Great Joy in God's Presence (8-31-16)

Thoughts from our Wednesday night service... Just how much should it affect me to know that my brothers and sisters in Christ are doing well and staying committed to Jesus? Would you believe that the impact of this knowledge will contribute heavily to the "abundant life" Jesus promised us (John 10:10)? Listen to these words from the Apostle Paul: "It gives us new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord" (1 Thess. 3:8). It gives us new life! Now we "really live" knowing that you stand firm in Christ! This is a profound truth, for indeed the "abundant" Christian life that Jesus promised us actually hinges on our relationship to other Christians! I cannot live the abundant life just by keeping things between me and Jesus. God desires to birth within me a protective compassion regarding the spiritual condition of others. Paul goes on to say, "How we thank God for you! Because of you we have great joy as we enter God’s presence" (1 Thess. 3:9). Where does true joy in God's presence come from? Paul says, "because of you!" So not only does the abundant life hinge on the spiritual integrity of the church as a whole, but the Spirit's "fruit of joy" in the presence of God also depends on this. Do you want to experience joy and God's presence in our church services? Cry out to God for a heart of care and concern for his people. Do you want to experience joy and God's presence in your prayer life and in your home? Reach out to love the people God's put in your life. Call, text, email a brother or sister in Christ today, find out how they're doing, and you'll find reason to thank God with joy in his presence.

-- Pastor Roy