JOY IS THE EVIDENCE OF LOVE
2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
3 You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder. Isaiah 9:2-3
We are moving closer to the end of another week, but I hope and pray that we will still take hold of the JOY that we have experienced this week. A JOY that goes beyond the borders of the normal and helps us to experience a love that is so much more than the world was expecting. Our lives and mindsets were completely flipped upside down because we were expecting a joy that would come in the winning of the physical battles on this earth, but what we received was the JOY that comes through the love that broke every chain that holds us to a sentence of death. It was a battle that we still to this day are not willing to admit that we are struggling with on a daily basis. God sent LOVE into the world to complete our JOY so that we would be able to live eternally with God in heaven. See the sin that is in our lives causes us not to be able to be in the presence of God and if we think that we are able to live in sin and the presence of God we are truly mistaken. That is the whole purpose of the life and love of Christ. That is the whole reason that God had to send Jesus into the world because the very nature of sin could not be in the presence of God. So love came down... gave the ultimate sacrifice because HE loved His creation so much and we were able to once again be made complete in the JOY of the Father.
So during this year, I hope and pray that you can see and experience JOY that is filled with the love and sacrifice of God in such a different way. I hope that you are able to see the JOY that God continues to provided in our lives through the people that God has brought into your path. I pray that we realize that our families were created as a means to multiply the Gospel to the world and a way to equip each member of our families to be carriers of God's love to fulfill the purpose of why JOY came to the world in the first place. We have been
given once again another reminder that we are no longer to be shackled or condemned to the death the we deserve because of our sin, but that love took on flesh and took on the burden of our sins so that we may be fully free to live life and live it more abundantly. God did not create us to be cursed to death but to offer us the JOY that comes with the opportunity to live eternally with Him in heaven. God gave us the gift of JOY through the life of Jesus and whether or not we live into that JOY is really up to us. We are still given the choice to receive this gift that is so freely offered to all of the world. What an amazing expression of love and forgiveness by a God who had every right to wipe the slate with all of us and start over. But God... I love that phrase... BUT GOD, was not going to leave us in that stage of death. God is still willing to fight for our lives and still offering JOY to come in if we will just let go and give it ALL to God in full. Jesus did not come just for some... no Jesus came as a sin offering of love for ALL.
Crazy that we read this in Isaiah's prophecy over 700 years before it came to fruition. God was wanting us to know that no matter how bad it seems, He was still preparing to provide an opportunity for our lives to encounter love and JOY in such a way that is indescribable. And looking at Isaiah's words we see that we were and are walking in darkness until the LIGHT was able to come into our lives and reveal the reality of God's promise to love us. God is, through the words He gave to Isaiah, reminding us of the JOY that was coming. They had no idea what that was going to look like but that we were going receive something that was a going to provide us such great JOY. Isaiah was helping us to see that it was the same as the JOY we receive when our physical needs are provided for but it was really something that would be so much more. Our minds at the time just could not comprehend what that would really look like. We just knew that it was going to be something that would provide the JOY of the harvest and something that was worth more than the joys that were found from the bounty that was taken from war. Looking at these words and realizing that these words were being used to describe the entrance of Jesus, God's ONLY Son, into the world is breathtaking. As we are able to read through the Bible from this point in history until the fulfillment of God's promise born in Bethlehem, it helps us to read and see the JOY that was expressed through the prophets and the warnings of what could happen if we did not prepare to receive this JOY fully into our lives.
I say all of this today to help us all recognize the ignoramus LOVE that was provided in the gift of JOY that God presented to world. I want us to be able to live out each day with the excitement and anticipation to present this gift of LOVE and JOY to others who are still walking alone and with eyes wide open but still blinded. I pray that we are all able to take hold of the story again of Jesus coming into the world, the LIGHT once again overcoming the darkness and providing a way for us to once again feel the love of God not just as the Creator of all things that was willing to be hands off, but as a Father that was willing to get down and dirty in our lives...in our sin and provide a way for us to be loved through those moments. A God that was willing to sacrifice it all that we may find a JOY that will exude out of our hearts and lives as a living testimony to every person that we meet each day. I want people to see this JOY that lives with us, even during the times of chaos, uncertainty and
struggle. The world needs to once again realize the JOY that has been given to us all through the story of Christ and WE are the ones that have to go out and share that to them. There is no one else that has been called to do that but the ones that have already received this love and joy. We have been called to GO... and multiply this message of JOY to the world. I know I have said that a lot this week, but remember our focus for this week is JOY. And this JOY is not meant to be hidden. It is not meant to be said with Happy Holidays, but is meant to be expressed in love when we same Merry Christmas. Remember Christmas, when broken down is Christ mas... and for me that means that we need MORE of CHRIST to be revealed to the world. We need more of the wold to receive and accept the JOY that came in the image of a child and who left this world to one day return and take home His children. There is HOPE... there is LOVE... there is JOY that lives in us because of the power of the gift that came as the evidence of a loving GOD.