This past weekend, Carol and I bought the supplies to make a JOY nativity outdoor Christmas yard sign. As I was cutting out the letters for this sign, I was reminded of the fact that while joy is a word and emotion focused on during the Christmas season, it is also one of the fruits of the Spirit mentioned by Paul in Galatians chapter 5.
By referring to joy as a “fruit of the Spirit,” Paul was actually referring to joy as “outward evidence of the work of the Spirit of God in the heart of every true follower of Jesus Christ.” If you are a genuine Christian, you should be marked by joy, not just at Christmas time, but year round. And the reason for that is biblical joy is the deep-down sense of well-being that abides in the heart of a person who knows that all is well between himself and the Lord.
With that definition in mind, consider the following implications of genuine joy:
1. Genuine joy is a gift given to genuine Christ-followers by God himself through the presence of His Spirit living within us.
2. Genuine joy is not an experience that comes from favorable circumstances.
3. Genuine joy is full and complete in every way.
4. Genuine joy cannot be manufactured or imitated.
5. Genuine joy can become more of a reality in the life of a believer as he consistently fills himself with the Holy Spirit by letting the Word of God dwell in him richly and then submitting to the teaching of the Word of God, and therefore the work of the Holy Spirit in his life.
When Carol gets done painting the letters, we will place the yard sign in the side yard of our house with a light on it to help people see it in the dark. The reality however, is that those who are spiritually in the dark don’t need our lighted joy sign during this time of year. Their greatest need is for us to share with them about the Light of the World, Jesus Christ, in order that they might experience genuine joy. Who do you need to be a joy sign to this month?