Be motivated by joy

December 19, 2019

In his posthumously published work Letters to Malcolm, C.S. Lewis wrote, “Joy is the serious business of heaven.”

Joy is experienced in virtually limitless ways. A child’s first memorable experience at the ocean. A senior adult’s conversation with a dear friend over tea. Laughing, singing, crying and shrieking are all ways to express joy.

True joy transcends circumstances. It has a deep anchor and is not dependent upon temporal and fleeting feelings.

There are few things in this world that awaken joy like seeing someone cross from death to life after hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ. The apostle John tells us what is behind communicating this good news: The joy of communion with the life of God.

In 1 John 1:1-4, the apostle opens by speaking of the life of God. It was “from the beginning,” meaning that it has existed since before the foundations of the earth.

True joy transcends circumstances and is not dependent upon fleeting feelings.

John goes on to elaborate on this life. They had heard of it with their very ears, they had touched it with their very hands and they had looked upon it with their very eyes. How? Because God took on flesh and dwelt among us through the person of His Son, Jesus. This life, this eternal life, was made manifest and revealed to God’s people.

The result of this revelation is stunning. John writes with certainty that they have fellowship with this life through the use of the Greek word koinonia. Koinonia means a “sharing in or a participation with.” John makes the audacious claim that — because of the appearing of the person and work of Jesus — they share and participate in the very life of God that has existed for all eternity.

What does this life consist of? If we take the context seriously, it includes testifying about, proclaiming and sharing this very life with one result in mind — that others would also join in this koinonia.

John then tells us that joy is complete when we give this life away. So, putting everything together, the inner life of God and the life revealed in Jesus is a life of self-giving love. Lewis’ claim, if taken into our hearts, should ignite an evangelistic revolution in the 21st-century church, the likes of which has not been seen since the first generation of disciples.

Are you ready to experience complete joy but unsure of how to begin the conversation? Visit ncbaptist.org/adult-evangelism-and-discipleship/ for 2020 Gospel Conversations Training event dates and locations.


by Josh Reed  
/  Adult Evangelism and Discipleship  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

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1 Comment

  1. Helen Beam

    Amen to that! You have just answered the problem of “churches dying.” A church can’t die if we, “the Church,” are sharing our testimony (witnessing) of what God has done in our lives. I know, if I had not heard of Jesus, I would be an alcoholic right now. I’m sure of it. My father was one, and I would have followed in his steps. But, praise God! I was taken to church by my Mother and Grandfather. I heard about Christ’s great love for me. I learned that He gave Himself as a sacrifice for my sins, and my part was simply to believe that and ask for His forgiveness. I did, at age 13. I was filled with God’s Spirit and wanted to tell everyone! Listen to C.S. Lewis, and let God’s love for you ignite a revolution that can’t be extinguished. And then you’ll know true joy! There’s nothing that brings me more joy than to pray with someone as they admit their sin before God and accept Jesus’ death as punishment for that sin. Yes, that’s real joy! The kind that makes the angels in heaven rejoice!

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