Dec. 12th – The Promise of JOY
Did you know we are less than two weeks from Christmas? I don’t know about you, but this past weekend, I finally started feeling the holiday rush of the season- meaning parties begun, Christmas events and pageants, family gatherings, and of course, the Christmas shopping IS IN FULL FORCE.
As we get closer to Christmas, my hope, that in the midst of our hectic Christmas season, we can continue to lay down our endless to-do list, and reawaken our connection with the Christ of Christmas, so when Christmas day arrives, instead of feeling relived or exhausted, we will experience the excitement of the Promises of Christmas- Hope, Joy, Peace and Love for a lifetime.
Yesterday was the start of week 3 for the Advent season.
Week one we talked about the Promise of HOPE.
Week 2 we talked about the Promise of PEACE
This week, we are going to talk about the Promise of JOY.
This morning I want to share a little about discovering the JOY of God’s perfect timing.
As much as the holidays are filled with excitement, anticipation, and family,
If we are not careful about what we fill our hearts with, it is easy to experience doubt, loneliness and wondering WHY certain promises are not fulfilled yet in our lives or the prayers we have for others.
Here is some encouragement from the Christmas story for you about God’s timing.
God promised that His Son would be born in Bethlehem, but the problem was, Mary and Joseph were in Nazareth.
LOOK at what happened. Caesar, the first Roman emperor at the time, issued a census in the land and everyone in the Roman world had to return to the place of his of her family’s origin (Luke 2:1)
So, they headed back to Bethlehem. Was this census a coincidence to make they head back to Bethlehem or was it God?
Whether or not Mary and Joseph planned Christ’s birth his way, God did.
Luke 2:6- While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her first born, a son.
Galatians 4:4- But when the time had fully come, God sent His son, born of a women, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.
Both of these verses mentioned, THE TIME HAD COME.
BETH MOORE- These words refer to the most important segment of time since the first tick of the clock. The second hand circled tens of thousands of times for thousands of years, and then finally, miraculously, majestically- THE TIME CAME. God’s voice broke through the barrier of the natural realm through the cries of an infant, startled by life on the outside. The Son of God had come to earth, wrapped in a tiny clock of human flesh.”
The BIRTH OF CHRIST was promised to come in Bethlehem, thousands of years before HIS birth.
God used a humble virgin from Nazareth to fulfill HIS PROMISE. On the outside, it looked impossible, but what God has promised, He is always faithful to fulfill it in HIS PERFECT TIMING.
Through the Christmas story, we see just how faithful the Lord is to fulfill His promise, in His timing.
No matter where you are, where you have been, or what you are going through, GOD will find a way to fulfill HIS PROMISE in your life.
Now that is something we can find JOY in this season and always.
Reflect on this question- what has God shown you in your own life about His perfect timing
Dec. 14th- The Promise of JOY
Have you ever noticed that the anticipation of an event can bring greater excitement then the actual event? Then, after the event is an emotional let down? That was me- when it came to big events-
For example, I loved the build up to Homecoming in High school. I would build up the event with the shopping for the dress, finding the perfect date, hairstyle, group, dinner place, spirit week, football game, always so much going on.
Then Homecoming came, and halfway through the night and I found myself becoming sad. Not my dates fault, I had some great Homecoming dates, but I was realizing Homecoming was over. It would be another year until the excitement came around again.
Another example, it is no secret I love Christmas. I always have. I remember one year being so bummed out that it was over, I made one of those paper –loop countdown chains. YUP, I made a 364 piece paper countdown until Christmas again. I could not stand that it was over.
Instead of feeling the JOY of the day, I was consumed with the end of the season.
Thankfully, since then, my faith has grown and the Lord has reminded me many times over the true meaning of The Christmas Story.
I have realized that when we connect to the true CHRIST of Christmas during the season of endless lists- and remember that the Promises of Christmas are meant for us for a lifetime
THEN when Christmas day arrives, we can experience the JOY the special day, rather than sadness that it is over. Because the Promises of Christmas- Hope, Joy, Peace and Love ARE FOR AND WITH us for a lifetime
We are in week 3 for the Advent season, so we are going to continue on about the Promise of JOY.
