The Joy of Christmas – Part 2 of 3
The Joy of Living to Fulfill God’s Joyous Will
God has a will for each of us that is more than just to celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas or go to church on Sunday, but for each of us to make Him known, to live for his glory, to display his LOVE, to encourage one another, to have a relationship with him, and to spread the gospel message. We have a God in heaven that LOVES people and wants them to hear the good news of baby Jesus being born in a manger with the purpose of redeeming us from our sins so that we can have a relationship with Him.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 (Take note of that last point – He is always with us – He will enable us to do his will! And we have the Holy Spirit too!)
“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit. Who, the Father will send in my name will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:25-27
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Start with Prayer – Lord use me today
Jesus teaches us how to pray-
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Matthew 6: 9-13
- Start with praise
- Surrender your will
- Resolve to resist temptation and sin
- Pray for others
Encourage Others in Gospel Ministry
Sometimes we wait to be full of encouragement to give it to others. Don’t wait to be filled up or you will miss out on the blessing of giving encouragement to others. Think of someone you can reach out to today and then just do it. Give them a call, a text, a note. Drop by to visit to see how they are doing. Lend them a hand. Let them know that you love them and that God loves them too.
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. Hebrews 3: 12-13
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4: 11-13
Serve Regardless of Cost
It cost Jesus his life. He served through his death on the cross for our sins. Jesus gave his life for us–it was the Fathers will for him.
For by the blood of Christ we are set free, that is, our sins are forgiven. Ephesians 1:7
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1
What does this mean for us? Serve regardless of cost? For me, it means to give up some things. Things like holding grudges, anger, getting even for a wrong, proving I am right on certain irrelevant matters. It takes forgiveness too! We all experience these feelings at one time or another. The bible tells us that we will all experience trouble. Not even Jesus escaped trouble. It’s about what we choose to do with it and how we handle it.
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I (Jesus) have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Serve Regardless of What Others Do
Has someone failed you? Betrayed you? Just let you down when you counted on them? You are not alone. Jesus was betrayed by Judas Iscariat and then shortly after he was disowned by Peter. Then the soldiers mocked him too. Jesus continued to obey the Father and gave his life for us! Likewise, we should not allow what others do or don’t do to influence who we are and our choice to follow the Lord’s instructions and seek to walk and remain in his will.
While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him. “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” Luke 22:47
The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” Luke 22:61
The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. They blindfolded him… Luke 22:63
Wrestle in Prayer
Pray for others. Your family, friends, neighbors, those whom you know are suffering or going through some difficult times. Those that are lonely. Those that may have been unkind to you or perhaps betrayed you. Pray for them as well. It is more difficult to hold onto that hurt when you are praying for them! I often remind myself that “When I talk to God about people —— > Then l can talk to people about God!” I am confident that Jesus is already at work where he wants me to go.
Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. Colossians 4:12
Use Your Vocation and Your Home to Serve the Lord
In Ezekiel the Levites are instructed not to wear woolen garments while ministering but instead wear light clothing of linen so they will not perspire. Likewise, when we prepare to minister we should consider how to do it most optimally. We can look to leverage the strengths, abilities, and the particular gifts and blessings that the Lord has already provisioned. The Lord’s work is not intended to be difficult for us!
When they enter the gates of the inner court, they are to wear linen clothes; they must not wear any woolen garment while ministering at the gates of the inner court or inside the temple. They are to wear linen turbans on their heads and linen undergarments around their waist. They must not wear anything that makes them perspire. Ezekiel 44:17, 18
If you are uncertain on how to get started, just get started. You will know if it’s right for you or if you should try something different. One of my gifts is encouragement and that comes very easy for me. However, even though I love food and love to cook healthy and flavorful meals, if you ask me to host dinner for a group I could literally become sweaty and a little uptight!
Read Scripture Together – Give Scripture to Others
These are just a few scriptures that address the value and benefits of being in the Word and sharing God’s words with others. God’s word encourages us, gives us hope and strength, directs our paths, grows our faith, and it will never be read or shared without accomplishing the purpose God intends.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isiah 55:11
Perhaps, this post will be encouragement for you to focus on leaning into living to fulfill the Joyous Will of God! When I am walking in God’s will, I feel a spring to my step and joy in my heart that comes from the Lord. I pray that if you have read or scanned the article that something would resonate with you. That as you go about your day and this season of Christmas that the Lord’s words would fulfill the purpose he intended for you. God Bless you!