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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

His Perfect Timing and His JOYful Plan

          Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Hope you have plenty to help you celebrate the coming of the New Year!

            As we look back over the year past, there may be regrets about decisions that were made, circumstances that didn’t work out the way we had hoped…maybe even relationships that were damaged.  We may even wonder why God allowed certain things to happen in 2013, because we truly do not understand.

            Maybe you’ve been praying for a specific request and God has not given you that “heart’s desire”.  Do you quit praying?  Do you give up on God?  Or like Elizabeth in the book of Luke, do you remain faithful?

             The people in Elizabeth’s day measured a woman’s value by her ability to bear children.  Elizabeth was a descendant in the priestly line of Aaron. She and her husband, Zachariah, a Temple priest, lived an upright and blameless life in one of the hill-towns of Judea. The great disappointment in their lives was that although they had prayed fervently for a child, Elizabeth had reached an advanced age without ever having conceived.

            But Elizabeth remained faithful….and allowed God to work. He had a plan in which He would give her a son, John, at just the perfect time!  You see, John was to be the forerunner of Jesus. 
            We can glean much truth from the example of Elizabeth:

·        God does not forget those who have been faithful to him.
·        AND
·        God’s timetable and methods do not have to conform to what we expect.

Drink your Joy Juice faithfully and trust in God to accomplish His purpose in the New Year in His perfect timing.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Joyfully Extraordinary!

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Seems as if Christmas came and went in a snap! But that doesn’t mean we can’t have the JOY of Christmas continually!

            Looking back over the biblical account of Jesus’ birth, we can find many lessons that should be applied all year long.  For example, consider the mother of Jesus.

            When Mary was approached by the angel in Luke 1, she was frightened and puzzled.  But the angel said, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.” (v 30)

            Do you remember how Mary responded? “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”  I wonder how many of us would have responded that way.  Most likely many of us would have argued with God…because it didn’t make sense.  Mary was chosen because God knew she was a willing servant.

            My Bible footnote explains: Mary was young, poor, female—all characteristics that to the people of her day, would make her seem unusable by God for any major task.  But God chose Mary for one of the most important acts of obedience he has ever demanded of anyone.  You may feel that your ability, experience, or education makes you an unlikely candidate for God’s service. Don’t limit God’s choices.  He can use you if you trust him. God’s best servants are often ordinary people who are available to him.

Let's drink our Joy Juice so that God can turn the ordinary into something extraordinary for Him.

Friday, December 27, 2013

THE Reason of JOY: "For God So Loved the World...."

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Drink in the JOY of the Jesus, even though Christmas has come and gone!

            All year long, we look anticipate the Christmas season.  It’s a special time of year for children and families, especially.  But I fear that as soon as Christmas is over, we tend to forget that the JOY of Christmas can be with us no matter what time of year it is!

            We must realize that most special gift of all…..JESUS…is ours all the time! We can open the gift of JOY in the Lord every day, any time the day and in all kinds of ways.  May each of us be committed to taking a few minutes out of each busy day to sing His praises and bask in the glow of His love.

         J-E-S-U-S:  J represents the JOY found in relationship with Jesus.  E stands for Emmanuel, “God with us”.  The middle letter S stands for our Good Shepherd, which is exactly what Jesus is; we should keep Him in the center of our lives!  U represents Understanding!  How important it is to Understand the magnitude of His love.

            As we close out this week, let’s look at the last letter of Jesus’ name….S.  I can think of many words that would appropriate to use: Star, Swaddling clothes, Singing angels…but I feel in my heart that what God wants us to concentrate on today is Jesus Christ our SAVIOR!  

John 3:16
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. 

            Sending my sincere wishes and prayers for Christmas JOY all year long by making sure you invite Jesus, our Savior, into your heart and life !

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Keep Sharing the JOY of JESUS!

          Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Christmas Day is past and the gifts have been opened.  However, don’t forget the gift that continues to give JOY every day of the year….JESUS!
We’ve have focused this week on Jesus by spelling out his name J-E-S-U-S. Today we look at the letter U.  "U" stands for: Understanding. 

