Monday, August 22, 2011

It Really Is Joy

I love Sundays. I think I always have. I love church. If I could I'd be there any time the doors were open. Sundays always inspire me. Isn't that kind of the point though? You go fellowship with your community, spend time in corporate worship, brag and love on the Father, listen to an encouraging, inspiring, challenging message, more fellowship, food, family. How could you not get inspiration from that? The message this Sunday was about Matt 13:44.

  “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. the parable of the man who sells everything he owns so he can buy the field where he found a treasure.

The message was awesome. Our pastor talked about how not only is the Kingdom the treasure but that we are the treasure also. God gave up everything for us. We are His treasure. It was beautiful. I could hardly contain myself. Do you ever feel that way? Some times I just want to burst up and say "Thank you God! Take all of me!" I could go on and on about how much He loves us. It's so totally the point of everything. But for the sake of not making you read all my ramblings I'll move on.
The important idea I took away from the message was this give and take we have with God. This continual exchange. About two years ago I went all in with God. I basically said whatever I have that I'm clinging to, my pride, my pain, my everything, it's not worth it. I took a risk and jumped in. I closed my eyes, held my nose and cannon balled into His great ocean of love. And He rescued me. But back to Sunday, I realized it's not enough to do that once a life time or even once in a while. It's daily. I have to jump in daily. Sounds easy right? The hard part is He shows us those things we hold on to. Why do we cling? Why? Do you think for a second that anything you could possibly possess is worth more then what He's offering? So this was all running through my mind last night as I'm desperately clinging to something in my own life. *sigh* Yep, that's me again. Failing. For me it was unforgiveness. I was holding on to my hurt. Nursing it like a nice big cup of coffee. Taking a little sip of bitterness every time I thought about it. I could feel my Father tugging on my heart. Kind of chuckling the way I would if I was trying to give my child a new toy and they were desperately clinging to their broken mess. Like "Come on. Really? It's not worth it. Give it to Me, Trust Me. You won't be disappointed. You won't regret it. I'll take your pain and brokenness and give you something new. Joy. Joy. Joy. So much better then bitterness and resentment." I said ok. I took a deep breath and jumped. You know what? He was right. HAHA! It's joy. Can I propose an interesting observation? If you're not in joy maybe there is something you're holding onto. This exchange we have with God goes something like this: Seek, Celebrate, Offer. (This was from the message Sunday so not an original thought.) If we aren't in the process of one of those three we're off. We seek Him, and of course we find Him, so we celebrate. It's JOY! We offer more of ourselves to Him (more joy). But you know what? It's not one sided! He's seeking us! He celebrates! He offers Himself! Joy! Joy! Joy!

Luke 11 NASB
   9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. 11 Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? 12 Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

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