September 2018 - Joy: The Serious Business of Heaven!
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. - Romans 14:17
I love this quote from C.S. Lewis, a respected author who had some great things to say about joy. He said, “Joy is the serious business of Heaven.” In other words, Heaven conducts its most serious business in an atmosphere of joy. In the Kingdom of God, there is some business being taken care of! While you rejoice, transactions are made and prayers are answered. People may warn, “You better take this situation seriously!” When you apply the blood of Jesus and then rejoice, you can tell them, “I am taking this extremely serious!”
My mother used to “take care of business” by shouting and running around the church. My dad would comment as she ran, “It’s not necessary unless it’s necessary!” Is it necessary? Yes! If God sits in the Heavens and laughs until He sees all His enemies under His feet, then we the Church, citizens of His Kingdom, should take our place in Christ and conduct Kingdom business with Him in an atmosphere of victory, knowing the good work God has begun, He will finish!
He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh....Psalm 2:4
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:6
When the Body of Christ meets together, it is for the purpose of worshipping God and “taking care of business.” I like what William Barclay says about the church.
The Greek word for Church is ecclesia and was originally used to describe a gathering of the citizens of Athens. Its decisions conformed to the laws of the state and its powers were to all intents and purposes unlimited. It declared war, made peace, contracted treaties and arranged alliances. It was ultimately responsible for the conduct of all military operations. It raised and allocated funds. It comes from the Hebrew root word which means “to summon.” In the Hebrew sense it means God’s people being called together to listen to or act for God.
William Barclay, New Testament Words
The book of Acts emphasizes the place where they were assembled was shaken. There is always “some assembly required” for the power of God to shake the earth. (Acts 4:31). There was a corporate prayer meeting and a corporate faith as they lifted their voices together.
Hebrews 4:16 tells us what we’ll find at the throne of grace when we come boldly by the blood. We can obtain mercy and find grace to help us in the time of need. Then we take our place in a great assembly of the Body of Christ in Heaven and earth and participate in Heaven’s business carried out in the earth. “…but ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels…” (Hebrews 12:22 – 24).
What is the business that Heaven, earth, angels, God, and Jesus are taking care of? The business of the kingdom is to enforce all that Jesus bought for the Church at the cross. God is using the Church to display His wisdom to principalities and powers. Paul called that wisdom foolishness to the world (1 Corinthians 1:21). Remember, Heaven conducts its most serious business in an atmosphere of joy. The atmosphere of joy releases power to do miracles. It will destroy the works of darkness until that day when the God of Peace forever crushes Satan underneath our feet (Romans 16:20). We live in the consciousness of the triumph of Christ. We are the triumphant Church!
My dad’s church knew how to take care of business. A prophecy or message from God would be declared and then, there would be great joy in the Holy Ghost! I used to wonder what was going on! Now I know that needs were being met, bodies were being healed, and the joy of the Lord was mending broken hearts! That’s what happens when the church comes together. There can be a song, prophecy, tongue or revelation. When people believe the Word of God that comes forth, they can receive it with joy unspeakable and full of glory! I call that “gathering the spoil.” It is the Kingdom culture.
A MESSAGE TO OUR PARTNERS
Feed your faith and “gather your spoil” with this month’s offer: 2 CD sets - Faith Laughs at Impossibilities and Joy the Serious Business of Heaven and the book, The Secret Power of Joy for your offering of $30 or more.
The Lord spoke to our heart at the beginning of 2018 that this is the YEAR OF THE NEW! With your help, we are touching a new part of the Body of Christ in Brazil! The Holy Spirit works with us to minister and bless hundreds of pastors and leaders! Your prayers and financial partnership have helped to translate two of our books into Portuguese. There’s no telling where the blessing will end! “Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take YOUR gifts to those who need them, THEY will thank God,” 2 Cor. 9:11 (NLT).
Mark and Trina