Someone said, “When you go the extra mile it is never crowded.” I have had the pure joy of knowing and living around people who never hesitate to go the extra mile. The secret to their joy may be hidden from the eyes of others; but their secret is that they are extra milers. They never hesitate to spend themselves when called on for the cause of Christ. Jesus pressed the issue because he knew that there is a gap between the casual and the conqueror. I learned very early in ministry that my greatest enemy was the one who was wearing my clothes. Not even the devil himself was a greater enemy to me than Cleddie Keith. You see, the enemy has been defeated; and the joy of living comes when you learn that the joy of giving is the key to joyful living. The enemy I have to deal with is my alter ego and selfishness. Selflessness was the key to Christ’s joy. He came to give, not just to get. Our heavenly pattern cannot be improved upon.
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. “ James 1:2-3 (KJV)
It is stunning when you see how joy is connected with trial in scripture. For instance, the letter to the Hebrew Christians, chapter 12:1-2, has a follow up on this idea of joy. “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” He gave Himself with joy! What a wonderful example of leadership and commitment! He was joyful, and the joy He gives to us as his children is unspeakable. In response to His joyfulness, I am a cheerful giver, not only in my tokens of stewardship, but also my life.
We believe in you!
Cleddie and GayNell