Devotions this week based on Sunday’s Message: JOY is the Heart of Christmas! (LISTEN HERE)
“You’ve got to see this!”
When someone comes running to you out of breath and wants you to come and see, their energy, their directness and bated breath compel you to go and see what they have seen.
This is the perspective that comes from the angels as they came to the shepherds on the night of Jesus’ birth.
“You’ve got to see this!”
Once the shepherds got over their fear, they went to see what the angel had told them.
Luke 2:10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
The reason I perceive the angels enthusiasm is because the message they had to bring was one of “good news” and the KNEW it would cause great JOY for all the people.
Not just the shepherds. Not just Mary and Joseph. But EVERYONE who heard the news.
Because the news was nothing BUT good news.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Messiah, the Lord.
Perhaps for centuries the angels had been waiting for the direction to “go and tell.”
Like a child who has an amazing secret who can barely contain their energy and enthusiasm, were the angels waiting for the Lord God to say, “OK, now. Go and tell the world the good news.”
Good news is easy to tell because you know it will bring external happiness and internal joy. The message of Christmas is intended to generate and INTERNAL joy. While the external circumstances were amazing of a baby born of Mary and Joseph (who doesn’t like to tell people of a birth of a new baby?), yet the joy was from the faithful work of the Lord. The birth wasn’t just another baby. The baby was “Messiah.” The baby was “Savior.”
In Jesus was the culmination of the plan and promises of God. In the baby of Bethlehem was captured God himself in human flesh come to this earth to live with us, die for us, and rise to assure us.
Joy is generated because of the work of God on our behalf. When we see the love, grace and mercy of God at work on OUR behalf, this…THIS causes great joy inside of us. To think that God thought enough of you and me to send his Son into this world is truly good news that causes great joy.
This joy is not determined by our current or external circumstances, but simply by the faithfulness and grace of God working on our behalf. In the manger of Bethlehem is the greatest gift you and I could ever receive. He is a gift that causes great joy in every circumstance of life. It’s this gift we will reflect on this week as the heart of Christmas focuses on the joy God gives to us in the manger of Bethlehem.
Apply: If you were the shepherds, how would the words of the angels affected you?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your love and faithfulness to send Jesus for us. This is truly good news that instills great joy in our hearts. Let that never be forgotten or falter. AMEN.