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As you think about all that Jesus means to you and to the world, take time this Christmas season to let the joy out. Refuse to allow the cares of this life to cause you to neglect your praise.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines joy as: "Intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness. The expression or manifestation of such feeling." Now multiply that by one thousand and you begin to get a glimpse of the kind of exceeding great joy that the wise men that came from the east experienced on that first Christmas so long ago. They were on a divine mission from God to shower His Son with gifts and rejoice over His birth. The Bible tells us that they traveled to Jerusalem asking,
Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen Him star in the east, and are come to worship Him...When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
(Matt. 2:2,10)
I believe they were jumping up and down, twirling, skipping, and dancing around the hillside as they came to worship Jesus. After all, this was the most anticipated event since the creation of the world. The Savior of the world was born! Now mankind could know real peace and joy.

Let the Joy Out!
I think we will all enjoy seeing expressions of real joy. When someone wins an Olympic gold medal, we aren't concerned about them being overly intense to ecstatic about their happiness. In fact, when they jump in the air, spin around or cut a cartwheel, most of us will laugh and rejoice along with them. I saw an unforgettable photo several years ago that was taken at the precise moment the USA basketball team's pitcher realized that his team had won the gold medal. He had dropped to his knees, threw his hands to the sky, and was smiling from ear to ear. The caption under the photo read, "The joy just came out!"

Don't Neglect Your Praise!
My sunroom is full of large silk plants that stay beautiful all year long. I never have to worry if the sun is too hot for them or if they are getting enough water. All I have to do is keep the dust off the silk leaves and they will always make my sunroom look great. This is not at all the case for the four live plants that huddle together in one corner of my sunroom.

Although I did not seek them out, I feel real sympathy for the plants that have been entrusted to my care. Why? Because since they were given to me, each one of them has had many "near death" experiences.

I can't count how many times I have walked into my sunroom only to see their beautiful leaves all wilted, on the verge of death from plant neglect. Although I keep trying, it has been very difficult to take proper care of living plants with my heavy travel schedule. The amazing thing is that no matter how bad they look, I have been able to bring them back to life again. With a little water, it isn't long before I see those leaves perk up and become strong again.

That's the way it is with your praise. When you neglect your praise, your spirit will begin to wilt and dry up. You may feel like you are having a "near death" experience in your spirit, but that is precisely the time that you must offer up a sacrifice of praise and begin to rejoice in the Lord. Why? Because the joy of the Lord is your strength!

Rehearse Your Victory Dance!
I don't usually watch football on television, but one day I happened to see a player dance all over the end zone after making a touchdown. The crowd cheered as we watched him strut his stuff, spike the ball, and walk off the field in victory. That was when I thought to myself, "I wonder if he rehearsed that dance?" I knew he must have worked very hard during practice so he could make that very important touchdown and win the game. So I asked an NFL football player if that touchdown dance was ever rehearsed and he said, "Oh yeah!" I knew it!

I believe we need to rehearse our victory dance and rejoice about the promises in God's Word. Psalm 119:162 says, "I rejoice at Thy word, as one that findeth great spoil." You don't have to wait until you actually see your victory before you begin to rejoice. In face, thanking God and rejoicing when you pray is a vital key to receiving any promise that is in the Word of God. Psalm 5:11 tells us,
But let all those that put their trust in Thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because Thou defendest them: let them also that love Thy name be joyful in Thee.
When you put your trust in God, rejoicing is not very difficult. Once you believe in Jesus, even though you do not see Him, your heart will be filled with a joy that cannot be put into words. First Peter 1:8 says, "Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory."

As you think about all that Jesus means to you and to the world, take time this Christmas season to let the joy out. Refuse to allow the cares of this life to cause you to neglect your praise. Remember, " are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him Who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9). You were created to rejoice!

Jesse Duplantis Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Cathy Duplantis
Web site: Jesse Duplantis Ministries
Rev. Cathy Duplantis is an anointed teacher of the Gospel who is dedicated to living by faith and inspiring others to do the same. The wife of Evangelist, Jesse Duplantis, Rev. Duplantis has worked continually with her husband in the ministry since it began in 1978 serving as Administrator, Editor-in-Chief of Voice of the Covenant magazine and television co-host.

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