By the Rev. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs -Kanu :
In Part 1 yesterday, we looked at christian joy and the fact that christians should rejoice every moment. We said that the joy of the christian is different from the happiness of the world because christian joy is not circumstantial unlike worldly happiness which depends on circumstances. We said that the worldly man is happy when there is money in his pocket or when his circumstances are favourable but if there is no money in his pocket or circumstances turn against him he becomes very unhappy and grouchy. Christian joy, on the contrary is not circumstantial and it does not depend on worldly circumstances but on the assurance that you have been chosen, washed clean and redeemed by the Blood of Jesus. Whether a christian has money or favourable circumstances o not he is always full of joy because he has the hope that comes from being a child of the Lord of goodness and mercies .
I enjoined christians to be joyful at all times because we are serving a living Saviour whose goodness and mercies endureth forever .I however started highlighting some of the situations in the world that have the tendency of piercing our christian armour of joy , if we are not watchful and one of them is the judgemental spirit of the modern scribes and pharisees of this world whom the devil would try to use to take away our christian joy or slow us down in our christian race. This,I must add will only happen if we are not grounded in the Word of God and if we do not spend time with God in prayer and fellowship. If we dwell on the Word and know what God says about us and through perpetual fellowship we have the witness of the Spirit in our spirit that we are children of God, nothing thrown at us by the judgemental people of this world will affect us. Our eyes will remain focussed on Jesus Christ, who is the author and finisher of our faith.
I then said that the onus is on the true christian not to allow himself to be distracted or sidetracked by modern day pharisees. I said that It is the work of the devil. Satan will do everything to stop the christian from preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He will bring his disciples tp preach counter-sermons on their websites each time the child of God preaches. They will attribute to the child of God characteristics that are completely alien to him but was this not the same that they did to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ ? But this should not dampen the spirit of the christians. These are the circumstances that christian joy laughs to scorn and overcomes . We have the assurance of our salvation through the Holy Spirit. Before you , the christian , was born and before the world was made , those who belong to Him were destined for an eternal inheritance and you are one of them.
Romans 8 : 16 tells us that ” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God ” This is why we must always rejoice and not allow the things we see and hear to slow down our Christian race . The Spirit of God testifies with our spirit that we are the redeemed of Christ and this should be sufficient . Whatever else comes from the world we must consider as our cross . The Bible says that for the joy set before him Jesus Christ endured the cross .
” Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God “ ( Hebrews 12 : 2 ) .
We must consider the people who tell lies about us and accuse us of things we have not done as our cross and endure them because of the joy God has set before us. The cross includes also the false allegations unbelievers try to lay on the Child of God. For instance, nobody will ever provided irrefutable evidence that the words attributed to some christians in anonymous forums were really uttered by them . It is lies but the child of God must rejoice still because unbelievers cannot impute any wrong on the child of God who has been redeemed by the Blood of Jesus Christ. Revelation 14: 5 assures Christians that “They are without fault before the Throne of God”. It is God Himself who says that : “ The iniquity of Israel shall be sought for and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found for I pardon them whom I reserve “ ( Jeremiah 50 : 20 ). These assurances should make us mount the rooftops and scream our joy to the world always ! ! ! May God’s name be glorified forever.
The second reason that we must always rejoice as Christians is that God does not look at us, his true children, as the worldly and judgemental people look at us. This is one of the most wonderful parts of being christians. In Christianity, it is not about us. It is about our Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST who has died for us and redeemed us from the bondage of sin. When God looks at us, he does not see us or what the worldly man thinks about us.He sees the BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST ,which has cleansed us and redeemed us from sin. That is why we must not conform ourselves to the thinking patterns of this world .That is why we are warned in Romans 12 : 1 and 2 : “Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Christians should renew their minds with the Word of God everyday so that they will know what is good and acceptable and the will of God for their lives. When we do not know what we are in Christ that is when worldly judgements affect us. The Apostle Paul says in Romans 8 : 38 and 39 :
38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We are also told in Hebrews 7: 25 that ” He ( Christ ) is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. “ In Romans 5 : 1,2 we are told that “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ :by whom also we have access by faith into his grace ,wherein we stand , and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” It is this peace of God that comes through faith in God’s grace –MARK , not by our works of righteousness – that makes us joyful at all times .
PART 3 NEXT WEEKEND