THIRD SUNDAY IN ADVENT: JOY

Gregory Magruder        Parkview Baptist     Gainesville, FL      12/16/18
 
“Joy"
Luke 2:1-20
 
INTRODUCTION: The Christmas season is the time of Advent. Advent means “coming.” Today we lit the Third Advent Candle, the Candle of Joy. We associate Christmas time with joy. We sing carols, we give and receive gifts, we spend time with family, and we eat good food. But many cannot find joy at Christmas. They remember loved ones who have passed on or they have lost their jobs. They see pain and violence and hunger in the world and wonder where the joy of living is. But the angel told the shepherds that Christmas is a time of joy: “And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11). Christmas is the time to celebrate the JOY that Jesus Christ gives to us.
 
JOY OVERCOMES ADVERSITY.
 
*Joy was born in a manger. Joy can be born during hardship and difficulty. And Joseph also went up from Galilee…to be registered with Mary…who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn (Luke 2:4-7).
 
*Joy appeared to the shepherds. Joy can appear to anyone, at any time, and at any place.  And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:8-10).
 
*Joy was heralded by angels. The message of joy is available to all who will receive it.  And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:10-14).
 
Joy comes through a Savior. The shepherds believed and found their
Messiah. When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds
said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child.  (Luke 2:15-17).
 
God can bring great joy out of trying circumstances.
 
JOY IN THE LORD BRINGS VICTORY.
 
Joy settles conflicts. Paul reminds his co-workers that their joy lies in service and unity in the Lord. Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord (Philippians 4:1-2).
 
Joy rests in the Lord. The Lord Jesus is the source of joy in all circumstances. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice ( 4:4).
 
Joy is a command and a choice. Because you always have the Lord with you, you can always choose to rejoice no matter what the situation. Rejoice in the Lord always (4:4).
 
Joy endures to the end. Keep rejoicing until victory is won. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice (4:4).
 
“The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
 

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