No Imaginary Jesus

We cannot behold the glory of Christ by conjuring up pictures of him in the mind and by trying to form the shape of a person in heaven in our imaginations. The way to behold the glory of Christ is by the steady exercise of faith on the revelation of this glory of Christ given to us in Scripture. It is our duty, therefore, constantly to meditate on the glory of Christ. This will fill us with joy which will, in turn, move us to meditate on his glory more and more.

John Owne, (ed. by R. J. K Law), The Glory of Christ (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1994), 67.

Enter into Your Master’s Joy

The idea of entering into the Master’s joy is a telling picture of Heaven. It’s not simply that being with the Master produces joy in us, though certainly it will. Rather, it’s that our Master himself is joyful. He takes joy in himself, in his children, and in his creation. His joy is contagious. Once we’re liberated from the sin that blocks us from God’s joy and our own, we’ll enter into his joy. Joy will be the very air we breathe. The Lord is inexhaustible — therefore his joy is inexhaustible.

Randy Alcorn, Heaven (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale, 2004), 223.

Don’t Walk around Looking Like You Were Weaned on Sour Pickles

True religion was never meant to make [people] melancholy. On the contrary, it was intended to increase real joy and happiness among [people]. . . . The Christian who withdraws entirely from the society of his fellow men, and walks the earth with a face as melancholy as if he was always attending a funeral, does injury to the cause of the gospel. A cheerful, kindly spirit is a great recommendation to a believer. . . . A merry heart, and a readiness to take part in all innocent mirth, are gifts of inestimable value. They go far to soften prejudices, to take up stumbling-blocks out of the way, and to make way for Christ and the gospel.

J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on John Vol. 1 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2012), 64.