I’ve Got the Joy

With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation!

Isaiah 12:3 (NLT)

As we discussed in the previous devotional, being spiritually dehydrated leads to spiritual apathy and atrophy. Our spiritual lives become more and more dull as we become more and more separated from Jesus Christ.
I also left you with a thought: If we don’t drink regularly of the Water of Life (Jesus Christ) we will die spiritually. I want to unpack that here. What does it mean to die spiritually?

The Bible tells us it’s an eternal separation from God. (2 Thessalonians 1:9) Rather than joining Jesus in Heaven for eternity, we are destroyed in the end, missing out on something that is so joy-filled that we, as humans, can’t even fully comprehend it. But, there are signs that it’s already happening here on earth.

I’ve been to a myriad of churches and worship services in the four decades of my life. I’ve seen pretty much every type of house of worship, music style, preaching style, decorum, and denomination. Unfortunately, what I’ve found is that in many places, spiritual death is already setting in.

As Isaiah states, we receive Jesus (the “fountain of salvation) with joy! Yet, in so many of our churches, we see no joy. Please realize, I’m not talking about the volume or style of the music. What I’m talking about is people simply going through the motions. There is no meaning, no joy behind why they worship.

Unfortunately, this has begun to rub off on each generation that follows. If they experience a lack of joy in Jesus as they are raised, then they have no joy in Jesus when they become adults. According to the latest research, 60-70% of our teens will leave the church because they don’t see it as important to them. And, really, who can blame them? I certainly wouldn’t want to waste two hours of my weekend to be bored, chastised, or berated. I wouldn’t choose to sit through a program that talks of joy, but doesn’t demonstrate it.

So, what can we do? We can be joy-filled believers. We can show the world, and our kids, that being a Christian brings us joy. Joy in the forgiveness Jesus offers. Joy in the grace He extends. Joy in answered prayers. Joy in a God that loves us. Serve, worship, teach with joy!

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