Soberness with Joy
There are many ways that Christ is depicted in our day because of the various means of media. It seems that whatever the prevailing attitudes in society are translate into that generation’s depiction of Christ. Certainly, we can see this throughout the latter part of the 20th Century to today. In the late 60’s and 70’s we saw a “hippy” Christ, in the 2000’s it was the “hipster” Christ and today where He is depicted almost as “hedonistic” at times. To get a true depiction of Christ one need not go further than the only authoritative source about Him, the Word of God.
When I read about Christ and what His life on earth was like considering what His personality and life might have been like – I think of two things that almost seem opposed yet defined His time on earth and portray an example to us today. The two things that I would describe Christ’s walk while in human form were Soberness with Joy.
When I read about Christ – it seems that either He was moved with compassion, disappointed, deeply saddened and at times weeping, under a heavy burdened, or foreboding of what was coming in the future. On the other hand – I also see His joy in His bursts of astonishment, amazement at the faith of man, zeal in teaching and preaching, and conveying the truths of salvation and the coming joys for His children.
Truly, Christ was a man who was sober yet enjoyed His ministry, His children, and His relationship with God. We too need to follow this example. We need to realize that while earth we are just pilgrims passing through looking forward to our real home in heaven (Hebrews 11:13-14; 1 Peter 1:7). We are to walk soberly on this earth realizing that all that we see will are temporal and will be destroyed – and that the only eternal things are up above with Christ (Colossians 3:1-4). While we walk on this earth, we certainly can have great joy. The Lord said in John 10:10b “…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Our joy should be derived, not from the things of the world, but the enjoyment of things that are of God.
Here some wonderful things we can get true joy from:
- His creation (Romans 1:20)
- Walking with Him in prayer (Psalm 46:10; Philippians 1:4)
- Studying His Word (Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 6:23)
- Meditating (pondering prayerfully) on His Word, truths and promises (Colossians 3:1-2; 2 Peter 1:4)
- Obeying Him and His Commandments (3 John 4; Gal 5:22)
- Seeking and seeing souls saved and lives changed (Proverbs 23:24; 1 Corinthians 4:15; 3 John 4)
This life is not always going to be easy, Christ said as much and Paul even said to be like Christ we too would suffer. Yet, as we walk soberly with Christ we are going to enjoy a life most of this world will never see let alone understand. Notice what Pauls states here:
Philippians 3:10-14 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Let’s love and serve God with all of our hearts, souls and minds and love our neighbor as ourselves as Christ instructs us. In so doing it will draw us ever closer to Him, cleanse us, mold us and change us into His likeness. Then we too will walk “SOBERLY WITH JOY” as we sojourn on this earth until He takes us home again.
– Pastor Mark Sage