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The Arrival of Joy

By: Admin on December 16, 2013

What brings us joy?

The Christmas story is supposedly about "joy". Let's look at the most detailed account of this from Luke, one of Jesus' biographers.
Luke 2:2 - 14
2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

The very presence of God was there and angels gave the shepherds the awesome news. This news was for ALL people and would cause them GREAT JOY. Why?

Because today, right now, in the town of David (Bethlehem) a SAVIOUR has been born. He is The Messiah - The Christ - The “Anointed One” - chosen and promised by God centuries before. Every Jew knew about and hoped for this “Messiah” to come. Now he was here. He was also called the Lord - the King, the One who rules over everything.

Jesus is the reason for joy. He is the source of Joy. He is our saviour. Saving us from sin. Saving us from the consequences of sin. Saving our relationships which have been destroyed by sin. Saving us from the eternal separation from God and all things good because of our sin. 
We rejoice because we have our identity and purpose wrapped up in Jesus. He is the Lord. We rejoice because we have been given this gift: chosen one of God given to us.

So, what do we do with this news? Jesus inspires our joyful response. Let's see what happened with the shepherds who had received this news

Luke 2:15 - 20
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,

18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

They went right away. They dropped everything to search for the Saviour, Lord and Messiah.

They saw everything was true and then they told everyone about it. It was a joyful thing for them. Their lives were forever changed and they wanted everyone to know.

How do we respond? The joy came from Jesus. So we must place our faith in Jesus

But, how does this apply to our reality now? Here is something a friend wrote that I would like to share with you.
“Sometimes it gets frustrating looking at life with full knowledge that you're not exactly where you want to be in life; where you've always thought you would be at this point in your life. It's not easy, but one thing we need to remember is that where we are right now is exactly where we are supposed to be, where God wants us.

Often it feels like it makes no sense, but instead of being angry and disappointed about where we're not in life and frustrated about the things in life we don't have that we long for, we need to learn to be thankful for where we are at and what we have.

It is when we learn to be thankful for the things we do have that we start to see the greater things in life we tend to miss when we're angry about what we don't have.

Joy comes from the little things in life, not the big things. God has a plan for each of us, instead of getting angry with Him about what we want, and getting angry about where we're not, let's learn to start listening to Him and desiring what He wants; seeking Him with all that we are and allowing His love to penetrate us so deeply that our hearts become so in-tuned with His that His will ultimately surpasses anything we could remotely desire.”

Joy comes from a personal encounter with Jesus.
Joy comes from a personal response to Jesus
Joy comes from sharing this good news of Jesus with others.

Topics: christmas, jesus, joy, message series

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