< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: The Joy of Holiness

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Joy of Holiness

This is the last post from my lesson from the book The Pursuit of Holiness. I hope you've learned as much as I did. And that we are both obedient to what we've learned!

God intends for a Christian’s life to be full of joy. We should not be serving with sour faces!

John 15:10-11 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
Jesus links joy and obedience in a cause and effect manner. There is joy in fellowship with God.

David said: Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

True joy only comes from God. When David committed adultery and murder he lost his joy and his prayer of repentance said, Psalm 51:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

We also feel joy just in knowing we are obeying God. Especially if a certain sin or disobedience is something we’ve struggled with for a long time. And we have the joy of anticipated reward. Even about Jesus it is said that:

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. 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.

As we grow as Christian we begin to find that the joy of a holy walk is infinitely more satisfying than the fleeting pleasures of sin. And just that knowledge brings us ever more joy!

God has given us everything we need. When we were saved He put the Holy Spirit in us. He freed us from the reign of sin. He revealed His will for holy living in His Word. He works in us to will and to act according to His good purposes. He has sent pastors and teachers to teach and encourage us. He asks us to pray to Him for help and comfort. We have to choose to accept all of this and discipline ourselves to live a holy life. Every time we fail we have to get up again.

The farmer we mentioned way back in the beginning of this study doesn’t sit back waiting for God to send rain and sun. He does his part, trusting God will do His. We must take the step of obedience. We must pursue holiness!

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