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By:
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April 1 – Good news of great joy

Introduction

April’s theme is “The Christian’s Joy.”Joy is the possession of every child of God. The triune God is a God of joy and the source of joy to all who trust in Him. In Deuteronomy 16:15 Moses told the children of Israel: “The Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.” Jesus told His disciples, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11). And the second fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5 is “joy.” This means that those in whom the Holy Spirit dwells will possess, to some extent, joy.

This month we explore this great blessing given us by God. We will distinguish between true Christian joy, which is lasting, and the fleeting “joy” of this world. We will look at what is the basis of this joy, focusing on Christ’s atonement, His words on the cross and His resurrection. And we will consider those things that hinder our joy and how God graciously restores our joy.

May God bless you abundantly as you study His Word this month and may you be strengthened because“the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

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Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.Luke 2:10-11

Scripture reading: Luke 2:8-14

I want to live in joy and I want to die in joy. I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone in this world who does not want the same thing. Joy is a desirable thing. Granted, there are people who seem to thrive on difficulty and even wallow in their unhappiness. To use a modern description, their lives have far too much drama. But I think it’s fair to say that even so, they would prefer a life of joy over their difficulties if they could find it.

When the angel spoke to the shepherds at Jesus’ birth, he said, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11). So it isn’t surprising that when we celebrate Christ’s birth we often see and use the word “JOY.” We find it in our decorations, on the front of Christmas cards, in our church bulletins, even on store windows. Why? Because joy and Jesus are inseparable!

The good news that the angel told was joyful news; more than that, it was news of GREAT joy. The arrival of Jesus changed everything. He came on a rescue mission and He accomplished it. This means that if you desire joy, believe in and cling to Jesus. You simply will not find joy anywhere else.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that the Holy Spirit would use this month’s devotions to increase your joy. Pray for friends or loved ones that you know who seem to lack joy.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Derrick Vander Meulen is the minister of Coram Deo Reformation Church (URC) in Littleton, Colorado.


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