As the year comes to a close, most of us look forward to the New Year and a fresh start. As we enter the month of January, there is a sense of starting over again. Some of us want to forget last year because of a difficult trial we endured; others might want to remember last year because of special event that occurred in their life. Maybe you got married, started a new job, or had a child. Whatever your circumstances were last year, they are now a memory and in your past. The ups and downs of life can rob us of our joy. Life isn’t easy, stuff happens. Paul said in Philippians 1:21 – For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Paul would have preferred to be with Christ in heaven, but for the sake of helping the Philippians believers here on earth grow and mature, he would remain.
Philippians 1:25 (NASB) 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith,
This must have been a great encouragement to the Philippian believers. Paul teaching and guiding them for their progress and joy in the faith. All believers need encouragement. I as a leader in the church need encouragement at times. Other times I give encouragement. So in this blog, I want to give you encouragement for your progress and joy in your faith as the New Year approaches. I have discovered that real joy only comes from one source. Real joy is only experienced one way here on earth. Real joy is only experienced when we as believers are used by God. Real joy comes when we are available to be used for God’s glory. Real joy is only experienced when we let Christ live His life through us. But the question becomes, ARE YOU AVAILABLE? In other words, are you willing to let Christ live through you and use you for His purposes.
A biblical illustration of this is seen Isaiah 6:8. God said whom will I send, who will go for Us. Isaiah replied, Here I am, Send me. This was for a specific commission to deal with the Jewish nation. God wanted to use Isaiah to exhort the Jewish nation to return to God, and to be healed. That was from the Old Testament, but God still works the same way in the New Testament. As new covenant believers we are now indwelt with Christ. Christ is in every believer. Christ, who indwells us, wants to use us, live through us, and is asking us: Are available for me to use you and live through you? I have great plans for you. Are you available and willing to be used?
Brothers and Sisters, when we say yes to being used and are available, we experience real Joy. This isn’t a worldly joy which is fleeting, but a deep down joy that settles in ones heart. My encouragement to you as the New Year approaches is be available, Christ will do incredible things through you, and you will experience real joy.
Are you available?
If you would like to learn more about Christ in You, you can respond to this Blog, or come visit Grace Christian church any Sunday morning, in Freehold New Jersey. Everyone is welcome to come and be encouraged.
Elder / Grace Christian Church