Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Key to Joyful Christianity

1 John 1:4 These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.

How can we as God’s people enjoy getting ourselves centered around the Written Word, the Bible and the Living WORD Jesus Christ.  When I read 1 John 1:4, its words leap off the page and into my heart: “These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.”  These words communicate the main thought of: "Joyful Word-Centered Christianity." 

A Little bit about the Apostle John – the man who lived the joyful word-centered life

Now mind you when the Apostle John wrote these words, he was writing some sixty years after Jesus Christ had ascended into heaven. John by this point in his life was in his early to mid-nineties.  He was under the ever-watchful gaze of the Roman Empire, was providing pastoral oversight to seven churches in Asia Minor, and would face within a short span of time exile to the Isle of Patmos, where he, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, would compose the Book of Revelation.  Within a span of less than five years John wrote the Gospel of John, this letter of 1 John, two other shorter letters (2 and 3 John) and the final book of the Bible – the Apocalypse or more commonly known simply as “The Revelation”. 

Why John was such a joyful Christian, and how you can be one too 

There was no doubt about it, the Apostle John was a man of the Word and THE WORD.  John was known as “the beloved disciple”. (John 13:23; 21:7,20).  His nickname “The beloved disciple” stemmed from the joyful love that He had for the Living Word and the written Word.  In 10 places in his Gospel and all three of his little letters, John refers to “Joy” or “enjoyment” in contexts where either Christ, the Living Word is the subject or speaker, or where the written Word is being shared. 

It has been commented that the Apostle John is known as “The Apostle of Love”, since the theme of love is mentioned almost 40 times in his Gospel, almost 40 times in 1 John  and 10 more times in 2 and 3 John.  Yet this insatiable love of John is not unaccompanied without the tone of joy that we see in His thrill over the Living Word – Jesus Christ, and the Written Word of God. 

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