The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




Joy and the Gift

"Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drink, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to the Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength" (Neh.8:10).

There are numerous scriptures in the Bible that tell us to be joyful. The apostle Paul actually puts it into the simplest of forms in his first letter to the Thessalonians when he writes, "rejoice always" (5:16). The most common Greek word for joy is the term chara. It is translated to mean joy, delight, and gladness, but there is more... The word is very closely related to charis which is grace and charisma, or gift. If we tie all of these terms into a sweet little bundle, we might look at joy as the emotion which is excited by the expectation or even the acquisition of a gift... I hope the first part of this series about joy helps us to understand the unmistakable relationship between it and the gift, if only to appreciate the gift's value. It is quite normal to see that if we place a great value on a certain gift, that our joy will be greater. In other words, the emotion of joy is in direct proportion to the gift received. Lets start with the giver... "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" (Jas.1:17). Now lets focus on the magnitude of the gift.. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom.6:23). The value of this gift should cause great joy for us because it gives us freedom from the condemnation of sin and fellowship with the Lord as we go through life. When the Ethiopian of the Book of Acts received the gift, it says that "he went on his way rejoicing..." (8:39) As Christians, we all have this great gift.. If we possess it, why are many not as joyful as they ought to be? I will address this next time, but perhaps it would be good for you to give it some thought as well...

Have a wonderful day... Do good... Give God the credit... Love mark Phil.4:11

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