The Prince of Peace and Source of Joy

Merry Christmas!!  I know that for some the sound of the Christmas bells and holiday songs can be a real downer and source of annoyance.  This time of year brings a bustle of additional things “To Do”, and buy, and wrap, and cook, and sing, and invite, and attend, and okay ALREADY…. if your blood pressure is climbing I will get straight to the encouragement!

My wishes for you are the joys of the season.  The season for Christ followers is intended to be filled with the joy and anticipation of celebrating the birth day of Jesus.  If  it has become something other than this, perhaps you will consider what can be eliminated to help you focus again on your Source of Joy and Peace.  Many years ago our family stopped exchanging presents and decided instead to enjoy the “extra” time doing things together, such as gathering for cookie and candy bakes or a craft day.  In years past this time had been spent, alone, fighting the rush at the shopping malls.  We found that making memories totally trumped any of the gifts we had ever received.  Especially since we can’t recall many of them anyhow!  But the memories we have made together have stayed in our minds, bringing  joy and smiles and good fodder for reminiscing.

 Instead of buying gifts this year (or in addition to) consider giving the greatest gift of all GIFTS from the Word, Himself (John 1:1):

Jesus’ gift of JOY:
“I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” John 15:11 NLT

“There I will go to the altar of God, to God–the source of all my joy. I will praise you with my harp, O God, my God!” Psalm 43:4 NLT

Jesus’ gift of PEACE:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  John 14:27 NIV

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:6-8 NIV

May your Christmas season be overflowing with God’s Joy and Peace. And as you fill your heart and mind with his good gifts, may you Radiate Christ’s glory [Psalm 34:5]!

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