Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
In Christ we too have been claimed as God’s own possession, since we were predestined according to the one purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, would be to the praise of his glory. And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation) – when you believed in Christ – you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit, who is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1.11-14
God has had a plan that has existed since before the world was created. It laid the ground rules for his will to be put into action. It also determined who would receive redemption. If we obey the ground rules which are laid out clearly in the Bible, then we set our hope in Jesus and become a part of his body.
How do we become a part of Christ’s body? First we have to hear the word by reading the scriptures which is why it is so important to read the Bible. It contains the word of truth which is the good news of the gospel. However, just hearing the word is not enough, I have to believe what it says which will lead me to obey it.
Upon obeying the word, I receive the seal of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the first part of the promise that God has made to those who obey him. At the end of time, we will be redeemed and collected by God to be forever with him through eternity singing his praises.
When difficult times come, and they shall, I can look forward to heaven. As the song goes, “Heaven will surely be worth it all!”