September 10, 2008

Complete Joy

Philippians 2:1-5

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus …
Philippians 2:5


In these verses the apostle Paul urges us to turn good information into responsible action.

Television infomercials invite us to embrace the prospect of having a perfect body, perfect sleep, or perfectly clean air. And if we follow their reasoning, the results appear obvious—or at least we’re led to think so.

For true followers of Jesus, the results of being “united with him” are obvious. People who have “fellowship with the Spirit” will exercise the same attitude as Jesus Christ. Having been birthed in his love, they love one another. Having received his joy, they seek to complete it by partnering in the gospel’s purpose.

Two key principles are given to help believers here. First, we must avoid “selfish ambition.” And, second, we must consider the interests of others.

Ultimately, Christians are invited to see themselves as sponges. Just as we use a sponge to soak up water in order to squeeze it out, so believers receive God’s generous joy in order to share it with others.

So if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, then allow the Holy Spirit to squeeze your life so that Jesus’ good name, his generous love, and his joy-filled grace will flow through you deep into the hearts of others. The Bible’s message of joy is given not for information but for transformation.

Dear Lord, thank you for filling my life with your generous grace. By your Spirit use me as a pipeline to bring the joy of Christ into the lives of others. In his name, Amen.

About the author — Calvin Hoogendoorn

Rev. Calvin Hoogendoorn serves as senior pastor of First Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Previously he served two churches in Illinois. He and his wife, Carla, have three daughters.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!