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Hope and Joy

Hope and Joy

22 August 2015

Reading: 1 Thessalonians 2; Psalm 45

Scripture:

19 After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what will be our proud reward and crown as we stand before our Lord Jesus when he returns? It is you! 20 Yes, you are our pride and joy. (1 Thessalonians 2:19–20 NLT)

What gives us hope and joy? And what will be our proud reward and crown? These two questions really got me thinking this morning, friends!

I asked, “What gives me hope and joy?” These are some of the things:
• Jean, my wife of 52 years (we just celebrated our wedding anniversary four days ago!). She gives me hope and joy.
• My daughter Stephanie and her husband Philip and their son Jesse.
• My daughter Melissa and her husband Colin and their sons Jude and Zane.
• My extended family and my friends in Christ around the world.

I asked, “What will be my proud reward and crown?” Here are some things:
• That I have loved and have been faithful to my wife.
• That Jean and I raised daughters who chose their husbands well and for the right qualities.
• That our kids and their families are living lives of experimental and experiential faith.
• For my grandkids to become honest, caring, godly men.
• The influence God has given me with friends and churches in quite a few places around the world!

I noticed as I made my lists that there are no buildings, bank accounts, or numerical achievements anywhere in my “Hope and Joy” or “Reward and Crown” lists!

Here’s my challenge to you today: Make a “Hope and Joy” list and a “Reward and Crown” list. Check to see if you’re happy with the contents of your lists. If not, make some changes right away. There’s still time!

Prayer:

Father, I pray for my friends and me that we will take some time with these thoughts before moving on to what’s next. May we adjust the contents of our “Hope and Joy” and our “Reward and Crown” lists until we are satisfied with the top-listed items. For Jesus’ sake. Amen!

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