From the Pastor’s Pen
One of the best known and best loved hymns of the Christmas season is “Joy to the World”. You have sung this hymn since you were a child. Come on, you know the words: “Joy to the world, the Lord is come…” And, so on and so forth.
I sometimes wonder if we actually think about the words of these songs and the message they convey or do we just kinda go through the motions and sing them.
All of these “gospel set to melody” messages communicate a powerful message that, if heeded can radically transform our lives. Take this hymn for instance. Its message is that Jesus brings joy to the human heart. What wonderful news! What a powerful experience if you have it!
Joy is not giddiness. It is not silliness! It is not one’s phony happiness. It is the spiritual quality in our spirit that causes us to be an intensely present, upbeat and hopeful person. Joy is more than happiness. By comparison, happiness is a shallow fleeting experience. Happiness is based upon having one’s way. When one has his or her way, it is presumed that he or she is happy. Happiness goes and comes, again depending upon whether or not one’s circumstance is as one desires.
Joy, on the other hand, is a personality trait. It is the way one is in his or her heart, irrespective of one’s circumstance. It is not fleeting. It is what sweet is to sugar. It is what wet is to water. It is what color is to the rainbow.
In Galations 5:22, Paul lists joy as the fruit of the spirit. “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy…” It is sweetness in the heart. It is the first gift we receive when we receive Jesus into our hearts. And what a joyless, sad and unhappy experience life would be without Jesus. Receive Him into your heart. It is the reason He came into the world.
Now sing that song: “Joy to the World”…. Having joy makes a difference even in our singing.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”GALATIANS 5:22-23
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Yours, because of Calvary
W. Marshall Myles, Senior Pastor