Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever.
Zephaniah 3:14-20 Be glad and rejoice with all your heart
Philippians 4:4-7 Always be full of joy in the Lord
Luke 3:7-18 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.
This is the 3rd Week of Advent and the theme for this week is Joy.
I think we all have experienced joy in our lives. Maybe it has been awhile or maybe it was a few minutes ago… but we all have experienced Joy.
My favorite story about joy is when we were celebrating Christmas at a church service, and this little girl wandered up on the stage and grabbed one of the presents from under the tree.
The present was simply an empty box with Christmas wrapping paper on it….a prop if you will.
The box was bigger than the little girl, and she carried it all the way back to her seat and started ripping the paper off of the box.
This all happened during the sermon…. But this little girl was preaching the best sermon of all…. Because she had so much joy in getting that present and opening it… that joy she had was infectious...and the whole church cheered her on.
All that joy that day… it was so great that I can tell you that story remember the joy of that little girl….even though it was so long ago that little girl is now a mother to be her self.
Joy is defined as a state of mind and an orientation of the heart. It is a settled state of contentment, confidence and hope. It is something or someone that provides a source of happiness.
I believe that God is our source of joy or happiness.
God stepped into our world, Immanuel, God with us in order to take away the punishment of our sins.
The whole Christmas story brings joy because God saves us.
It brings joy because we have a lamb that was slain for our sins...once and for all
Jesus came and died for us so we don’t go to hell
Do you need any other motivation for to be joyous?
There are all these movies about people trying to live forever..trying to be immortal.
Can I tell you that if you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior...having faith that he is who he says he is then..you are immortal… you live forever….everybody wants that….we got it. JOY
That should be motivation enough right?
Well it isn’t always.
God gave us the greatest gift ever...His Son! And his so gives us life!
What are some of the things that bring you the most joy?
Running, biking, hunting fishing, family, Starbucks?
Can I tell you that I believe God designed us to experience Joy when we do good for others...when we give to others or give for others…
You all know what I am talking about… that joy you experienced when you helped someone, when you took someone fishing, when you have someone something for no other reason but they needed it…
May we all experience joy again soon.
Joy because our savior came
Joy because he is coming again
Joy because he is the prince of wholeness
Joy because he brought light into the darkness
Joy because he let's us live forever
Joy because he gave us the greatest gift of all
And joy because we can give and bring joy to others
Father God, all of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s path to follow our own.
Yet, you laid our sins, the sins of us all, upon the Christ, Your Son Jesus. He who was without sin took our sins away through his blood. It was because of the joy that was awaiting him, that he endured the cross.
With praise and thanksgiving, we now rejoice and give thanks.
(Isaiah 53:6 and Hebrews 12:2)