Tag Archives: joy to the world

The Plan For Redemption

Before God spoke the words, “Let there be light,” there was a plan in place for Him to send His one and only son to redeem us. Think about that. The plan didn’t get created after Adam and Eve sinned. God knew from the beginning what was going to happen. That’s what He was able to give the first prophecy of Jesus in Genesis as He cursed the serpent. Then, all throughout history He continued to speak through the prophets of a time when He would send the Messiah Jesus into the world. With the angel’s announcement to the shepherds, God was putting His plan for redemption into place. God took on flesh and blood to become one of us so He could restore the relationship.

As you celebrate Christmas, don’t forget that what we’re really celebrating is how the Word became flesh and dwelt among us so we could one day be with Him forever. The gifts you give and receive are a symbol of the greatest gift we have ever been given. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 KJV). I hope you have a merry Christmas and spend time with your family today, but I also hope that you remember this is but a foreshadowing of a celebration with our family in Heaven that’s coming. Joy to the world for unto you is born a savior which is Christ the Lord!

Here are some Bible verses about Jesus coming into the world.

1. The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all the cattle, And more than any animal of the field; On your belly you shall go, And dust you shall eat All the days of your life. And I will put enmity (open hostility) Between you and the woman, And between your seed (offspring) and her Seed; He shall [fatally] bruise your head, And you shall [only] bruise His heel.”

Genesis 3:14-15 AMP

2. Then a Shoot (the Messiah) will spring from the stock of Jesse [David’s father], And a Branch from his roots will bear fruit.

Isaiah 11:1 AMP

3. But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf.

Micah 5:2 NLT

4. Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Listen carefully, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will call his name Immanuel (God with us).

Isaiah 7:14 AMP

5. But the angel reassured them, saying, “Don’t be afraid. For I have come to bring you good news, the most joyous news the world has ever heard! And it is for everyone everywhere! For today in Bethlehem a rescuer was born for you. He is the Lord Yahweh, the Messiah. You will recognize him by this miracle sign: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a feeding trough!”

Luke 2:10-12 TPT

Merry Christmas! If you’d like to read more verses on the birth of Jesus, click here.

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

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Restoring Your Joy

Remember that song, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy down in my heart”? If you just said, “Where,” and responded, “Down in my heart,” then you’re going to have this song stuck in your head today. I truly hope you do too. Joy is something God gives us that’s based on what He’s done for you and not what you’re going through. Circumstances steal happiness, but they can’t touch joy. The Bible says that we will be led with joy and that the joy of the Lord is our strength (you’ll be singing this one too!). Joy is what helps us endure whatever comes our way. Even in the hardest of times, we can ask God to give us joy so we can push through when our mind tells us we can’t.

While every one of us go through hard times at some point, others live hard lives where it seems to be one thing after the other. Joy helps us to keep our eyes on Jesus through it all knowing that He has a plan and that all those hard times are producing His qualities in our life. When we lose sight of that, it’s good to pray what David did in Psalm 51 even though his words were from repentance. Pray, “Lord, restore to me the joy of your salvation.” I’ve had to pray that prayer many times and God has always given me His joy so that I could have the strength to keep going. I believe that God will restore your joy too.

Here are some Bible verses on joy.

1. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.

Psalms 51:12 NLT

2. You love him, although you have not seen him, and you believe in him, although you do not now see him. So you rejoice with a great and glorious joy which words cannot express, because you are receiving the salvation of your souls, which is the purpose of your faith in him.

1 Peter 1:8-9 GNT

3. So you’ll go out in joy, you’ll be led into a whole and complete life. The mountains and hills will lead the parade, bursting with song. All the trees of the forest will join the procession, exuberant with applause. No more thistles, but giant sequoias, no more thorn bushes, but stately pines— Monuments to me, to GOD, living and lasting evidence of GOD.

Isaiah 55:12-13 MSG

4. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people. For this day in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (the Messiah).

Luke 2:10-11 AMP

5. If you keep my commands, you will live in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands, for I continually live nourished and empowered by his love. My purpose for telling you these things is so that the joy that I experience will fill your hearts with overflowing gladness!

John 15:10-11 TPT

Photo by Preslie Hirsch on Unsplash

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Joy To The World

This time of year, it becomes obvious that many of us don’t remember much more than the first verse of most Christmas Carols. As we lead up to Christmas, I want to explore some powerful verses in some of my favorite carols.

If you’ve ever read the Genesis account of creation, you know that we were banned from Eden because of Adam and Eve’s inability to obey God’s simplest instruction. They had access to everything in Eden except for one tree. When they sinned through disobedience, God responded to Eve first and then to Adam. He told Adam the ground would be cursed and, “It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains” (NLT). The second Adam, Jesus, came to set us free of the spiritual aspect of that curse.

