That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched - this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. 1 John 1:1-4
I'm not much for conspiracy theories, but I do believe my smartphone listens in on my conversations. I've lost count of how many times this has happened: I'll be talking about something random with friends and the next time I scroll through social media or checking my email an advertisement for that subject mysteriously appears. Hello...Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos, creeper much?
What's interesting is the message behind most of these ads. If I purchase ______ (fill in the blank), my life will have meaning and purpose. If I go on this vacation, my cares and worries will disappear. If I use this program, I'll be a "new me" in 30 days. For only $19.99, plus shipping, everything I ever wanted could be mine.
They come in different packages, but the thing they're selling remains the same; namely, joy. It's what we all want. We're all searching for it and hoping to experience it. Marketing experts understand this striving for joy remains ingrained in the human heart and they play off it for profit. Those things they're selling might bring us happiness for a time, allow us to experience a bit of pleasure or keep us entertained, but they'll never lead to unshakeable joy.
Joy resides in one place: being in a relationship with the One who made us, knows us and loves us.
The way to life isn't a plan to follow or a product to be purchased; instead, it's a person. We don't have to earn His affection or pay for His attention. He gave us the gift of His presence freely, with no strings attached. By being in His presence, and remaining there, we look different. We get transformed from the inside out.
A type of viral marketing takes places through our encounter with Christ.
We want those around us to share in the joy we've experienced firsthand. Like a great song or a stirring movie, we can't help but share what Christ means to us. Having a thriving relationship with Him enables us to have genuine connections with others.
What are the implications that our joy finds completion in our connection with Christ?
God, there is no place I'd rather be than by Your side. Joy resides in Your presence. I will remember this truth when the enemy attempts to convince me otherwise. My ability to love others, display courage, and walk in obedience comes through staying connected to You. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.