Monday, December 2, 2019

Joy Shop



"Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing." 
Isaac Watts

I've been singing this hymn for many decades now. I grew up in Brazil so we sang it in Portuguese.  My parents always sang this song with gusto. I can still hear them take that deep breath and sing strongly with joy. 

The message of this hymn, no matter what language you speak, is one of joy. The trick nowadays is not accept counterfeit joy.

The world, outside of the Scriptures, tells us that joy can be purchased. I am pretty sure that like me, you received emails from every store you've ever visited on Black Friday. You and I have been bombarded with advertisements on social media telling you that click to purchase equals joy. 

The truth is that more material things can never give you true joy. Let's face it: most new and shinny things turn into a clutter problem. The solution is to look to God to give us true joy.

The hymn "Joy to the World" reminds me that only Christ can give true joy. 

Isaac Watts was inspired by Psalm 98 when he wrote the first verse of this hymn. Psalm 98 is  encouraging the entire world to make a huge noise because God has done wonderful things. When was the last time you screamed to the top of your lungs because of the wonderful things God has done for you? I know it is a little weird to scream for joy but God is certainly worthy of our wildest praise. 

"Let every heart prepare him room" reminds me of what I need to do between now and Christmas day: make room for Christ in my heart.

The only way to make room for something is to remove or rearrange what's already there. 

I remember making room for a new organ in our home. We had to rearrange chairs. We  sold a small couch because there wasn't enough room for both things. One had to go because the focus of that room was going to be on that new musical instrument. 

When we prepare our heart for Christ, we let go of anything that stops us from focusing on Him. 

What is stopping you from focusing on Christ?

It may be your social media habit. 
It may be your TV watching habit.
It may be the unforgiveness you are harboring for years.
It may be the secret sin you have in your heart. 

I encourage you to let go of anything that impedes you from freely giving your heart to Christ. 

When we prepare room for Christ, true joy has free access to our lives. 

Prayer: Jesus, you are my true joy. I repent from letting sin crowd my heart. I let go of all distractions and I choose to focus on you this season. I prepare my heart with joy as I seek you daily. I will sing of your goodness. I will praise you with my voice. In Jesus' name, amen. 

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