Isa.9:2,3 – Those who walked in darkness have seen a radiant light shining upon them. They once lived in the shadows of death, but now a glorious light has dawned! Lord, you have multiplied the nation and given them overwhelming joy! They are ecstatic in your presence and rejoice like those who bring in a great harvest and those who divide up the spoils of victory!

It seems to have been an incredible time of sorrow in Israel just before Jesus of Nazareth appeared on the scene. Being conquered and forced to live under the rule of a foreign entity apparently had squeezed all the joy out of the hearts of God’s people. Isaiah said it was a time of great spiritual darkness. That’s what made the appearance of Jesus even more profound, He introduced another kind of life permeated with joy that superseded the sorrow of heart that held the nation in bondage. His death, resurrection, and glorification opened the portal into heaven for all of us. Multitudes are being harvested and all mankind have access into a new and living way now. A new kind of life, never before imagined, is now being poured out upon us all over earth. Here are some comments from the Passion Notes on this passage.

“A sign of the moving of God among us to fulfill this promise is an outbreak of joy! He fills our mouths with laughter as a sign that the great ingathering of the harvest is here. The phrase “They are ecstatic in your presence” refers to the heart of worship God is releasing today. The gospel will always bring joy, and those who receive good news will rejoice. This is the joy of the Feast of Tabernacles. The two great joys of the human heart come at a time of harvest and a time of victory. Human celebration at these two times knows no bounds. As the increase is brought in, victory is experienced. What greater joy is there in heaven and earth than when souls are saved?”

Maybe this current season of Quarantine is the pressure necessary to release this unprecedented move of the Spirit. His final outpouring is inevitable, the question that has to be answered, “Will you be in the middle of it?”


Isa.9:2,3 – Those who walked in darkness have seen a radiant light shining upon them. They once lived in the shadows of death, but now a glorious light has dawned! Lord, you have multiplied the nation and given them overwhelming joy! They are ecstatic in your presence and rejoice like those who bring in a great harvest and those who divide up the spoils of victory!

There is something about darkness that makes the light a little brighter, there is also something about lean times that makes harvest more special. That is what today’s passage is talking about. This is a prophesy that Matthew quoted in reference to the appearing of Jesus Christ on the earth the first time. He said in a time and a land of darkness the light of God would come. That was fulfilled at the first coming of Jesus Christ. This passage goes on to describe an unprecedented season of harvest. That too began to be fulfilled at the coming of Christ. Today is another season of darkness; could that be an indication of the coming of the light of God? Just as the death and resurrection of Christ marked the first fruits of God’s harvest, His final and great harvest is upon us. There is a joy of anticipation flooding His creation even now. When the gates burst with light and the unprecedented harvest is unleashed, unbridled joy will fill the earth. Here is how the Passion Notes describe this verse.

“As the light of Jesus shines on the earth, it will bring in a harvest of joy and rejoicing. The people of God are about to arise and spoil the kingdom of darkness, even as Israel spoiled Egypt and went out rejoicing. God will cause our joy to overflow like those distributing loot after a battle. Great will be the conversions, the increase, and our rejoicing. Many sons will be brought into glory as the increasing Light of Dawn appears (Heb. 2:10). With both harvest and victory in battle, people rejoice in what God has done.”

This two fold joy is already making its appearance, prophesying of that great day of the Lord just ahead. The double joy is this; unspeakable joy in His glorious presence, unprecedented joy as we see redemption of the least of these multiply into a multitude of His sons and daughters. Don’t despair at the darkness of the age, it is a guarantee of the blinding light breaking into this generation.


Acts 2:28 – For you have revealed to me the pathways to life,and seeing your face fills me with euphoria!’

Reading today’s verse in context, Peter is quoting a prophesy from Psalm 16 about the resurrection. It clearly says that Christ would not be abandoned to the grave but He would be raised up into the joy of God’s presence. If you think about it Christ had enjoyed the joy of His Father from eternity; so what is the point? Christ came to earth to rescue sinners like you and me. He became a man, died as a man, was raised from the dead as a man, and entered into the joy of heaven as a man. He did all of that so we too could enter the joy. Peter’s application of this verse in his preaching is astounding. He says that the outpouring of the Spirit on all flesh makes this joy available to us. In other words, we don’t have to wait until we die to access this joy. Supernatural joy is available to us now as we drink deeply of His Spirit. This is what the Passion Notes says about this joy.

“This Greek word (euphrosune) occurs only here and in Acts 14:17. It is the spirit of joy, an ecstasy that comes from God. The Aramaic is “You will fill me, O Sweetness, with your presence.”

