Freedom All Lit Up: The Joy Loop
3 Constants of Joy
1. God Can Use Anyone to Facilitate His Joy!
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child
2. God Can Bring Joy to Any Place or Circumstance!
6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
3. Everyone is Eligible to Receive God’s Joy!
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
The Joy Loop
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
When you can’t sleep, don’t toss and turn and run scenarios through your mind, get up and find a place to pray.
1. Joy Loop: GO & SEE
The pursuit of God is an active path that produces visible results.
WHAT DOES PURSUING GOD REQUIRE FROM MY HEART?
Pursuing God requires an openness to the disruption of your normal routine. Open your heart to holy disruption.
Pursuing God requires an exchange of desires. Open your heart to change.
Pursuing God requires a desire for more of God. Open your heart to more of God!
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
2. Joy Loop: GO & TELL!
17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
People disseminate more negative than positive information.
People disseminate negative information to more recipients and longer time.
Negative online information is more elaborated and detailed.
“As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife. 22 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.
All gossip is bad news given with the purpose of harming someone else.
3. Joy Loop: Live in Worship
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Worship transforms everyone and everything! Worship isn’t dictated by environment or circumstance but by object.
The Joy Loop
We embark on Joy by Going & Seeing. We can never see too much!
We grow Joy by Going & Telling. We can never share enough Good News!
We are transformed by Joy through Worship & Praise. We can never be transformed too much!