In these days leading up to Christmas, so many people have asked me, “So, are you ready for Christmas?” And, for the most part, thanks to online shopping, I feel like I’m ready when it comes to gift-giving and preparing my home for guests. But, if you asked me if my heart is open to the true celebration, the joy and peace that Christians should experience in this special season, I’m not sure I’d be as easily willing to say, “Yes, I’m ready.”
I think we’d all agree that it’s hard to slow down in the midst of one of the busiest times of the year. And, it’s certainly a difficult time for those who have lost loved ones or who are experiencing a health or financial crisis.
So, as I read this Christmas message from Pastor Jim Garlow, I also want to share it with you and hope it speaks to your heart as much as it did mine . . .
“If I were to give you a Christmas gift—I know exactly what it would be! If I could give you anything I wanted, I’d give you . . . joy. Joy is so important in the life of the believer. Nehemiah 8 says that “the joy of the Lord is our strength.” Our strength! It literally flows strength into our spirit and from our spirit into our emotions, and from our emotions into our physical being.
The joy of the Lord is your strength. It’s not just some trite saying. It’s reality. Psalm 28 adds, “The Lord is my shield.” And it says, “My heart leaps for joy and I’ll give thanks to Him.” I’m not talking about happiness. I’m talking about a deep, abiding joy that comes from intimacy with God—that produces strength into your spirit.
Receive the gift. Receive joy!”
This message will air on “The Garlow Perspective” Friday, December 23rd. We pray that your listeners are encouraged and their hearts lifted by the reminder that in Him, we can receive and share joy not just at Christmas, but in every season of life.
May you have a very Merry Christmas! Looking forward to your continued partnership in 2017!