• Pastor Steve

JOY - Advent Week 4

Ezra 8:9-10

Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.”

For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”


Tomorrow is Christmas Eve.


With only a couple of days until the celebration of the birth of our Savior and King, this is a time of Joy!


The big day is almost here. Is there excitement in your home? Is there a sense of anticipation? Are there gifts under the tree? Are there stockings waiting empty? Are the kids investigating the presents? Are the adults investigating as well?


This is definitely a time of joyous anticipation. But, not everyone knows that.


The media is still trying to sell the news, and conflict and negativity seem to make more money than stories of good news and glad tidings.


The marketers are still trying to sell their products, and convincing you that, without their product you are somehow less than, flawed, or not lovable works a lot better than the truth that you are loved as you are right now.


I could go on about the ways the world and the evil one are trying to steal your Joy, but I don’t want to give them that chance here.


This is a season of Joy!


Jesus is born to us. God came to live with us. The Love, Peace, Hope, and Joy of the Lord came into the world for us. For you.


While a newborn child is a precious gift from God for their parents, this newborn is a gift for all the world.


This is Christmas! Let your hearts be glad. Allow yourself to smile. You are loved!


This is not a call to ignore the difficulties in the world or in your lives today. No. This is a call to acknowledge that the Love that came into the world on Christmas day is bigger than all the difficulties any of us may face.

  • His Love is bigger than any hate.

  • His Peace is deeper than any conflict.

  • His Hope is greater than any fear.

  • His Joy is stronger than any sadness.

“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”


May your Christmas be filled with the Joy of the Lord.


AMEN

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