“The holy, wholesome and happy truth about Jesus,” some phrases stick with you on accident, some experiences lock into your memory oddly, some songs hang in your head like an earwig for no reason, but some phrases hang on by design. My dad, Dr. Jack Stepp used the above phrase so many times while I was growing up that today not only do I remember the phrase, but I can remember his inflections and the smile on his face as he said it. This was by design, and I’m so grateful for it – it shapes my thinking about the gospel of Jesus.
Gospel means “good news”, and I am SOOOOO thankful that the central concept of our faith is good news! “But first . . . Thankfulness!” – Thank God for the good news of Jesus right now! Good news means that Jesus can help your happiness meter too! “[Believers] ate together with glad and sincere hearts.” (Acts 2:46) A sincere heart is a wholesome heart, a heart that is authentically innocent (not ignorant), purposefully wholesome and clean before God.
Then there’s holy – set apart for God. This is the baseline for being in with Jesus, a part of the kingdom of God. Saying, “God, I’m yours, above all others, I’m turning toward you in truth, Jesus.” Hebrews says this, “Without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Heb 12:14) We NEED to see the Lord, and the starting point is holy, the meat is wholesome and the reward or icing is that it’s also happy.
The holy, wholesome and happy truth about Jesus is a triumvirate of awesome that you should get deep in your spirit too. Ask God right now, “Do you want me to grow in the holiness, wholesomeness or happiness of Your truth today? How can I grow in you?” Then listen.