Week 3: December 17 - 23: JOY

Weekly Family Devotion:

We all want to be happy and live with a sense of well-being.  However, we live in a world that is often filled with hardship: trials, tribulations, sin, sorrow, and death.  God’s Word never minimizes the pain of life; still, it offers us “happiness” in the midst of our circumstances - a settled state of soul/mind called joy.  God proclaims that He will bring things to right; that He will give us joy in and through His Son, Jesus.  Our “job” as God’s people is to choose - through the Spirit working in us - to have joy even in the midst of hardship, for God will renew all things.  He has proclaimed in the Old Testament, that, “Those the Lord has rescued will return.  They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” (Isaiah 51:11)  In Jesus’ arrival and in all He did and is doing, we can choose to be joyful, because we know that He is making the world new!  In fact, when the angels announced Jesus’ impending birth, they said to the shepherds: “Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” (Luke 2:10)  Jesus’ first coming and His second coming is the foundation of joy for those who receive Jesus as their King!

God wants fullness of joy for His people!  We see in creation that our God is a God of abundance and exuberance.  Jesus’ hard work of sacrificing Himself for the world is a perfect example of how one can be rooted in joy - even though pain is present.  God desires His people to be joyful, and He has fought for our happiness in/through the work of HIs Son, Jesus!  Watch the video for this week from The Bible Project, and then take some time to discuss how Jesus brings you joy and how you can bring that to your life-calling and your work.

The Bible Project's "Word Series for Churches" - JOY


Daily Scripture Readings:

This third week’s readings focus on JOY and proclamations about Jesus - the One who can bring joy to those we work and live with.

Sunday: Proclamation from angels about Jesus’ forerunner, John the Baptist: Luke 1:16-17

Monday: Proclamation from angels about Jesus: Luke 1:31-33

Tuesday: Proclamation from Elizabeth (John’s mother) about Jesus: Luke 1:41-44

Wednesday: Proclamation from Mary about God: Luke 1:46-49

Thursday: Proclamation from Zechariah (John’s dad) about Jesus: Luke 1:68-70

Friday: Proclamation from angels about Jesus: Matthew 1:20-21

Saturday: Proclamation about joy and requesting for it from God: Romans 15:13


Prayer for the Week:

Dear loving Lord, I thank you for all you do for me.  You go so far beyond what I think I need.  You let me be me.  You let me live free.  My happiness is so much greater, with so much less.  And, no matter how dark things get, your light never leaves me.  Thank you, Lord, for forgiving me.  Thank you, Lord, for loving me.  My soul sings, joyously, your praises.  In your name, Jesus Christ, Amen.  ~ from prayerforanxiety.com


Song:

Lift up your heads, O ye gates

And be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors

And the King of Glory shall come in

Who is this King of Glory?

The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle

 

Lift up your heads, O ye gates

And be lift up, ye everlasting doors

And the King of Glory shall come in

Who is this King of Glory?

The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of Glory


Living Advent This Week:

Below are some simple ideas for you to live JOY this week.

  1. Pray you that would bring joy to your coworkers this season.

  2. Pray for God’s joy to fill your life this season and that it would flow to others.

  3. Walk in creation or do something to root your life in Jesus’ joy.

  4. Write a letter to your boss/employer thanking them for giving you a place to work and for allowing you the ability to provide for your needs.