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JOY

MONDAY

“My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy,” – James 1:2

 

As we begin with Joy,  I am starting us off with a scripture that is often used for words of comfort.  This verse has been used so much that it has become a Christian Cliché.

 

But this is about Joy.  Joy is different from “happy”.  “Happy” is temporary, often comes and goes in response to external events. 

 

“Joy” on the other hand is like lava, erupting from the soul.  A feeling rooted from a source of that permeates every atom of our being. That is what we will share this week. 

 

Imagine the anticipatory Joy told through oral histories, passed down from generation to generation that our Savior was coming.  Here were are, just a few weeks before, we need to remember the “Joy” Jesus inspires.

 

I am taking this verse from the clutches of the cliché, and invite us all to welcome a new meaning.

 

In the “meantime” of waiting for our Savior, there are going to be some mean times.  And scripture says “consider it all Joy”.

 

How can we consider the mean times of hurt, heartache, disappointment, oppression, discrimination, all the other stuff life throws at us and considers it all “Joy”?

 

How? Remember, “Joy” comes from within and is not in response to the temporary challenges from the outside, but the permanent Joy from the inside. 

 

As long as we can feel, we can feel Jesus.  Feeling Jesus, knowing Jesus is with us through all things is a reason to have JOY!

 

As we prepare for the coming of Christ, let us locate our Joy… and hold on to that JOY! 

 

Even in the face of our challenges and the problems of the world that we see and read about, grab on to JOY! 

 

What better time for the arrival of Jesus?  Because when Jesus comes into any situation, Jesus wins!

 

Sisters and Brothers, consider it all Joy!

 

Be Blessed, Beloved.

 

- Rev. Damon

www.faithfirst.me

© 2020 FaithFirst Project

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TUESDAY

“You show me the path of life.  In your presence there is fullness of joy;  in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” – Psalms 16:11

 

How many heard that Jesus, “the deliver”, “the redeemer”, “the Savior” was about to be born… and did not take “the path of life”?  We all know of the 3 wise men, and the few others who recognized the star, saw the light from the manger and took faith full steps on that path to receive an unmatched joy… but what about the ones who heard and doubted?  Were scared?  Felt unworthy?  Let a “snake” tell them what they shouldn’t do?

 

David, the Warrior King, humbled himself to acknowledge that God laid out his path.  And while taking the path God had for him, he had a Joy that came from God and filled him up.  When Joy fills you, fear, doubt, questions, shame has no place to be in you.  There is no place for the words of a “snake” to go if we only hear the Joy of God’s promise… Jesus.

 

Because as Jesus sits at the right hand of God, He gives us “pleasures forevermore”. 

Joy everlasting.  Love everlasting.  Peace everlasting.  Hope everlasting.

 

Brothers and Sisters, God has a path for every single one of us.  It is the path of our “life”.  As long as we are on God’s path, there is a Joy that will make us full.

 

Let’s get full of Jesus this Advent season.

 

Be Blessed, Beloved.

Rev. Damon

www.faithfirst.me

© 2020 FaithFirst Project

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WEDNESDAY

"Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” - 1 Peter 1: 8-9

 

"Indescribable and glorious joy". 

 

This is going to sound like a "brush-off", but I am going to say it anyway.... "fahgitabutit".  Translation, Forget About It.

 

Jesus frees us from yesterday's shackles, so why do we wear them like a Berkin or Bvlgari accessory?

 

Jesus is coming!  Jesus is coming!  JESUS IS COMING!!!

 

Say it with feeling.  Feel it when you say it! 

 

"Indescribable and glorious joy".  

 

In these covidic times, injustice unrest, and inequities exploited at the expense of Human decapitalization, we need more Joy!!!

 

Jesus is coming.  Jesus is coming. JESUS IS COMING!

 

Be Blessed, Beloved.

 

- Rev. Damon

www.faithfirst.me

© 2020 FaithFirst Project

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THURSDAY

“Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” – Luke 15:10

Today Sisters and Brothers, I remind us all of one reason to have Joy.  We have been gifted with the presents (on purpose) of Angels.  We who repent are granted Angels to watch out for us, to protect us, to push us back on the path so we do not lose our way.  Jesus tells us to not fear Angels, to not have shame in front of Angels, but to have JOY! Joy because Jesus has sent the Angels to deliver on what God says is available to us.

 

As we prepare for the arrival of Jesus, let us remember all that Jesus came with.  Hope.  Joy. Peace. Love.  Yes.  And Jesus also comes with Angelic assistants to help us.  We have an entire God Squad to help us.  Yes, we are all sinners, and even with all that we do and say, Jesus still has Angels to bless us when we repent.

 

If that does not give you JOY, what does?  We prepare the arrival of Jesus, and with His arrival, He still LOVES us enough to send us Angels.

 

Get Joy from that Sisters and Brothers! 

 

Be Blessed, Beloved.

Rev. Damon

www.faithfirst.me

© 2020 FaithFirst Project

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FRIDAY

 

“And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit,” - 1 Thessalonians 1:6

 

“Imitation is the greatest form of flattery.”  Heard that before? I bet ya this is where it came from.  Paul, admiring the church in Thessalonia for their commitment to the new religion they chose to follow, Christianity.  These devoted people heard of the life of Paul and his team decided to use him as an example for their faith foundation.

 

As they imitated Paul, they too had to survive through their persecutions.  They had tragedies, calamities, infighting, mocking, rejection, and systemic oppression attempting to destroy their dedication to their faith.

 

But in through it all, they received the WORD with JOY!!! The WORD, came to their rescue.  The WORD reminded them of the promise.  And they received the WORD with JOY! Who is the WORD?  Jesus!

 

Through it all, JESUS comes to us.  No matter what is going on, the WORD is right there for us.  Even now, when so much is on our minds, there is so much to do, there are so many we want to see, loved ones are struggling, through it all, there is the WORD! 

 

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Jesus is always coming.  Jesus never leaves us alone.  Jesus is the wiper away of all tears.  Jesus is the soul responder before the first responder.  Jesus answers before the question is asked.

 

Brothers and Sisters, receive the WORD with JOY.  Receive Jesus with JOY!  The only thing that lasts always is JESUS!

 

The Joy is JESUS and JESUS is Joy!

 

Be Blessed, Beloved.

Rev. Damon

www.faithfirst.me

© 2020 FaithFirst Project

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SATURDAY

"But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:” – Luke 2:10

 

Good news of Great Joy. I hope we all know what the Good News is, its Jesus.  The Angel said to them that Great Joy is coming.

 

Two things I would like for us to focus on.

1. "Do not be afraid of Great Joy".  How many of us do not have Great Joy because we are afraid of receiving,  Great Joy?  Maybe its too great for us to conceive, maybe we feel unworthy, maybe we don't know what to do with it.

 

Jesus wants you to have and experience  Great Joy!

 

2. "For all the people".  Not just believers.  Not just Jews.  Not just Disciples.  Not just men. Not just the privileged.  Not just the perfect.  Not just smart, or athletic, or preachers, or deacons, or.....  for ALL THE PEOPLE!

 

Great Joy is coming.  Great Joy has come.  FOR YOU!!!

 

You are worthy, Sisters and Brothers. 

You.

Are.

Worthy.

 

Of Great Joy!

 

Be Blessed, Beloved.

 

- Rev. Damon

www.faithfirst.me

© 2020 FaithFirst Project