4th January 2014

Joy To The World 

“I am confident of this; that the One who has begun his good work in you will go on developing it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
Philippians 1:6 (Phillips)

Notice the total assurance in God’s plan and purpose that Paul declares here in this letter—within the first couple of sentences he reassures us that He who has begun his great work in you will complete it! In you, in me, in us. King David wrote in Psalm 138:8 (NIV), “The Lord will fulfil his purpose for me; your love O Lord endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hands.”  Here in this song David is also declaring his total dependence on God’s faithfulness and love for the work He is doing—whether in his life or ours. 

This conjures up a graphic picture of the one who is both Alpha and Omega holding us all in his mighty hands and guiding our lives as we do the work he has called us to. He will complete the tapestry he has begun to weave in our lives right down to the smallest detail. 

As each year of my Christian life goes by, I am convinced that the most magnetic quality of God’s people is not faith, mercy, or courage, or even love—but joy! Joy is the contagious magnet that draws people to one another.  It takes the grind out of life, it is the oil in the machinery of life, and I’m convinced that a joyful person is a balm of healing to hurting hearts. 

Joy was one of the special qualities of Jesus.  He was radiantly alive and filled to bursting with the Spirit of God. Notice his words in the gospel of John 15: 11 (AMP), “I have told you these things that my joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing.” 

Does the assurance that our Father is always at work in our lives bring us peace of mind and joy? I believe it should.  It reassures us that we are not alone, that we are not powerless but victors and conquerors through Jesus Christ. And I believe that a joyful heart, just like Paul’s, will break forth in prayer and thankfulness constantly! “In all my prayers for you, I always pray with joy.” (Philippians 1:4 NIV). 

As one commentator remarks; “For Christians, joy is the flag that flies above the castle of their hearts, announcing that the King is in residence!” Because of this joy Paul’s hope never wavered, his joy was inexhaustible, his rejoicing was infectious and he urges us to, “Be full of joy in the Lord always. I will say again, be full of joy.” (Philippians 4:4 NCV)

Fill us with the Spirit of joy, Father, and allow us to reflect the mind of your Son, Jesus, to those we rub shoulders with each day.

Study by Cliff Neill


cliffneillAbout the Author:
Cliff Neill is an Elder in Grace Communion Church Luton.

Local  Congregation:
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Farley Hill

Meeting time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Harry Sullivan
Phone:  01908-582222
Email: harry_sullivan@wcg.org.uk

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