Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.
Joy is my favorite. I love the way the joy of the Lord makes me feel. But, it’s just not about me. It’s about Jesus.
Mankind’s inclusion in the finished work of Christ doesn’t mean that everybody has received it or is experiencing the benefits of it now or will necessarily experience the benefits of it when they die. The gospel message, however, is that we all are included in Him and what He has done on our behalf. Accept it and be blessed. Reject it to your own peril. The work of God in Jesus through the Spirit is what it is. This gospel we proclaim isn’t a message of what can be but is the good news of what already is in Jesus Christ. We don’t bring a sales pitch to the unbelieving world. We are ambassadors for Christ, and we tell everybody, “God was in Christ reconciling you to Himself. He does not count your sins against you. You are forgiven, and He has received you. Now, receive Him.” These are the two sides to one coin. One side has been settled in eternity, and the other side settles it experientially. One side shows what has happened, and the other side shows what does happen as a person believes on Him. Some Universalists will tell you that faith is a work, but that is nonsense. Faith is the joyful acceptance of what is already true. Faith isn’t something we do but is the spontaneous explosion of an enthusiastic embracing of Jesus and what He has given us in Himself. Do I believe in the ultimate reconciliation of humanity to God? Oh, no. It’s better than that. I believe in the historical reconciliation of humanity to our loving Creator, who is also our Father. Without asking for so much as a nod of approval from us, before we were even born or could have an opinion on the matter, while we were yet helpless, sinners, enemies of God—He went and did it all.
– by Steve McVey from Beyond An Angry God
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