Tuesday, November 18th, 2014
Dream Haters (Part 15)
The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a Friend of tax collectors and sinners!'
Matthew 11:19 (NASB)
The whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, shouting:
'Blessed is the King Who comes in the Name of the Lord;
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!'
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, 'Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.'
Luke 19:37-39 (NASB)
Do you know any grumpy Christians? If they're happy, they don't show it often. They can be quiet and grave, like disciples before the Lord's resurrection. They can be burdened and resentful, like prisoners without hope of freedom.
But Jesus did rise, and so did hope. The prosecutor lost, the Defense won, the Judge said 'Not Guilty,' and earth erupted in resounding joy: 'O clap your hands, all peoples; Shout to God with the voice of joy' (Psalm 47:1).
Do you know many joyful Christians? Are you among them? For my daughters and me in our B.C. years, a handful of happy Christians showed us something we did not have: foundational joy, a lifestyle so rooted in joy that it lifted them out of depression, even in adversity.
They didn't show us stupid joy: a silly grin that ignored suffering like it wasn't there. They showed us wise joy: a joy that gave and received consolation, a joy that radiated hope, a joy that believed good things were coming.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: joy is not only your strength, but also your calling card. When you show the world a sympathetic and courageous joy, a joy that refuses to be forgotten, you advertise Jesus in the best possible way.
Because the world is starving for joy. Phony smiles, simmering smirks, intoxicated laughter and minutes of pleasure are like junk food; emptiness returns quickly. At best, they offer symptomatic relief.
But you hold the Cure. You hold the Bread of Life. Joy jumps from its passing. Give it to bossy Bob, tired Tim, sad Sue or mix-up Mike. Give it to people who don't know Jesus. I promise you... they will be intrigued.
Even give it to grumpy Christians, Christians who should know and show better. Certainly, don't let them steal it. Instead, give it away and God will give you more.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Dream Haters series.