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JOY

The culmination of Advent is the Christmas Feast. What joy there is on Christmas Eve in churches across the world when so many of their parishioners and guests come home for Christmas. I saw an ad on the side of a bus sponsored by one denomination that said, “Come Home on Christmas Eve.” It seemed to say we miss our folks and we want to see you this Christmas.

Christmas joy is about feeling at home. The Christmas story illustrates that you don’t need a mansion to make a home. We witness Mary, Joseph, and Jesus at home in a manger. Home isn’t always with the people with whom you share genetic ties. Home can be with people God has brought into your life this year just for this Christmas.

The greatest joy of Christmas is facing the reality that God has now made His home in us who believe in His Son Jesus. John 14:23: Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” We always have a home in our hearts with Jesus.

The fire that burns in a heart that has opened to Jesus is a fire of love. The aroma of God’s love spills out and warms the soul with everything it needs. The soul rests in God’s love and presence. Zephaniah prophesied the intimacy and love. “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17). A heart that has God and Jesus making their home in it will not feel alone. It will know that God and Jesus are present and real. That same heart will believe in God’s might and power to save it from the woes of this earth. It will be assured that there is no condemnation toward it because of what Christ Jesus did to pay for sins. Pressure, condemnation, and fear will fade away when you make your home in Jesus and God. You will feel God’s delight in you when you sense His presence. So many people sense God as a judge, a constant disappointment. God’s presence, even when feeling conviction over sin, is delight. (Romans 2:4: “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?”)

A person who is at home with God and Jesus will feel a peace that passes understanding. God’s presence brings you to a place of quietness in His love. It’s not that the problems and situations that cause the distress or terror are vanquished. It’s that the presence of God and Jesus in your heart brings confidence in His love that quiets the chaos.

There is a lot of music in the heart of one who makes his home in Jesus. The singer is the Lord as he rejoices over you with song. Isn’t that what your heart longs for? Don’t you want to be the subject of a love song? That is how much you are loved by God. He has you engraved in the palm of His hand (Isaiah 49:16). He sent Jesus to die and rise again to pay for your salvation (1 Corinthians 15:3-7). His every action toward you is love. He loves you so much that He rejoices over you with singing.

The Christmas message brings joy to the soul. When you allow the reality of Christmas to bring you to faith in Jesus, you will discover a soul full of God and Jesus, home and joy! I pray that you have a beautiful Christmas at home with God and Jesus.

 

 

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