Day 53 – Jesus Enjoyed Life!

Luke 10:21: “At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit, and said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.’”

Devotion: Jesus enjoyed life.  He loved his family.  He delighted in his discipleship[1] and gathering disciples.[2] He took pleasure in attending parties,[3] wedding banquet, Sabbath suppers, and raising the dead.[4]  He savored solitude.[5]  Jesus was happy when he healed people.[6]   Jesus embraced children with a holistic love.[7]  God’s son relished thirty-three years of relationships on earth before the excruciating experience the week of his crucifixion.  Jesus’ death and resurrection was the most important event in human history, and his Second Coming will define history forever.  However, should the suffering of our Savior overshadow the fact that Jesus enjoyed life?

One might say Jesus came to enjoy life since God is a God of relationships (the Father loves the Son and Holy Spirit, who reciprocate love as Trinity).  The Father incarnated the Son, Jesus Christ, as the Lamb of Bethlehem, by the overshadowing power of the Holy Spirit, for the purpose of bringing joy to life.  Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they (my disciples) may have life, and have it abundantly.”[8]  Yes, Jesus came for multiple reasons: to reveal the Father,[9] give his life as a ransom for many,[10] to do the Father’s will,[11]  to bring division,[12] to serve,[13] etc.  Pleasure was also part of the plan.

As Christ’s followers, shouldn’t our lives match that of our Savior?  Should our lives solely reflect the final somber week of Jesus’ incarnation or can our lives be filled with the ecstasy of the Spirit which Jesus experienced in prayer?  Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart! (Psalm 32:11)

Prayer:  Our Father in Heaven, you delighted in making us for the pleasure of your own good will in the joy of the Holy Spirit.  Give us a glimpse of your goodness that our hearts might sing, mouths praise you, and bodies dance, in Jesus’ name.  Amen. 

Prayer Exercise:  “Jesus Dance,” page 311, in Patricia D. Brown, “Paths to Prayer: Finding Your Own Way to the Presence of God,” (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003). ISBN: 0-779-6565-0. Copyright © 2003 by Patricia D. Brown.  All rights reserved. 

[1] Luke 2:49

[2] Luke 5:1-11

[3] Luke 5:27-32

[4] Luke 7:11-17, 8:40-56

[5] Luke 5:16

[6] Luke 8:26-39

[7] Luke 9:47

[8] John 10:10

[9] Matthew 11:27

[10] Matthew 20:28

[11] John 6:38

[12] Luke 12:51

[13] Matthew 20:28

About Dr. Ivan E. Greuter

A native of Nebraska, Ivan accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior and experienced a call to the ministry at a young age. He graduated from Kearney Senior High before attending Ottawa University (Kansas) where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. He attended Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, IL to earn a Master of Divinity in Pastoral Care and Counseling (1999) and a Master of Arts in Philosophical Theology (2002). In 2014, Ivan earned a Doctor of Ministry in Missional Spirituality from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. His dissertation: “Searching For God When You Have Lost Your Dogma: The Promise of New Life for an American Baptist Congregation by Increasing Passionate Spirituality through Devotional Consideration of the Doctrine of the Trinity and Natural Church Development.” He served as the senior minister at First Baptist Church of Wood River, Illinois (1999-2006), and Central Baptist Church of Quincy, Illinois (2006-2016) prior to joining the staff at West Side Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. Ivan enjoys French cooking, fly fishing, gardening, and playing games with family and friends. Ivan and his wife, Rexanne, live in Topeka with their three children – two daughters and a son.
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