As I read through the book of Acts this week I was struck by the joy that comes from the grace mission of God.
In the fifteenth chapter of Acts, two missionaries, Paul and Barnabas, were traveling through cities where new Christians lived “describing in detail the conversion of Gentiles.” This brought them “great joy.”
The dominant theme in Acts and in the history of the church is God’s mission to include people in his kingdom from every people group on earth. God extends his grace in the saving work of Jesus Christ to more and more people, increasing thanksgiving and glory to himself. The grace mission of God is the reason for joy.
Where will you and I find joy this holiday season? How will our joy last once the holiday season is over? If our joy this Christmas is in gifts, food, and football, then it will be short lived. But the joy of conversion, of being turned to Christ by the gracious work of God, lasts forever.
Think on the lavished grace of God in Christ. God sent his Son Jesus to die for our sins. He raised Jesus for our life. He convicts us of our need for a savior by showing us our sinful nature. He opens our eyes to the saving work of Jesus. He plants in us a desire to repent and believe. He grants the repentance that leads to life. He fills us with his Spirit and adopts us as his children. He gathers us as a family into his church. He continues to work in our character to make us holy like his Son. He walks with us each day, bringing wave upon wave of grace to get us all the way home to glory.
Think on the mission of God. God is not stingy with his grace. He is extending it to the world. His vision for a people who glorify him on earth is big. No one is out of the reach of his forgiveness. God, through the Spirit and the gospel, is on the move to all the nations. The word of God is not hindered.
Five minutes of meditation on the grace mission of God will bring us the joy that will last far beyond the momentary pleasures of this world. Do you know Christ as your joy? Is his grace and mission the source of joy for you? Let’s pray for each other at Grace Community Church to have great joy in God’s mission of grace. Let’s make his grace mission ours as we live together in our city.
Each December at Grace Community Church, we give special attention to our Grace Missions Offering. What you give this month to Grace Missions will be used in 2019 for our local and global mission partnerships. Visit the website to learn more about our mission partnerships and about giving to Grace Missions.