“His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” Matthew 25:23
The words, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” are often repeated. Indeed, it is the wonderful acclamation any servant of Jesus Christ hopes to hear when his or her labors on this earth are completed.
It is something to strive toward and look forward to hearing. What could be better than to hear Jesus say those words to you?
Few things, indeed. However, as I have meditated upon the verse, I have come to think that the second part of his statement is even more precious.
It hinges upon our walk with him here, of course, but what could be better than to hear Him say, “Enter into the joy of your Lord”?
That joy is not found in isolation somewhere on the backside of the Kingdom. No, Psalm 16:11 tells us that this joy is found, “In His presence!” It is the fullness of joy.”
To enter into His joy is to be with the one who is the author of joy unfathomable this side of Heaven. A little verse I read recently (author unknown to me) says it well.
“There, in your blissful presence, reigns immortal joy serene; No wintry storms are heard to roar, nor desolation seen. Around you flow unmixed delights, the rivers deep and wide;
While from the ocean of your love, proceeds an endless tide.”
Such reality ought to captivate our heart above all. It ought to fill us with desire for that day to arrive sooner rather than later.
It should cause us to say… no, not simply be able to say but rather to move our hearts to cry out with Paul, “Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far.” (Phil 1:22-23)
Better by far. When we have passed through the valley of the shadow of death, and are done with all mortal care and grief, the Savior welcomes us home with this joyful invitation, “Enter into the joy of your Lord.”
Thus begins our heavenly joy as we rest with Jesus forever. The joy of heaven is full, satisfying and eternal. It is an ecstatic joy. One writer said that, “It transports the ransomed soul with ineffable delights!”
If your spirit is not as deeply moved by these words as you might wish, do not be too surprised for the joy that awaits us is so far beyond what we can experience here as to sound foreign to our mortal ears.
It is the promise of something which, in this life, we have only the smallest taste. But, oh, what it will be then!
Pastor David M. Grey
Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church