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1 John 1:4: “And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.”

My Facebook and Instagram feeds lit up the other day because of an epic sunset over the Rocky Mountains. It’s nothing new, the mountains explode with light, color, and beauty almost on a daily basis. And while it isn’t a rare occurrence, the magnificence of an amazing sunset or sunrise always seems to require our attention. There is something captivating about the way the sunlight dances with the clouds as it rises or sets. It almost demands that we stop and stare. We drop everything we’re doing to admire and soak in the beauty.

Here’s fellow pastor Aaron Bjorklund’s picture of that sunset:

When John wrote about God being light, he stated that his goal in writing was that the joy of his readers would be complete. His intention was for them to stop and stare at the light. Earlier he claimed this light was the “life of all mankind” (John 1:4). The desire he had for his readers was that they may have life upon life, and joy upon joy. That’s what he meant when he wrote, “And we are writing this so that our joy may be complete.” (1 John 1:4) He wanted them to take a snapshot of the beauty of God and longed for them to soak it in.

C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Joy is the serious business of heaven.” I love the imagery of God being the conductor of the joy-filled symphony we call eternity. Certainly, God is the most joyful being in the entire universe, so it makes sense that in his presence would be the fullness of joy. However, we often view God as the great kill-joy, rather than the ultimate joy giver. When John writes, when he gives commands, and when he tells the story of Jesus, he does so with one explicit purpose in mind – to bring the joy of heaven to the place of earth through the person and work of Jesus. It’s the very joy of God that is at the center of the invitation extended through Jesus. Take a moment today to pause and listen. Simply be present with the God of joy who invites you to step into his presence and experience his love, his goodness, and his beauty. Stop; and enter his joy. [/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Ryan Paulson  

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