(I am attempting to give up waxing poetically for Lent. So here is my post, short and simple, with no poetic waxing. Promise.)
Joy. It is all really so simple. It is a hit-yourself-in-the-forehead kind of simplicity. God wants us to have joy. He wants us joyful in heaven and joyful in our time on earth. That is why he sent his Son to die for our sins, so we can have that joy. Isn’t that awesome?
Be joyful, spread joyful, and shine joyful.
One of my most inspiring bible passages in the New Testament is Matthew 6:1-8. In eight verses, Jesus tells us how to be humble Christians, teaches us to go all in for the sake of our faith, and assures us God is there at all times.
Matthew 6: 1-8
“1 ‘Be careful not to parade your uprightness in public to attract attention; otherwise you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven. 2 So when you give alms, do not have it trumpeted before you; this is what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win human admiration. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward. 3 But when you give alms, your left hand must not know what your right is doing; 4 your almsgiving must be secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you. 5 ‘And when you pray, do not imitate the hypocrites: they love to say their prayers standing up in the synagogues and at the street corners for people to see them. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward. 6 But when you pray, go to your private room, shut yourself in, and so pray to your Father who is in that secret place, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you. 7 ‘In your prayers do not babble as the gentiles do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard. 8 Do not be like them; your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
How does Matthew 6 relate to joy when it seems to be giving us directions for covert practicing of our faith?
Take a look at the second part of verse 8. “…your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
There it is, the joy. God wants us to have joy and He knows what we need to get there. It’s up to us to open our hearts, listen, and follow His path.
Copyright 2014, Mike Hays