From South Africa with Love – Week 3

September 30, 2010

I am currently in South Africa with a team of trainer/facilitators from my ministry. For the names of the team members and our respective schedules, click here.  Please pray for us!

For my Thursday posts during this time away, I am featuring thoughts and writings from one of my favorite South African pastors/writers, Andrew Murray, who pastored churches in South Africa from 1850 – 1917.  Two of his works which I have loved are Abide in Christ and With Christ in the School of Prayer.

That Your Joy May Be Full

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:11

“Abiding fully in Christ is a life of exquisite and overflowing happiness.  As Christ gets more complete possession of the soul, it enters into the joy of its Lord.  His own joy, the joy of Heaven, becomes its own, and that in full measure, as an ever-abiding portion.  Just as joy on earth is everywhere connected with the vine and its fruit, so joy is an essential characteristic of the life of the believer who fully abides in Christ, the heavenly Vine.”  A. Murray, Abide in Christ

It is striking, really, in almost every place I have been in the world, how different God’s people look from everyone else.  No matter where I go, South Africa, Ukraine, Romania, or right here at home, there are smiles on the faces of God’s people.  But wander outside the walls of the church onto the streets, and that is just not true.  Because the world is a dark place and this life has a way of stealing our joy.  But God’s Spirit is the great replenisher, and the more I abide in Him, the greater my joy.

Since I have known him, my pastor has always said that he always wants to pastor a church where there is laughter in the hallways.  I agree!  Because laughter is at least one indicator of joy.  But the joy from the Lord is so much deeper than circumstantial happiness.  For the person abiding in Christ, even in the midst of mourning there can be joy.  Even in pain there can still be joy.  It is indescribable and unfathomable.  But it is there in every believer who abides in Christ.

Thank you, Andrew!

© Blake Coffee

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