Bringing radical thoughts worth pondering (A blog of poriruachurch.com)
I have made some exciting decisions in my life. One of those choices was to marry Kristen. Another was to go to university. Yet another was to move to New Zealand. All of these choices have shaped who I am today. However, there is one decision that trumps them all, and I made it ten years ago. It was the choice to become a Christian.
Scripture highlights some people’s conversions to Christ, and I cannot help but notice their joy in the end.
As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” […] And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8:36-39.
They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house. And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household. Acts 16:31-34.
Joy is not simply happiness. Happiness can come and go very quickly. Joy, however, is long-lasting and valuable. The Holman Bible Dictionary (1991) states, “Joy is the fruit of a right relation with God. It is not something people can create by their own efforts. The Bible distinguishes joy from pleasure.” Though I certainly knew what happiness was, I remember greatly rejoicing the day I crucified my old life of sin, buried it in the waters of baptism, and was raised to walk a new life (Romans 6:1-7). Even though it was just the beginning of an eternal relationship with God and His family, I had every reason to rejoice, for my name had been written in the book of life!
Christianity is not easy. No one has promised it would be. However, it is greatly worth it. Whatever we suffer as Christians, in regard to eternity with the Father, it will always be considered “a little while” on earth (1 Peter 4:16; 5:9-11).
Christians are promised “every spiritual blessing” in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). That is why we enjoy the ability to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4-8). “Always” includes the times of both smooth sailing and violent storms. The greatest joy I have known in the past is to become a Christian. The greatest joy I presently know is remaining a Christian. The greatest joy I will know in the future is to be a Christian when the Lord returns to claim His own.
On the judgment day, which one will you hear?
Well done, good and faithful slave. […] enter into the joy of your master. Matthew 25:21.
Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 25:30.
I’m looking forward to hearing,
Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Matthew 25:34.
Think about it right now. Are you ready to “appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10)? If not, everything else should be irrelevant until you are ready. Do what it takes today. Become obedient from the heart by dying to sin (no longer to live in it), being buried with Christ in baptism, so you can walk a new life today (Romans 6). Then, remain faithful until death (Revelation 2:10).
Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Romans 6:3-7.
I love you with the love of the Lord,
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