Monday, February 17, 2020

“With Gladness of Heart” Part 4 - A Glad Heart

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe….

"With Gladness of Heart"

Part 4 - A Glad Heart      

    This series of messages began with God's challenge to Israel regarding their failure to serve Him "with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart" (Deuteronomy 28:47).  This directs our attention to the venue of joy and gladness referenced by the Lord, namely, our innermost spiritual being that transcends thought, emotion, and physical substance.

    "God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the Gospel of His Son" (Romans 1:9).

    The God who "is a spirit" made human beings in His image (John 4:24; Genesis 1:27).  Thus, we exist to live as spiritual beings who think, feel, choose, act, and relate from our hearts, as united God our Lord's heart through the presence of the Holy Spirit.  

    "The Lord looketh on the heart… Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are issues of life… With the heart man believeth unto righteousness… that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith" (I Samuel 16:7; Proverbs 4:18; Romans 10:10; Ephesians 3:17).

   Moses' reference to "gladness of heart" reveals how we can serve the Lord with joyfulness even in times of sorrow - "as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing" (II Corinthians 6:10).  Believers can be glad in heart even when we mourn in our emotions because our spiritual essence - our heart - constitutes a reality far greater than our feelings.  While what we feel matters, we are not our emotions.  "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit" declared the Lord Jesus (John 3:6).  Thus, a glad heart can be accompanied by sorrowful feelings, especially in a fallen world that presently challenges our sensibilities in countless ways.  We sometimes make the choice to rejoice when we feel anything but joy emotionally.  This is not a contradiction, but rather an affirmation of truth and faith regarding who Christ is, and who we are in Him.  We are spirits, spirits united to the Spirit of Christ.  We possess the capacity for emotion (I Corinthians 6:17; Romans 8:9; I Thessalonians 4:4). 

   For believers in the Lord Jesus, eternity to come promises glad feelings that will forever accompany a spirit glad in the Lord Jesus.  We are not there yet.  In this present lifetime, what we feel may not coincide with a heart that makes the choice to rejoice amid sadness and grief.  Such faith greatly honors our Lord as it reveals the power of His presence to reveal joy where it seems like it cannot be.  This is who He is.  And this we must believe in order to obey a command that greatly challenges us, but far more, greatly offers to us the promise of a glad heart regardless of what we feel

"Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say rejoice."
(Philippians 4:4)

"Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy."
(Psalm 43:4)

Weekly Memory Verse
   "Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say rejoice."
(Philippians 4:4)


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