Pastor eNote: I Got the Joy in My Heart!

John 8:47 [Jesus said,] “Whoever is from God hears the words of God. The reason you do not hear them is that you are not from God.”  (NRSV)

Recently, we talked in church about the understanding the difference between reading what you see on social media and hearing what the writer says. Comprehending what the writer intended depends on hearing what the writer “says.”

The example I offered was that when we read something posted by a close friend, we can hear them saying it in our mind’s ear. We have that built in frame of reference that comes from the closeness of relationship.

People who know me know that I spent 49 years turning my nose up when anyone mentioned the word “beets” in connection with a meal. EW! Beets! Gross! 😝

Say, I posted a thumbs up photo of myself with the caption “Someone has a new recipe for red beets for dinner. CAN’T WAIT!” What would people who know me “hear?” What would people who don’t know me “think” I said? Those who know me would LOL or whatever, and those who don’t know me would probably say something like “I love beets too! Share that recipe!” It’s what leads to every argument on this Facebook thing. The lack of understanding that leads to a lengthy “clarification”. Those who know the writer wonder how on earth anyone could have “heard” that meaning and those who don’t wonder why everyone can’t see what they hear. (The power of clear and concise communication cannot be underestimated.)

The Bible is the same way. The more you get to know the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit by reading, meditating on and praying over the Word, the clearer the voice becomes and the greater your understanding.

I was asked multiple times how I felt about the recent comment made that suggests hearing from Jesus makes one not mentally sound. John 15:11 says “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

If you aren’t full of the joy of Jesus, you’re filled with something else.  [Fear, angst, complacency, etc.]  And whatever fills the heart finds its way out of the mouth. We need to pray for those whose hearts are showing through their words that they may find the same joy Christians have through the saving, redemptive love of Jesus…who speaks to me and to Whom I listen…and whose joy fills my heart today!  So be it.  Amen.

Prayer for the lost

Lord Jesus, I know you have broken the hold of sin, the world and ignorance over these people’s hearts and minds. I speak the love and peace of God over their hearts and mind. Allow them to see the light, hope and new life that the gospel brings them. Remove the blindness from their eyes. Lord Jesus, let your grace bring them in contact with people that will expose them to the love of Christ in such a manner that they will accept it.  And we will give You the glory.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.  (Based on Colossians 1: 9-14)