Friday, January 29, 2016

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 we 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 these final days of consecration and meditation on John 15:1-11 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). 

As the body of Christ, some of us are called to sow seeds of the Word into the lives of others and some are called to reap the harvest of evangelistic conversion. Various parts of the body have various roles. But whatever our respective roles, God has sent us into the world to engage in preaching the joy of the gospel for the glory of his name and the salvation of the lost. So, Beloved, 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, friends, and neighbors that they might come to know Christ and the joy that is found in him alone. 

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