Daily D – Luke 10:17-21
When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!” “Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.” At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and he said, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.” (NLT)
The seventy came back triumphant. “Master, even the demons danced to your tune!” Jesus said, “I know. I saw Satan fall, a bolt of lightning out of the sky. See what I’ve given you? Safe passage as you walk on snakes and scorpions, and protection from every assault of the Enemy. No one can put a hand on you. All the same, the great triumph is not in your authority over evil, but in God’s authority over you and presence with you. Not what you do for God but what God does for you—that’s the agenda for rejoicing.” At that, Jesus rejoiced, exuberant in the Holy Spirit. “I thank you, Father, Master of heaven and earth, that you hid these things from the know-it-alls and showed them to these innocent newcomers. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.” (MSG)
Joy is the defining characteristic of Christian mission.
There is joy in knowing and experiencing God.
There is joy in discovering firsthand that where God guides, God provides.
There is joy in results that turn darkness into light, disease and death into health and life, fear and trembling into courage and confidence.
There is joy amplified and celebrated by Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father.
Got Joy? Get on mission with God.
Joy is God’s good pleasure overflowing through Jesus in the power of the Spirit to every believer who discovers the delight of hearing and obeying God. This is the way to the good life celebrated in song and remembered with monuments. It is as immediate as living on mission with Jesus in everything you do.
What is your mission today? Who will you encounter? They – the he’s and she’s you will see wherever you live, work, and play – they are your mission from Jesus. How will your life impress their lives in such a manner that the expression is joy? How will your life bring healing and hope, courage and confidence? How will you carry, deliver, and celebrate the joy of the Lord?
Read this Bible text again. Read it in different translations. Read it until you get it. It is a cup running over with joy.
“Joy,” as C. S. Lewis said, “is the serious business of heaven.”
“God is the most joyful being in the universe,” John Ortberg wrote.
“At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit . . .” Luke wrote.
There’s more joy than you can contain today. That’s the true nature of joy. True joy overflows. It never celebrates alone. It cannot be experienced selfishly. Hoarding it is impossible.
The only way to avoid joy is to align yourself with hell. Hell is a joy-free zone. There is no cheer in those unairconditioned halls. There is no laughter where everyone is one edge, irritable, angry, and regretful forever. There are no drinking songs of lore. There is no celebration of fell deeds and thumbed noses. There is no delight of any kind at any moment. Worst of all, there is no hope.
Joy, thankfully, crowds this moment. It fills this space and time. It seeks an opportunity to express its enriching nourishment to everyone you meet.
Someone wants you to give ‘em hell. Jesus wants you to give ‘em joy.
Someone wants you to feel powerful and in control. Jesus wants you to feel joy and empowerment.
Someone wants you motivated by anger. Jesus wants you animated by joy.
Do you have the joy of the Lord?
I will experience and express the joy of Jesus as I live on mission with him today.
Our Father, you are best known for your perfect love and endless joy. Bible historians, psalmists, prophets, and wisdom writers were repeatedly, uniquely inspired by your Spirit to declare that “you are good and your love endures forever.” Hebrews 12:2 tells us the hardest thing Jesus ever did was motivated and animated by love and joy. May we likewise overflow with your love and joy. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.