I am filled with JOY at what God executed throughout history, with many outstanding results; not least among His great plans - delivering us from the power of darkness and conveying us into the kingdom of the Son of His love! Wow! That's pretty amazing! and awesome!
Out of that great act of love, we have redemption through Jesus' blood; forgiving us of our sins. I'm so humbly blessed, down on my knees; pondering that anew. O come, let us adore Him!
To those who have received this great Christmas gift of Jesus, Himself, what God has done brings great JOY! God, through Jesus, brought JOY to the very troubled world. We who have received that JOY can sing in every circumstance we find ourselves. Joy to the World!
Remember the early Church story of Paul and Silas in shackles; having been beaten and thrown in prison? But even there, they were filled with deep JOY, singing songs - because they were filled with God's Holy Spirit.
The New Testament book of Colossians was actually written by Paul, probably while imprisoned. Should I be glad that Paul was thrown in jail, so I could now benefit from letters he wrote back then? No, I’m not glad he had to suffer unto death – a very painful one, but I do rejoice that God saw fit to let Paul’s words speak to us in 2022, from a prison cell in the first century AD.
Paul said, in Colossians 1, that he wanted the Christians to be filled with the knowledge of God's will, in all wisdom and understanding.
He wanted this so that Believers would:
- walk worthy of the Lord,
- fully please Him,
- be fruitful in every good work, and
- increase in knowledge of God. He wanted Christians to
- be strengthened with all might (because of God's glorious power),
- have patience and longsuffering with JOY,
- and finally, give thanks to God, the Father, who qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the Light. (Do you feel special yet?)
That’s a lot to digest! I need to meditate on all those verb phrases. And act on them.
Christ is the Light! We are heirs, qualified to enter His kingdom, when we simply believe, repent, receive and obey God. You are so special to have received that Light, and you are now called according to His purpose! You are no longer having to figure out life alone. Never alone again.
This excites me to the core. (Mostly What I Need is You)
Like Paul and Silas in prison, we can have peace with JOY in the One who made the world and is sovereign over it all. We can walk forward, confidently in this messed up world, obeying God in all of the ways He shows me. (Seek You, Lord)
I encourage you to read and study Colossians 1 this week, as we cross over into a new year. Read it as if you've never read it before. Drink in and apply the message of hope the words bring to you, two thousand years after they were written.
Remember: God delivered us from the power of darkness and conveying us into the kingdom of the Son of His love!... and He qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the Light.
One of the key phrases of What Child is This?, a favorite Christmas carol is JOY JOY for Christ is born!
The song tells the whole story. Let’s sing it together, full of JOY while celebrating Jesus - God's great gift to us, and our place in His kingdom!