Written by His Grace,
Kevin K. OíConnor
Oct. 05, 2004
Main thought: to examine how our lives may have fullness of Joy!
Fullness of Joy!
Peace, Strength, Courage, Faith, Wholeness, Fullness/completeness, Wisdom, it seems that so many wonderful traits become ours when we become His. The pearl gates of Heaven and the streets of gold await those who are not seeking them but Him. Peace, Strength, Courage, Faith, Comfort, Wholeness, Fullness/completeness and wisdom are waiting for those who realize that they are not of us. For each one who hungers, there is;
Peace amidst our storms
Strength amidst our weaknesses
Courage amidst our fears
Wholeness through our brokenness
Wisdom through our ignorance
Riches through our poverty
In Christ is Fullness of Joy for in Him all things that pertain to life and Godliness are had! 2 Peter 1:2-4 2Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. And when our Lord tells us that it is through our knowledge of him He means knowing Him from our hearts for itís in the heart that the will of man resides. We can have all of the head knowledge in the world, but if our hearts remain hard, than it makes no difference at all. We all know that we may know something with our minds, but until our hearts take hold of it, it just wonít matter to us. Take cancer which has been directly related to smoking. So now, to sell cigarettes, consumers need to make sure and advertise that fact yet many people go right ahead and smoke anyway. Eating is another example of something we may know better of what not to eat, but weíll eat it anyway. Thereís also the area of our finances, our relationships, our habits, etcÖ There are so many areas of our lives where we have choices and in many of those choices we mentally may know of the best choice, but many times weíll choose the one that feels, tastes, or appears easier than the other one. To truly know someone takes a surrender of our hearts. It seems that our hearts were meant to surrender to someone or something. Weíre always looking to someone to idolize or lead us. We are so much like sheep like Godís Word says; We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Whole Chapter: In context: ) And, if we think about it, is there any wonder that we are like this. After all, we did not create ourselves but were created. So, there is in each one of us a deep yearning to find the One from Whom we exist so that we may follow Him with all that is within us.
So, itís through knowing Him there is fullness of all that pertains to life and godliness. Wow, that is a very powerful statement. How do we get to know the One from Whom we exist and to Who we are returning? Learning how to listen to His Word is probably one of the most important places to start as 2 Peter 1:3&4 tells us; by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. †Itís through the hearing of His Word that our hearts become transformed into His image; Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. (Whole Chapter: In context: ) and another good one is; Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will isĖhis good, pleasing and perfect will. (Whole Chapter: In context: ) So here again we may know by listening to His Word how we may have all that pertains to life and godliness but what is it that causes this knowledge to become reality for each one of us? Itís the submission of our will to His that opens the door for the Holy Spirit to cause the Word of Life to become Living and Active in each one of us. What is submission of our will to His? When our life becomes a life of obedience rather than a fountain spouting forth knowledge.
Knowledge is good but it is no good without a heart of obedience. It seems that satanís purpose in this life is to prevent us from finding ours. A sponge can only soak up as much water as it is empty of water. Satan seems to be busy trying to fill our sponges (hearts) with something other than the water of the Holy Spirit; Ephesians 5:18 18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. And, if itís not with wine, weíll usually try filling the void in our lives with pleasure or anything that helps fill the void in our hearts that was put there by Whom we exist. Have you ever noticed how easily we become programmed into a way of life? It seems that anything we make ourselves do repetitively over a period of time becomes a habit. That habit if dedicated to our pleasure rather than to our good will only feel good initially but as we give ourselves to it, it becomes a master over us and begins dictating our lives. And that which used to bring us pleasure, begins to become a noose around our necks sapping the Life, Joy, and Peace right out of our lives. Usually, if we find ourselves disciplining our lives to those things that donít bring us more pleasure initially, (which are usually things that are good for us) in the long run, they make up for it with incredible Life, Joy, and Peace that are the reward for doing those things that are best for us. Godís Word that speaks this truth to us is here in Hebrews 12:10-12 10Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. 12Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Ask any runner who has disciplined himself or herself to run and Iím sure youíll hear of the hard work it took for that discipline to become a habit Then comes the satisfaction from having pushed through the difficulties to where running now brings them pleasure and they are rewarded with fine-tuned bodies. In contrast, look at those who chose only to indulge their bodies in doing those things that felt good like not stretching the muscles and eating whatever tastes good. It wonít take long before the pleasure of doing what felt good initially actually becomes a hard taskmaster that rules every area of their lives and destroys them at the same time. In the same way, choosing to discipline our lives in those areas of the heart by refraining our tongue from evil and practicing those things that please God and others will initially be very hard because it is not of our nature to be this way but if we will seek and ask God for His Grace and help in living this way, there will be great reward; 1 Peter 3:9-11 9Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. 11He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. I believe that Fullness of Joy in our lives will be in direct proportion to the disciplines that we incorporate into our hearts and lives to live in Christ and to allow Him to live in and through us. Here again, nothing is free even our salvation which calls for the surrender of our self-pride and to accept the fact that we cannot earn our salvation. Oh that our hearts would take time to listen to the Holy Spirit teach us of the Fatherís Heart expressed to us in His Son. Oh that we would see that what Christ did took a whole hearted commitment to doing His Fatherís will and not just thinking about it.
Heavenly Father, thank you for having abundant well springs of Joy, Peace and Love awaiting every heart that is hungry enough to press in near to You with hearts that are hungry not just for Your revelations, but for the fire of obedience to every Word You speak. In Jesus Wonderful, Glorious, Eternal Name, Amen
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