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Monday, January 21, 2013

Joy to the World

By Joe Chesser

    Read on.  It’s probably not about what you think it is. Joy to the World is a world-famous Christmas song.  But I’m not writing about the song; nor am I writing about Christmas.  Well, maybe I am – kind of!
    What I am writing about in this article is the joy that was felt when Jesus came to this world, but not from the perspective we usually think.  Although Jesus’ coming to this world does produce a joy in us that is indescribable (Luke 2:10; 2 Cor. 9:15), I’d like for us to consider that when Jesus came to earth, it was joyous to God before it was to us!
    In fact, just the thought of Jesus becoming the Redeemer of mankind brought pleasure to God even before the world was created (Eph. 1:5, 9).  Read carefully all of Ephesians 1:3-10 (I don’t have room to include it all in the article).  Such rich and thought provoking verses! If these verses don’t encourage and excite you, I can’t imagine what it would take. Among other things, these verses tell us that …
            … if we are in Christ, we have access to every spiritual blessing  vs.3
            … if we are in Christ, we were included among the chosen  vs. 4
            … if we are in Christ, God sees us as holy and blameless   vs. 4
            … in Christ we have redemption   vs. 7
            … through the blood of Jesus we will be forgiven    vs. 7
            … grace, wisdom and understanding are lavished on us in Christ    vs. 8
            … through Christ we have insight into the mystery of God’s will  vs.9
            … we will eventually join with the heavenly hosts under Christ as Head vs. 10
    Just anticipating all these awesome blessings brought pleasure to God.  It may be compared (in a much lesser way, of course) with the joy we experience when we buy Christmas gifts for our kids and joyfully anticipate the day when they can experience the joy of receiving the gifts.
    But when Jesus did become flesh, when He was actually born into this world, the joy and pleasure God had anticipated became tangible for us.  To God, it was a pleasure to send His joy to the world.  It was a pleasure to make His kingdom available to us (Luke 12:32).  It was His pleasure to offer the gospel to save those who believe (1 Cor. 1:21).  God was pleased to have all of His fullness dwell in Jesus (Col. 1:19) so that when we see Jesus, we see God (John 14:9, 1:14).
    Since Jesus said “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35), I suspect that the joy that we as Christians feel at being saved is nothing compared to the joy God feels at saving us!  (Read Luke 15:7, 10).
          
- Joe Chesser preaches for the Fruitland Church of Christ, Fruitland, MO.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.cofcfruitland.com/


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