Happy First Monday of Advent.

Do you know the joy of the Lord? The scriptures tell us that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Why does Jesus tell his disciples to not take joy in their own successes, even spiritual ones?

Jesus makes clear that the true source of our joy is God, and God alone.  Regardless of the circumstances, in good times and bad times, in  success or loss, God always assures us of victory in Jesus Christ.  Jesus assures his disciples that he has all power over evil, including the power of Satan and the evil spirits or fallen angels who conspire against us.  In fact, that is why Jesus came into the world to overthrow the evil one (John 12:31).  We, too, as disciples of Jesus have been given spiritual authority and power for overcoming the works of darkness and evil (1 John 2:13-14).

God wants every work we undertake, no matter who we are or what we do, to be a “work of faith” (2 Thessalonians 1:11), done in the strength he supplies (1 Peter 4:11). We give ourselves wholly to God, knowing he bought us with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20), and we do the work he gives our hands to do for his sake.

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