joy

  • Why The Gospel Is Good News That Brings Joy

    The third week of Advent is a special week and most everyone celebrates with a focus on JOY, along with a pinky-rose coloured candle. 

    An article in The Daily Press explained how, “The pink candle is lit on the third Sunday of Advent, called Gaudete Sunday” which means “rejoice.” And what colour is as happy and joyful as the colour pink?

    It’s not just a different candle that is lit during the third week of Advent, but there are different carols sung too, songs of joy fill churches. 

    Soul H2O Devotion

    Why The Gospel Is   Good News  That Brings Joy

    Why The Gospel Is Good News That Brings Joy

    Pre-pandemic, you just never knew who would be at the Christmas dinner table. My family would often invite people in who didn’t have others to celebrate with and the Lord knows, we always have WAY MORE food than needed. It might be someone who was down and out on their luck or just people who didn’t have family nearby.

    I think there’s great joy in knowing that Jesus came to set a seat at the table for anyone, not just a select few. 

    Take a look at your nativity set and actually think about the people surrounding the manger, along with all the others in the Christmas narratives recorded in Scripture.

    But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! For behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord!

    Luke 2:10-11 NIV

    First of all, there’s a baby. God could have chosen to come down as an adult but he didn’t. He chose to come down as baby. The gospel is for the youngest of the young. Next, there is Mary and Joseph, she’s a teen mom and he was just a young step dad.

    The gospel is for the young. 

    The first people to hear about the good news of the savior coming to earth was actually Mary’s older cousin Elizabeth. When she found out, she was so excited. Elizabeth and her hubby Zechariah housed Mary for the first part of her pregnancy. They were probably in their 40s or 50s as Zechariah was still working… so the gospel is for middle-aged people too.

    The gospel is for middle-aged people. 

    Anna and Simeon in the synagogue were seniors in their later years, waiting for the promised Messiah and they were filled with joy as they recognized Jesus as the Christ.

    The gospel is for seniors. 

    The wealthy, wise, and educated magi came from the east. Men with different skin tones, backgrounds, and beliefs from the others in this story.

    The gospel is for the wealthy, wise, and educated.
    For people of every nationality or ethnicity. 

    And then, there were the shepherds; just regular, every day, working class people.

    The gospel is for the the average Joe or Joanne. 

    The gospel is good news because it’s for everyone!

    No matter your race, creed, colour or family background, the gospel is good news that brings joy for you!

    Prayer

    Father… I want to thank You for including me into your family. Your gospel is good news for me. Help me to live in a joy-filled way that entices everyone to long for the good news your love can bring into their lives. In Jesus Name…Amen

    Drawing from the well

    Verses to help fill up your well.

    1. 1. Luke 2:10-11
    2. 2. Acts 2:28
    3. 3. Psalm 16:11
    4. 4. Luke 24:46-48

    Soul H2O Resources

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    #musicpic

    #musicpic SONG: Joy Unto the World – The Afters @ 3:56

    Youtube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu018_9wF7k

    Soul H2O Spotify Playlist: Online | On App

    advent Spotify Playlist

    Joy For The Holidays is a part of the Advent Series on the Soul H2O Radio & Podcast Show Episode #90.

    You can find the  Show Notes at http://www.soulh2o.com/90

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    Childlike Faith Series – Christmas Crackers
    Expecting Good Gifts From God

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    Advent Inspiration for your Christmas Season

    Devotions, Podcast Episodes, Recipes, Christmas Messages and more!
    https://www.sherrystahl.com/advent-inspiration-for-your-christmas-season/

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  • Joy to The World

    joy to the world“That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” –Luke 2:8-12 NLT

    Jesus- the Joy to The World

    Do you have a favorite Christmas carol? One of my ultimate favorite’s is Joy To The World, especially when Mariah Carey is singing it!
    It’s just my opinion, but I think there are too many sad, slow, and unrealistic Christmas Carols about Jesus. Carols about Santa are filled with Joy. There’s Santa Baby, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, and Here Comes Santa Claus. Those songs just make you happy singing their jingles.

    Silent Night doesn’t even make any sense to me. I struggle to think that a baby’s birth in a stable with animals around was a “silent” night.

    Away In A Manger isn’t logical either. The song ends off well and is angelic when sung by a choir of children, but to think that cows mooing wouldn’t cause a newborn to cry can only be written by someone who’s never had a baby!

    O Come All Ye Faithful has us singing “Born this happy morning” in an almost sorrowful way. Hardly joyful, birthday celebrating songs appropriate for my Jesus’ birthday!

