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Bring Joy To Your World: Advent Week 3
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Bring Joy To Your World: Advent Week 3

God is love. God is joy.
The God of Exceeding Great Joy”- EL Simchathgali

      Given for us to live by and to share.
      True Christmas ‘Joy’ is celebrating Christ coming to us.
      Emmanuel – God with us.

 

 

Joy to the world

 

 

      “Christmas is about the greatest news ever.
      Our preparation and celebration should be joyful…
      It’s good news of great joy for all people because God says,
    “I love you, I’m with you, and I’m for you.” Rick Warren

So we should aspire to open our hearts, receive God’s love and joy.
Letting love and joy radiate from us to others.

The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Isaiah 35:1

Joy is the essence of our faith.

Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice! Philippians 4:4

Joy is the serious business of heaven. C. S. Lewis

No man can live without joy
St. Thomas Aquinas

Joy is prayer. Joy is strength. Joy is love.

Joy is the net of love by which we can catch souls.  Mother Teresa

Dr. Gary Oliver shares the best message I have heard on “Sovereign Joy” in my book Flourish. And I now pass on his reflections on Advent Joy.

Joy is different to happiness. 

Happiness is an emotional response that is dependent on our external circumstances. If you open a gift on Christmas morning that is just what you were hoping for, you will be happy. But joy is an experience that can be present in our lives even if there are no goodies under the tree and things are discouraging and difficult. It is a deeper reality that flows from our Lord and is produced in our spirit by the Holy Spirit.

Joy can be accompanied by happiness. But as I’ve experienced many times, joy can also be present when we are sad, discouraged, weary and in the midst of horrific circumstances. Being a child of the King doesn’t guarantee great circumstances. In fact Jesus actually promised that in this world we would have trouble! But because of what began at Christmas, because WHO we are has been forever changed by WHOSE we are, the Holy Spirit can give us joy regardless of what is happening around us. Now that’s good news !

Have you ever thought about who was the most joyful person that ever lived? The Bible prophesied that when the Messiah came he would be “anointed with the oil of joy above all his companions,” (Ps. 45:7).

Our Lord Jesus Christ was joyful. Regardless of his circumstances.
My hunch is that this quality is one reason why people were so attracted to him.”

The God of Exceeding Great Joy”- EL Simchathgali
I will go to God – the Source of all my joy. Psalm 3:4 (NLT)

1. In God’s presence we find Joy

I keep the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. You show me the path of life.
In your presence there is fullness of joy;
in your right hand are pleasures evermore.  Psalm 16:8,11

2. Gratitude Cultivates Joy

True joy grows when you are grateful for what you already have.

Joy is the fruit of gratitude.
And gratitude is rooted in perspective.
And when one’s rooted in Christ one has been given the gift of the eyes that really see. So joy is always possible.
As long as thanks to God is possible, then joy in God is always possible.
Ann Voskamp

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.

  Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.  Philippians 4:6 (NLT)

3. Joy is fruit of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit fills us continually with positive spiritual emotions and virtue: Love, joy, peace and hope. Open your heart to be filled with this ‘Sovereign Joy’, sustaining you to overcome the difficulties and brokenness of this world.

4. Joy comes when you sing

Whoever sings, prays twice.
 St. Augustine

The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. 
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.  Psalm 28:7

5. Be a Joy Spreader

A joyful person makes the world a happier, better and more beautiful place.
People want to be around joy.
Like a contagion, we can spread love, hope and happiness. Bringing joy to your world, you personalize that the Lord has come to us – God is with us – again and again. Incarnate in our ordinary, everyday lives – here and now.

The more we choose joy,
the more our lives are infused with passion and purpose.
Immerse yourself in God’s Word,
and you will be blessed with profound inspiration and an infinite source of joy. When you accept the abundant life that God has planned for you,
His extravagant portfolio of hope, love and joy is graciously revealed.

I bless you with this Advent Joy.
God loves you, God is with you, God is for you.

Reflection Question:
In what ways are you choosing joy, experiencing joy and spreading the joy of Christmas?

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