Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Joy

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

Each and every December I can’t help but think about the songs that speak of joy. We offer “tidings of comfort and joy.” Or we sing that great hymn, “How Great Our Joy,” offering “Joy, Joy, Joy.” Of course no December would be complete without offering “Joy to the World.” I love all of these and others. But I think we have a serious problem. Not everyone seems to be very joyful!

Some will blame it on commercialism. Others think it’s all the parties and programs that keep us so very busy. I’ve heard a few who think that overcrowded malls are the biggest joy sappers. After watching videos of Black Friday shopping, I think we should change the name to shopping mauls!

There are many contributing factors for our lack of joy, but I think there is one thing that stands out from the rest - our selfishness. That shouldn’t be a big mystery to any of us because selfishness is at the core of who we are. Actually, being unselfish strikes at the very core of our being. 

And that thought reminds me of the first Christmas and an incredible act of selflessness. Our precious Savior released Himself from the splendor of heaven to a humble stable. He became the ‘babe of Bethlehem’ that was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger because there was no room for Him in the inn. 

If you lack joy this Christmas, may I suggest that you seek the same selfless attitude that Jesus had:

Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal's death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8

A Christ follower understands that an attitude of selflessness is the key to experience true Christmas joy. So please don’t put it off for a more convenient time—that time doesn’t exist. I have learned from experience that God will honor your decision to act unselfishly. Try it. True, Christmas joy awaits!   

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