Live Gladly – Pastor Chris Horsley

Julian of Norwich: "The greatest honor we can give Almighty God is to live gladly because of the knowledge of His love."

I am reminded of Paul and Silas in Acts 16 when they are thrown into prison.
First, they are beaten.
Then their hands and feet are placed into the stocks.
So what do they do?  They whine and cry and complain about how unfair the situation is.  No! They pray and sing!!!  When the love of God consumes you, you can live gladly no matter what the situation!!

And look what happens?  There is an earthquake; the chains fell off of all the prisoners, and ultimately it led to the salvation of the jailer and his family.  Why?  Because Paul and Silas lived gladly because of the knowledge of the love of God.
Again, what comes out when you are squeezed? Are you aware of the love of God in your life, even in the worst of situations?
It goes on to say in verse 39 that those that threw them into prison came and apologized.  What a turnaround, and what a testimony to the love and power of God.  

Think for a minute about what would have happened if Paul and Silas had done nothing, if they would have moaned and complained because of how unfair their situation was.  I mean, they were doing the Lord's work, right?  

Remember, you might be the only Jesus someone may ever see.

But that didn't determine their course of action, and because of their praying and singing in the middle of a dungeon, there will be a jailer and his family in heaven.  I think I have read this story many times, and never thought about how amazing that is.  These people came to know Jesus because Paul and Silas didn't allow the temporal to determine their attitude, and therefore they changed the lives of these people!

Colossians 3:1-3–Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.

When we begin to have an eternal mindset, it makes a difference in the here and now. We know that we are citizens of heaven, and our goal is to please our Father.

We far too often focus on the temporary, and miss opportunities to make a difference in the eternal.

Let us live gladly with the knowledge of a loving God towards us.

You never know, you may be the only Jesus someone sees today.

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