Summary: The promise God gives us in baptism is a great reason for anyone to go on his way rejoicing.
When I was a kid, I enjoyed Outdoor Life and Field and Stream, thinking about the days when I’d be older and be going fishing all the time. Now that I’m older, I don’t even seem to have time to read those magazines, but I’ll always remember reading the last article in F & S, “Exit Laughing” by Ed Zern. It was one of my favorite parts of the magazine. It was smart of them – to have people will leave your magazine with happy and upbeat thoughts.
Smiling increases your face value! It also makes people wonder what you’re up to. It uses a whole lot fewer muscles than frowning. Science even tells us that laughing out loud is good for your heart.
That shouldn’t throw us too much. Remember
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Honestly, who wouldn’t like to leave here this morning with a reason to smile – to leave rejoicing? That’s what the changed life of today’s text did. Did you see it in v39?
I believe it can happen. In fact, I believe it should. I’m not suggesting it means you pretend that life has no problems. Of course your life has problems. The only people without problems are those who have died in Jesus. Wouldn’t it be great, when it’s our time to go, to be able to exit laughing?
We don’t know much about him. We don’t know his name, or more than just this snapshot in his lifetime. But we do know he could exit the scene laughing, and frankly, we could use some of that. What do you need, to be able to go on your way rejoicing? Here’s what this guy had…
I. A Savior
I know that’s pretty basic, but that’s where we’re going to start. Before you read any of these verses. Before this guy even knows what it is he needs in life, someone has already been planning for his life.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
God had this all figured out from the beginning. You need a savior. I need a savior. Take a look around as history is happening on your TV and internet every day. How’s man doing at saving himself? I think it’s getting easier to point out to people that we all need a savior. On our own, as a whole, mankind isn’t doing such a swell job of it! Now, you can let that drag you down, or you can rejoice that there is a savior who gave up His life for all mankind.
we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Not only can you rejoice that there’s a savior like that, but it’s the only way you really can. He gave up His life for all of us – and that was a savior to Whom a man named Philip devoted his life.
At the beginning of this chapter we read how a great persecution has been launched against the Church, and many people scattered. Philip was one of those. He ran “down” to Samaria and started preaching there. Later, when God tells him to make a trip, he goes. What motivates a person to travel, to do whatever he’s told, to devote his days to someone else’s desires?
Simple, when you realize you owe your life to someone, when you remember how you were lost but now have been found, you find it easy to say, “OK, Lord, whatever you want! I’m there for You!” Even if it means running out into the desert to preach to some foreigner!
That Savior, by the way, is enough. The Ethiopian Eunuch didn’t need Jesus and something else to save him. Too many people, even in the Church, are living under a false concept of salvation by works, when the Bible flat-out says that’s not what does it. We’re saved by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ and His blood that was spilled for us. We have a sufficient Savior. That’s basic, but it’s one of the reasons we have to go on our way rejoicing today. Here’s a 2nd reason…
II. A Word From God
Ill - You get an exercise machine – one of those reciprocating bicycle thingies. Just 30 min. a day, 3-4 days a week, and you’d be a lean, mean, gorgeous machine. But when you bought it, they failed to sell you the time and the willpower to use it. There it sits. You’re just not getting it done. Every time you walk past it, it twinkles at you. Finally, you put a cover over it. Not only is it not making you in shape sitting there, but it’s making you feel guilty too. Stupid machine. Whose idea was that anyway?