April 12, 2007


Colossians 1:1-6; 1 John 3:1-3

We always thank God ... [for] the faith and love that spring from ... hope ... Colossians 1:3-5


It's not the experience of hope but the object of hope that is stored up for us in heaven--and that gives rise to faith and love, says the apostle Paul. In Colossians 1:27, Paul talks about "the hope of glory," meaning the final unveiling of our salvation, when "righteousness and peace kiss each other" (Psalm 85:10). Author and professor Debra Rienstra calls this "an existence so saturated with joy that all the terrible things of this world will seem like nothing in comparison." John's letter says of this hope that we shall be like Christ.

This grand hope does not mean we ignore this pres?ent life. Instead, this hope encourages love. In a sermon on this text, author John Piper says, "Only one thing satisfies the heart whose treasure is in heaven: doing the works of heaven. And heaven is a world of love."

Piper adds, "It's not the cords of heaven that bind the hands of love. It is the love of money and leisure and comfort that do that, and the power to sever those cords is Christian hope."

To live in the utter certainty of the hope of glory frees us from greed and bitterness, from despair and laziness, from impatience and envy. Being captivated by this future that Paul says we've heard about in the gospel empowers us to live in faith and love and to become examples of God's new creation.

Lord Jesus, you have gone to prepare a place for us. Prepare us now for that place. In the wonderful hope of glory, empower us to live in faith and love each day. Amen.

About the author — Jack Roeda

Rev. Jack Roeda is the senior pastor at Church of the Servant Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and an adjunct professor of preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary. He is married to Carol Sue Kok, and they have three children and two grandchildren. Pastor Roeda has served two previous churches: Exeter (Ont.) Christian Reformed Church and Calvary Christian Reformed Church, Holland, Michigan.

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