The Gospel | A Personal Manifesto on Joy

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Considering my bout of pre-8am class inspiration to write this for the weekly prayer meeting email, I figured I might as well post it (I still continually surprise myself by how much of a morning person I am lol). (And for y'all that get the email, I edited it! So feel free to read version 2.0 haha.)

Question of the day:

What does the gospel mean to you?

One of the first words that personally comes to mind is JOY - that's something that every human being can experience and relate to, regardless of knowing Christ.

We can all experience happiness and joy; moreover, we all want it. As the saying goes, you can always find joy in the little things, right? In the way that random stranger tells you your smile looks beautiful or there's just enough toilet paper in the roll for you to finish off. Or maybe those don't it cut for you and you look to the "big" things for joy - lasting, meaningful relationships, fulfilling careers and such.

But in the end, nothing quite lives up to what you expect it to be; there's no sense of joy that we could ever take away from this earth to satisfy our soul's longing for wholeness and fulfillment. In the end, no matter how much you've experienced without Christ, what we have and know in Christ is so much more - for our idea of fullness and joy is not the world's idea. When we realize that we live in the light of a sacrifice so deep, a salvation so undeserved, a cross so meaningful, how could we not rejoice in the truth of it all? This newfound joy we have through rebirth in Christ is indescribable, it's uncontainable, it's incomparable to anything we could ever know on this earth.

That's the difference; that's what we should naturally radiate - a joy that knows no bounds even in all our troubles (2 Corinthians 7:4). Just like how we gravitate towards Him and His love, when we likewise overflow outwards with what He's filled our hearts with, others will gravitate towards His joy manifest in us!

We're called to genuinely live life with everyone God surrounds us with here on this earth. What should set us apart is when we love in such a conspicuous way that people see there's something special consistently drives you, and this something keeps drawing them towards you. Maybe they'll see that they gotta have it too, and maybe they'll even ask you what it is.
"It's God. Call me crazy, but it's God. It's knowing Him and living the life that He wants me to live." (Pastor Pete Chung you da best)
This is joy that transcends cultural and ethnic boundaries, love that mends brokenness and suffering, passion carried out through action and service, and true satisfaction and security from knowing that we live life to serve Him.

That's what the gospel should inspire: the gospel and the cross are what should naturally compel us to live conspicuously in the light of a radical new hope.

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