Monday, May 1, 2017

It's All for the Joy

I have a friend that came here to the states from Jamaica to live with her son and family. Her name is Thelma. I call her Ms. Thelma or Sister Thelma because we are sisters in Christ. I normally don't speak that way, but she does, and I do it to respect her.

Thelma tells me of Jamaica, of the beautiful white sands and clear blue waters. She describes these things to me with love of her former home. This gives her joy, and she tells me she wants me to go to see Jamaica. But I know that it is also very hot there, and I know that I will never be able to go. I listen with longing to see what she has seen and touched and smelled.

I live here in Georgia, but I came here about twenty years ago from Nebraska. I try to paint a verbal picture to Thelma of the rolling sandhills, the beautiful river valleys and farmlands, and the flat prairies from which you can see for miles and miles. She listens carefully, but can't quite imagine that kind of country. When I tell her something she can't quite fathom, she says, "Oh, true?" And I relate more to her because it gives me joy to talk about my beloved home.

When people share with one another the things they have seen, heard, and touched, the listener almost always accepts the stories as truth, perhaps desiring to experience what the other has described. Sometimes we share in awe with another what has been related to us, and announce our desire to encounter such things.

The disciple, John, says in 1 John 1:3 that he wants us to know,  what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete. NASB

It gave John and the disciples joy to share their experiences. They knew Jesus, talked with Him, touched Him, traveled with Him and listened to His teachings. Unlike Thelma stories for me, everyone who chooses can know, see, and hear His teachings, all of which can change their lives. And, unlike other stories that are shared, the story of those who know Christ, have experienced Him in their lives, and have communication with Him are mostly rejected in the world. The world is willing, and even eager, to listen to the stories of travelers, adventurers, chance meetings of the famous or rich, even the fictional stories that writers put to pen or filmmakers to the screen. But, alas, the most important story that will affect one's eternal future, many in the world will reject. They blatantly and harshly affirm they don't want to hear it.

What makes us believe one person's report as true but reject another's as untrue? What makes us believe the most exotic story of UFO's or ghost sitings, but reject the Truth of a Living Savior who once walked this earth and sacrificed Himself to save us? The Good News! It's a way out of eternal damnation, free to those who will accept it!

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8. NASB

This is why.

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