Joy Transformed

 

Caring for people, especially those that most would rather forget, is something we get to do, not something we have to do. It’s a fundamental part of Christian faith. It’s not something to brag about, although in our excitement, we are often mistaken for braggarts. I love to tell people about awesome serving opportunities because I crave joy in others. Not the joy of those who might be shown the love of Jesus, but even more so, the depth of Jesus love that we feel in ourselves when we choose to participate. That’s the thing to push down on. Our own joy.
We are selfish, it’s in our nature, and in a strange way, I think God has provided for that in those who choose to become his followers. When we honestly accept Jesus into our hearts and begin an authentic relationship with him, there’s a cataclysmic shift within us. We begin to feel at our most joyful, at the height of happiness, when we are serving others.
Think of the time when you tossed a couple of bucks to that homeless guy. Do you know that little piece of satisfaction that you felt? You know that thing deep inside that you probably kept to yourself for fear of sounding arrogant or self-righteous? That’s just a hint of the potential plan that God has for us. That’s a spark of the creator within us. Without Jesus, it is most likely self-righteousness, because each of us is full of sin and we constantly distort and manipulate for our own fulfillment. But with Jesus, it is magnified a million times over and becomes an awesome gift. The gift of genuine joy, free of pride or arrogance. We know that we do what we do because it is Jesus living inside us that does it. We cannot brag or take credit for any of it. It is all Him! We only get the resulting joy.
Jesus desires for everyone to take advantage of that potential. He wants each of us to tap into that fountain of “living water” that is already inside of us. Why let it go to waste?
When we see the excited Facebook updates, the tweets or blogs, or just hear one-another sharing about some event or moment of kindness they had the honor to participate in, remember that we are seeing both the spark of joy placed in us at creation, and also the hand of Jesus reaching out and begging for us to take part. We share not because of anything we have done, but because of what Jesus has done, through us and for us.

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