THE NEW BELIEVERS BEING OUR GLORY AND OUR JOY
In John 15:11 the Lord said, “These things I have spoken to you that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be made full” (v. 11). To be branches of the divine vine and to bear fruit to express the divine life is a matter of joy—a joyful life. Many saints have had the experience of being in ecstasy when they have baptized one into the Triune God. They have testified that after bringing one to the Lord, they were unable to sleep well throughout the whole night because the Lord’s joy had become their joy.
First Thessalonians 2:19-20 says, “For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting? Are not even you, before our Lord Jesus at His coming? For you are our glory and joy.” In John 15:11 the Lord refers to our joy being made full. In 1 Thessalonians 2 Paul refers to our joy again. What is our joy? Our joy is the fruit that we bear. These two portions of the Word are related. John 15:11 should be referenced to 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20.
What is our joy? What is our glory? What is our crown of boasting? Christ’s joy is our joy. The Father’s glorification is our glorification. In John 15 and in 1 Thessalonians 2, we have these two words—glory and joy. To Paul the fruit borne by him was his glory and his joy.
When the Lord comes and you stand before Him, who will stand with you and for you? What will you say? Suppose you have never brought anyone to the Lord. This means that you have never borne any fruit. You may say: “Lord, look at Your talent. Your talent is in my pocket. I didn’t lose it. I’ve been keeping it.” For us to say this to the Lord when He comes will be a shame to us, not a glory or a joy (Matt. 25:24-30). My burden is to pass on this God-ordained way to you. If you will take the God-ordained way, you will be a new person, a person bearing fruit.
THE GOD-ORDAINED WAY OF PREACHING THE GOSPEL AS A PART OF OUR DAILY CHRISTIAN LIFE
Who is preaching the gospel in these days in the way which God has ordained? Some Christians are preaching the gospel, but their preaching is mostly being carried out in an old, traditional way. There is an urgent need for some of the Lord’s people to be brought into the realization that we should be gospel preachers who impart Christ into others, thus making others a part of Christ, an expression of Christ, which is a glorification of the Father. This must become a regular part of our daily life. Gospel preaching should not be an occasional matter. We need to preach the gospel regularly as a part of our Christian life. Even though we have been fellowshipping this matter for almost five years, not many have entered into such a regular gospel preaching Christian life. Our main burden is to drop the old, traditional way of preaching the gospel and to pick up the God-ordained way of preaching the gospel as a part of the Christian life.
This God-ordained way of preaching the gospel as a part of our Christian life is very workable. It depends upon whether we would take it and whether we have heard the Lord’s word spoken to us. His word to us is that we should abide in Him that we may bring forth fruit that He may be expressed and enlarged. For the Lord to give us such a charge is the greatest love. If the president of the United States would charge you to represent him, how would you feel? Such a charge would make you feel very dignified. His charge to you would be an expression of his love toward you. You would not tell him you are too busy or simply not interested in representing him.
Since I have been speaking concerning the God-ordained way for the past five years, many helpful matters have been discovered. But who among us would care to see the God-ordained way carried out? In the United States, God has arranged the situation for His children to live a proper life according to His Word, but most of God’s children in this country have abused God’s arrangement. Many Americans need to work only eight hours a day, leaving at least two to three hours in the evening free for them to do other things. Many are also free two days each weekend. Seeing how much free time we have, could we not separate just two or three hours during two of these days each week? Many of us can do this. If we live a regular life and budget our time, we can easily separate two periods of two or three hours each for fruit-bearing. This is the keeping of the commandment of the One who loves us, who has exalted us to such an extent that we can be His expression.
This is what the New Testament teaches, but today there are not many Christians on this earth who will live such a life. Even if one-third of the saints in a locality have such a practice, the situation will be glorious. We can begin our labor in the gospel with our closest relatives. They are our “Jerusalem.” From our closest relatives, the circle of our gospel preaching can be enlarged to Judea, to Samaria, and then to the remotest part of the earth (Acts 1:8).
(The Exercise and Practice of the God-Ordained Way, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)