The joy of the Lord is the Spirit of joy. Praying in the Spirit will transport you into this incredibly happy place. Here is today’s verse from the Message followed by the Amplified version.

“You’ve got my feet on the life-path, with your face shining sun-joy all around.”

“You have made known to me the ways of life; You will enrapture me [diffusing my soul with joy] with and in Your presence.”

The Message Bible connects the joy to the face of God. That is exactly right. The Hebrew word for face is the word for presence. As we seek His face, we come into His presence of unspeakable joy.

The Amplified Bible describes being enraptured. Enraptured literally means to be delighted beyond measure ! Wow ! Unmeasured joy is what my soul longs for. The Amplified also uses the word diffusing. Diffusing means “ to spread or cause to spread over a wide area or among a large number of people”. When we begin to tap into this unspeakable joy it fills every part of us and overflows to others. What I think is amazing is that we were created with an enormous appetite and capacity for joy. Tapping into the anointing by praying in the Spirit will bring you there.



“Then he took the two groups that had been opposed to each other and made them parts of himself; thus he fused us together to become one new person, and at last there was peace.”Eph. 2:15

Brian Simmons in the Passion Bible comments that there could have been over a hundred men with the Magi that came into Bethlehem to seek this child. No wonder Herod and all the city with him were terrified. Why this extravagant devotion you might ask? Augustine believes that the Magi were the first fruits of the age of Gentiles. For ever-since that time we who have been “folded in” have been pouring our gifts out to him, who is worthy of it all! Augustine quotes the Apostle Paul in this way, “He came to tell the good news about peace to those who were far away and those who were nearby. Yes, He’s our peace. He brought the near and the far together and made them one. He folded the two in upon Himself to form one new man whose mission would be peace. He took the two and changed them into one godly body.” Wow! That is a mouthful! When he folded himself and made them parts of himself! What a mystery! What a gospel! Eph. 2:15 We can forever live in peace! My friend, we will spend the rest of our lives starstruck, fastened upon this scene in the simple stable!

For Christ lived in a broken down stable lying in a manger unable to utter words yet put the star on its trajectory course through the heavens. Augustine comments; “yet an infant, and yet so potent, and yet so latent, a Babe who had to flee to Egypt in His parents’ arms because of the decidedly hostile acts of Herod. He was casual about it, modeling it for us, and in it He’d die for us when the right time came.”

Augustine speaks to us again to “trumpet Him on this earth, in this region of our flesh. Let’s not return to where we came from. Let’s not repeat every shred, every inkling, of our prior conversations. There’s no point in looking back. The Magi didn’t return to the Orient by the same route in which they came. Learn from the past. If you want to change your life, then change your way.”

You are living in the time when visitations happen. Learn to look for them, embrace them, and listen for them all around us, Advent is coming, forever coming, surrounding us in our Christmas songs, our Christmas joy, our Christmas hope. May you catch the wonder.


Micah 2:13 – The breaker goes up before them;

They break out, pass through the gate and go out by it.

So their king goes on before them,

And the LORD at their head.

What exactly is eating at all of us? No matter how successful we become, or how much stuff we accumulate, or even how much fame someone acquires; it never brings the peace or ultimate contentment we long for. The solution to this mystery lies beyond the veil of this dimension that we live in and is the ultimate reason God sent His only Son to become one of us. He became a man, took our curse on the cross, defeated death for us when He roe from the dead, and entered into heaven on our behalf opening up a whole new way of life that is now available to us. Jesus is the Breaker and He has broken us into the very presence of God. Here is how Maclaren describes this.

“And still further, in a yet higher fashion, that Saviour is the Path-breaker to the Divine Presence, in that He not only makes God known to us, and not only makes Him so known to us as to draw us to Him, but in that likewise He, by the fact of His Cross and passion, has borne and borne away the impediments of our own sin and transgression which rise for ever between us and Him, unless He shall sweep them out of the way…..Narrow understandings may know, and selfish hearts may love, and low-pitched confessions may reach the ear of the God who comes near to us in Christ, that we in Christ may come near to Him. The Breaker is gone up before us; ‘having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest of all . . . by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us . . . let us draw near with true hearts.”

We can not only draw near to the presence now, we can enter in to live in a new awareness of the glory of the Lord. This is the life we were meant to live. We were never supposed to look for satisfaction in jobs, houses, accomplishments, or possessions. We were made for much more than that. We have always been created to be satisfied by God alone. He is the greatest treasure and enjoyment that we can ever know. The Breaker has come to break the glom off of us that was blocking our way from the joy of His presence.