            As many little boys and girls anxiously and excitedly awaited Santa’s arrival on Christmas Eve, many truly did not UNDERSTAND that there would be NO Christmas celebration if it were not for the baby Jesus being born over 2000 years ago. And admittedly, we adults tend to forget that many times, as well. 

            There are those who don’t believe and they are diligent in trying to take away (or at least cast doubt) on people’s understanding that Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas.  But even we believers can get so caught up in the busyness of life that we forget to worship Him.

            Do you UNDERSTAND what Jesus did for you and me?  He came to earth, was born in a stinky, cold, dark stable, certainly not fit for a king and lived on earth among sinful man so that He could die to pay our sin debt.  Now that is the epitome of love and sacrifice.  It’s hard to wrap our understanding around that kind of love; but may we never quit trying.  More importantly, may we never quit loving and thanking Him for Who He is!

            Even though Christmas Day is over, we still have the JOY of JESUS every day.  Keep sharing it with others along your way!  

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


          Have you had your Joy Juice today?  MERRY CHRISTMAS DAY!

            The JOY of the season is wrapped up in the truth of that baby born in a manger over 2000 years ago.  Let’s not get so caught up in the gifts under the tree that we forget why we are celebrating today!  J-E-S-U-S; we’ve discussed the J and the E this week. Today, let’s look at the S in the center of His name.

            That S should remind us that Jesus, our good Shepherd, wants to be at the center of our lives.  In John 10:11 he said:  “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” And that’s exactly why he came…to live and die for us that we might be Saved from our Sins.

            Did you catch those two important “S” words…Saved from our Sins. The reason God sent Jesus was to pay our sin debt.  When we accept Him into our heart and life, our sins are forgiven.  The penalty for our sins were paid on that cruel cross.  That’s what we call Sacrifice…an “S” word, too!  God sacrificed His only Son, Jesus, to be crucified for us.  Talk about love!

            On this Christmas Day, let’s ask Jesus to be the center of our Christmas…and the center of our lives.  Be reminded that He is our Good Shepherd who is always willing to lead us and protect us. Shout for Joy this Christmas day because of that sacrificial love.

            Keep Jesus in the center of your Christmas by drinking the Joy Juice made especially for this season of the year. Happy Birthday, Jesus! Merry Christmas, friends!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Extravagant Love and JOY

          Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Please drink it immediately so that you will be focusing on the true meaning of Christmas….JESUS.

            We talked yesterday about spelling out our Savior’s name as we intentionally concentrate on the REASON we are celebrating.  Like the name of Jesus, several other words begin with J that remind us of Christmas truth.  JOY in Jesus’ birth, JOSEPH…Jesus’ earthly father and John…the forerunner to Jesus.

            Today let’s look at the "E" in JESUS.  E could represent Emmanuel…another name for our Savior. Matthew 1:23 tells us: "Behold the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name, "Emmanuel," which translated means, "God with us."

            God IS with us!  That should be such an Encouragement to all of us…which just happens to be another “E” word!  Because of Emmanuel’s birth, we have hope!  We can be encouraged that no matter what is happening in this world right now, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in, because of Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection we can have Eternal life.

             This Christmas week, my prayer is that you will feel God’s arms of EXTRAVAGANT love wrapped tightly around you, reminding you of the reason He sent Jesus.  May you be filled a joyful EXCITEMENT as you curl up close to Him and ENJOY His Christmas hugs.

            Feel God’s arms of extravagant love wrapped around you as you excitedly enjoy the celebration of Emmanuel’s birth!

Monday, December 23, 2013

How Do You Spell JOY? J-E-S-U-S!

Have you had your Joy Juice today?  If not, you’ve got to taste it!  It’s extra sweet because this is the week of Christmas!

            Since Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas, don’t you think it is fitting that we intensely focus on Him this week?  Let’s spell out His name and be enlightened about why we have reason to celebrate!  J-E-S-U-S.

