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Devotional: April 30, 2021

Why is everyone hungry for more? “More, more,” they say. “More, more.” I have God’s more-than-enough, More joy in one ordinary day

Then they get in all their shopping sprees.

Psalm 4: 6-7 The Message

We live in a materialistic culture. Advertising constantly tells us that we need, or deserve, or ought to pamper ourselves by buying stuff. Not just a little stuff. No! A lot of stuff! A little is not enough. Our culture tells us we need more, more, MORE!

Yet the truth is that what most of us crave: joy, does not come from things purchased in stores, or online. The sentiment of the Psalm is echoed in that classic tale from Dr. Seuss, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.” After the green, small-hearted Grinch has stolen all the Christmas gifts from the village below, he sees the Who’s down in Whoville still possessing Christmas joy. He may have stolen the gifts that were under their trees, but he could not steal what was in their hearts.

Thus, the Grinch offers the following thoughtful lament:

“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more.”

Yes, as the Grinch put it, Christmas does mean a little bit more. In fact it means everything. From the Lord’s perfect gift to us, we are given the gift of joy.

Of course, there are material things in life which we need to sustain us. There is however, no substitute for the perfect joy offered by Christ. We all may experience temporary happiness, but true, deep, and fulfilling joy only comes from one source: Jesus Christ. The peace we receive from being content with the Lord will sustain us longer than anything we can ever purchase. Also, the humbling aspect of this gift of joy is that has already been paid for, in full, by God Himself.

When you receive a gift, it is customary to send a thank you note. Have you sent the Lord a thank you note lately? Do you pray your appreciation to the Lord for His ultimate gift? Daily, we need to come before the Lord with a heart filled with joy and thankfulness.

For those of us who call Jesus our Savior and Lord, joy ultimately comes from Him. Joy comes not from emerging from a shopping center, but from spending time worshipping the Lord.

Let me close with this thought from the prophet Isaiah:

“So you’ll go out in joy, you’ll be led into a whole and complete life. The mountains and hills will lead the parade, bursting with song. All the trees of the forest will join the procession, exuberant with applause.

Isaiah 55: 12-13a The Message

Prayer

Loving Lord,

With great joy, I come before you today with a heart full of amazement. Forgive me when I think that the next thing I might purchase will bring me the joy and satisfaction only You can offer. Help me to be content with You. May I be a testimony to others of the peace and joy that You provide for all who follow Your son, Jesus Christ. I pray this prayer in His Holy name. Amen.



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