Joy to the World

Snow PathI realize that I have not posted to Anchored Soul in quite a while, and I sincerely apologize to all of my faithful readers. However, I don’t think that I can honestly say that the Lord has not been teaching me many things for the while my busy schedule has forced me to neglect this blog. Certainly, He has been working, and my initial dilemma is deciding what exactly I would like to post after such a prolonged absence.  He is, as always in His faithfulness, revealing many new things to me from His Word, but what is most relevant, meaningful, needful?

I think the subject of joy might be most appropriate. First, I have been convicted of my own lack of joy, but also encouraged to be joyful during this very special time of year. After all, it is Christmas. But recently, I have wondered, if I am to be celebrating the blessed birth of my Savior, why am I not finding more joy in it? Jesus Christ is my everything, my all in all, and yet I do not feel joyful to the extent that I know is necessary for one who is truly celebrating the gift of salvation.

So I am lead to ask this question: in what am I finding my joy? What determines whether or not I am truly joyful? I was convicted by some of the first words that my pastor said during his sermon yesterday morning: “If you are not joyful, it is because you are not serving Christ.” Is it true that to the degree that I am obedient to God and glorifying His name my joy will increase or decrease? Absolutely. So, this Christmas, I am realizing that I have not been serving the Lord as I ought, and that I is why I am not finding utmost joy in celebrating His wondrous humility and sacrifice.

Sadly, I have been looking to other things for joy, though not being fulfilled in them. I have, for a time, been looking for joy even as the world does, whether it is in things or people. And on that note, I have suddenly begun to realize that there are actually very few who truly experience happiness and cheer during the Christmas season. For if one can only find joy in serving Christ, what of the millions of unbelievers who walk this earth confused, fearful, deceived, and joyless? How can I choose to mimic they who have no hope, when I have been given the greatest gift of love, faith, hope, and joy through Jesus Christ my Savior?

So, in light of these things, what is my response? First, pursue the service to Christ with reckless abandon! I want to be completely and totally fulfilled and satisfied in Him! I don’t want to look to this world, to people or other things, for gratification because those things will never satisfy! This Christmas, the Lord is teaching me to be joyful in His service as His beloved child. I will choose to rejoice by His grace, being overwhelmed with the awesome incarnation of Christ. He is the greatest and highest Lord of all, Creator and Sustainer of all things, the King of Kings, the Awesome God; yet He denied that glory to come as a babe on my behalf! It is truly beyond my comprehension. So, how can I not be joyful?

Finally, dear reader, I urge you to consider the same question as I. Where are you finding your joy? Is it in the love of and service to Christ? If this is Christmas, are you overjoyed at the birth of the Savior who brought life, forgiveness, and redemption to all who will call upon His name? Please consider this, and be joyful in the Lord!

Philippians 2:5-11, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also  in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Merry Christmas to all my dear readers, and joy to the world! 🙂

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