Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sharing the Joy Found in Our Faith

From time to time, I share the
joy I take from my faith with others
as the Christian clown, Joyful Noise.
In our day to day lives, sometimes we forget that the Christian faith is suffused with joy. That certainly appears to have been forgotten by many who appear in the public and project a far more dour and judgmental version of the faith. Let's look at joy in the Old and New Testaments for a different perspective. 
Joy in the Old Testament had a very public dimension, referring to visible acts of rejoicing. Practical reasons for Old Testament joy included having a loving spouse or wise children as seen in Ecclesiastes 9:9 and Proverbs 10:1. Theologically, Old Testament joy was a celebration of who God is and what God had done for God’s people, including deliverance, steadfast love, and salvation as seen in Isaiah 25:9, Psalm 30:5, and Jeremiah 31:12-13. Furthermore, God’s very self also rejoices, as illustrated in Psalm 104:31.
Moving to the New Testament, its books are suffused with joy. This joy emanates from the inauguration of the new age in which the Messiah has come. The angel’s pronouncement of good news of great joy for all people in Luke 2:10-11 becomes central to Jesus’ ministry in both word and deed. Joy is in the very character of God’s kingdom and once discovered, as stated in Matthew 13:44, the discoverer will sell all he or she has to retain this treasure and will do so joyfully. Paul puts a fine point on the matter when he states that the ultimate source of joy is in Christ and the Holy Spirit (Phil 3:1; 4:4; Rom 14:17). Therefore, if we know the ultimate source of joy, certainly we should share that source with others, and visible acts of rejoicing while doing so would not be out of place, according to the Old Testament. Of course, sharing Jesus with others is evangelism.
This is taken from the article "Joy in Evangelism" published in Witness Magazine and written by this pastor, Jeffrey B. Snyder ... who expresses his joy in Christ every chance he gets. 
Wishing you joy ... a contagious joy you'll share with others. 

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