We live in a day of instant access. Thanks to the digital media – most things are made available to us with a single click. Last night, I listened to an online preaching by Pastor Peter Tan-Chi of Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF). Although gathering together to worship as one community is essential, all mass gatherings and programs of CCF are cancelled due to COVID-19. The health and safety of everyone is top priority. However, it doesn’t stop the church to continue to share Jesus across the globe. This service’s topic is about the key to joyful living – and that is to grow in Christlikeness.
Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say rejoice. God wants us to be joyful. This topic is summarized in Philippians 2:12-18.
The Key to Joyful Living in Four Principles
1. Be obedient.
By nature, we don’t like to obey. We like to do our own ways. Your attitude towards obedience is really crucial if you want to grow in Christ-likeness. A disobedient Christian who is happy doesn’t exist. God wants us to change our mindset towards obedience. Look at what the bible has to say about obedience. Learn to obey from the heart. Obedience brings blessings.
How will I obey the Lord? The bible is very clear. You have to meditate on His word as written in Joshua 1:8. Jesus warns us, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord when you do not do what I say?”
Read more here: Eternal Perspective: Be Obedient
2. Do your part.
This statement might be confusing to other people: Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. However, this statement does not mean earning your salvation. The bible is very clear that salvation is free.
But, what does it mean to work out your salvation? Think about the miners. When they go inside a mine, you get the ore outside. It is also used to describe a farmer making his land productive. When the bible says work out your salvation, it means you already have your salvation. Fear and trembling don’t mean you should be afraid. It means you must handle it with care. Same with the case between you and God. You should not be afraid of God, but be afraid of displeasing God. Love is not being afraid of the person you love, but it is being afraid of displeasing him/her.
Salvation – Pastor Peter calls this the principle of 200%, where 100% is from God because it’s all because of and from Him. At the same time, 100% from you because you need to work it out through the demonstration of your faith. Read Ephesians 2:8-9.
The grace of God is often abused through legalism and licentiousness. Legalism is “I need to do this and that to go to heaven“. While licentiousness is “I am already saved so I need not to do anything”.
Salvation is 100% FREE – grace of God. Once you accept that amazing gift, do your part. Show it! Live it. Do your part. Now, the question is are you practicing spiritual disciplines?
b. Bible Reading
c. Memorize Verses
Use this occasion to gather your family and worship together.
3. Do not grumble.
Grumbling means complaining. The bible says don’t grumble – it’s a command! First, be obedient. Second, do your part. Then, do all things without grumbling or disputing so that you appear as the light in the world. Notice if we ourselves will stop fighting – we will prove ourselves to be blameless and innocent. People will see that we are truly children of God. God wants us to grow in our character and in our behavior.
The bible doesn’t tell us to go to the mountain or somewhere remote to be alone and to be away from this crooked generation. Just like today, we have lock downs and quarantine, and a lot of people are complaining. But you, don’t grumble. Because when you grumble, it is eventually against God. When you complain against the authority, you are basically complaining against God. The bible tells us, that while suffering, Jesus uttered no threats, and entrusted Himself to God who judges righteously.
What’s the antidote? Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. But in everything, give thanks!
Count your blessings. You will not always know why but, it is an act of faith.
4. Pursue eternal values.
God has allowed the corona virus to set in because He wants us to pursue eternal values. You see we are always busy. However, this must be God’s way of telling us to examine our values and think about our purpose in life. God wants us to invest our time to more important things – to speak life to our children, family and friends – which money can never do.
Keep on clinging to the word of life. Keep on walking with Jesus so that when He comes back again, you won’t toil in vain. God want us to finish well.
VANITY – wasted life – the idea of useless effort. There is this story of a man who saves a lot of money and came back to the Philippines. He built his house but eventually, he discovered that he built it on the wrong lot – a property that is not his. He asked the lot owner to change, but ended up disappointed. In this world, we extend a lot of effort and sweats to things that are going to waste, eventually.
We are being reminded not to invest our life to things that don’t matter. The truth is you will regret about it. The key to joyful living is to grow in Christ-likeness by observing these four principles. On the day of judgment, what will you have before Jesus Christ?
I hope that you are blessed reading this post.
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Cha of littlemisadvencha is a Filipino Civil Engineer, researcher and a fur mom. She came from General Santos City and finds that everything in life teaches her a lesson. She is inspired to write about and out of her experiences, but later found out that it was her experiences that actually inspire her.