            The first letter is J.  How appropriate that Jesus and JOY begin with the same letter.  We know that we would have no Christmas JOY if it were not for the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Joseph also begins with the letter J.  Joseph had to be a very special man to be selected to be Jesus’ earthly daddy.    He was a direct descendant of David and a gracious man who kept the laws and was well respected.

                That’s Jesus, Joy and Joseph that begin with the letter J.  Can you think of another?  What about John…Jesus’ forerunner. In John 3:30, he speaks of fulfillment, “This is my joy and it is complete. He must increase while I must decrease”  John the Baptist was pointing the way to true joy.  While still in his mother’s womb, John began his prophecy by Jumping with JOY (Luke 1:41,44) because he knew the Messiah was present. This Christmas season our hearts, too, should leap with joy at the thought of the baby in Bethlehem's manger. 

May I encourage you to Jump for JOY as you drink the sweet JOY JUICE of Jesus this week of Christmas.

Friday, December 20, 2013

What Will You Find this Christmas? JOY???

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  If it’s spiced with Christmas JOY then it will be a delightful drink that you’ll want to serve to all your family and friends.

            We’ve talked a lot this week about the having the genuine Christmas spirit. We know that we should look past the parties, the presents, the baking and decorating; To find Christmas JOY, we need to keep Jesus first through all our holiday plans.

            Rick Warren asks the question: “What will you find at Christmas?”  He states that we spend most of our Christmas season searching for the perfect gift, the huge bargain, the ideal decorations, the last parking spot.  At the very first Christmas, many people missed it because they were too busy looking for other things.  The politicians missed the first Christmas.  The business community missed the first Christmas.  The innkeeper missed the first Christmas.  Even the religious establishment missed the first Christmas, because they were looking at other things.  The only people who enjoyed the very first Christmas were the people who were looking for it.
      The angels told the shepherds, “You’ll find the baby…lying in a manger.” And the shepherds said: “Let’s go see!”

            The shepherds found Jesus because they were searching.  And later on, another group, the wise men, found Jesus because they were looking for Him, too.  Wise men came from the East, asking ‘Where is the baby….We have come to worship Him.’ Matt.2:1-2

            Now, here’s the question again: What are you going to find this Christmas?  Each of us will find what we’re really looking for!  My prayer is that we all will look for Jesus….and find ourselves being lavished in His love and JOY!

            Continually seek the true Christmas spirit by serving the JOY JUICE of Jesus!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Be Ready! Be Willing! Be JOYful!

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  I’m pretty sure the shepherds in the Christmas story had a big jug of it with them when they learned about Jesus’ birth!

            Luke tells us that though the shepherds were terrified at first, their fear turned to JOY as the angels announced the Messiah’s birth.  Then they HURRIED to see the baby with their own eyes!  After that they began to spread the word!  They were so JOYfully excited that they could not keep this good news to themselves.  Now that’s what you call the “real Christmas spirit”!

            What about you?  Are you filled with JOY because of the birth of Jesus? Or are you missing out on what Christmas is all about?  

"Do you ever wonder why God appeared to the shepherds? Why not the inn keeper? It was his property. Why not the local religious leaders? They were looking for a Messiah. Why not a few of the local visitors in town for the census?

  •       The inn keeper missed the birth of Christ because he was too busy. There were customers to care for, meals to prepare and rooms to get ready.

  •     Religious leaders missed the event because they had their own version of the Messiah which didn’t include a baby born in a stable.

  •   Townspeople missed the birth of Jesus because they were celebrating a census. There were parties to attend, dinners to enjoy and gifts to open…"

God’s angels appeared before the shepherds because unlike everyone else in Bethlehem, they were ready and willing to respond.    Let’s not miss seeing Christ in Christmas this year!  Be ready and willing to experience the genuine JOY of Christmas.

            Join me as we drink our JOY JUICE and prepare to see Jesus throughout this JOYful season.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

HURRY! Drink in the JOY of JESUS!

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Hurry and drink it as you ponder the reason for our JOY during this Christmas season.