    Nothing brings more joy into the world than the birth of a child. Reading Luke’s account of that wonderful night when Jesus was born helps me to understand that He came to bring Joy To The World. His desire is to take our sorrow and replace it with the good news that our savior has come. This year share the joy of Jesus’ good news with someone. This will bring a great joy to their celebration of Christmas and yours!

    Prayer

    Father…Thank-you for bringing joy into our world because we need it! So often life is hard and doesn’t make sense. May the joy of knowing you Jesus and the freedom Your salvation brings bubble out of my life this Christmas and forevermore! In Jesus Name…Amen.


    Soul H2OIf you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.

     

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  • Cause and Effect

    sing for joy“…you who pursue righteousness and who seek the LORD…The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.”
                                                               Isaiah 51:1,3 NIV
    Have you ever gone through a time in your life when you couldn’t imagine ever having joy or feeling glad?   It’s horrible! I remember going to church and not even being able to sing because I feared that if I sang it would bring on a tidal wave of emotions that I couldn’t control. I read this verse and struggled to believe it was possible. How could joy, gladness and singing come back into my life? These verses gave me hope to know that there were things I could do to place myself in line with God’s promises. A kind of “CAUSE AND EFFECT” principle that was offered to the people in Isaiah’s time worked for me and is applicable for your life today!
    If you want to see a big turnaround in your life from deserts to gardens, Isaiah says you need to “pursue righteousness” and “seek the LORD”. You don’t have to fix yourself, anyone or anything else up. It’s simply out of pursuing and seeking after God, who is our righteousness that we gain joy, gladness and start to sing again. When you begin to set your focus on building your relationship with Him and start over looking your desert wastelands that you will start to feel the joy and gladness surging through your heart.
    My experience has been that when I have decidedly spent time enjoying my relationship with God that the negative hard stuff doesn’t affect me as much. The more I spend time pursuing a relationship with God, the more refreshed I am and able to experience the joy He has for me. It’s been a process that was set into motion by following this “CAUSE AND EFFECT” principle; I seek, HE restores! How good to know that our God doesn’t change. His promises were just as effective yesterday as they are today! Why not take advantage of them?
    Prayer
    Father, I thank-you that Your promises are true, even when I don’t feel like they are. I ask you to help me to pursue You alone. I set my focus on building relationship with you so that You can apply this promise to my life and fill me with Your gladness to the place where I will sing for joy!  In Jesus name…Amen.
     

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  • We need to change our Christian Expectations

    “Dear friends, DO NOT BE SURPRISED at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something STRANGE were happening to you.  But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be OVERJOYED when his glory is revealed.”   
                            1 Peter 4:12-13

    We NEED to change our Christian Expectations.

    People tend to fall on either one side of the fence or the other; some expect too much yet some expect too little.  There are strange folk (and I mean that in the nicest way) who spend their lives jumping from one side of the fence to the other.
    Those are the type of people that this verse is talking about.
    I have to watch it or I can be one of these strange fence jumpers.  I’m sailing along believing God for great things, and then a problem hits and I’m tempted to fall into discouragement and give up hope.  In my life I have greatly struggled with getting-ready-for-the-carpet-to-be-pulled-out-from-under-me syndrome.  It’s an underlying fear of mine.  Until recently, t was an unspoken mindset that I functioned in, or should I say malfunctioned in!

    I believe a part of my problem has been my Christian Expectations.  

    I have expected that problems won’t get me because I do my best to live for God. It’s illogical that I could read the Bible and arrive at this mindset. Illogical yes, but a common Christian expectation!
    This verse talks about the danger of becoming like the seed that falls on the rock, which falls away when trouble or persecution comes.  We need to live our lives expecting the best yet not be shocked when trouble comes. Trust that God will somehow turn it around for our best, using it for His glory!

    [tweetthis]Expect trials and suffering will come as much as you expect God will bring joy afterward.[/tweetthis]

    Living with this healthy Christian expectation will allow you to walk in confidence no matter what your circumstances are!

    Prayer

     Father, today I ask you to help me to increase my Christian expectations to a level that lines up with your Word!  Help me not jump the fence when trouble comes, but to stand in faith believing that when hardship hits I can trust You to bring joy back into my life.  In Jesus name, Amen

    [tweetthis]Changing expectations changes things.[/tweetthis]

    Drawing From The Well - Wide

    1. 1 Peter 4:12-13
    2. Matthew 13:1-43 (the Parable of the Seeds)
    3. Psalm 30:5
    4. 2 Corinthians 4:17
    Soul H2O - Look InsideThis post was first published on November 18, 2013 and then included in my first Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.
    Devotion #2 – Christian Expectations

     
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