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A Gospel-Reflecting Face March 29, 2007

Posted by Joe in Scripture Meditation.
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Lar,

I’m looking forward to hearing more from you regarding those Mahaney quotes.  It is good to linger there a bit.   However, I had a few thoughts this morning during my reading of Proverbs (just a few!).  Here was one I wanted to share.

Proverbs 15:13 says, “A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.”

After reading this verse, I wrote two questions in my notebook:  Do our faces bear witness to the joy of the Lord?  Do they bear witness to gospel reality?

These are vital questions to ask aren’t they?  For there is a natural, God-ordained connection between our inner man and external response.  And I do think that ‘response’ is the right word there.  Our external facial expressions or use of hands or whatever are indications of what is going on within.  For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.  We all know that is true, because Jesus said it.  But do we also realize that out of the overflow of the heart the mouth smiles or frowns or is overly serious or gloomy?  I think we should.

I have said this numerous times, but it bears repeating:  Christians should be the happiest people in the world.  And this happiness of heart should lead to a cheerful face.  I think we should be smiling quite consistently.  Now, I am not talking about some shallow, superficial, everything-is-great ‘happiness.’  That isn’t happiness.  That is ignorance.  No.  I am talking about a gospel-entranced, Jesus died in my place so that I through His poverty might become rich sort of happiness.  I am talking about a happiness that is accompanied by tears for the lost and the hurting.  I’m talking about a happiness that flows from the reality that we are never getting what we deserve.   That’s right.  I am never getting what I deserve.  Always and forever in Christ Jesus, things are exceedingly wonderful!  They are always better than they should be.  Never should there be a moment when I am not marveling at God’s amazing grace!

So that is how I have lived today.  I have been all smiles.  Now seriously, did you believe that?  I hope not.  Who do you think I am, Jesus?  No way.  I thought about this verse and then went to practice.  Needless to say, my face wasn’t reflecting gospel joy.  But why?  Were my cheeks tired?  Come on.  My heart lost sight of the glorious gospel.  I somehow forgot that no matter how weary I might be, I am always doing better than I should be doing.  I simply failed to marvel as I always should.

So now I return to the gospel again and repent of my unbelieving heart.  I go to the cross, confess my pride and arrogance and impatience and anger and unbelief–and place my hope in what Jesus has done in my place.  And then I reckon it finished.  I believe what the Bible has said.  I thank the Lord that there is forgiveness so that He might be feared and that my heart might be filled with joy–and my face full of smiles.  Then I go to battle again, conscious of the fact that it will never end until I am welcomed into glory.  Then and only then will I live with that unceasing joy that might well lead to an unceasing cheerful face!

Enough for now brother.  Let us ask ourselves:  do our bodily expressions reflect gospel reality?

Seeking Him with you,

Joe

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Comments»

1. Erin - March 29, 2007

Great reminder! Thanks for that!
Erin

2. larrylaz - March 29, 2007

Yes, it was indeed a great reminder, and I hope to interact with this one some more tomorrow!

Larry


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