Matt. 5:10 – Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

I have to admit, I always struggled with the persecution thing. Now don’t get me wrong, I am honored to be criticized for my faith but I am not too excited about beatings, stonings, or beheadings. I used to feel inferior when I read about the joy of the martyrs. It made my faith seem so small. It wasn’t until I was touched by supernatural joy, the blessedness Jesus spoke of, that I began to understand. Peter even said, in 1 Peter 4:14 – “If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” To me that answers everything, there is a special anointing and joy reserved for physical persecution for Christ’s sake. Here is how William Barclay described John’s disciple Polycarp and his persecution.

“To have to suffer persecution was an opportunity to show one’s loyalty to Jesus Christ. One of the most famous of all the martyrs was Polycarp, the aged bishop of Smyrna. The mob dragged him to the tribunal of the Roman magistrate. He was given the inevitable choice–sacrifice to the godhead of Caesar or die. “Eighty and six years,” came the immortal reply, “have I served Christ. and he has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?” So they brought him to the stake, and he prayed his last prayer: “O Lord God Almighty, the Father of thy well-beloved and ever-blessed son, by whom we have received the knowledge of thee … I thank thee that thou hast graciously thought me worthy of this day and of this hour.” Here was the supreme opportunity to demonstrate his loyalty to Jesus Christ.”

There is a special celebration reserved for the martyrs in heaven. There seems to be an anticipation growing as the world is judged at the end. If God is God, there can be no greater honor than to suffer for the sake of His Name, it will not go unnoticed or go unrewarded. Again, the joy is not reserved for the next world only, this joy is connected to the sufficiency of grace in this life to rejoice in the Lord when facing extreme resistance. So if you are being attacked for your faith, rejoice; the Spirit of the Lord is on you.


Phil.3:8 – More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,

This verse gets to the very heart of life, the pursuit of happiness. That basic motive in everyone’s heart is often that huge elephant in the room. Everyone knows it is there but no one would ever acknowledge it. That is except for Paul, he had been chasing that elusive elephant all his life. If you still don’t know what I am talking about let me be really specific; all humans are directed, motivated, and empowered in the pursuit of happiness as the basic drive of their life. Many are not even aware that this is what motivates them but it is always present. Paul is saying he found out why that desire for happiness is the common denominator in everyone’s life. The businessman in pursuit of success is pursuing happiness. The athlete in pursuit of a championship is after the happiness that would bring. Even the prostitute in her humiliation is looking for happiness at what lies after the next trick. Drug addicts, alcoholics, policemen, and politicians (and preachers too) are looking for happiness they hope their choices will bring. Here is how Jonathan Edwards describes this verse.

“Young people commonly seek pleasure in company, and oftentimes spend much of their time in mirth among their companions; but none have such delightful company as those that live in the exercise of religion, and virtue, and holiness, for they have their conversation in heaven. The Lord Jesus Christ has become a friend and companion. Oftentimes when they are alone and seem to the world to spend their time solitarily, they indeed have company enough. It is their delight to withdraw from all the world, the more freely and intimately to converse with Jesus Christ…. The Father and the Son come to seek young people and walk and make their abode with them, and manifest themselves to them. They have an intercourse with heaven by meditation, and prayer, and other duties of religion. They with a spiritual eye do see Christ, and have access to him to converse; and Christ by his spirit communicates himself to them, so that there is a spiritual converse between them and Christ Jesus. And must not this needs be the pleasantest and the happiest company?”

Edwards spoke about young people in their pursuit of happiness among friends. Edwards said that even the youth could find their greatest happiness in the pursuit of the Lord. So Paul and Edwards came to the same conclusion, ultimate happiness is found in Christ alone.


Ps.96:1,2 – Sing to the LORD a new song; Sing to the LORD, all the earth.

Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.

“Joy to the world, the Lord is come, let earth receive her king”. The words penned by Isaac Watts almost 300 years ago still resound throughout the earth. Joy has come to fill the hearts of all who have opened up to Jesus Christ our King. His second Advent will overwhelm the earth with unspeakable joy. No wonder every picture of the angels is a picture of singing. In His joyous presence there is nothing left to do, “Ps.96:1,2 – Sing to the LORD a new song; Sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.” As we prepare for Christmas this year our hearts are also bursting with songs of joy. Christ has come, death has been defeated, our sin has been washed away, and we have received a new life. Here is how Spurgeon describes today’s text.

