Scripture for the Day
December 10, 2020
The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you, in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
The first time I went into a county jail to preach was quite an experience. I went in with another minister who was very experienced in jail ministry. I thought, and he did not tell me any different, that we would be ministering together in some sort of chapel. Well, it didn’t work out like that at all. Once we entered the prison the guards immediately separated us and he went one way and they took me another way. They took me to a jail pod that held about 15-20 inmates, unlocked the jail cell, escorted me to the center of the pod, and walked out locking that big steel door behind them. There I was, the inmates and myself, alone. That is when you really find out who you are in Christ.
Bottom-line, we had a great time together and the inmates were ministered to. When I walked out of that jail that day I remember looking up to the sky and I felt the Lord smile. It is very hard to explain that in the natural but let’s consider the following questions. What was Jesus like? Was He a happy person? Did He get depressed? Did He show joy and happiness? Or was He stern and solemn all the time? Well, let’s look to the Word of God and see what it says concerning these questions.
In Luke 10, Jesus sent seventy disciples out into the cities He was planning to go to. He gave them instructions and when they returned, they gave Him a good report. They said that even the demons were subject to His name (v. 17). In verse 21, the Bible says that Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit. The Greek word used in this verse for rejoice suggests shouting and leaping with joy. Can you imagine that? Jesus – shouting and leaping with joy! If you can’t, you probably have a religious image of Jesus. In Matthew 19, little children were brought to Jesus and He prayed for them. When the disciples tried to keep the children away, Jesus rebuked them, saying, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for such is the kingdom of heaven” (v. 14). There’s no mention here that these children were afraid of Jesus or were forced to go to Him, which to me strongly implies that the children wanted to go to Jesus. Would children be drawn to a grumpy, rigid, mean old man? Of course not! Children are attracted to joyful people who smile and laugh. Another time, in John 15, Jesus taught His disciples about love. In verse 11 He said “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” Jesus said He was joyful and He wanted us to have His joy.
Listen, God loved us so much that He made a way for us to live throughout all eternity with Him and never die. Through faith, He made a way for us to have special gifts that would help us supernaturally (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). He gave us His Word that He would heal, prosper, and deliver us. He gave us His Holy Spirit as a comforter, helper, and intercessor. He gave us supernatural love. He gave us peace, not peace like the world gives, but supernatural peace (John 14:27). If we really believe this is true, how can we not jump for joy?
The answer: Jesus does smile!!!!