            We frequently hear “Jesus is the reason for the season.” But are we living like we really believe that?   Christmas Day is one week away…and I can just imagine that MANY of us are pretty overwhelmed with ALL that we still have on our list of “things to do”.  We are hurrying here and scurrying there; rushing to this party and that appointment.  We in high gear trying our best to get everything accomplished. Some of us are losing our Christmas spirit because we are simply over-extended and exhausted.

            Yesterday we talked about how the shepherds received the “good news of great joy” that Jesus had been born.  And speaking of “hurrying”, that’s exactly what the shepherds did!  But they hurried toward what was important.  Luke 2:16-18 tells us---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.

            The shepherds HURRIED to see Jesus!  We should follow their lead.  Let’s hurry toward GENUINE Christmas joy.  And do what the shepherds did…..spread the Good News about Jesus! 

            Think of the example you are setting this Christmas season.  Are you excited over the birth of Jesus?  Do others learn about Him because of your testimony?  If Jesus is first on your Christmas list, then you will definitely be bubbling forth with JOY…and amazing others with the “good news”!

            Drink your Christmas Joy Juice hurriedly so that you will be prepared to share with anyone who God sends your way today!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The BIG PICTURE....of Christmas JOY!

             Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  You can’t find it?!  Now, that’s mighty dangerous because if you don’t have plenty of JOY JUICE, you may just lose your Christmas spirit!

            Life is so busy…especially during this time of year.  Let’s not get so preoccupied with the “small stuff” that we miss the “big picture”.  

            What is the “big picture” of Christmas?  Simply put: Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, our Lord of Lords.  Do you recall the Christmas story in the book of Luke when the angel appeared to the shepherds?  At first they were terrified!  But then…they began to see the “big picture”.  Listen to verses 13 & 14 of the 2nd chapter: "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

            The shepherds knew that they were a part of something awesomely wonderful!  The greatest event in history had just happened!  The Messiah had been born.  For ages the Jews had waited for this and when it finally occurred, the announcement came to humble shepherds!    And what did they do? Verse 15 says: 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.”   They believed…and wanted to see for themselves.

            Do you believe?  Come see for yourself.  Draw close to Jesus so that you can experience that “inexpressible JOY” of knowing Him as your personal Savior.  When He is in your heart, you will have a Christmas spirit that will be JOYfully contagious!

            Drink your Joy Juice so that you’ll see the “big picture” and spread Christmas cheer to others this holiday season.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Too JOYfully Blessed to be Stressed!

        Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It sure helps you to stay in the Christmas Spirit!

            The countdown is on….only 10 more days ‘til Christmas.  Are you getting stressed, yet?!  There’s still shopping to be done, baking of Christmas goodies, presents to be  wrapped, programs to attend, plus a multitude of other Christmas activities to pack into these next few days.  But stop just a minute and ask yourself: “Am I enjoying this season, or am I getting so caught up in the busyness that I’m focusing on the wrong things?”

            If we’ve lost our focus, then we’ve probably lost our Christmas spirit.  And when we’ve lost our Christmas spirit, we’ll not have JOY.  Of all times, we should exude joy during this season. We are to be celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

            So…Have you lost your Christmas spirit?  If so, may I suggest that you look for it in the pages of God’s Word?  Deuteronomy 4:29 reminds us that “if you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.”   Let’s challenge one another to seek the LORD with all of our heart and soul during this Christmas season.  May we keep Jesus as our focal point, putting aside those things that really are not that important, so that we can concentrate on The Supreme One of importance…JESUS! 

            Invite Him into your heart and home this Christmas and you will see this season  through very JOYful eyes.

            Drink your Joy Juice faithfully so that you will experience the sweet Christmas spirit as you celebrate Christ’s birth.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Good News of Great JOY

           Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  How many Christmas cards have you received already this year?   Did any of them talk about sharing the JOY of Jesus?

