Sunday 9th December, 2018
Hymn of meditation: PH 333
Jesus, priceless is Your Gospel,
Help me treasure this always.
This is the best treasure I have here,
Nothing in this life compares.
Your Word is my life’s foundation,
I desire this more than life,
Men of earth are deceitful beings,
Word of God is truth that stands.
Beloved, if you do not have that personal experience with the Lord Jesus Christ, it is important that we prepare our hearts to receive Him at Christmas time. When we are told to rejoice in our salvation, the obvious question is: “Have you been saved?” Do you have your own salvation to rejoice in?
So, the salvation is in God and for all people but it is for the individual to experience and rejoice each in his own salvation.
What does it mean for one to rejoice in his own salvation?
I am sure we all have plans for this Christmas to make it memorable through drink ups and parties and more. For a very long time, it has been an occasion for new clothes and to eat our favourite food; but our theme reminds us that in all this celebration, we should rejoice in our salvation. In other words, we must demonstrate with our lives the value of what we have received through Christ’s entry into this world. The reason for Christ’s coming into the word and His offer of salvation is what we need to appreciate and remember daily. We as sinners, have been saved by God’s entry into the world.
We have become a new creation of great value in God’s sight and our broken relationship with God has been restored. That high premium we place on salvation is what we must be joyful in salvation at Christmas time – Christ entered into this word so He could undertake His ministry and bring us into the very presence of His father; bring us salvation. That is what should make us happy and live in joy such that it affects others and causes them to desire to be saved as well.
Dear Christian friends, many think salvation is reflected in being sanctimonious, quiet, having long faces, being moody, etc., but the invitation is for us to indeed be joyful, to rejoice in our salvation. We do not need to frown our faces to show our spirituality. Irrespective of whatever challenges we face, we should remain joyful in our salvation due to its great value and the guarantee it has at all times.
It is the way and manner in which we navigate the challenges that we face that would confirm to others that we are rejoicing in our salvation. It is not for nothing that joy is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. It springs out from within. It is internally generated and not dependent on external factors so that no matter what we go through, we remain joyful because absolutely nothing can undermine our salvation in Christ Jesus.
Challenges may be marital, financial, in our education or work place but we are still reminded again to rejoice in our salvation because our salvation supersedes all these things and means that we are secured in Christ Jesus. When we do rejoice, others may see us and thank God for our lives.
In our second reading, the Apostle Paul thanks God for the lives of the Philippians…
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God”.
Beloved, our own Christian lives, saved and transformed lives should be a testimony to others to the point where they can thank God for our lives as Christians. Our lives should not rather put people off. Let the joy you express and your life as a whole cause others to desire to have the same joy and come to know Christ for themselves, so that God’s salvation that is for all people will truly become something that everyone can come to experience.
Have you been saved? can you attest to your own salvation? Are you rejoicing in your salvation or allowing the challenges of life to undermine your salvation such that others cannot attest to the fact that you have been saved?
May the almighty God who in Christ Jesus reminds us of our salvation embolden us and energize us with the Holy Spirit especially during this advent season and by our lives, testify to what we have in Christ as people who have been saved. May this be your portion as an individual in the name of God the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.