The One We Love

Does God Want us to be Happy?

There is a narrative in our current culture that suggests life is about pursuing pleasure at all costs. We are told, both explicitly and through subliminal messaging, that we should do whatever makes us the happiest at any given time.

For the Christian, this could not be further from the truth. The Bible teaches us to “count it all as loss for the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8). But what can this really mean? Does God not want us to be happy?

Turning From Lesser Lovers

True happiness as defined by God is that which draws us closest to Him. As the Maker and Lover of our souls, He knows that we can not find any lasting peace or joy apart from Him. Therefore, while He has made a beautiful world for us to enjoy, He will often call on us to leave lesser lovers for His sake.

As humans, we are given to idolatry more than any other sin. In fact, we are constantly giving our hearts away to anything and everything that provides us with the least bit of positive emotion- be it happiness, gratification, or relief. God will often test those of us who claim to love Him by seeing if we are willing to give up these fleeting pleasures for His sake. We have only to look at Abraham on Mount Moriah, the disciples abandoning their full nets, or the rich young ruler to see this truth. 

An Easy Choice

However, for those who truly know Him, this is an easy choice. He asks of us only what we could never keep, only what has come from Him anyway, and offers us everything of value in return.

Will we give it up, all of it, everything, for Him? If we know Him- His character, His heart, His nature, we will- and we’ll do it gladly. The underground church knows this and therefore withholds nothing, not even their own lives, for the unfathomable joy of knowing Christ.

A Universal Truth

This is why at Global Catalytic Ministries one of our vision statements is this: We give up things we love for things we love even more. It’s an honor to sacrifice for Christ.

The global church must carefully examine our own hearts. Is there anything, anything at all, we would be unwilling to surrender for Jesus Christ? If there is, we must violently pursue Him in search of what we are missing. Like the man who finds the pearl of great price, we must see the value of the One we have found so much so that, in our great joy, we sell it all to keep Him.  

Once we do, we will join with the church throughout all ages in saying it is a joy to leave that which we love for the One we love even more.

Man praying to Jesus. He is the one we love.

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We believe the Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are inspired by God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct. (2 Timothy 3:15-17, 1 Peter 1:21)

We believe that there is one God, eternally existent who has revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 6:4, Luke 3:22)

We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father where He intercedes for us, in His present rule as Head of the Church, and in His personal return in power and glory. (Matthew 1:23, Luke 1:31)

We believe in the creation of mankind in God’s image, and the fall of man, resulting in universal guilt and total depravity; and the necessity, therefore, of redemption and restoration; that all men and women are lost spiritually and face the judgment of God, that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation, and that repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for regeneration by the Holy Spirit. (Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 2:17)

We believe salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God, according to the hope of eternal life. (Luke 24:47, John 3:3)

We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; the saved unto the resurrection of eternal life in the presence of our Lord, and the lost unto the resurrection of damnation and eternal punishment. (Matthew 25:46, Mark 9:43-48)

We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ and that all true believers are members of His body, the Church, which has the duty to preach the Gospel to every person. (Ephesians 1:22-23, Ephesians 2:22)

We believe that we must dedicate ourselves to prayer, to the service of our Lord, to His authority over our lives, and to the ministry of teaching, preaching, the prophetic, the apostolic, and evangelism. (Ephesians 4:11-13)

We believe in upholding the ordinances of the church of water baptism and holy communion.

The ordinance of baptism by immersion is commanded by the Scriptures. All who repent and believe in Christ as Savior and Lord are to be baptized. Thus, they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life. (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16, Acts 10:47,48, Romans 6:4)

The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements—bread and the fruit of the vine—, is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4), a memorial of His suffering and death (1 Corinthians 11:26), and a prophecy of His second coming (1 Corinthians 11:26), and is enjoined on all believers “till He comes!”