[220 words]

What was it the angel said when he announced the birth of our Lord? “I bring you good news of great joy” (Luke 2:10).

So why is it that so many Christians—including some preachers—live and worship as if they were baptized in jalapeno juice? Have we forgotten the words of the Apostle Paul? “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4).

Joy is a deep and abiding inner rejoicing which was promised to those who live in Christ and obey His commandments (cf. John 15:10-11). Joy does not depend on circumstances because it rests in God’s sovereign control of all things.

Jesus said: “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:10-11).

Joy is the by-product of obedience which comes from a desire to be like our Lord (not out of some sense of legalism which brings no joy).

With this in mind, let us never forget that Jesus, himself, is the source of our joy!

“Joy to the world, the Lord has come, let earth receive her king!” 

Larry Fitzgerald
Woodlawn church of Christ
Abilene, TX

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