Imitating Joy — Aaron Klein
How much joy would you have if you won the lottery? Can you imagine the change in your life if your bank account suddenly grew by millions? You would probably look forward to long vacations, nice cars, and a life of relative ease.
But if you study the lives of lottery winners, you discover the sad reality that many flounder within ten years of winning a large sum of money. They receive the gift but don’t know how to use it. Their prize ends up being useless.
When you and I receive the gift of salvation, it is like a tremendous inheritance or a sudden infusion of wealth. When we put our trust in Christ, our sins are forgiven, and our eternal future is secure. However, if we don’t “continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling” by allowing God to “work in us to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Phil. 2:12-13), we end up with a faith that atrophies.
A faith that grows and matures is all about “having the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 2:5) In fact, the writer of Hebrews says in 12:2 that it was, “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” A faith that grows and finds joy is about imitating Jesus’ humility, service, and obedience, even finding joy in the cross of suffering!
As we gather together this week, we will be discovering how a life that abides in Christ and imitates him is one that finds true joy. How much better is that than the lottery?!