GREAT Joy!

What brings you the greatest ‘Joy’?

Notice that I didn’t say ‘happiness’–happiness can be very circumstantial and very temporary. ‘Joy‘, on the other hand, is more deep-seated and long-term.

So, what brings you this deeper ‘Joy‘?

For some of us, it might be something significant. Something life-changing.

The birth of a child, for example.

The blessing of family.

A celebration of love.

Life-changing and especially world-changing events can cause ‘Joy’.

When the angels made the amazing announcement to the shepherds on that first Christmas night that they had “Good News of Great Joy, for All People” (Luke 2:10), this was BIG!

“Unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior; who is Christ, the Lord”. (Luke 2:11)

This is HUGE! This is life-changing! In reality, it was Eternity-Changing!

We celebrate it every year…however, we are increasingly missing the real reason for celebration.

We are settling for the temporary and superficial ‘happiness’ of the holiday traditions, and missing the Great Joy of the Savior!

I was talking with some friends the other day and we were wondering ‘why‘ this happens–even among Believers in Jesus, who are committed to Him.

Think about it: What occupies most of Your time in preparation for Christmas?

For most of us, it’s all about the ‘extras’–the decorations, the parties, the shopping, assembling and wrapping the presents. Around our house, we even end up getting ‘stressed’ about the baking!

We’re missing the Great Joy of the Savior.

Think of the reaction of the shepherds.

“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. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.” (Luke 2:15-20)

They simply had to go and investigate!

When they did, they told everyone! Their excitement and joy were overflowing!

But stop and think: What would their reaction have been if the angels had appeared, made their announcement, but then–upon investigation–they didn’t find the baby?

What if there was no ‘virgin with a baby’…?

Obviously, that would not have been something they talked about other than saying ‘What a bummer’!

The story would have died right there.

But, of course, that’s not what happened! They went and investigated and found everything “just as they had been told”! Therefore, they were joyful and excited, and they could not stop talking about it and celebrating it.

So…how can we get the ‘joy‘ back? How can we that the sense of profound change that they did?

We have to spend time with the Savior.

We must push the noise of the world away for a while and pray, meditate, and worship “Christ, the newborn King“!

He was not only that ‘baby in a manger’. He was, and is, Lord of creation, Savior, Messiah, and Lord!

May you and I have GREAT Joy, because of Jesus, today!

Published by Pastor Dave Johnson

Follower of Jesus, Husband to Lori, Proud Father to 6 great kids, Co-Pastor of Kalamazoo Community Church. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan.

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