Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Stir Up Your Joy - Luke 2:8-14

(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 of great joy that will be for all the people.  (11) Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ 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, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

There are numerous passages in my Bible that use the word "joy" to describe great gladness.  Joy is such a small word.  However, its significance must not be overlooked or underestimated.  My heart leapt with joy today when a young mother responded so beautifully to a gift I had just given her and her family.  Inside the pretty gift bag were three lovely fabric ornaments for their Christmas Tree.  On one was embroidered the word Love, on another was the word Hope and on the third ornament was the word Joy.  The young mother took great delight in these gifts.  When she picked up the ornament with Joy on it she said, with a broad smile on her face "My little son learned about joy in the program at his church school today.  J. O.Y means Jesus, Others, and You."  As I sit here typing this message my arms are chilled with glory bumps.  Now, when this little boy sees this ornament hanging on the Christmas tree in his home, he will be able to read the word "Joy" on the ornament and it will remind him how God wants us to live; thinking of Jesus first, then thinking of others and lastly, thinking of ourselves.  There are so many ways to think of joy.  Yes, it is a feeling that comes from deep inside us.  It is so much more than that.  We can still be joyful even through our times of sadness.  Weeping may remain for a night, but joy (rejoicing) comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)
I remember the song from my youth.  I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart; down in my heart to stay.  I saved this messge in draft and perused Youtube for just the right version of this special song and found much more than I expected.  I did find some cute versions of the song, but what I found that I want to share with you in the link to the right of this page is more than a song.  It is a video of a man teaching a class about the importance of joy.  Please take a moment to visit that Youtube site and listen.  This is the message God wants you to learn about joy today.  Got joy?

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