“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
It appears that joy is in short supply.
Joy-stealers, robbers, and drainers hound our every move, wrestling our joy to the ground and throwing it down.
We must intentionally replace this sense of gloom with ways to find delight. What will restore our joy so it flows freely once more?
I highly recommend being the bearer of good news.
Consider that one of God’s primary objectives for us is to help others discover how to become part of his kingdom of light. If our identity is a child of God, and we are personally acquainted with a life-giving relationship with Jesus, why not prioritize getting that message to those in desperate need of freedom, meaning, and purpose?
What could be more important than sharing with people the profound difference a relationship with Jesus will make in their lives? If we want to experience the purest form of joy, to have our heart filled to the brim with delight, let’s go out of our way to talk about the Lord.
Where do we start? Begin a conversation, build a friendship, invest in their lives. Let them hear from us how much the Lord values and cherishes them. Remind them that God loves them dearly, cares about them like no one else, and has a plan for their future ahead. Explain that men and women don’t measure up to his standards, that we are all sinners, and that our sin and shortcomings ultimately separate us from God.
Let’s help them visualize the disconnect between God and man by sketching on a napkin or a notebook two cliffs separated by a formidable ravine. God’s plan is represented by one mount, man’s problem by the other. Then talk about Jesus. Emphasize that he is the only bridge between God and man, that God the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Highlight the fact that Jesus went to the cross to pay for the punishment we all deserved. Sketch a cross positioned between the two cliffs that illustrates Christ’s work on our behalf.
Explain that salvation is a gift we cannot deserve or earn, and we must personally receive it or it will not belong to us. Ask them if they would like to choose his gift of forgiveness and salvation. We might need to answer questions or clarify points made earlier in order for them to understand the decision.
When they are ready, and they might not be the first time we share all these details, we will have the honor to pray with them as they commit their lives to Christ. As the Holy Spirit allows this to unfold, we will experience the joy of celebrating together that they are now a child of God!
In some way, we are like a labor and delivery nurse ushering a new believer into the world. The umbilical cord to their old life was cut, they drew their first breath as a born-again believer, and we were right there! Could any event be more joy-producing than that?
They will need to be nurtured and fed. We must encourage them to continue to grow in their faith by reading the Bible and spending time in his presence. Teach them to talk to their Father in prayer in simple, direct words. Instruct them to hang with other believers and to find a good church home where they can learn spiritual truth to grow in their knowledge of him.
And recommend that in order to experience the greatest joy possible, they should also begin sharing their story of Jesus. How he met them right where they were and filled them to the brim with his powerful presence, forgiveness, and everlasting life.
We make time for all sorts of exploits and adventures, all geared to give us a rush of excitement and a break from the monotony of life. Try this instead: share Jesus. Let’s do it this week and discover his limitless, all-encompassing joy in the process.
Elizabeth A Mitchell
Photo Credit: Denis Trushtin on Pexels