Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...


Joy and Crown

I forget who it was I was conversing with (feel free to claim this conversation if it's you), but the topic was on joy. Not just the fleeting, surface emotions that pervade most of our days, but the deep, abiding joy that fuels our passion to live. I don't remember what we concluded, but I do remember this: I need more joy. I don't live my life according to Nehemiah 8:10, which says that our strength is "the joy of the Lord." If joy is strength, is it any surprise that I often feel so weak, so weary?

Scott Davis reminded me of a key ingredient to joy. He pointed out that spiritual reproduction (ministry that leads directly to salvation) is an incredibly potent joy booster. In seeking to find our joy in the souls of others, we proclaim together with Paul that those to whom we minister are our "joy and our crown." Far too often, my joy finds its end in my own heart, and my crown is one that I alone can see.

Mike is quite fond of the saying, "until Christ is formed in us." (He'll probably be stoked that he got quoted and credited, if my guess is anywhere near the mark.) That little phrase points toward the sanctification that takes place in the community of believers, the body of Christ. We were created for community, for fellowship with those who will engage with us in the struggle against the powers of darkness that pervade this world. If that fellowship is broken, then we, too, stand to be broken. As difficult as life can be, it is all the more difficult when we cut ourselves off from the body of Christ. Therefore, it is with much fervor and hope that we seek to build up the body, to restore those who have broken away, to lift up the downcast, and to bring in those who are lost. To do so is our joy and our crown.

posted by Bolo | 4:11 PM
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