ENDURING OR ENJOYING?
In Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever. Psalm 16:11
When I was a kid, I remember times when I got sick. My mom would make me take medicine so I could get better. I hated taking medicine. It always tasted so terrible. I wasn't able to swallow pills very well, so every pill had to be chewed up and swallowed, and every liquid had to be choked down amidst gags and minor dry heaves. I endured the medicine so that I could get well.
Did you know that is how some people view the Christian life? They view it as if it were akin to bad medicine that one must take in order to get well. It is definitely not something anyone really likes; it is just a necessary burden and chore. It is something you must endure, not something you could possibly enjoy. Hmmm.
MAN'S CHIEF END
Have you ever read the opening statement of The Westminster Shorter Catechism of 1648? Probably not. But it is really good as it sates, "Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever." Did you catch that? We were created to glorify God and enjoy God forever. And forever is supposed to start right now!
MAN'S BEST FRIEND
Jesus Christ is the best friend a person could possibly imagine. He loves us no matter what, and He refuses to ever stop. He never leaves us or deserts us in our time of need. He is there as we walk though every dark valley. He listens to us and counsels us in our troubles and trials. He is a God full of love, joy, peace and excitement - and He wants to fill your heart and life with all those wonderful things.
If you have been guilty of enduring religion instead of enjoying salvation, the time is now to change gears. The Lord Jesus Christ wants you to walk with Him. He wants to help you walk in His ways so that you can be blessed and be a blessing to others. The Christian life is not a penalty, it is a privilege! It is an unfathomable, totally undeserved privilege to live everyday in the presence and fellowship of the King of the universe. WOW!
Life is too short to miss out on the great joy that is available to you and me as we take the hand of Jesus and live life with Him. Will you do it?
Lord Jesus, help me to walk in the light with You. Help me to see how much You love me and how much You want to empower me to rise above my difficult circumstances. Help me to see You as You really are, "a friend of sinners" and "a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Help me to jettison my burdensome religion (with its long list of rules and regulations) and start enjoying a wonderful salvation and relationship with the Savior. Thank You, Lord, that the chief end of man is to glorify You and enjoy You forever. I choose to start today! In Jesus' name, Amen!
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.