“And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
“Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous!
Praise befits the upright.”
There is a power emitted from a life of joy.
We can see it and hear it in the lives of joy transformed people; many others, not so much. The deep joy we see is the most significant evidence we can know of the real presence of Jesus Christ. As we journey with joy, we become a living ‘billboard’ of God’s reality.
This is an awesome thing, when you think about it. But it also ‘takes the pressure off’ a believer’s witness to a watching world. The light is God’s, and when it shines out of us it is the ‘clincher’ for many people. (So, you should relax some.)
My first contact with Christians was at a ‘hippie’ commune in the early 70s. These were ‘Jesus People’ and when I saw peace and joy in their faces, I just knew it was real. It wasn’t anything that was said, rather it was the way they said it. Their countenance was filled with a joy that couldn’t be faked. (I would’ve known it if it was.)
Evangelism has more in common with joy than with a formulaic presentation. It is good to know ‘the Romans Road’ method of preaching; it is far better to know the God behind it. The witness of joy will significantly touch hearts when nothing else will. There is no better witness to an unbeliever than ‘Jesus inside’ a believer!’
I led teams of evangelists in the streets from 1986-1989 with S.O.S. Ministries in San Francisco and Berkeley. We distributed tens of thousands of tracts and Bibles. I learned to preach at ‘the cable car turn-around’ on the streets at Powell and Market, and many other places. We would always prepare out hearts beforehand by a time of praise and worship. We would seek the ‘infilling of the Holy Spirit’ before we stepped out into the city.
The infilling part was critical, and we knew it. The methodology could be learned– but we weren’t salesmen. We had to be ‘in tune’ with the Holy Spirit first and foremost. Today, 2014 we still must radiate Jesus to those who don’t know Him yet. Mother Teresa once said, “Joy is the net we use to catch souls.”
Come away with Jesus, and spend real time with him. Joy and peace will follow you when you truly meet with him. He makes his servants shine. “The joy of the Lord is your strength.’
***Be sure to check out more daily uplifting and insightful blogging by my friend Pastor Bryan Lowe at: http://brokenbelievers.com