This morning I want to share a little about discovering the JOY though praise and worship
“Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others- the armies of heaven- praising God” Glory to God in the highest heaven” They sang, “and peace on earth for all those pleasing Him.” When this great army of Angels had returned again to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, Come on! Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
After the birth of Jesus, the angels filled the night and THEY SANG and THEY PRAISED.
But, after reading this, have you ever asked yourself, why didn’t the angels from heaven be more useful? Maybe showing Mary a warm bed, or more clothes for baby Jesus?
But the first and only thing the angels did was worship.
Worship refreshes our soul. It seeps in, softens our hearts and stirs life into us.
Let’s do what the angels did: let’s make a BIG DEAL about the arrival of the King through worship.
Worship- Anytime we trust an object or activity to give us life and meaning, we worship it.
If we depend on a career, relationship or other things we set as god; sex, food, money, alcohol. If we worship them to fill our void we will become brokenhearted, discouraged, angry or SAD.
How do we worship? There are many ways, but this morning I want to encourage you to praise Him through verbal worship.
Pray continually. Sing loudly. Speak promises over your situation
Hebrews 12:15- Through Jesus, therefore, lets us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise- the fruit of lips that openly profess His Name.
Stressed out? Worship God.
Feeling ashamed? Worship God
Full of Doubt and insignificance? Worship God.
Overwhelmed? Worship God
The Christmas story shows us exactly HOW and WHO to worship, that will fill our soul and bring us good news and GREAT JOY.
Let’s give Jesus the gift the angels gave Him, the gift of praise and worship.
Take five minutes today, no interruptions, and really listen, to your favorite version of the Christmas song “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman.” Praise God through song today.
Dec. 16th The Promise of JOY
Good morning and welcome to Daily Destiny with Jessie B. I am Jessie Christensen and this morning I am continuing on The Promise of Christmas Series.
Quick recap of the week, Monday we discovered JOY in God’s perfect timing. The birth of His son was promised hundred of years BEFORE the actual event. God was faithful to fulfill it even when it looked impossible.
Wednesday we shared about FINDING JOY through praise and worship. The first and only thing the Angels did after the birth was praise and worship.
Worship refreshes our soul, so let’s do what the angels did: let’s continue to make a BIG DEAL about the arrival of the King through worship.
This morning, on the last day of The Promise of JOY- Why we need to be intentional about CHOOSING JOY, especially during this season.
Right from the start, the enemy hates this time of year as we celebrate the Savior who defeated him. So, he is going to be relentless in trying to steal our JOY during the Christmas season.
WHY? Because the enemy knows that the JOY of our Lord is our strength.
“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
The enemy knows if he can take away our joy, than we become weak. When we become weak we start living small, instead of living in our GRACE and GIFTING that this world needs.
How do we stay strong? We choose JOY in the midst of our circumstances.
We CHOOSE JOY wondering how we are going to pay our bills or overcome that doctors diagnosis.
We CHOOSE JOY while waiting in line for last minute gifts, endless traffic and during uncomfortable family conversations.
We CHOOSE JOY over anxiety, worry and fear.
Christians around the world celebrate the First Advent, Jesus’ birth and but we also anticipate the Second Advent, Christ’s return.
Our hope is certain, we can have peace because it is Promised that the messiah is coming again, to set everything right in world that is saturated in sin.
Rev. 21:2 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Every tear will be dried, every hurting heart mended, every broken body healed, every torn relationship restored.
We are treasured sons and daughters of the MOST High God and the only reasonable response to God’s extravagant love and goodness is PURE JOY.
CHOOSE JOY this season, because there is a world out there that needs ALL OF US to be strong
Today, if you feel anxiety, the rush of the season, take a deep breath and say to yourself. “He loves me. This life is hard, but He is proud of me. I have the Promise of Joy.”
Thanks for joining me this morning! I hope this series has encouraged you as much as it has with me. I cannot believe Christmas is a little over a week away.
I headed home tomorrow, back to Seattle where I will conclude with the last of the series- The Promise of Love next week. I will tell you right now, I wont be LIVE at 7:30am like I normally am, and maybe not all three days, but I am planning on going LIVE at some point on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
I actually am excited because my sister is going to join me one of those days to share and give an update of her foster-to-adopt journey- Stay tuned for that!
Have a great Friday, have a great weekend and remember, you are worthy, beautiful and strong.