Thursday, April 05, 2007

Day Thirty-Eight: Joy and Evangelism

“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11).

The fruit of the vine comes in many sizes, shapes, textures, and tastes, and each has its own measure of joy. But one type of fruit is particularly joy-producing, so much in fact that even the host of heaven rejoices in it. “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” And again, “Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:7, 10).

Oh how I pray that Glory of Christ Baptist Church will know the joy of this fruit in abundance! Oh how I pray that we will be like our Lord who emptied himself and took on the form of a servant and became obedient all the way to death on a cross for the glory of his Father in the salvation of the lost. “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). Oh how I pray that in this time of fasting and prayer we will come to crave and seek the food that is indeed food:

“Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, ‘Rabbi, eat.’ But he said to them, ‘I have food to eat that you do not know about.’ So the disciples said to one another, ‘Has anyone brought him something to eat?’ Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, “There are yet four months, then comes the harvest”? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, “One sows and another reaps.” I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor’” (John 4:31-38).

At this point in the life of our church, we do not know if God has sent us primarily to sow or reap. But we do know that he has sent us to enter into this labor for the glory of his name, the salvation of the lost, and the joy of our souls! So, Glory of Christ, let us play our part with passion! Let us deny ourselves and take up our crosses daily and follow him into the fields that are indeed white for harvest! Let us pursue our joy in the joy of sinners saved by grace! Let us seek to share in the joy of the hosts of heaven!

Prayer Focus: Pray that the Father will greatly increase our joy by greatly increasing our fruitfulness in evangelism. Pray that the Father will fill us with the Holy Spirit and give us a great and compassionate boldness in preaching the gospel. Pray for your family and friends and neighbors and the entire SMORE area, that many may come to know Christ as we (and others) faithfully share the gospel.

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