Stonegate, 

When I think about our church family, there is so much to thank Jesus for! He has been so kind to us. We also have much before us – for which we need much wisdom from Jesus. On Wednesday, May 9th, we met for a family meeting at the conference center to thank Jesus for where he’s been at work among us and to consider some of what Jesus seems to be doing in front of us. With that in mind, we’ve written a series of three blog posts to relay the content from our family meeting.

ENJOYING JESUS TOGETHER

If there’s one phrase we want to deeply embed into the life of our church family, it’s this: Enjoying Jesus Together.

So many followers of Jesus have been seduced into this way of thinking: it’s Jesus or Joy. We often think - if we take Jesus we forsake our joy, but if we take joy we forsake Jesus! But our thinking couldn’t be more twisted.  In the scriptures it’s not Jesus or joy, it’s Jesus as our joy! The Scriptures are an open invitation to come and get your joy in Jesus! Do we think of God this way? As a person to be enjoyed? All of God’s gifts (food, kids, marriage, intimacy, success, money, etc) are all like appetizers, while the Bible holds God up as the main course. 

  • Psalm 16:11, You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
  • Psalm 34:8, Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! 
  • Psalm 36:8, They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. 
  • John 6:35, Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.

Jesus isn’t just a person to be studied, He’s also a person to know and enjoy! But how should we enjoy Jesus? I’d like to encourage you in two simple ways. 

1: Enjoy Jesus through Bible reading. 

Consider these words from Psalms 19:7: 

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul;

I doubt you're reading these words in this moment and thinking, “My heart is too full! It’s got too much of Jesus! It’s too revived.” We all need day by day reviving from Jesus - and Psalm 19 tells us one place to go for that - the Scriptures. This is what Jesus uses the Bible to do - revive our souls! We go to the Scriptures to meet Jesus in whom is “fullness of life.” 

If you are not on a Bible reading plan this year, you can find our 2018 reading plan here. There is no day like today to make a fresh commitment to read the Scriptures. 

2: Enjoy Jesus through Prayer. 

Prayer is pouring out our hearts to God. It’s one of the primary ways we commune with Jesus. Prayer is one way we open our hearts to Jesus. And when we stop and listen, prayer is one of the primary ways Jesus opens his heart to us. 

As a simple place to start, consider combining Bible reading and prayer. Take a chapter of the Bible a day and read a paragraph at a time, REAP it, pray it, then move to the next paragraph. I’ve found this to be a helpful way to work through the Scriptures with Jesus! 

As you think about enjoying Jesus through Bible reading and prayer, allow these words from George Mueller to encourage you. 

We have, through the goodness of the Lord, been permitted to enter upon another year, and the minds of many among us will no doubt be occupied with plans for the future and the various fears of our work and service for the Lord. If our lives are spared, we shall be engaged in those: the welfare of our families, the prosperity of our business, our work and service for Christ may be considered the most important matters to be attended to; but according to my judgment the most important point to be attended to is this: above all things see to it that your souls are happy in the Lord….I specially commend this point to the notice of my younger brethren and sisters in Christ: the secret of all true effectual service is joy in God... But in what way shall we attain to this settled happiness of soul? How shall we learn to enjoy God? How shall we obtain such an all-sufficient, soul-satisfying portion in Him as shall enable us to let go the things of this world as vain and worthless in comparison? I answer, this happiness is to be obtained through the study of the Holy Scriptures.

Stonegate, let’s enjoy Jesus together! 

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