            Some do…many don’t!  But I can tell you one place that you can always find the message of Christmas JOY as well as JOY throughout the year.  It’s a collection of letters and messages of love that is always available.  All we have to do is to open and read.  It’s called “The Holy Bible”.  When is the last time you opened this personal message….written by God especially for you?   You can find God’s love spread from Genesis to Revelation.  It’s a common thread throughout the entire Old and New Testaments.

Many times we receive Christmas letters in which friends share the highlights of their year.  Well, God’s Word has many highlights but I believe the most special ones have to be the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus.  Proof positive of God’s love for us!

            This Christmas take the time to pray for each person on your Christmas list.  Ask God for opportunities to share His love. There may be those that God prompts your heart to send a special word of encouragement this Christmas.  Share the GOOD NEWS found in Luke 2:10-11:  "And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

            I am praying that you will desire to share the JOY of Jesus with someone special who needs extra Christmas JOY this season! Will you pray that prayer for me, as well?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Don't Leave Jesus in the Manger!

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Be sure to pick up several extra servings as you share with others throughout the Christmas season! 

            Everybody likes to receive a cheerful greeting, especially during Christmas …unless your name is Scrooge!  And even then, underneath all the “grouchiness”, even Scrooge wants to be loved.  Want a burst of Christmas JOY? Here it is: GOD LOVES YOU!  No matter who you are, where you live, how much or how little you have….no matter WHAT you’ve done in the past, GOD LOVES YOU!  And I can prove it!  Look in Luke 2: 4-7:

"And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn."

            How does this prove God’s love for you? Because He sent Jesus!   My Bible footnote explains: "Although our first picture of Jesus is as a baby in a manger, it must not be our last.  The Christ-child in the manger has been made into a beautiful Christmas scene, but we cannot leave him there.  This tiny, helpless baby grew up and lived an amazing life, died for us, and ascended to heaven and will come back to this earth as King of kings. Do you still picture Jesus as a baby in a manger—or is he your Lord?"

            Praying that you will enJOY this Christmas to the fullest by drinking in the JOY of Jesus and making Him the Lord of your life.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Letter of JOY and Thanks!

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  We need to make certain that we’re drinking it faithfully throughout this busy Christmas season….if not we may forget the reason we’re celebrating!

            Many of us are beginning to get those Christmas cards and updates from friends and family members that we wait for all year long.  Christmas time is the perfect time to exchange greetings with loved ones; after all, LOVE is the reason God sent His Son Jesus to earth. 

            As I was making my own Christmas list, I thought about the suggestion I gave yesterday about encouraging our children to write a letter of thanks to God.  Just think of all the letters to Santa that are written every year around this time.  So often we completely leave God out of the celebration when HE is the reason we celebrate Christmas.   Many people miss this truth. Some even want to remove all the Christian symbols and traditions of the season.  Let’s do our part to make sure that CHRIST remains the center of our Christmas.

            So, how about joining me as we write our own letters to God?  Maybe we could say something like this:

Dear God, 
     Thank you for loving me! Thank you for sending your Son, Jesus, to be born of a virgin; to live on this earth in the midst of sinful men; and then to die for me.
      I am grateful for the reminders during this Christmas season that Your love is always available. May I show my love and thankfulness to you, Father, by spreading the JOY of the Lord throughout every season of the year!

            Write (or at least speak) your own Christmas letter of joy & gratitude to the Lord. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Santa Loves JESUS!

           Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  As you consider your Christmas list this year, please remember that all of us need reminders of God’s love and JOY.

            Speaking of joy….Children are full of excitement during the Christmas season.  Their little eyes sparkle with wonder when they see Santa and tell him what they want for Christmas.  They anticipate what they’ll find under their tree on Christmas morning.  And just in case Santa might forget, many times they’ll write him a letter giving lots of hints about what they’d like.  Parents do everything they can to make sure Santa gets the message.

            But how careful are we adults to make sure our children get the message about WHY we celebrate Christmas?!  Do the children under your influence know that we would not even have Christmas if it were not for the birth of our Lord and Savoir Jesus Christ?  Let’s show them in the Bible where they can read about Jesus being born in a stable. Take the opportunities to talk about the real meaning of Christmas as you decorate your tree or go Christmas shopping together.  Ask questions to see if they really understand.

