Yesterday, my oldest daughter, Natalie, had the day off from work. I never knew that my Monday was going to be filled with so much CHRISTmas joy!
Early in the morning I asked my daughter, "What are your plans for today?" She replied, "Oh, I have plans all day - I am going to be very busy." After making her morning coffee she went up to her room and closed her door half way. Soon I heard joyful singing coming from her room. Hours passed by and she was still singing. I tapped on her bedroom door - I wanted to get closer to her - when I walked into her room - I felt like I was walking into a little bit of heaven. Christmas lights were strung throughout her room and she was painting special Christmas gifts for each of her co-workers and friends. Her joy filled my heart and my home and the singing of Christmas songs did not end until late that night.
"The joy of the Lord is the joy that springs up in our hearts because of our relationship to the Lord. It is God-given gladness found when we are in communion with God." Commentary
At the time that Nehemiah encouraged the people with this scripture in Nehemiah 8:10, the people were sad and were weeping. They had just heard the Word of God read to them and they recognized how far they were from obeying and following God. But Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
There is always something in each person's life that we can all become downtrodden about. Whether it is our relationships, our finances, our work, our health - you name it - we all have issues. But as we are preparing for Christmas this month, remember that this celebration is not to be self-centered. When we give to others, we are strengthened spiritually and filled with God-given gladness! Ask God to fill you with His joy! He loves you and cares for you and His joy is for all people!
The angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds living out in the fields and said this, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord." (Luke 2:10-11)
FATHER, thank you for this great joy that is for all the people. We receive your Son Jesus – the greatest joy that we could ever receive!
P.S. The name Natalie meaning and name origin refers to: The birthday of Christ, or Christmas (No wonder why she is always filled with CHRISTmas joy!)