REMEMBER THAT OLD SONG?
“I’ve got that joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart…to stay.”
Phil Graf, Josh Kienzle and I have been in Brazil for several weeks, along with a bunch of Brazilians (and one American-Brazilian), training other Brazilians. The song above expresses the way we feel…joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart. Here are four reasons why:
A second verse to this song is:
“I’ve got the wonderful love of my blessed Redeemer way down in the depths of my heart. Where? Down in the depths of my heart…to stay.”
We are here because “we have the wonderful love of our blessed Redeemer way down in the depths of our hearts,” expressed in verses like these:
Psalm 32:11: “Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones; and shout for joy all you who are upright in heart.”
Luke 10:20: “Rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”
Rom. 5:11: “Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
We are full of joy because through Christ Jesus we have been made righteous before God. We are full of joy because our names are recorded in heaven. We are full of joy because through Jesus we have received reconciliation…and have the wonderful love of my blessed Redeemer way down…I mean way down…in the depths of our hearts.
But we are full of joy, not only because our names are recorded in heaven and we are reconciled to God, but also because we are training others to lead still others into a joyful relationship with Jesus. Luke 15:7 says,
“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
We are joyful that part of our Phase 1 training (“Romans as a Life Transformation and Missional Impact Map”) involves equipping people to share the message, “I was lost, Jesus rescued me, and He can rescue you too.” We then add, “Here’s how,” and then present a simple outline of who Jesus was and what He did for us. We call it the Greatest Rescue.
At the end of our first training in Matão, we gathered the staff (seven women) of the hotel where we were staying, thanked them, and shared with them “The Greatest Rescue.” We then prayed with them. I expect to see all seven of them in heaven. Our Divine Expedition team, as well as the two Matão pastors with us rejoiced greatly.
We also rejoiced as those we trained in São Jose shared the Good News of Jesus in a nearby park, and four people prayed to receive Christ. Another four people raised their hands to receive Christ at the service I spoke at last night (our last night in Brazil on this trip).
Can you hear the rejoicing in heaven…and in Brazil?
A third reason we are full of joy is because of the impact our training is having on others.
Phil. 1:25-26 says,
“Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.”
Here is just one of the many, many encouraging responses we received:
“I loved all of the training ‘Aligning my Heart with the Heart of God,’ the examples used, and the way it was taught. I could identify the wounds, likes, agreements and masks in my life and be restored by the power of the cross, understanding the love of God, and receiving a new heart, a new name, and a new reason to live: To be a part of the greater story.” —Alessandra
Each of our four trainings in Brazil contributed to the progress and joy in the faith of those being trained such as Alessandra, but it also contributed to the progress and joy of those we are training to train others (photo below).
But there is a fourth reason we are full of joy…”your partnership in the Gospel” (Philippians 1:5).
In 1Th. 3:9, Paul writes to the church of the Thessalonians,
“How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?”
And so we say, how can we thank God enough for you. Thank you for being part of the Global Training Network, and joining with us to see lives changed in Brazil and around the world through our Divine Expedition training.
Linus and Sharon (and the Divine Expedition Team)
Phil. 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!