Thou Shalt Not Rejoice…

Well, I wasn’t sure what direction to take this blog, so I decided the best thing to do would be to quit until I had an opportunity to stare out at the ocean contemplatively. But as I live a good hike from any oceans, I finally just settled for a coin toss. That was like, last week.

So what’s new? All kinds of things. We’re kind of in a weird transitional thing right now, which seems to have the power of depressing everyone involved. We were close to full every week at both the places we have church services, so we decided to start doing double services at both places to free up some seats. Well, it worked a little better than we wanted it to! Some people that used to come to full, exciting services now feel out of the loop. Additionally we’ve got a work crisis, as we need twice as many workers as we did in the past. So, not all is peachy on the ministry front. Oh, and did I mention that it’s like a million degrees below zero? Great for morale…

But we’ve been preaching through Luke for over a year now (with a healthy dose of interruptions) – got to chapter 10 and the sending of the seventy this past weekend. And, wouldn’t you know it, there was an extra special face-melting reminder for me. Love that the disciples come back all excited about their new abilities. ‘Look, Lord, thanks to you we leveled up!’ Demon-bashing Attribute +10! And Jesus says, ‘You’re excited about the wrong thing.’ Not that Jesus is against crushing the devil – he invented it, as he reminds them. But the object of our joy as Christians is never to be primarily the work, the ability, the power, or the success that God entrusts to us.

Check that out – it’s not enough to be a joyful Christian; we are to be rejoicing about the right things! There’s something wrong in a Christian’s heart when the object of his joy is what he does for God rather than what God has done for him. (fun fact: there’s something wrong with my heart) Our reconciled standing with God, a.k.a. our names written in Heaven, a.k.a. the Gospel, must be our primary joy engine.

My favorite part of the passage though is immediately after, where Jesus rejoices in the Holy Spirit and prays in thanksgiving to the Father (complicated if you’re non-Trinitarian). Like he’s saying, ‘You all need a rejoicing lesson – observe!’ And then he thanks the Father for what he’s doing in the revelation of the Gospel, in those who accept and even in those who reject.

So… prayer for this week: God, help me to rejoice in what you’ve done for me, and not in ministry.

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4 Comments on “Thou Shalt Not Rejoice…”

  1. Mark December 20, 2010 at 10:26 am #

    Glad to see you writing. I won’t comment much but I am reading.

  2. Scott Newton December 21, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    Love it. Thanks for the reminder to rejoice in God!

  3. allen December 22, 2010 at 5:30 am #

    Really great to see you blogging again…we’re here in another part of China and love reading your experiences and convictions. Very encouraging. Thanks!


  1. Tweets that mention Thou Shalt Not Rejoice… « The Gospel in China -- - December 20, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by TrentCornwell, Global Christian. Global Christian said: Thou Shalt Not Rejoice…: Well, I wasn’t sure what direction to take this blog, so I decided the best thing to do… […]

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