The third verse to “Joy To The a World” says the following:

No more let sins and sorrows grow,

Nor thorns infest the ground;

He comes to make His blessings flow

Far as the curse is found,

Far as the curse is found,

Far as, far as, the curse is found.

Because Jesus came to earth, sin no longer had free reign. The antidote to its effects came in the form of a baby born in Bethlehem. Galatians 3:13 says, “But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law.” No more could sin grow, nor its spiritual thorns pierce our souls. The curse of sin was broken and joy was returned to the world for every heart that has prepared room for Him. There is no place the curse has gone that grace cannot find.

Each of us have been under the effects of the curse. Each of us have sinned against God according to Romans 3:23. It was while the world and each of us were in this helpless estate that God sent His Son to redeem us from the curse. You and I can return to spiritual Eden when we accept that the baby born in Bethlehem was the Son of God who sacrificed His physical life for our spiritual one. That night in the Judean hillside, Joy was indeed sent into the world.

Photo by Brett Zeck on Unsplash

Each year, I take a one week sabbatical from writing to refresh and to spend time with my family. Each devotion this week will be a past favorite. Enjoy and I’ll see you next week.

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Joy To The World

This time of year, it becomes obvious that many of us don’t remember much more than the first verse of most Christmas Carols. As we lead up to Christmas this week, I want to explore some powerful verses in some of my favorite carols.

  
If you’ve ever read the Genesis account of creation, you know that we were banned from Eden because of Adam and Eve’s inability to obey God’s simplest instruction. They had access to everything in Eden except for one tree. When they sinned through disobedience, God responded to Eve first and then to Adam. He told Adam the ground would be cursed and, “It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains” (NLT). The second Adam, Jesus, came to set us free of the spiritual aspect of that curse.

The third verse to “Joy To The a World” says the following:

No more let sins and sorrows grow,

Nor thorns infest the ground;

He comes to make His blessings flow

Far as the curse is found,

Far as the curse is found,

Far as, far as, the curse is found.

Because Jesus came to earth, sin no longer had free reign. The antidote to its effects came in the form of a baby born in Bethlehem. Galatians 3:13 says, “But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law.” No more could sin grow, nor its spiritual thorns pierce our souls. The curse of sin was broken and joy was returned to the world for every heart that has prepared room for Him. There is no place the curse has gone that grace cannot find.

Each of us have been under the effects of the curse. Each of us have sinned against God according to Romans 3:23. It was while the world and each of us were in this helpless estate that God sent His Son to redeem us from the curse. You and I can return to spiritual Eden when we accept that the baby born in Bethlehem was the Son of God who sacrificed His physical life for our spiritual one. That night in the Judean hillside, Joy was indeed sent into the world.

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The Promise Of Joy

I’ve often heard that joy is not circumstantial, but happiness is. To many of us, the two are the same. I believe that happiness is an external expression as a result from a feeling. Joy, on the other hand, is what creates hope and optimism even in the face of circumstances that tell you otherwise. Joy is what gives us the strength to put one foot in front of the other, to breathe in and breathe out and to get out of bed when all we want to do is curl up and cry. Joy gives us peace in troubled times.

The Bible speaks a lot about Joy. In one instance, Job had been faced with great loss to his family, finances and health. Things got so bad that his own wife told him, “Curse God and die!” She had let the circumstances steal her Joy. She saw no way out of the situation. She had no hope for the future. She was mad at God, mad at life and mad at her husband. She couldn’t understand why her husband still held onto his faith in God in such trying times. It just didn’t make sense.

I’ve found that a lot of life doesn’t make sense. I don’t understand why things happen the way they do. I don’t pretend to know why God doesn’t answer my prayers the way I pray for Him to. Just because He doesn’t, I shouldn’t stop praying. I shouldn’t grow bitter against Him. I shouldn’t sever our relationship. It’s easy to do those things in the midst of a trial if you don’t have Joy. It’s easy to want to quit, renounce your faith and walk away because you’re mad at God. But Job proved that you can go through unimaginable pain and maintain your Joy. Was he sad? Yes. But even in his sadness, he did the hard thing. He held onto Joy.

I’m sure he began to wonder why he was holding onto it after a while. I’m sure over time the situation, the questions and longevity of his trial began to wear on him. During that time, a friend named Bildad came to encourage him. In Job 8:21, he reminded Job of who God was and what He promised His people. He said, “He (God) will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” He reminded Job that the circumstantial sadness was only temporary.

I believe that verse is God’s promise to us today. He will once again return laughter and joy to your life no matter what your circumstances have brought you. I love Psalm 30:5. It’s very familiar to lots of people. You’ve heard it read as, “Weeping may endure for a night, but Joy comes in the morning.” I especially love how the Message puts it. It says, “The nights of crying your eyes out will give way to days of laughter.” Circumstances will tell you those days will never come, but Joy says it’s on its way. That’s a promise from God.

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