June 03, 2011

Joy-filled Children of God

1 Peter 1:3-9

In his great mercy he has given us new birth …
1 Peter 1:3


Where there is birth, there is great joy. The Lord brought 42 new babies into our church family this past year. Each mother’s eyes that danced with delight and each father’s effortless smile showed the joy that is the natural fruit of their child’s birth. Similarly, our heavenly Father delights in our being born again through faith.

“Birth” is a biblical metaphor for the past, present, and future life of the child of God. It is clothed in a spirit of celebration! God my father “knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13). He gives us new birth in Jesus Christ (John 3:16) and expresses joy for all who share his life. He also likens our life, with its “present sufferings,” to a labor and delivery room that anticipates the joy of eternal rebirth (Romans 8:18-25).

But joy is absent from the lives of some of us. A Christian colleague once admitted, “Joy is not part of my vocabulary.” How sad! The Scriptures challenge us as believers to consider all God’s blessings and to live in joyous delight.

The psalms especially are full of exhortations to rejoice. “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation” (Psalm 95:1). How can we not be children of joy?

Will you delight in him who delights in you?

Dear Lord, thank you for the new birth we have received in Christ. We rejoice in your unfailing love and will continue to declare your praise. In Jesus’ 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.

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