September 16, 2008

Joy in the Word

Philippians 2:14-18

Hold out the word of life.
Philippians 2:16


If I rejoice in Jesus Christ, then I will rejoice in the gift of his Word. There is no better way to rejoice in Christ than to learn from the Bible who he is, what he has done, and the hope he gives.

In fact, it’s a joy to receive God’s Word of truth and grace, to embrace it as the foundation and guide for life, and to hold it out to all as the voice of hope.

But why do that?

Here’s the reason: the Word is God’s invitation to enter a love relationship with him, a relationship made possible through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ.

As a result, the believer no longer needs to live in fear of God but enjoys the daily assurance that nothing can take away the Lord’s enduring love. And this leads to joy-filled eternal hope.

When most religions teach that we must initiate contact with a god or some higher being, earn our salvation by doing good, and live in fear, isn’t it a joyful privilege to receive, embrace, and hold out the Word of the free gift of life in Jesus Christ?

Many people speak of “a god” but do not really know who that is.

Christians, however, know who the true God is and the joy he brings. You can too.

Dear Lord, thank you for clearly revealing to me who you are, what you do, and the hope you give. May your Word continue to accomplish its work in every human heart. 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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