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Summary: The joy of Christmas and the rest of the year is discovered in Jesus. He is the only source that can produce lasting joy in our lives. Joy is a choice and it centers on our willingness to choose to surrender ourselves to Jesus or not.

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Are You Joy full?

Opening Illustration:

How to be joyful at work and make your co-workers wonder:

1. Page yourself over the intercom but don’t disguise your voice.

2. Find out where your boss shops and buy exactly the same outfits. Then where the outfits the day after they do.

3. Send an e-mail to the rest of the company to tell then what you are doing. For example” If anyone needs me, I’ll be in the bathroom.

4. While sitting at your desk, soak your fingers in Palmolive and never comment on it.

5. Put mosquito netting up around your cubicle when someone discovers a mosquito in the office.

6. Every time someone asks you to do something , ask them if they want fries with that.

7. Encourage your colleagues to join you in a little synchronized chair dancing.

8. Put your garbage can on your desk and label it “in.”

9. Develop an unnatural fear of staplers.

10. When driving colleagues around, insist on keeping your car’s windshield wipers running during all weather conditions if asked tell them “I keep them tuned up because you never know.”

11. Reply to everything someone says with, “That’s what you think.”

12. Practice making fax and modem noises while working.

13. Finish all your sentences with “In accordance with the prophecy.”

14. As often as possible skip down the hall rather than walk.

15. Ask people what sex they are.

16. While making presentations, occasionally bob your head like a parakeet.

17. At lunch time, sit in your parked car and point a hair dryer at passing cars to see if they slow down.

18. When you go to lunch with a coworker to pick up food - specify that your drive through order is to go.

Thesis: The joy of Christmas and the rest of the year is discovered in Jesus. He is the only source that can produce lasting joy in our lives. Joy is a choice and it centers on our willingness to choose to surrender ourselves to Jesus or not.

This is the great gift exchange program of John 3:16.

John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Introduction:

Max Lucado’s thoughts:

A twenty six word parade of hope: beginning with God, ending with life, and urging us to do the same. Brief enough to write on a napkin or memorize in a moment, yet solid enough to weather two thousand years of storms and questions. If you know nothing of the Bible, start here. If you know everything in the Bible, return here. We all need the reminder. The heart of the human problem is the heart of the human. And God’s treatment is prescribed in John 3:16.

He loves

He gave

We believe

We live

The words are to Scripture what the Mississippi River is to America-an entryway into the heartland. Believe or dismiss them, embrace or reject them, any serious consideration of Christ must include them. Would a British historian dismiss the Magna Carta? Egyptologists overlook the Rosetta stone? Could you ponder the words of Christ and never immerse yourself into John 3:16?

The verse is an alphabet of grace, a table of contents to the Christian hope, each word a safe-deposit box of jewels. Read it again, slowly and aloud, and note the word that snatches your attention. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”


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