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What’s The Joy of The Lord All About?

By: Bart Schuchts

What's The Joy of The Lord All About?

Imagine if Jesus really meant it when He said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

How different might we look to those around us if we took this to heart?

The truth is, Jesus did mean it. He truly did come to give us abundant life!

Is this what the world sees when they look at our lives as Christians?

Resurrection Life

We focus so much on Jesus’ death – which is needed – yet, do we equally focus on His resurrection life?

We embrace sacrifice and suffering, but do we also embrace His abundant Joy and the victory we have in Christ, through His death, resurrection and ascension?

We hear so much about sacrifice, obligation and responsibility when it comes to the disciplines of our faith. These are important, but have we at times forgotten about the joy of following Jesus Christ?

When Jesus says, I came that they may have life and have it abundantly, He meant it!

Is This Our Experience?

As He was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen…” Luke 19:37

Are we seeing His deeds of power? Are we praising Him joyfully?

“…And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and they were continually in the temple blessing God.” Luke 24:52-53

Are we returning from worship with great joy? Are we continually in Church blessing God? Joyfully?

“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:10-11

Is His joy in us? Is His joy complete within us?

Is This What the World Sees?

When people, that do not know Christ, come into our church, our home or our place of business are they being drawn by the Joy of the Lord that they see, or are they being repelled by the staunch mediocrity and misery they encounter?

“And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 13:52

Are We Filled with Joy of the Lord and with the Holy Spirit?

“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are holding to your faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” 2 Corinthians 13:5

It is always a challenge to take the time and courage to stop and examine myself, yet as I do I see that I have fallen short of representing the Joy and abundant life of Christ to those around me.

Pope Francis has summed up the reasons we are called to live joyfully as Catholics in his first Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, Joy of the Gospel. He opens the document:

The Joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew. In this Exhortation I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come.

Our pope constantly speaks of the power of real, spiritual joy; it cannot be contained.

Joy cannot be held at heel: it must be let go. Joy is a pilgrim virtue. It is a gift that walks, walks on the path of life, that walks with Jesus: preaching, proclaiming Jesus, proclaiming joy, lengthens and widens that path. Pope Francis

I want the world to see the joy of the Lord and as a result, run to Him and all of His goodness.

“The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

This blog was originally posted on Catholic Stand located here: http://www.catholicstand.com/whats-joy-lord//