Devotional for Thursday December 17th

Good Morning Everyone,
 
Our theme for this month: “Celebrating is good for us”
 
Our Bible verse for today: “Happy are the people whose God is the Lord.” Psalm 144:15 (CSB)
 
Our thought for today: “Celebrate the joy of the Lord.”
 
The great devotional writer Oswald Chambers once wrote that the majority of God’s people are satisfied on too low a level. I think he was right. C.S. Lewis once expressed the same thought like this: “It would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
 
That is certainly true at Christmastime. We often get all caught up in the superficial and secular aspects of the season and allow ourselves to be satisfied with that. It’s as if the right gift card, the perfect tree, colorful lights, and a good meal are all we need to be happy. Yes, we can easily be satisfied at far too low a level.
 
In Psalm 144:15 Solomon taught that true happiness is enjoyed by those who have a deep and rich relationship with God. We read something similar in Nehemiah 8:10 where we’re told, “… the joy of the Lord is your strength.” The things of the world are a cheap substitute for the joy we find in Jesus.
 
Probably the most popular of all the Christmas hymns is “Joy to the World! The Lord is Come” by Isaac Watts. It was inspired by the Christmas story as recorded in chapter two of the gospel of Luke when the angels proclaimed joy at the birth of Jesus, but Watts said the lyrics are actually a paraphrase of Psalm 98. He felt that Psalm 98 expresses the joy and praise proclaimed by the angels in Luke 2, and therefore the lyrics of his song simply paraphrase what we read there.
 
The point for our devotional this morning is that experiencing and then proclaiming the joy of the Lord is really the object of the Christmas celebration. This is the goal for the Christian. Christmas is a celebration of Jesus – nothing more, but also nothing less. Again, quoting Oswald Chambers, “If I am full of the joy of the Lord, it will pour out of every cell of my body.”
 
I encourage you to truly and fully celebrate the joy of the Lord this Christmas. Don’t settle for anything less than that.
 
God Bless,
Pastor Jim
 
Copyright © 2020 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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