            And may I make another suggestion?  As you write Christmas letters or send Christmas cards to family and friends this year, encourage your children to write a letter to God thanking Him for sending Jesus to earth.  Let them express their gratitude for this season of the year.  You might teach them 2 Corinthians 9:15:  Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”

            We would have no JOY JUICE if it were not for JESUS!  Spread Christmas Joy by sharing His love with others today!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Have a JOYfully Blessed MERRY CHRISTMAS!

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It’s the “drink of choice” that will put you in a cheerful holiday mood as you prepare for Christmas!

            Sending Christmas cards and letters is a special tradition in our family!  What about yours? Often it’s the only time we communicate with relatives or friends who live far away.  The sending of commercially printed Christmas cards originated in London in 1843. Previously, people had exchanged handwritten holiday greetings. First in person…then through the mail. 

The first Christmas card’s inscription read: "Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you." "Merry" was then a spiritual word meaning "blessed".  “Have a blessed Christmas” is what the writer was saying. Whether we choose to send printed cards or a personal note, let’s remember that this is the season to spread the JOY of the Lord. 

Think of the cards you’ve received in the past.  The ones I hold especially dear  are those with a personal note.  You know that the person has taken time out of his/her busy day to jot a “blessing” of sorts for you and your family.  It’s a gift of time and sentiment.

God has “gifted” us with a collection of personal greetings… in the form of our Holy Bible.  Luke 1:14 says:  And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.” Share this “Good News” as your special Christmas greeting this year. 

Have a “Blessed” Christmas season by drinking your Joy Juice and sharing a double portion of God’s JOY with those on your Christmas list.

Friday, December 6, 2013

"Thanks Be To God for His Indescribable Gift!"

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Passing down the joy of Jesus is the best Christmas gift you can give!

            Matthew opens his Gospel with a genealogy to prove that Jesus is the descendant of both King David and Abraham…just as the Old Testament prophesied.  Jesus’ birth didn’t go unnoticed, for both shepherds and Magi came to worship him.  The Jewish people were waiting for the Messiah to appear.  Finally, He was born, but the Jews didn’t recognize Him because they were looking for a different kind of king. (Life Application Bible, NIV)

            They didn’t grasp the total plan of God. And though we have the advantage of reading God’s Word, the prophecy and the fulfillment, we STILL have trouble grasping the enormity of what Christ’s birth really means.  His love is so great that it’s truly incomprehensible.  

            As Matthew presented the genealogy record of Jesus, he was very much aware of the importance of a person’s family line to the Jewish people.   It proved his standing as one of God’s chosen people.  Jesus was a descendant of Abraham, the father of all Jews and a direct descendant of David, fulfilling the Old Testament prophesies about the Messiah’s lineage. This is proof positive that JESUS is the ONLY reason for the Christmas season!  “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”  as we read in  2 Corinthians 9:15.

Share Christmas JOY by telling others about Jesus’ birth and why we have every reason to celebrate!

Thursday, December 5, 2013


          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Drink in the joy as we look at how  prophecy was fulfilled regarding our Savior, Jesus Christ!

            In the Old Testament books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah and Samuel, we find prophetic words telling of the coming of Christ.  One such example is found in 2 Samuel 23:3-4. 
The God of Israel spoke,
    the Rock of Israel said to me:
‘When one rules over people in righteousness,
    when he rules in the fear of God,
  he is like the light of morning at sunrise
    on a cloudless morning,
like the brightness after rain
    that brings grass from the earth.’”

            In the style of a prophet, David spoke of a just and righteous ruler.  The prophecy is fulfilled through Jesus Christ! When He returns, He will rule in perfect justice and peace. (NIV Life Appl. Bible footnote 23:3) 

            Notice in this scripture that once again the words “light of morning” and “brightness” were used.  Jesus brings light to a dark and hurting world; and though so many are trying to take Him out of Christmas, that’s one light that will never be snuffed out!

