Joy to the World
[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]T[/mk_dropcaps]hat is one of my favorite Christmas carols. I think that along with the fact that we hear carols everywhere we go this time of year puts a spirit of praise around us not just in church, but in every store we enter. This brings me such peace at a time of year where it is so easy to get sucked into the added tasks. No wonder, with gift buying, parties, juggling the expectations of extended family and the emotions that come with that, on top of the regular responsibilities we have with the many hats we wear it can be overwhelming. However, this time of year more than others I feel at peace in the mix of it all. The reason I believe is because Christmas still is a time when as a nation we intentionally or unintentionally are praising our Lord and Savior. With praise comes a sense of peace, joy and love. That is because that is the presence of God. The Bible says that the Lord inhabits the praises of His people. Besides the obvious, access to the presence of God, the part that overwhelms me with His goodness is that by being connected with Him all our needs are met and beyond.
[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.”John 15:5-8 MSG[/mk_blockquote]
Praise opens our hearts for the Lord’s presence. Remaining in the posture of praise keeps us firmly connected to God. That connection forged by a heart of praise means we not only have blessing, but the ear of our creator. WOW! I really have no words besides that.
This Christmas season I pray you open your heart through praise for the Lord to set up residence. The outcome is an experience that is not only life changing, but everlasting. It may sound to good to be true, but Icould never exaggerate at the goodness of God. I hate hype. Yet God makes you sound like you’re hyping him up with how overwhelmingly good He is. I encourage you to seek Him and see for yourself. He is JOY to this broken hurting world, but first things first, His desire is to start with YOU.