The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw -- that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father -- to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen. "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty," [Revelation 1:1-8]
I often hear people say, “I just want to be happy.” I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t wanted to be happy. The very fact that we have been made in God’s image drives us to seek what is good. But sometimes our perceptions of good are somewhat off the mark. What is happiness?
Happiness is an interesting idea in and of itself. Is it a state of existence? Is it something tangible? Is it something that “most people” seem to have, while I can’t ever seem to lay hold of it? The “pursuit of happiness” and the “American Dream” are very much part of the American psyche. But pursuing happiness, especially when our culture seems to be drifting away from God, seems to elude us the more we pursue it. We should have learned by now that materialism doesn’t bring true happiness. While we have a natural drive to succeed, sometimes we stop for a moment to ask, “What exactly am I pursuing, and have I ever actually achieved it?”
There is an incredible God-given power to find happiness. Solomon could rightfully teach us all that happiness is not found in any experience, possession or accomplishment on earth. It’s not what we do, what we have or what we achieve that brings true happiness. Happiness comes from acknowledging God in everything that you do. Happiness is not a goal that you achieve; it’s a state of mind, given by God. In other words, by the power of God, I can lose everything I own and all that I’ve done, I can have every right taken from me, I can lose everything that this world has to offer and still be happy. All things of this world may give temporary satisfaction, but never lasting satisfaction. This is the power of the Church of Jesus Christ.
Likewise, the joy of the Church does not rest in what we have or how we look –our joy is found in Jesus Christ. Our relationship with Him and with each other brings real joy –but we could never experience the joy of God without the Spirit of God. That’s why I think it is very important that we all start praying for God’s Spirit to start filling K.C.C. with the FULL MEASURE OF GOD. Serving God is always an expression of the joy we have in Jesus when we’re doing things right. When we’re serving because we “have to” or because we’ve been guilted into it, there isn’t much joy in the journey. But when the Spirit is filling us with the full measure of God, service becomes natural and happens more spontaneously. It becomes our new nature to serve, because we are becoming like God in this respect. God is a Servant. He takes care of us on a daily basis because He loves us. In fact, He’s taken care of everything. Our joy flows from this perception, from having the mind of Christ. We have been freed from our sins by the power of the blood of Jesus. We are free from God’s condemnation. We have unspeakable riches that will be given to us at the end of the ages, and we have access to many of the riches of God, even now. The Spirit of God gives us immeasurable love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control [Galatians 5:22-23]. These qualities are a natural expression of having the Spirit of God within us. And because we have been given the Spirit of God through Jesus, we have access to all of these incredible qualities! These aren’t qualities that we have to work hard to get, they are already in the nature of the Spirit and await expression! And express them we must. Jesus has made us a Kingdom and priests.
We are “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us,” [1 Peter 2:9-12]. But none of this is possible without the Spirit of God. We need more Spirit and less worry.
Please join me in praying that the Spirit of God would fill us up to the full measure of God –because God will do this if we ask. And when God does this, every area of our lives becomes a true expression of happiness, because the Nature of God rules our hearts rather than the foolish pursuits of this world.
Love in Jesus,