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Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Song of Joy

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Sing a song of Christmas joy as you prepare your heart for this season of the year. 

Luke 2:13-14 says: "Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.'"

Keep in mind that the shepherds were in the dark….in more ways than one! Literally, they didn’t have flashlights or electric lights…just the fire they may have built to help them through the night.  As they were keeping watch in the darkness, suddenly an intensely bright light broke into the black night, as the sky above Bethlehem filled with a multitude of angels. At that point I don’t think they were singing a song of “joy”! They were trying to figure out what was happening! They were afraid…terrified, the scripture says! 

The story continues in Luke 2:15-18: "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.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them."

By this time I’m thinking, a song of joy had formed in their hearts! The greatest, most amazing event in history had unfolded right before their eyes.  And like the angels who sang to them in the fields that night, they now had a special joy-song.  

            May we sing with joy throughout this blessed Christmas season!  

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Joyous Shepherds

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Be on the lookout for Christmas JOY!

            As Christmas festivities and programs are in full swing and beautiful decorations grace every corner of our towns, homes and churches, we must be careful not to miss what is truly important.  JESUS! 

            Be reminded of the shepherds….did they see Christmas joy?  Luke tells us:

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.'”
“God could have chosen to reveal this incredible announcement first to anyone on Earth. But rather than assigning the angel to visit some of the most prestigious people in society, God sent the angel to speak to humble shepherds, who some people didn't consider important; but they were very important from God's perspective.  The shepherds didn't have impressive jobs, but they did have real faith and love in their souls -- and those qualities are what God honors in people.” 

            Honor God by celebrating the birth of His Son, Jesus.  Let Christmas JOY radiate from a sincere heart filled with love.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Joseph's Joy

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Drink in the true joy of Christmas and you will experience a sweet serving of the Father’s love.

            When Joseph was told that Mary would have a baby, he must have been puzzled and perplexed. To help him understand, an angel reminded Joseph in a dream about one of the promises that the Lord had made long ago about the coming Messiah. The angel quoted from the book of Isaiah. “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

When Joseph understood, he was not afraid and he obeyed the Lord.         His faith in God gave him boldness and the ability to trust God completely.  He listened, he accepted the truth and he obeyed.  That is how true joy can be experienced.

            As we prepare for this Christmas season, may our hearts be filled with joy because we, like Joseph, can make a decision to listen to our Heavenly Father, accept His truth and commit to being obedient.  Joseph was a simple man….simple, like us! But the Bible calls him righteous (Matthew 1:19).  And if we believe in Jesus, we, too, are righteous.  2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us: 

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
            Because of Jesus we can approach this Christmas with genuine righteousness and exceeding joy.