joy to the world

I was meeting with my small group the other day and the subject of our favorite Bible verses came up. I was really encouraged as people mentioned verses that had to do with God’s grace and the wisdom that comes from internalizing the word. One of the newer members of our group mentioned that his favorite verse was one he had recently learned in a sermon I had preached just a few weeks ago. (It’s always encouraging for any public speaker to know someone is listening and being impacted by what they hear.) It came from the writings of David in Psalm 32:1: “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!

As we talked about that verse and the joy that is promised to every believer, I realized, how, as a “seasoned disciple”, I often take that joy for granted. I wonder sometimes how much wide-eyed wonder I have lost as I have grown “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18) Don’t misunderstand me, as Peter points out, if we are not maturing in our faith and our understanding of spiritual things then we are living stunted lives, spiritually speaking, and the Bible makes it clear that we are not living up to the expectations God has for us.

However, as we mature, we cannot lose our sense of awe over the great love that God has “lavished upon us” (1 John 3:1) through Jesus Christ! Every once in a while it is important to rekindle that sense of awe that the shepherds had two thousand years ago when, all of a sudden, the angel appeared and announced to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:10, 11)


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