Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! (Philippians 4:4/NLT)
What a wonderful world we live in. Though it’s destined to end, it does not necessarily follow that my own mortality is to be feared. Today I believe more than ever that my finite-self is to be embraced and lived at every turn with deep joy and service to others because I live in resurrection-truth.
Resurrection-truth produces not only the Big Resurrection I look forward to, but little ones along the way as a result of my learning and applying God’s wonderful principles, and then sharing that knowledge with others.
I have looked at my own seven reasons to rejoice as a Christian, although there are so many more.
To “Re” anything is to do over. It is a rebirth, leaving the old and entering the new with all of its wonder and awe.
I live in the shadow of Christ’s beautiful, awesome and quick return. Though I am to be ready at a moment’s notice for His return or my own parting, I need not live in fear.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (I John 4:18/ESV)
Even in Christ the fear of Christ’s return or my own death would overtake me were I not to meditate on God’s great love for me personally, and how others need this love if they are ever to feel it to their core, the place where unshakeability happens. Knowing God’s love personally is foundational for one’s journey on earth. One must know deep in their heart and mind (emotion and thought perfectly intertwined) the Love of God more than focusing on His wrath.
I prefer to be around the loving over the wrath-bearing, and teach others of God’s love. I also want to be loving as God has asked, allowing ultimate judgments to be reserved for God alone.
Some of the God-man Christ’s strongest words are against those who’ve been taught – those like me – who are tempted to put up a good store front while doing secret business with gossip, slander and lies, baptizing them in rationalization, limited thinking and human common sense.
I have come to believe today that human common sense is rooted in appearances. But God has given us His common sense, an ability to focus on the heart’s intent though imperfect in delivery, with a built-in mechanism to repent, learn and move on.
God’s common thinking gave us the Ten Commandments. I believe their beauty is in their simplicity. They are understandable because no one wants those things done to them, but sometimes we don’t think twice when we break them before God and man.
The breaking of one of those laws makes me a law-breaker. And Christ raised the stakes by saying that anyone breaking the law and teaching others to do the same is not worthy of Heaven.
The covert sins are the scariest, because they are easy to play with and grow into something other than what God meant; psychological trauma that needs deep theological and restorative work to renew the soul.
But a renewal can begin and grow me more like Christ when I chose mercy over judgment until empathy is one with my thought and emotional life.
Being birthed anew in Christ’s baptismal waters are merely a beginning, but I can do all things through Christ, which excludes nothing and includes everything on my plate. And what that means to me is that I can do life-long Christianity as long as I give God my all and let all other things go that were not meant for me, and accept and actualize the things that are mine with thanksgiving and seek God’s wisdom on each matter.
Resurrection-truth moves me through this life with God’s principled-wisdom into eternity. What is more joyful than the prospect of living forever with the lover of my soul in a perfect earth with perfect work and worship?
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. (Revelation 21:2/NIV)