Friday, June 10, 2016

The Greatest Joy

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

One day, Jesus sent His disciples on a “Mission Impossible” kind of event. There were 70 of them, sent as “sheep among wolves” — not a particularly encouraging picture. I wonder what went on in the minds of those guys. I wonder what they expected as an outcome. We’re told that when they returned, there was great rejoicing. Luke records the return of the group: “When the seventy disciples returned, they joyfully reported to Him, ‘Lord, even the demons obey us when we use Your name!’” [10:17].

What struck me when reading this account was that Jesus didn’t enter into their joy. I’m sure He understood the elation of the disciples upon “mission accomplished,” but He warned them of misplaced joy. “Don’t rejoice in your success, but rather that your name is securely written in heaven” [my loose translation of 10:20].

What was Jesus doing here? Is He the ultimate killjoy? I don’t think so. I think He emphasized the supreme basis for Christian joy; the assurance of our redemption in Him. Our greatest joy is knowing that we have a secure place in heaven because our names are written in the Book of Life.

Success in ministry comes and goes. Delightful times pass as quickly as they arrive. The joy of knowing you are secure in Christ, that your name is written down, will survive all the ups and downs in life.  

The joy of knowing the Lord really is our strength!

Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.  Luke 10:20

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