Summary: For 3rd Sunday of Advent on the Joy that is our’s as believers.
1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
Because the LORD has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
2 To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
3 To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
As we have been lighting the Advent candles we have read passages from the OT that spoke of transformations – or promises of blessing associated with the coming Messiah – we read these scriptures and light these candles at Christmas time because we know these Messianic promises – such as HOPE – PEACE – JOY and LOVE are fullfilled in Jesus Christ
One of the transformations – promises of the Messiah is Joy
At the beginning of his earthly ministry, Jesus stood in the synagogue at Capernaum after this passage of Isaiah was read and He said – Today this is fullfilled
How can we have the kind of genuine and lasting joy that allows us to really be joyful in all circumstances?
We enter into this Joy through faith in Jesus Christ – put our faith in Him as Lord God Savior of our lives – that is when and where Joy begins
There are several dimensions of Christian Joy.
Christian Joy Comes From Knowing Genuine Love
John 15: 9-13
“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11“These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. 12“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
(1) Christian joy is connected to genuine love.
Two kinds of love:
Love of God
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Love of God’s People
Barclay calls it "the love that likes too!" You can tell when there’s a sense of belonging to each other in a group.
Stephen Brown - "Everybody that belongs to Jesus belongs to everybody that belongs to Jesus." The bottom line is that love is only available in the family of Christ.
(2) Christian Joy Comes From Asked And Answered Pray
“In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. 24“Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.
Jesus is talking about the fact that believers will be filled with His Holy Spirit – and by that Spirit they will ask the Father in Jesus name – not asking Jesus – face to face – but through the Spirit asking in His name
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
(3) Christian Joy Comes From Seeing God’s Work In Others
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, 5in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. 6For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. 31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36Just as it is written,“FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG;