devotional

29MAR
2014

Life in Christ

 

“You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore,” Psalm 16:11.

     David wrote this a very long time ago. He is experiencing the fullness of it right now as you read this. For the sanctifying, there is nothing in this universe more desirable than righteousness before God. I want to talk about this a little bit and how it’s true both before and after death. God has given His own eternal life. They have already tasted much of the power of the world to come, but there is always with them the certainty that what’s yet to come will so very much eclipse whatever we’ve seen.

     Sin will always in every case bring misery and death. It’s just a matter of time. It is either the great lie of all things evil or the natural inclination of what’s evil that sin brings joy even though this is not always apparent. The truth is that “joy” is subject to definition in this life in many ways. There are a lot of pagans in the world that hate Jesus that are happy. They may love their families, have good jobs, teach classes at your local university, or otherwise seem to have everything the Christian has and more. They’re happy. Their happiness, however, is an illusion. It’s an illusion. It will not last. It is temporary and sin will never show the sinner that side of itself. It will never seek to reveal the hell at its heels.

     Wise Christian eyes are ever focusing beyond what’s temporary to what’s eternal. They see the effects of sin now, and not just the temporary joys of it that can be had in this life. This makes sin undesirable on the level of eternity. In time this bleeds over into even this life and makes sin less and less desirable by each contradictory degree of sanctification. Aside from this, there is a new joy to the believer. It is the joy of the freedom the world calls bondage. In Christ we have the greatest freedom. Romans 8:2; 1 Corinthians 7:22. This freedom brings with it a joy inexpressible…except to those who likewise cannot express it. This joy is completely unknowable to the non-believer. The Christian knows it. This joy is eternal, and also brings into the life of the believer an other-worldly affection. Nothing pleases the Christian more than obedience to Christ. Christ and His righteousness, in faith, then becomes that field we’d buy above all others (Matthew 13:44) that pearl of great price (Matthew 13:45-46) or that greatest harvest (Matthew 13:8). Christian, seek this freedom perfectly with all your might. Do not mingle the joys of any sin with the joys of righteousness. It won’t work for long if you do. It is either one or the other. Be killing your sin. The secret to a vibrant sanctification is sometimes in non-covetousness. We must not covet the sanctification of another. This is true even as we consider the faith of the Bible writers. We must obey what His word has told us. The secret is that there is no secret. It’s not what we don’t know in this life that’ll bring us the great joy the Bible’s writers speak of, it’s in simple obedience to that which we do know that brings great joy in God’s time…every single time.  

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