Today’s Easter Essentials for Wednesday May 27, 2020. American pastor John Piper offers us a take on joy that shows it’s not all easy. In fact, this quote describes for us what living for Christ in our world today looks like. Living gladly to make others glad in God makes one’s life hard not easy. Why is it hard? Because of the rejection you endure. But it’s precisely gladness that you share that can’t stop you from doing it continually. Indeed the risks will be high because you may lose people, people you love and esteem greatly. The risks you take because you aim to make others glad in God is what a joyful life faces. Are you up for this challenge? Or will you live in the comfort of your own life shielded from the harsh realities of people’s unbelief and stances against Christ? It is for us, as the Christian community, to make God known with gladness. Yes, there are risks, even God knew this before He made His creation. Not all will believe. But out of gladness and joy, God created and forgave in advance. God sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for sinners out of joy. He did so because He knew the good that would come and the redemption that would follow. Our joy will be full by giving away the joy we have. Joy is meant to be shared and offered to others. Full joy is what a Fuller Life looks like. Full joy is overflowing into the lives of others, praise God! So how will you live going forward? Will you cross your arms, objectify everything for your own interests? Or will you, because of the joy of the Spirit in you, reach forward toward those who need Christ’s love most. Choose life today. Shalom.