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Life is Sweeter with Jesus

Life is an unpredictable and often tumultuous journey. Despite the ups and downs, there is One who can bring us peace and joy no matter what we face: Jesus. At Love Worth Finding, we're exploring how life is greater, fuller, and sweeter in relationship with Jesus.

Jesus Christ and Our Lives

The ultimate hope and joy that we can experience in this life comes from Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us that Jesus is our Creator (see John 1:3, Colossians 1:16) and that He came to Earth to provide a Savior for mankind (see Luke 19:10, 1 Timothy 1:15 and John 3:16). Through the blood of Christ shed on the cross, Jesus offers us not only eternal life in fellowship with Himself but also abundant life here on Earth (see John 10:10).

Salvation and His Presence

Jesus cleanses us from the eternal consequences of our sin and calls us into relationship with Himself so that we can have a personal connection to God. We can't always see the future, but we can rest in the assurance of God's love. As Christians, we have the privilege of knowing that no matter what we face, God is right alongside us. He promises to never leave or forsake us and to provide everything we need (see Matthew 6:25-34). What could be sweeter?

Finding the Sweet Life

When we come to know Christ as Savior and Lord, we gain the assurance of Heaven…someday. But often, we fail to grasp the joy we can experience on this side of Heaven. Jesus wants us to know the genuine sweetness of life with Him and with fellow believers in the body of Christ.

The woman at the well whose life was steeped in bitterness and regret discovered the sweetness of Jesus on a hot, dusty day in Samaria. The spiritual water Jesus gave her that day was only the beginning of a sweet gift that would sustain her the remainder of her days on Earth and on into eternity.

This sweetness of our initial salvation is realized ever more fully as we grow in our understanding of who Jesus is, as we recognize the ways in which God changes us when we become His believing children, and as we distance ourselves from the world’s sinful system and cultivate closeness with Christ.

The sweet life involves growth in spiritual maturity and confidence in the future. Even as we endure trials, we can walk purposefully together through these “Last Days,” glorifying God on our way to joy beyond comprehension…when we all get to Heaven.

John the Beloved Friend of Jesus

Jesus’ disciple John knew a thing or two about the sweetness of life with Jesus. He called himself “the beloved disciple,” not because he was more loved than Peter, Paul, James, or anyone else, but because he was so amazed at the sweetness of the love of Christ toward him.

John walked with Jesus throughout our Lord’s ministry on Earth, he stood beneath the cross with Jesus’ mother, Mary, from which he had the privilege of taking Mary home to care for as his own mother, and he was given the Revelation of the Second Coming of Jesus while he was exiled to the Island of Patmos.

In the Epistle of 1 John, he tells us why we can enjoy Jesus’ sweetness.

1 John 1:1-4
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.

Pastor Adrian Rogers said of John’s epistles, “They are written to confirm saints.” 1 John, Pastor Rogers said, “has for its theme the word ‘know’ and the word ‘fellowship’ and the word ‘life’.” If we are breathing and we don’t know fellowship with Jesus, Pastor Rogers said, “We have existence, but we don’t have life.”

For more about the difference between existence and the life we have in Jesus Christ, read the article based on Pastor Rogers’ message from 1 John 1:1-4, “How to Experience Fellowship with Jesus.”

Things that Hinder the Sweetness

If we feel distant from God, it could be because of sin. 1 John 1:5-2:6 addresses the things that hinder our fellowship with God as well as how God convicts, cleanses, and conquers sin so that fellowship can be restored.

“We can let things come into our lives that will defraud us of the fellowship that is our heritage in the Lord Jesus,” Pastor Rogers said.

1 John 1:5b-6
God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

We need to examine our hearts and see if we may have secret faults that keep us from sweet fellowship with Jesus. The Holy Spirit will convict us of these faults; we must be honest enough with ourselves and with God to admit them.

As we seek forgiveness, God cleanses us. As we continue admitting our sins, we are continually cleansed and, in Christ, we conquer sin’s ability to keep us out of fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

For more about this process, read the article based on Pastor Rogers’ message from 1 John 1:5-2:6, “Obstacles that Hinder Fellowship with Jesus.”

How Jesus Makes Christians Sweeter

When we become believers, we are gradually made, in a sense, “sweeter”—more Christlike! We are given birthmarks as believers.

“When we’re Heaven-born, we’re Heaven-bound, and we’re Heaven-blessed,” Pastor Rogers said. “There are some radical transformations that take place in our lives.”

1 John 2:3-6
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

Some people think Christianity is a matter of behavior modification, that it is characterized by the things believers say no to, or that it is only about having Heaven as a destination. Those characteristics alone will make Christians “caricatures,” but real Christianity transforms a person’s character, making people Christlike.

Real Christians carry three important birthmarks. Real Christians: are submitted to the lordship of Jesus, seek the lifestyle of Jesus, and show the love of Jesus. These characteristics are only developed in relationship with Jesus through His indwelling Holy Spirit. The living God reproduces the life of Christ in His little children.

For more about these characteristics, read the article based on Pastor Rogers’ message from 1 John 2:3-10, “Christlike Attributes of Born-Again Christians.”

How to Grow Sweeter Every Day

The Apostle John tells us not to stay in infancy, but to be growing Christians.

1 John 2:12-14
I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, because you have known the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.

