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Joy by Brad Sefton (Advent: Week 3)

It’s estimated that Americans will spend over $24 billion on gifts to be unwrapped this weekend; gifts that are designed to bring happiness, satisfaction, and joy to friends and loved ones. For followers of Jesus, true joy is found in true fellowship with the true God. In our gatherings this weekend, let’s reflect on the gift of joy that goes beyond the temporary pleasures found under the tree.

Scripture tells us that true joy comes from a deep connection with God. In Psalm 16:11, David proclaims, "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence, there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." The transformative power of God's presence in our lives and the joy we seek is not found in temporary pleasures but in the enduring connection to our Creator.

The birth of Christ, the cornerstone of Christmas, exemplifies the ultimate expression of God's desire for fellowship with humanity. In Matthew 1:23, we are reminded of the prophecy fulfilled in Jesus, "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means, God with us)." The Incarnation is an invitation to experience true joy through a personal relationship with the God who came near.

As we exchange gifts, make memories, and laugh with family and friends, let us not forget the greatest gift of all—God's presence in our lives. True fellowship with the true God brings joy that goes beyond circumstances and seasons. It’s an eternal joy anchored in the unchanging God.

A Prayer for Christmas:

God, I pray that my joy is found in my relationship with You, the true God. Reveal Your love and the richness of the Gospel to my family this Christmas. Help me to realize that joy lasts far beyond the holiday season. In Your name, Amen.

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