And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Mark 16:15
Summer in North Carolina is perfect to enjoy one of the most blessed places in God’s wondrous creation-- the beach! On a beautiful, sun-soaked day, we can sit and watch waves roll in and out, and be entertained by birds dancing on the sand as they scrounge for tidbits.
The joy of the gospel, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all, outshines the brightest summer sun. For us to share that joy as Jesus commanded requires a daily cultivation of our lives by Jesus.
Because we cannot share joy if we don’t know real joy ourselves.
The only way to be filled with his inexpressible, soul-saturating joy is to become disciples of Jesus. Without His Spirit-directed cultivation of prayer and scripture reading, we will become blind and dried up by the joylessness of this world.
When ministered by the Holy Spirit, prayer and scripture are like the heaven-sent food Elijah ate and drank. Otherwise we are powerless against the world’s imitation of the one true light. The world offers darkness masquerading as light, but there is only one true light: Jesus.
Why surrender to His cultivation daily? Remember how Jesus first called the disciples? He said “follow me.” He didn’t say follow me for an hour or two today, then you can go back to doing what you were doing before.
Being a disciple means the same now for you and me as it did for the first ones: choosing, moment by day by lifetime to align our life with his, taking the steps he took. If we don’t, we will be clueless about how to survive the crises that will surely come, let alone be able to have the deeply rooted joy that bathing in his holy light, his healing presence provide.
Joy is cultivated as each day we recognize and acknowledge before him how powerless we are, and how our lives are unmanageable apart from him. Each day brings a new set of circumstances that will require a greater power than ourselves.
Each day we must decide to turn our will and our lives over to the care of Jesus. It is his grace that meets our needs as we feed and clothe ourselves in the Word and presence of God. Then we can proclaim the gospel, with a joy resonating from him.
15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.