Six Steps to True Joy
"I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich.
-Revelation 3:18, emphasis added
Jesus says, "Give Me your treasures--I advise you to buy from Me." Scripture tells us that all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. . . . That the genuineness of [our] faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. . . . [For] when [we are] tried and purified, [we] will come forth [as] gold (2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 1:7 Job 23:10 . What is all this about? It is Christ saying: "Remember Laodicea's riches. Without enduring suffering there is no possession of lasting riches." What is the gold? It is faith refined by suffering.
Jesus sets forth six steps to true joy.
1. Seek real clothing from Christ. He counsels us to put on His "white garments" (3:18a). We are to pursue holiness, without which no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14b). We are to be clothed with humility [the root of all virtues] . . . for "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (1 Peter 5:5). Christ is saying that whoever pursues holiness possesses eternal life.
2. Plan for the ultimate day "that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed" (3:18b). As Paul says, Each of us shall give account of himself to God . . . For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, . . . whether good or bad (Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10 . Start thinking today about the final moment of your earthly life when you will explain to Jesus what you did with your days.
3. Study to know Christ: "Anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see" (3:18c). Paul was sent to open the eyes of those who were still in darkness (Acts 26:18). Jesus said that men who love darkness hate the light because their deeds are evil (John 3:19). Without needed awakening there is no entrance into spiritual sight.
4. Learn where Christ is taking you: "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten" (3:19a). Yield to Him. See how much He loves even His wayward children: "For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives" (Hebrews 12:6).
5. Return to Christ from wandering: "Be zealous and repent" (3:19b). Return to Christ! Like the prodigal's father, Jesus waits to receive us, forgive us, welcome us, clothe us anew, and feast with us. He only waits for us to look up from the "pigpen of life" and think of Him!
6. Commune with Christ daily. He beckons: "I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me" (3:20). What a precious invitation!
Those who lived in the ancient world usually had three meals. In the morning, they had akratisara--bread dipped in wine; at noonday, they had ariston--a snack eaten at work, or on the roadside; the word deipnon, used for "dine" in verse 20, refers to the evening meal, the main meal of the day--a time for lingering over the meal after a long day's work.
Jesus is standing at the door of your heart, waiting for you to invite Him in to linger in fellowship as your Lord and Savior throughout your life.Remember Holman Hunt's famous picture of Christ standing at the door knocking: the handle of salvation is on your side, lost friend; the handle of fellowship is on your side, Christian.
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