Gospel Joy!

It is rare to find Evangelical worship leaders today who have a profound and deep grasp of the Gospel in both head and heart and seek to center the gospel in their life and ministry.

A good friend of mine who is a worship pastor at his church is one of those rare gospel-driven worship leaders. I receive his weekly worship e-mail letter that he sends out to his worship team. I really enjoyed his thoughts this week and so I wanted to post them so that you could also benefit from his Gospel encouragement.

May we all look to Christ this Christmas season and see and hear afresh the joyful, good news that a Savior was born for us, Christ the Lord!

    9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Lk. 2:9-11)

“Joy to you in Christ, my friends.

Our focus this week in our Advent service is Joy. When is the last time your reflections upon Christ and what He has accomplished for you before a Holy God stirred joy in your heart? The absence of joy in our lives can at times be an indicator that we do not understand the truth of the Gospel with the depth and frequency we should. True, deep rooted, joy which stares down adversity and overrides circumstances only rises from faith in Christ and the assurance of the loving care that is promised us from the Father because of Him. Have you seen this fruit of faith called joy in your life lately? Joy sometimes wears a smile, sometimes it is drenched in tears, but joy will rise from the fires of freshly stoked faith in Christ. Having experienced significant loss in my own life, I don’t say these things lightly. Joy is no trite, syrupy emotion. It is the sister of hope; the companion of assurance and a sweet fruit of faith in Christ. True joy cannot be produced any other way. As desperately as we want it and as much as we seek to procure it there is only place to find it: at the fountain of Life, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior; our Redeemer and Friend.

Have you looked to Jesus today? Have you studied His beauty? Have you dwelt on the excellencies of His character? Have you reveled in the infinite blessings that are yours through faith in Him? Oh, the good news of the Gospel calls out to you! “Come, eat! Drink! Come without money; come and partake freely of the sweet refreshing Savior! Here is a feast which never grows old or bland. Here is food which is so delicious it only creates a greater and greater appetite in those who partake. Don’t tarry and try to sew up your garments to make yourself presentable, Christ Himself is your worthiness! The Savior’s righteousness is your garment! Come now and feast on Christ!”

If joy is strangely lacking in your life this holiday season, allow me to point you to the Savior. Trust Christ – now and always. As Spurgeon once said, “Sink or swim I go to Him; other hope have I none.” Go to the fountain of joy and stay a while. As the preacher and professor Sinclair Ferguson writes in a recommendation for Jerry Bridges’ book, The Gospel for Real Life, “….Our problem as Christians is simply this: we don’t believe and understand the gospel very well. It is that simple. It is that radical….”

May God give us the grace to see the Savior afresh, even today, and draw from Him the hope, encouragement and strength we need to face life in this sin-sick world with courageous, thorough, contagious joy.”

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