1 Thessalonians 2
19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? 20 For you are our glory and joy.
This has to be one of the greatest verses in Scripture regarding the fullness of joy that comes from serving the Lord. Paul could look at those who came to Christ and matured in their faith under his labors and rejoice that God would use him for an eternal purpose. Notice that not only did they bring Paul present joy but they were going to bring him eternal joy. When Paul and these precious saved souls all met together in the presence of their Savior, Paul was going to rejoice even more. They were the glory of his labor and the joy of his life.
One thing we notice about the apostle Paul is that he was ever giving of himself for the eternal spiritual well-being and eternal well-being of others. As a counselor, I often advise people to take time to serve others for Jesus’ sake. Depressed people are often self-focused which takes them further down the rabbit hole of pain. Those who struggle with depression but fight against it by giving their lives to reach other people for Christ find a glory and a joy that they cannot find anywhere else.
Whom are you serving for Jesus’ sake? Who gets your energy besides yourself? What do you regularly and intentionally do as part of the weekly rhythm of your life for the spiritual care of someone else? One man meets monthly with a 95 year old man who needs Jesus. They meet for lunch. Only a few conversations have had a spiritual direction to them but God will use those to soften this man’s heart. Steven and I sing with a community men’s group and have been able to make spiritual observations of music and to have some spiritual conversations. We pray for these men to see Jesus in us and to come to Him. I introduced the “Cause Circle” to the church and have asked you to pray regularly for three people who need Christ.
When someone we have been praying for, sowing seeds of the gospel to, and have loved for Christ’s sake comes to Christ, we glory in their salvation and have a measure of personal joy in their coming to Christ. Furthermore, we will rejoice with them in the presence of Christ forever. What else in this life brings eternal joy? May God give us people who come to Christ through our witness to them so that we may say of them that they are our hope, our joy and our crown of rejoicing.
We had a great start to our week of revival. Our evangelist, Brent Sivnksty, is opening God’s word with the clarity we have come to love. We have visitors both yesterday morning and evening and are praying for people to come to Christ. I am thankful for dedicated musicians serving with us this week as well as church families committed to come throughout the week. It is our marathon week and we love being together for dinner and service each night. Do pray with us that many of us will let the Word and the Spirit work on us.
Have a great day in the Lord,