Over the last twelve months the Evangelism and Outreach Committee focused on two seminars that equipped our congregation – as well as the greater Christian community – with opportunities to boldly share the Gospel and then, invite many to commit to discipling eager hearts to grow in grace and knowledge of God’s Word. God blessed us with: 16 members and 8 guests attending the Equipped and Unashamed (E & U) seminar with Chris Peeler and 10 members and 16 guests attending the Building Spiritual Reproducers / Operation Timothy (BSR) seminar with Chuck Whitmore and Bill Clark.
As a result of the E & U seminar, members of our Harvesters Team have already experienced the pure JOY of sharing the Gospel throughout various locations in Maryland. The BSR seminar has resulted in our team of 10 poised to commit themselves to disciple the men and women that God has already prepared for us!
When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God of Heaven’s armies. -Jeremiah 15:16
People today seem always to be looking for fun and entertainment, but it is significant that “fun” is never mentioned in the Bible, so it is evidently not considered to be a very significant part of the Christian life. The word “entertain” is used to speak of hospitality, and such activities as “play” and “reveling” only receive condemnation. (“Playing” is appropriate for children and animals, of course.)
Christians, however, have something far better than worldly fun – they have heavenly joy! This is the unique privilege of the redeemed, and there are many channels through which this joy can be experienced.
First of all, Christian joy comes through the Word. As even Jeremiah (“the weeping prophet!”) could say from our text: “They are my joy and my heart’s delight…” Then we rejoice in God’s great salvation: “I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For He dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness…” (Isaiah 61:10)
There is great joy also in the privilege of prayer and having our prayers answered: “You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.” (John 16:24) Christian service and witnessing are a source of tremendous joy when their fruits are finally seen. “Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.” (Psalm 126:5-6) And there is much, much more! “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say again – rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). After all, we know personally the very Creator of all that is good, “You love Him even though you have never seen Him. Though you do not see Him now, you trust Him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.” (1 Peter 1:8)
Taken, in part, from Days of Praise: 01.21.2014. Institute for Creation Research; Henry M. Morris, Ph.D Italics and underlined emphasis added by Chuck Holzman [All scripture is from the New Living Translation.]