"But the angel said to them, 'Listen! Do not fear. For I bring you good news of great joy, which will be to all people'" (Luke 2:10).
This Christmas, don't forget the ingredient of joy!
One of my favorite memories of every Christmas is the aroma that fills the house from the kitchen:
- My Dad's creation of his family recipe of boiled custard.
- My mother's stuffing and giblet gravy.
- My mother-in-law's apple pie.
- And best of all, my wife's sugar cookies.
It took years to perfect every one of these recipes and their ingredients.
The one ingredient we must remember to add to our lives is joy.
Joy is part of the fruit that come from the root of knowing Jesus.
Joy is meant for all who know Jesus as the babe born in the manger, and who died on the cross for our sins.
Joy is meant for those who believe that Jesus has been raised from the grave victorious over death, hell and the grave and is coming back again.
Joy is the ingredient that helps people to believe that Jesus is the answer to their sin-filled, weary lives.
Don't forget the ingredient of joy.
David writes in in Psalm 51:12-13: "Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with Your willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will return to You."
Here we can see that the ingredients of joy and generosity are what unlock the hearts of transgressors and sinners to come to Christ.
Don't forget the ingredient of Joy!
In the NIV, the word joy is used 155 times in Old Testament and 63 times in the New Testament.
Add the words "rejoice, joying, joyful, enjoy, joyed, joyfulness, joyous, joyfully, gladness, gladly, merry, cheer, and cheerful" and they are recorded over 400-plus times in the Word of the living God. It must be pretty important to live in joy if it's one of the most recorded words in the Bible!
Isaiah writes in this extraordinary hymn of praise:
And in that day you shall say: O Lord, I will praise You; though You were angry with me, Your anger has turned away, and You comforted me. Certainly God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song; He also has become my salvation. Therefore with joy you shall draw water out of the wells of salvation (Isa. 12:1-3).
Next week I will write about how you lose your joy.
Again, Merry Christmas!
This Christmas may you, "Laugh loud, may you laugh hard and may you laugh often."
And remember; don't forget the ingredient of joy.
Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the book of hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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