Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Joy: The serious business of heaven


We have just had a fantastic 'Encounter' weekend with Julian Adams and the amazing team that came with him. I am so grateful for the generous heart of The King's Arms Church, Bedford (www.kingsarms.org) that they would release a team of five people to serve us at TKC.

On Saturday morning over 140 people gathered at The Martlets, Burgess Hill for a time of worship and then three different seminar streams. It was just incredible to witness one lady arrive on a mobility scooter and then, three hours later, walk out of the building not needing the scooter because God had performed an amazing miracle in her life! God, our good Father, was at work in amazing ways.

The serious business of heaven

On Sunday nearly 400 people packed in to our two morning meetings as we celebrated, worshipped and listened to Julian Adams preach from Galatians 4.  He asked the question: do we still live with our feet placed on the mountain of slavery or on the mountain of freedom? It tied in so well with our recent identity series - it is clear God is speaking to us.

Julian went on to talk about the centrality of joy in local churches and provoked us to consider what place joy has in our hearts. He raised a great question: why is it that if people cry in church we feel that is an acceptable emotion to express but if people laugh they are seen as being over the top and attention seeking? 

C. S. Lewis once wrote that:

"Joy is the serious business of Heaven."

It has provoked me to consider my own understanding of joy. The Bible is clear - laughter and joy are things that the people of God should feel very free to express. 

Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.”  Psalm 126 v 2

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit... Romans 14 v 17

This week, remember that it was for freedom that christ has set us free, remember we are sons not slaves, remember we are co-heirs with Christ, remember Jesus has paid it all and may you experience 'joy in the Holy Spirit' and as you do, remember that we are engaging in the serious business of heaven.

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