Monthly Archives

December 2023

Friday’s Kingsport Times-News Column

By | Christian Writing | No Comments
Dear friends of the King,
            Attached is the column that will appear in this Friday’s Kingsport Times-News. I pray all of you and all your loved ones will have a blessed and merry Christmas! Doug Tweed

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.7Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over His kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
(Isaiah 9:6-7)


By | Christian Writing | No Comments

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4)

“Joy to the world, the Lord is come!”  We have been singing this Christmas carol for three hundred years because of what the angel said to the shepherds on that first Christmas day.

The shepherds rejoiced. The magi also rejoiced with great joy as the star led them to the long-awaited King of the Jews foretold by Daniel. (Matthew 2:10; Daniel 7:13-14) Seventy-two disciples would later rejoice as Jesus empowered them to minister healing and deliverance to people. (Luke 10:17) The women who followed Jesus reacted with great joy to the angelic news of His resurrection. (Matthew 28:10)

The apostles were filled with great joy at the ascension of Jesus and their commission to be His Holy Spirit-empowered witnesses in the world. (Luke 24:45-53) Great joy later broke out as that witness of Jewish Christians began bringing Gentiles into God’s Kingdom. (Acts 13:52, 15:3)

Forms of the words, “joy” and “rejoice”, appear over 440 times in the Bible.  Long before Jesus arrived, God told His people to be glad in the Lord, rejoice, and shout for joy. (Psalm 32:10-11) The apostle Paul says followers of Jesus are to “rejoice always”. Yet for far too many Christians in our nation today, joy, and most particularly abiding joy, is elusive. Why?

The most obvious answer to explain our lack of joy is the condition of the world around us: international wars and rumors of war; ever-increasing divisiveness in our nation; and every local family wounded by addiction, abuse, sexual sin, suicide, divorce, or other trauma. There is no joy in any of that.

However, as is often the case, the most obvious answer is not the correct answer. Scripture makes it abundantly clear Christians are to have joy even in times of persecution and tribulation because our Lord has overcome the world. (Matthew 5:11-12; Luke 6:23; 2 Corinthians 7:4, 8:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; John 16:33; 1 John 5:4)

Scripture also tells us how to achieve this joy, but first we must understand what joy is. defines joy as “the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying”. defines it as “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune, or by the prospect of possessing what one desires”.

Do Christians have the prospect of possessing something exceptionally desirable? We have salvation – the forgiveness of our sins and the divine promise of everlasting life! All of us should live every day in the joy of our salvation. (Psalm 20:5, 51:12; 1 Peter 1:8) Our problems are temporary, but our blessings are forever. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

Likewise, Christians have the right to feel they are achieving well-being. The Lord desires our salvation on earth, not just in heaven. (Jeremiah 29:11) If we seek His Kingdom, He will provide for our earthly needs. (Matthew 6:25-33) He uses even our trials and suffering to produce the fruit of good character. (Romans 5:3-5; James 1:2) We can rejoice that all things work for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Just beyond the joy of our salvation is our joy in the God of our salvation: joy in the Lord. (Habakkuk 3:17-18; Philippians 3:1, 4:4) Our all-good, all-powerful triune God has drawn us into an eternal intimate relationship of love. (1 John 4:7-19; John 17:20-23) This loving God now lives inside us as the One greater than all our enemies. (John 15:3-11; Colossians 1:27; 1 John 4:4) What an incredible reason for rejoicing!

Finally, just beyond our joy in the Lord is the greatest joy of all – the joy of the Lord. Jesus promises that if we love Him by obeying His commandments, He will manifest Himself to us and pour His own divine joy into us. (John 14:21, 15:11) The Lord wants to give us His love, His peace, and His joy as an expression of His Kingdom on earth. (Romans 5:5, 14:17; John 14:27; Galatians 5:22-23) Wow!

A life filled with joy does not eliminate our compassion or our calling. We will continue to stand against evil and weep with those wounded by evil even as we pray for and encourage them. (Ephesians 6:10-20; Romans 12:15) In doing so, the joy of the Lord will provide strength for both us and the ones we care for. (Nehemiah 8:10)

Read the many scriptures cited here. Ponder the biblical Christmas story. (Luke 2:19) The joy of our salvation, our joy in the Lord, and the joy of the Lord – this is the abiding joy of Jesus where we are invited to live.

Have a blessed and merry Christmas!