I know what some of you are thinking. Camping and joy don’t belong in the same sentence. I’ve had some of those experiences. I feel your pain.
My post comes from Tampa this evening. Camp Logos brought me here. That’s what Libronix calls it. Two days of intensive seminar training on the lastest version of their Bible study software, Logos 4. You know, the package I purchased in Minneapolis a few weeks ago spurred on by the promise of doing exegesis 10,000 times faster!
So this is camping of a different kind. Frankly, I’m nestled in at a cost effective hotel near the training site, getting ready to retire soon in hopes of awaking fresh tomorrow morning for another go around of mastering this incredible computer resource.
Why do this? What’s the point? Always a good question. Answer? Our mutual joy. Everything comes down to that when it comes to a pastor’s job description, if I read 2 Cor. 1:24 right.
Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith (emphasis added).
I’ve actually got the software up and running as I write this piece. The literal Greek reads: sunergoi we are of your faith. We get our word synergy from the Greek word. It’s a noun, not a verb. Spiritual leaders are workers together with their people (this is synergy at the highest level) for their mutual joy in Jesus. Another way of saying it is that we work together for that which brings us the greatest pleasure. Who would argue with the notion that joy comes as a direct result of the experience of pleasure?
Where might we find greater pleasure than at the right hand of God (Psalm 16:11)? What reveals the God who gives such extreme pleasure more than the Scriptures (Psalm 19:7-11)?
I read today in my devotions a segment of J. C. Ryle’s book, Holiness, with this thought about pleasure:
Millions live for pleasure. Hedonism is the great spirit that knows no boundaries, whether economical, social, political or cultural—pleasure is an idol enslaving the great majority of the world. The schoolboy looks for pleasure in his summer vacation, the young man in independence and business; the small business owner looks for it in retirement, and the poor man in the small comforts of home. Pleasure and fresh excitement in politics, travel, amusement, in company, in books, in several vices too dark to mention, pleasure is the shadow which all alike are hunting; each, perhaps, pretending to despise his neighbor for seeking it, each in his own way seeking it for himself, each wondering why he does not find it, each firmly persuaded that somewhere or other it is to be found.
Oh my, it is indeed to be found and nowhere more intensely than at God’s right hand in His word. I’m camping out in Tampa these two days in hopes of gaining greater proficiency in my study of the Bible for our mutually exceeding joy and intense pleasure.
I wish! But I did pack some GORP.