“O sing unto the Lord a new song. New joys are filling the hearts of men, for the glad tidings of blessing to all people are proclaimed, therefore let them sing a new song. Angels inaugurated the new dispensation with new songs, and shall not we take up the strain? The song is for Jehovah alone, the hymns which chanted the praises of Jupiter and Neptune, Vishnoo and Siva are hushed for ever; Bacchanalian shouts are silenced, lascivious sonnets are no more. Unto the one only God all music is to be dedicated. Mourning is over, and the time of singing of hearts has come. No dismal rites are celebrated, no bloody sacrifices of human beings are presented, no cutting with knives, and outcries of lamentation are presented by deluded votaries. Joy is in the ascendant, and singing has become the universal expression of love, the fitting voice of reverent adoration. Men are made new creatures, and their song is new also.”

If you are a new creature in Christ you understand what the joyful singing is all about. If you have not made peace with God, I beg you, don’t let another Christmas pass in your present condition. Go ahead and sing some of the joyful Christmas songs. As you sing the songs of the “Silent Night”, open your heart. Before long you too will be shouting songs of joy to the Lord.


Ps.96:1,2 – Sing to the LORD a new song; Sing to the LORD, all the earth.

Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.

David was singing his “new song” every day. He had experienced more of God and His presence than just about anyone in history. Like he said in Psalm 23, “you anoint my head with oil, my cup is running over”. In another Psalm we hear, “my tongue is the pen of a ready writer”. Obviously, David’s joy was bubbling over. He loved what he had experienced of the goodness of God and wanted others to taste it too. What was the source of this overflowing joy? It is the river of the Spirit that flows out of the revelation of Christ. David had glimpses of His coming. He saw His birth, His eternal nature, His life and ministry, and His heavenly priesthood. What else could he do but lift up his voice and sing his new song. Here are some thoughts from Spurgeon on today’s passage.

“At the very mention of his name it is meet to say, “Let him be blessed for ever.” Shew forth his salvation from day to day. The gospel is the clearest revelation of himself, salvation, outshines creation and providence; therefore let our praises overflow in that direction. Let us proclaim the glad tidings, and do so continually, never ceasing the blissful testimony. It is ever new, ever suitable, ever sure, ever perfect; therefore let us show it forth continually until he come, both by words and deeds, by songs and sermons, by sacred Baptism and by the Holy Supper, by books and by speech, by Sabbath services and weekday worship. Each day brings us deeper experience of our saving God, each day shows us anew how deeply men need his salvation, each day reveals the power of the gospel, each day the Spirit strives with the sons of men; therefore, never pausing, be it ours to tell out the glorious message of free grace.”

Spurgeon obviously had drunk deeply of this revelation of God in Christ. He said every day, day by day, we are brought deeper into this experience of Christ. We meditate on His incarnation, His sinless life, His supernatural ministry, His unthinkable suffering and death, HIs power revealed in the resurrection, and His ascension to the place of glory at the Father’s right hand and we too will be singing this new song. “Sing to the Lord a new song, sing to the Lord all the earth.”


Rom.14:17 – for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

This verse sums up the Christian life. Paul is adamant, the kingdom of God is not about a system of rules and religious observances. The kingdom of God is spiritual and closely related to the Holy Spirit. The book of Romans has a theme connected to the righteousness of God that comes by faith. Being declared righteous by faith in the sacrificial death of Christ opens the kingdom of God up to us. Peace with God, peace in our own life, and peace with others is the fruit of the righteousness of God in our lives. Having been justified by faith we have peace with God. Joy is also the fruit of being right with God. It is in access to the kingdom of God that we are filled with the Holy Spirit and our joy begins to overflow. Here is how Matthew Henry describes this verse.

“Righteousness, peace, and joy, are very comprehensive words; and each of them includes much, both of the foundation and the superstructure of religion. Might I limit the sense of them, it should be thus:—As to God, our great concern is righteousness—to appear before him justified by the merit of Christ’s death, sanctified by the Spirit of his grace; for the righteous Lord loveth righteousness. As to our brethren, it is peace—to live in peace and love, and charity with them, following peace with all men: Christ came into the world to be the great peace-maker. As to ourselves, it is joy in the Holy Ghost—that spiritual joy which is wrought by the blessed Spirit in the hearts of believers, which respects God as their reconciled Father and heaven as their expected home. Next to our compliance with God, the life of religion consists in our complacency in him; to delight ourselves always in the Lord. Surely we serve a good Master, who makes peace and joy so essential to our religion. Then and then only we may expect peace and joy in the Holy Ghost when the foundation is laid in righteousness.”

Stepping into the kingdom of God by faith is what the book of Romans is all about. Today you and I have access into this kingdom life. We can step into the righteousness, peace, and joy of the Lord, being filled repeatedly with the Holy Spirit.