Come Follow Me 2023, Come Unto Christ, Devotional

“I Bring Good News … of Great Joy”

And the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring good news to you of great joy which will be for all the people:
~ Luke 2:10, LEB ~

The invitation to Come unto Christ and follow Him is an invitation to share in the experience, strength, and hope that the Gospel provides. Most of us do so on a pedestrian level – we come to get something rather than commit to give something that helps grow our faith in Christ. What we want to get is relief from our sufferings, to find comfort, and to be rescued out of our circumstances. One soon learns that the good news that is of great joy is beyond our limited vision. It is beyond our limited vision because we are not willing to commit ourselves over to giving of ourselves to the life required for salvation and eternal life.

The Angel appears to the Shepherds and announce the Birth of the Savior

Sometimes, someone comes to Christ with desperation and sense of helplessness and partake of the healing power of the Infinite Atonement. Once they found joy in the Savior – they feel there is no longer any need to continue in faithful discipleship. After all, “I am born again and made new – what else is there for me?” They soon forget their commitment and obligation to continue in faith and denying self while bearing their cross on a daily basis. For this, many miss the mark and do not fully comprehend the good news of Great Joy that is found in following the Savior daily.

Living a mindful crucified Christian life means that we are living in a process of transforming our lives. Living in a manner where we are remaking a way for the message of the Gospel to continue to take root and grow. This requires daily cultivation of faith and obedience to His teachings. Only then are we able to experience the great joy of peace that is in following the Savior. It is a daily process of giving ourselves that we continue to receive.

And yet many are afraid to give of themselves, so they are able to reap the blessings and promises of our Heavenly Father. Reason for this fear is that many of us may have done things that, upon personal reflection, caused us to suffer, to make ill-fated decisions, and even caused personal injury toward others.

Spiritual growth is quite a risk that we want to avoid. It is this that causes stagnation in our belief and experiencing the promised blessings. The mindful and crucified Christian life that the good news and great joy offer is one of possibilities and options. This does not mean we will attain those personal desires and outcomes. What it means that we move from a life that is without any sense of meaning and purpose. A life that is without any sense of true joy and peace.

Cultivating a relationship with Christ means we are committing ourselves over to taking a chance on Him so that we may be able to grow – even when we are unclear of what it is we need or desire.

So, what is the good news of great joy that we need not be afraid of? It is recognizing our own spiritual complacency. Through Christ, we begin to find freedom in living a life that is meaningful and with purpose. We embrace our choices to continually follow in faithful obedience – knowing our trust and confidence is in His will and desire for our lives. In a sense – it helps us grow a spiritual firm backbone to stand with faith and confidence in His teachings.

And it begins when we surrender faithfully over to our Heavenly Father’s will – knowing that Christ did something we, nor anyone else, could have ever done. It also means we know that our faithful obedience to the teachings of the message of the Gospel is one of progress that leads toward spiritual perfection.

Today’s Thought and Reminder

Spiritual discipline begins with understanding that our Heavenly Father is not about rewarding laziness or misbehavior. To the contrary, our Heavenly Father expects each of us to lead our lives that are maturing and growing in faith through Jesus Christ. Disobedience is met with disappointment and suffering.

The good news of great joy is of what we seek diligently and consistently through spiritual discipline. And that begins by overcome whatever fear preventing us from coming unto Christ for salvation and redemption. It is getting over our own personal desires and efforts and realize that we need to faithfully commit over to His teachings and commandments each and every day.

Spiritually disciplined life as a mindful and crucified Christian lead to harvesting those blessings and promises our Heavenly Father desires to give us.

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