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Great Joy

By: Joanne Wilson

Begin with 2 minutes of silence

Scripture Luke 2:8-14 (ESV, emphasis added) 8And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.9And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear.10And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Devotional Thoughts Here, in these words from the book of Luke, we are confronted with the knowledge that there is good news for us: we have a Savior who is Jesus Christ the LORD. And with that news—that good news—we are the ones who have JOY: real, honest, abounding JOY. That JOY can only be found as we come to the sure and certain understanding that we are saved, and that it is not of ourselves but only through the saving work of the ONE who is CHRIST our LORD.

Initially, there was an aspect of fear in the hearts of the shepherds when the angel came to them. The shepherds did not fully understand what was happening, but being in the presence of this angel and hearing the words given to them caused them to listen with their hearts open.

And, in place of their initial fear, they received good news, great hope, peace, and ultimately JOY: hearts overflowing with the realization that God had entered their space. And HE had given to them something that, perhaps, they did not even know they needed...and it caused them to be lifted and released into this joy that then filled their minds, hearts, lives. So much so, that they could in joyful trust go and see this wonder, this babe who is a Savior and LORD.

I—like the angels—end with the praising of God, giving glory to HIM. And giving glory to HIM gives peace to us. It is only as we take hold of the peace that God has given us through Jesus Christ our LORD that we can have joy. Peace is the heart truth wherein we can outwardly have the demonstration of JOY. Questions to Consider Has God entered the spaces of your life to such an extent that the GOOD NEWS of Christ as your LORD fills your life with joy? Are there any places that you do not allow HIM entry and thus have no joy there? Prayer Father please look upon me, Your child, and cause my heart to overflow with peace which leads to JOY as realize the good news and look to and trust in Jesus Christ my Savior. Thank YOU.

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