Advent 2013 — Joy

To honor the season in which we celebrate the first advent of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we’re exploring the topics of Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace at New City Church. Here’s the 3rd installment, Joy. Enjoy, and let me know how the Lord has given you Joy! The following points have been gleaned from the apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians, a short but powerful letter to a young church.

Joy’s Command

Paul says that we must rejoice . . . it’s an order, an imperative. “Rejoice,” he says, “in the Lord always.” We are to rejoice, not in anything or anyone, but rather “in the Lord”; that is, we, as Christians, should be finding our joy and contentment in our relationship with Christ.

Joy’s Compromise

Nehemiah says that the joy of the Lord should be our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Truthfully, sometimes we would like to have joy but simply don’t. There are a number of reasons for this. Here are some.

  • debt
  • stress
  • sin
  • faulty perspective
  • weariness

All of the above issues can rob us of our God-given joy in Christ. Let me say that again: when we seek our joy in the wrong places we forfeit our God-given right to joy in Christ.

Joy’s Climax

Finally, as Christians, we can’t become fixated on the immediate. Jesus is our example. Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking to Jesus, the founded and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross.” Jesus handled the brutal death on the cross for the promised joy that the Father had in store for Him.

Merry Christmas,

Joe

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