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Let's Spread Some Joy

Let’s Spread Some Joy

   This is the time of year when many people tend to think about joy.   Some do so because they have some sort of joy and others don’t think they do, but wish they did.   If asked what was the source of their joy, or lack thereof, the answers folks would give are many and varied.

The reason why some think that this time of year is “the time” to think about joy is many years ago, someone decided to take a prophesied event and make it more meaningful than any other event.    These that did so had begun to dominate religion and so the holiday known as “Christmas” came to be. That event to which they placed so much importance is the first advent of Christ.

     But, if you will “Examine the Scriptures” you will find that there is no specific date ascribed to the birth of Christ. Neither is there instruction given to celebrate His birth.  Folks have been improperly taught through the years that “Christmas” is the celebration of the birth of Christ and most accept it without question. The word Christmas is a shortened version of the Words: “Christ Mass” which should give us a clue as to who started this celebration.

     However, the “Joy” associated with the “holiday” (holy day) was from the biblical account of this event found in Matthew chapter 2.   We are told here that Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king. If we read vs 3 we see that Herod did not have joy when he heard about it.   When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.   

   The record also tells us there was a star. Wise men from the east followed the star as it went before them and when the star stood over the place where the child was, the wise men rejoiced. Matthew 2:10 tells us how they rejoiced. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joyBut what happens when the “annual” celebration is over and the seasonal time has passed?   From whence does one’s joy come then?  

    Jesus, following His birth, grew and matured and began His earthly ministry. In so doing He called men to follow Him and chose 12 to be His apostles.   As He was telling them of His pending departure and the sending of the Comforter, He also instructed them in John 15:10-11 how to have continual joy. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full

   Then as we continue into the time shortly after the church was established, we find Philip in Acts chapter 8, preaching Christ to the occupants of Samaria.   We are told of their attentiveness and vs 8 tells us: “And there was great joy in that city.”     Then we see in vs 12 the reason why they had such joy.   But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.  This is also the concept taught in Romans 15:13 so that we might know that we are to have joy as a result of hearing and following the Word, which was delivered to man by the Holy Ghost.   Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost

   We see that the Thessalonian brethren were recipients of this hope and their fidelity at the time of the writing of the letter was a source of joy to the apostle Paul. The Holy Spirit had him write of it as we find it in 1Thessalonians 2:19-20. For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? 20 For ye are our glory and joy.   

     We are then told in 1John 1:3-4 that the preaching of Christ and the things the Spirit caused to be written regarding the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ were so that joy could be realized and be full. That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.     From these scriptures we are to know that knowing and following the Word of God is that which should give us the greatest joy.

   During this season, as well as throughout the year, as we offer folks well wishes, perhaps our focus should be on spreading joy – the greatest joy – the joy that comes from walking in truth.   This is the desire of godly parents for their children and is not to be limited to any particular season or holiday. This was the direction given Deuteronomy 6:7.     And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 

   The Holy Spirit had the apostle John write of this in 3John 1:3-4, his third general epistle. For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truthOf course, these folks were not his biological children, but he had begotten them through the gospel. Let’s spread some joy throughout the year as we teach the truth to any and all who will listen.   But before we do, we must study and fill ourselves with the Holy Ghost (the Word) as did those of Acts 13:52. And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.                                                                                                                                       Dennis S – Mooresville

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