Pastor Jeff’s Corner for December: “Claiming Our Joy”

Luke 2:10, 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. And with these words, hope sprang eternal for the shepherds watching their flock as they pondered what the birth of Jesus would mean for each of them.

This past year has been challenging for all of humanity to say the least. But if we have learned anything as Christians, we have learned that having faith often involves believing in things we have not yet seen. The shep-herds did not see the baby yet, but knew he was on the way. When parents are expecting the birth of a child they are expecting to behold something or someone very special, also unseen. Expecting good is part of claiming our joy.

Remembering what Jesus Christ did by coming into the world, should help put a smile on our face as we retell this story to those around us. Jesus Christ is born! Without the addition of him in our universe, a different story would be told today. No birth – no life, no teaching, no example leading, no cross, no death, no resurrection, no grace, no mercy, no new life! No Joy!
Through Jesus birth we find just the opposite in our present day world. We DO KNOW that because of Jesus’ birth, we can live life in the realm of joy. As sin has put its grip on all people, Jesus’ birth ultimately led to his death and resurrection and the grace that every one of us needs to claim our joy. I think folks often lump happiness and joy together. Happiness often lives within the realms of joy, but you can have moments of happiness and not have joy.

Romans 15:13 reads, May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Recently we studied what grace means to us as we mature as Christians. Any person can experience moments of happiness. I am convinced however, that to know true joy we must have an on-going, maturing walk with Jesus Christ.

Whatever challenges you may face in the days ahead, I pray you align yourself intimately with God. Believing that your relationship with Him will transform you from the inside out and that joy and peace will be treasured aspects of your life. Other people will witness the change in you and may ask, “what’s your secret.” Be prepared with your reply; “it’s no secret at all my friend. I have claimed my joy through a personal relationship with Christ!”

God loves you and so do I.

Merry Christmas my dear friends in Jesus’ Name.

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