This morning was my sister’s baptism. For people who grew up in a church to know when they are actually part of ‘The Church’ can be difficult. For many, God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – has always been a reality, along with Christian faith, hope and love. Those who grew up outside of the sphere of a church can very often know a significant change in their life when the grace of God irresistibly draws them to The Church, as the way of the world outside is significantly different. Within a church though, it is like listening for the still small voice and sometimes it is hard to tell. I am so very glad that my sister has testified that God has elected to pare away her sin from her, to place them as far as the east is from the west, that she may declare through baptism that she has died to her sin and been made alive in Christ through faith – that she is indeed part of The Church.
This evening’s sermon was an introduction to a series on being happy where we are. If we are Christians, we should not grumble and complain for God our heavenly Father has given us every good gift, from our basic needs, to our very salvation. Whilst this seems easy to say on a Sunday, it seems not so easy to do back in the real world of work, college, school or whatever. However, if we consider how short this life is compared to eternity, we get a better perspective on our lives. To be able to serve God in this short life on earth should give us joy. Indeed, an underlying theme throughout the whole bible is that those who seek to glorify God, instead of themselves, will find joy, whereas those who seek glory for themselves might obtain it for a short while in the eyes of men, but will end up with nothing in eternity. For God alone is worthy of all glory, so it is right that he alone be glorified. Will we short-change ourselves by seeking our own glory, or will we glorify him who is worthy of glory, and in so doing, finding joy everlasting?