            Many non-Christians are trying to force us to say: “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas!” Nativity scenes and reenactments of the first Christmas are being forbidden in public places.  But no matter how hard men try to take Jesus out of Christmas, they will never succeed! HE IS CHRISTMAS!  He is the reason we can celebrate. Jesus is the “Christmas Star” that lights up the world with JOY!

           Let's shout from the depths of our hearts: MERRY CHRISTMAS and lots of JOY!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The "STAR" of Christmas: JESUS!

             Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It’s aged to perfection!

            As we dig into the prophecy found in the Old Testament regarding the coming of Jesus, we find references to the “star”, to the “light of the world”.  One such passage is found in Numbers 24:17 where Balaam says: “ look into the future, And I see the nation of Israel. A king, like a bright star, will arise in that nation. Like a comet he will come from Israel.” (Good News Translation)

            That “bright star” refers to the coming Messiah.  Keep in mind that the book of Numbers was written between 1450-1410 BC.  It was probably this prophecy that convinced the Magi to travel to Israel to search for the baby Jesus (Matt. 2:1-2).

            I find it so interesting (and SO LIKE GOD) that he chose to use Balaam to prophesy in this way.  You see, Balaam was a sorcerer.  Do you know what that is?  A sorcerer is one who claims to have magic powers; a wizard! Sorcery  is clearly condemned in the Bible. So it seems strange that God would use this particular person to foretell of the coming Messiah.

             As I thought about this, I realized that God can use ANYTHING or ANYONE to accomplish His plans!  Even those who do not even know they are being an instrument of God can be used as part of His ultimate sovereign plan for good.  How ‘bout that for some sweet Christmas JOY?!

            Look for the “star” of Christmas.  Jesus is His name and truly He is THE ultimate Christmas Light!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Light of Christmas JOY: JESUS!

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Have a great big serving and see the “light” of Christmas!

            In the 9th chapter of Isaiah we see words of promise, filled with hope and joy.  Verses 1-9 tell of a child who would become our deliverer, the Messiah, Jesus.  Matthew quotes these very same verses in describing Christ’s ministry. (Matt. 4:15-16).

            Let’s go back to Isaiah 9:2 and read: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness, a light has dawned.”  In a time of great darkness, God promised to send a light who would shine on everyone living in the shadow of death.  That “light” was Jesus! The apostle John, also referred to Jesus as the “light”.  And Jesus called himself the “light of the world”. (John 8:12)

            As Christmas approaches we should focus on the LIGHT of Jesus.  As hard as some unbelievers try to put out the light and take CHRIST out of CHRISTmas, they will never succeed! Indeed, Jesus IS the reason for the season.  This was God’s plan from the beginning and HE DOES NOT change.

            The message of hope and joy was fulfilled in the birth of Christ Jesus and the establishment of His eternal kingdom.  Share this truth throughout the Christmas season—and every day of the year!

           Turn on the light of Jesus and have a BRIGHT & MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Monday, December 2, 2013


            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  The JOY of Christmas in the air!

            As soon as Thanksgiving is over (and sometimes even before), our thoughts turn to Christmas.  This first week of December is a good time to begin an intentional focus on the reason we celebrate this season!

            It saddens my heart that many in our world today seem determined to take Christ out of Christmas—which is ridiculously absurd because He is THE reason for Christmas. Throughout the Old Testament, we find reference after reference referring to the coming Messiah.

            In Isaiah 9:6, there are four names used to describe Him:
For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  

·        Wonderful Counselor: He is exceptional, distinguished and without compare.  He always gives the right advice!
·        Mighty God: He is all-powerful GOD!
·        Everlasting Father: He is timeless.  He is God, our loving and just Heavenly Father!
·        Prince of Peace. His government is one of justice and peace. 

            That is Who Christmas is all about! Let’s share the joy of Jesus in an intentional way throughout this special season.

            Merry Christmas! Let’s share the GOOD NEWS of GREAT JOY with one and all!