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He calls them to exchange ‘WORK’ that is frivolous for JOY that is endless

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Read John 6:27-29

All of life is built around choices. When we choose to do one thing, we choose not to do another. This is true in the way we spend our energy, our time, and our money. When we’re thinking clearly, we make decisions based on what adds the greatest value to our lives and to the lives of those around us. That’s what makes Jesus’ statement at the end of this story about Mary and Martha so fascinating. Jesus a rms Mary’s choice to sit at his feet claiming that it will “not be taken from her” (Luke 10:42). Jesus says Mary has chosen the right focus and correct investment because it’s something that will last. The food Martha is preparing is essential, but the transformation Mary is experiencing is eternal.

Throughout the Scripture, Jesus pleads with people to invest their lives into things that last. In John 6:27- 29, Jesus teaches the crowds and he says, “‘Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him, God the Father has set his seal.’ Then they said to him, ‘What must we do, to be doing the works of God?’ Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.’” All our work, all our energy, and all our focus, is yielding some sort of food – the question remains, is this food that will last? Jesus teaches his followers to build their lives around the things that will last forever. He calls them to exchange ‘work’ that is frivolous for joy that is endless.

Jesus claims the only thing that lasts is “believing in him.” The reason believing in Jesus lasts is because it leads to our becoming. When we trust Jesus and abide in him, it leads to our transformation. The reality is, the only thing we carry into eternity is the people we’ve become and the character within us. When Jesus commands us to focus our life on him, he’s not being self-absorbed, he’s being others-focused. He’s challenging his followers to focus on right things because he knows that our eternal joy hangs on the choices we make. Jesus knows that humanity was designed to commune with God and he’s beckoning us to walk in our original design by fighting for our everlasting destiny.

Reflection and Response

Take a few minutes to imagine God’s joy. What brings him joy? How and when does he express joy? How do you notice when God is pleased?

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By Ryan Paulson 

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