Today in Luke 10: 17-19, we see Jesus’ disciples return from a mission with much success. And we see they, as well as Jesus, celebrate what happens. But, we see that Jesus tells them not to lose focus on what really matters the most. Listen to what happens:
17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!’ 18He said to them, ‘I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. 19See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. 20Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’
Jesus says, yes, you have done amazing things through the authority that I have given you. But that is not why you rejoice. Rejoice that you are mine. Rejoice that your names are written in the book of life. Rejoice that you are part of God’s family.
See, our identity is not found in what we do. Our joy is not found in the things that we do, even the things that we do for God. Our joy is found in the fact that we are in Jesus. Our joy is found in that Jesus has marked us and saved us as His very own. Our joy in found in His life.
If we find our joy in the things that we do, even the good things, we can be disappointed. We can be hurt. We can lose that joy. Things can take it away. We can be tossed to and fro, never at peace.
So often we find our joy in the stuff of this world. And because of that, we never actually find our joy.
But when your joy is found in the life of Jesus, nothing can take that, nothing can steal that, nothing can change that. No matter what happens. In life. In our jobs. In our families. In our nation. In our world.
Today, Jesus tells us to rejoice not for what we have done. Rejoice that our name is written in His book. Today, where is your joy found?