BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS ETERNAL JOY IN CHRIST

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

“For we also have heard the Gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.” (Hebrews 4:2)

At the Creation, God completed His work in six days and rested on the seventh. God’s work was completed so that we might find joy in His finished work. But the Children of Israel turned their backs on God’s proposed offer of rest (eternal joy) when they refused to enter the Promised Land. “So I [God] declared on oath in my anger, they shall not enter my rest.” (Hebrews 4:3)

The promise of entering God’s rest still stands: “Today, if you hear His voice do not harden your hearts.” (Psalm 95:7-8) We are encouraged to walk in the light of Christ’s countenance and seize the opportunity that our ancestors in the desert turned down when out of lack of faith they refused to enter the Promised Land. That offer is being renewed TODAY through His Son Jesus Christ. Today means NOW. Do not postpone it!

“... for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.” (Hebrews 4:10)

Our Sabbath-rest is in Christ when we trust in Him to complete His good and perfect work that He has begun in us. Those who formerly heard the gospel preached to them did not enter the Promised Land “because of their disobedience.”  (Hebrews 4:6)

God offers every believer eternal joy in Christ Jesus. We do not have to do it on our own, or in our own strength. Everything has been done for us. We just have to come and enjoy what has been laid down for us. It is free of charge. We come as we are. Everyone is invited to bask in His presence and enjoy what is on offer. It will cost nothing. 

It is not enough to be satisfied with head knowledge about Jesus; we need to cultivate a sound personal relationship with Him that is grounded in love. We must seek to have a daily one-on-one experience with Him. Like Mary, the sister of Lazarus, who when Jesus visited their home chose to spend valuable time at His feet learning from Him rather than be busy with house chores, we also must give prime time spending time with Him and reading His word. When her sister complained, Jesus answered her; “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

The Word of God is true. Jesus said; “.. and the Scripture cannot be broken.” (John 10:35) We do not need any intermediary. It is not enough to just hear and do nothing. “But be doers of the word, not hearers only deceiving yourselves.”  (James 1:22)

God has given us a second chance to enter into His eternal joy. It is an opportunity that we should not allow to slip through our hands – the reason why it is said ‘TODAY.’ Receive Jesus in your heart today. Ruminate and meditate on His words today, then let it move you into action. Every hindrance to the word will collapse and bring to naught the effort of the devil to deny us entry into our Promised Land. The Children of Israel had themselves to blame. In spite of several manifestations of God’s glory in the desert, they failed to believe in His Word and His goodness to prepare for them ‘a table in the presence of their enemies.’

He had promised to drive all their enemies before them. He even promised to give them “... a land with large flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant.” (Deuteronomy 6:10b-11)  God’s promise was to bring them into a spacious land, “... a land flowing with milk and honey.” (Exodus 3:8) God knows best what we need for our progress and development. We should not let the devil deprive us of the inheritance prepared for us thousands of years ago -- even at the creation. All God did at the creation was not for Himself but for us.

Coming into our inheritance is an act of faith. “I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised to Moses.” (Joshua 1:3) Time to stop the struggling, running helter-skelter for what God has already given us through Jesus Christ. It is a question of eternal joy. Whatever joy we pursue on earth is temporary and fleeting. It will rot, but our joy in Christ Jesus is from everlasting to everlasting. His joy is eternal. Nothing can take it away from us.