When we say “yes” to Jesus, we become baby Christians. But some people never grow beyond that. They say “yes” to forgiveness and eternal life but never grow up to truly know the Son of God. They do not pray or feed on the Word of God through Bible study. Malnourished, they do not have the strength to stand against evil as a young man or woman of God. Regardless of their chronological age, they fail to gain the wisdom they might impart to younger believers or the capability to model godliness to unbelievers.

Imagine if Moses had said a firm “no” at the burning bush or if David had refused the anointing of Samuel the prophet. Someone else would have led the Israelites out of Egypt; someone else would have slain Goliath and been called a man after God’s own heart.

While a child of God is always to maintain childlike dependence on the Father and the childlike joy of being in relationship with Him, he must say “Yes, my Father, I will grow up!” We must leave the spiritual pablum of the baby Christian and eat the solid food of Scripture so that we can walk steadfastly in the presence of God as adult believers; again, regardless of chronological age.

For instruction on growing in faith from Pastor Adrian Rogers’ message from 1 John 2:12-14, read the article, “How to be a Growing Born-Again Christian.”

How the World Destroys the Sweet Life

Pastor Adrian Rogers described the world as our “friendly enemy.”

1 John 2:15
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

In using the word “world,” the Bible is not talking about the Earth God made or the people He created.

“He’s not talking about the world of people,” Pastor Rogers said of John’s epistle. “We’re to love people: red, yellow, black, and white. There’s to be no prejudice. There’s to be no hatred of any person. Whether they’re saved or lost, we’re to love all people.”

John uses the Greek word “cosmos,” which can be defined as “a system or order of things.” In English, we speak of the world of finance or the world of sports or the world of fashion. Satan also oversees a world, or system.

“There is a system that we are not to love,” Pastor Rogers said, “an ungodly, devilish system that is set against our Lord and His Christ, and you’re not to love that world. Although that world may be very friendly to you, it may cozy up to you, it is a friendly enemy.”

John describes that worldly system as “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (see 1 John 2:16).

We clearly see that system at work today in sexual immorality, greed, and the desire to elevate oneself above God. Clearly following that system will lead us into unrighteousness and take us out of sweet fellowship with God. Just ask Adam! Satan tempted Adam with his system—specifically the lust of the eyes and the pride of life—and Adam lost sweet fellowship. His relationship with Eve was permanently made more difficult and he was banned from the Garden of Eden where he had enjoyed walking with God daily.

For more about how the world’s system destroys fellowship with God and others, read the article based on Pastor Roger’s message from 1 John 2:15-17, “Do Not Love the Things of The World.”

Fellowship in the Last Days

We are living in the Last Days. We need to be aware that the sweet fellowship we enjoy with Jesus is available to others and that it is urgent that we do our best to introduce unbelievers to Jesus NOW.

Romans 10:14a
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?

While Old Testament times were preparing for the coming of Jesus, the New Testament, after the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, is set in the Last Days and points to the Second Coming.

This is a time of building the kingdom of God. And if we enjoy sweet fellowship with Jesus, we will be dedicated to that constructive work. What is that work?

  • interceding for those who do not know Jesus
  • sharing Jesus so that we get people into the lifeboats off of the sinking ship of the world’s system
  • preparing our children and grandchildren to know and stand in the truth of God’s Word
  • living out the peace Jesus bequeath to us even though these Last Days are filled with difficulty and the world is increasingly unstable.

    We are still living in fellowship with Jesus Christ here on this Earth, but we are actively working because Heaven is very near. Paul described the attitude we are to exhibit in these Last Days:

    Philippians 3:20
    For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

    For more about our attitudes and activity in the Last Days, read the article from Pastor Rogers’ message drawn from 1 John 2:18-29, “How to Live in the Last Days.”

    When We All Get to Heaven

    Folks, we’re going to move our fellowship right on up and right on over to Heaven. You see, without Jesus, nothing makes sense. Man is ignorant of his past, and he’s afraid of his future, so he’s somewhere in between mystery and misery. But oh, if you only know the Lord Jesus Christ, you have the sweetest fellowship this side of Heaven, and then think of the fellowship when we all get to Heaven. —Pastor Adrian Rogers

    In 1 John 3:1, the Apostle John talks about the love of the Father who accepted those who would be saved by the blood of Jesus as His own sons. When we become His born-again children, our citizenship is no longer on Earth. Our home is in Heaven even as we sojourn here.

    We want our earthly children with us in our homes. God is preparing a heavenly home where He will be with His children through eternity. Jesus, our true and perfect older brother, will live with us there.

    Hebrews 2:10-11
    For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren.

    “Now what that means in plain English is that Jesus is in me, and I am in Christ, and we are one together,” Pastor Rogers said. “And then look at this next phrase: ‘He is not ashamed to call them brethren.’ He’s not ashamed of you. He’s not ashamed to call you brother. He’s not ashamed to call you sister.”

    Fellowship comes from the Greek word “koinonia,” which means “to hold things in common.” We hold things in common with God and have fellowship with Him. Christians have a common experience, which means we have fellowship one with another.

    For more about the fellowship we will enjoy with Christ and one another in our heavenly home, read the article based on Pastor Rogers’ message from 1 John 3:1-3, “Anticipate the Hope of Heaven.”

    Related Articles Based on Pastor Rogers’ Messages

    “Why We Worship in Spirit and Truth”

    “How to Enjoy and Practice the Presence of God”

    Other Bible Verses Related to Sweet Fellowship

    1 Corinthians 1:9
    God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
    John 17:21
    ...that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
    Galatians 2:9a
    And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship.