by Jerry Branch

Is the Joy in You?
Pastor Jerry Branch
Luke 2:8-20
12-26-99 a.m.

The angel brought news that was to give the people GREAT JOY. But what is the one ingredient that is missing in so many people's lives these days? Have you ever noticed how joy seems to be the missing ingredient in so many people's lives so much of the time? Unfortunately, it's EVEN a missing ingredient in the lives of so many who truly ought to be joyful - I'm speaking here of the Christians. So why is it like this?

Is it perhaps something wrong, or some kind of wrong thinking that we've brought into ourselves? In a way, I believe it is. I say that because, what have we ended up doing in our church life so much of the time? Do we not so much preach and teach on Christian duty; do we not concentrate heavily on Christian devotion in our Sunday School and Bible study; do we not so often concentrate on the necessity for people to work on developing a heart determination to serve? By doing so, I believe what we have done is to give the impression and that this activity is really what the Christian life is supposed to be all about; duty, devotion, and do this or do that for the Lord. And in doing so, we have overlooked the excitement of joy.

So it shouldn't be overly surprising that what we hear so much about during the Christmas season is the giving of gifts; the going to visit family or friends; the going shopping. In all our conditioning on the 'doing' of the Christian life, it seems that we have managed to overlook the excitement of the Good News of Great Joy. It is no wonder then that Charles Swindoll says that there are basically two kinds of people in the world: people who choose joy and people who don't. He says that the believer who chooses joy does so in spite of problems, pitfalls, and pressures.

So apparently, folks, there are even many believers out in the world who need a transfusion of genuine joy, especially at this time of the year. I know this is true, because if you' ...

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