I know it well. I’ve owned a few ’86 Ford Tempo’s (owning more than one is enough) and, therefore, know about it well. My present car has a few small spots developing. When you see it you know one fact about it:
Rust is hungry.
Rust has an insatiable hunger and will devour the metal it touches. If it is not contained and eliminated, it will spread in whatever direction it feels like with no care and concern for what you want or desire. American backyards, garages, and junkyards have become museums of these vehicles who once rolled of the line as shining examples of ingenuity and imagination. They now sit in the elements, succumbing to this devastating condition causing them to rot becoming a shell of what they were.
Thus the joy-less believer.
That term sounds like an oxymoron. How do you taste of the presence of God but have no joy? How you do you experience the complete grace of God yet miss out of the complete joy he has in store for your life? Yet hundreds to (I believe) thousands of people in our local churches are suffering from a lack of joy.
And I believe it’s rusting out their lives.
Why do local churches struggle with things like…
…issues of offense?
…growth (depth as well as quantity)?
Could it stem from a simple lack of joy? Without joy…what do we really have to offer? (Is there such a thing as the “joy-less Gospel”?)
David at the point of he greatest fall…at the place of life where it seems he was losing his grasp…
…called out for renewal.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51:10-12
Of all the things he lacked. Of everything he desired to be restored. He didn’t ask anything about marriage, family, kingdom, finances, or friendships to be restored. He asked for a clean heart, a renewed spirit…
…and he asked for his joy to be restored.
This month at Kfirst, I believe, is going to be a banner month for our church community. Why?
Because I have seen the destruction of discouragement and bitterness.
I’ve beheld the power of anger and frustration.
I have seen congregations and church staffs rust away from exposure to these elements.
Yet..none of that can hold a candle to what the joy of the Lord can do in the life of an individual, let alone in a church community. You may look at yourself and see nothing but a shell of what life used to be, but I want you to look through the lens the restoring grace of God and see the massive potential of what Christ wants to do in and through you.
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:11
It’s time to stop exposing yourself to the elements and crap out there that wants nothing more than to instill discouragement, pain, fear, and frustration in you. It’s time to expose your life to the regenerative power of the one who came to us and brought joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.
Do you feel “rusted” out? Has the cry of your heart been “Restore to me the joy of your salvation “? Then join us at Kfirst for “Joyous” as we celebrate the birth of Jesus and see Him bring joy, His joy, to the world.
Thanks for letting me ramble…