression of genuinely receiving and enjoying His goodness. "Let us have grace, that we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear" (Hebrews 12:28).
Failure to experience joy in Christ inevitably leads to failure to walk in faith and obedience. Walking in faith and obedience inspires our experience of true joy in Christ. Pleasure leads to pragmatism. Pragmatism leads to pleasure. These tracks of our eternal journey with the Lord Jesus run parallel in our hearts. Thus, we seek to know the glad heart of our Savior, who Himself is "anointed with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows" (Hebrews 1:9). Such joy known by the Lord Jesus is based upon His having "loved righteousness and hated iniquity". Determination and delight fill His holy being, even as both qualities of genuine relationship with God will also empower our life of privileged responsibility. No joy, no faithfulness. No faithfulness, no joy. Our clock just chimed on the fifth hour of the day to inform of the time, but also to bless with the melody of "Silent Night". So the Holy Spirit leads us in the pleasure and the pragmatism of living fellowship with our Heavenly Father.
"Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of Thy countenance."
Weekly Memory Verse
Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, to speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.