Wondrous Love

He rules the world with truth and graceAnd makes the nations proveThe glories of His righteousnessAnd wonders of His loveAnd wonders of His loveAnd wonders, wonders, of His love
(Joy to the World, Verse 4)


Series: Joy to the World

Christmas Day is upon us! While we have been exploring the song Joy to the World—verse by verse—we’ve been preparing our hearts and homes for the joyous coming of Christ. As we reflect on the wonder and glory of the season, many of us will add the baby Jesus figurine to our nativity set at midnight on Christmas Eve. A baby born in a simple place, without pomp and circumstance, with one brightly shining star giving notice of His birth—the Savior of the world. No pressure, right? Christ has come. Hallelujah! In John 1:14, we read:

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us; and we saw His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Jesus is the Word, the Truth, and the Way. At His birth, the Word became flesh and walked among us. Even though prophets told of His coming with much detail, many did not and still do not believe Jesus Christ is the Messiah. Isaiah shared this prophecy:

For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 NASB)

Those hearing this would have expected a King, a ruler with a powerful hand, to redeem them from the bondage of slavery. But, Jesus came into this world humbly, as a servant to others, and for a much bigger, more intimate reason. He came to redeem souls, offer forgiveness of sins, and provide those who believe eternal life with Him. At the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry, only some would come to know Him as Messiah. Even though He laid down His life for us, many remain unbelievers.

In researching the story behind the Christmas Carol, Joy to the World, we find it was actually written to speak more about the second coming of Christ than His birth. As Christ followers, this should increase our urgency to share the Gospel, be the Light of Christ, and love as Jesus loved. Why? Because He wants none to perish—as stated in 2 Peter 3:9:

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance.

When Jesus returns, and He will return, just as He promises us. He will bring justice to all the nations. Just as Isaiah writes in 42:1-4:

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on Him, and He will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise His voice in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; He will not falter or be discouraged till He establishes justice on earth. In His teaching the islands will put their hope.

We also see in Philippians, Paul proclaiming Jesus as the long awaited Savior:

And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death: death on a cross. For this reason also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (2:8-11)

We have every reason to hold fast to the hope in Christ. His righteousness has provided our salvation. His steadfast love and faithfulness never falter. He assures us that one day all who believe will be with Him for eternity. Even all of creation will rejoice in His second coming.

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for He comes, He comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in His faithfulness. (Psalm 96:11-13 NIV) 

May peace and joy be with each of you as you celebrate this wonderful season of remembrance and expectancy. We truly can rejoice as heaven and nature sing the wonders of His love!

For Christ did not enter a holy place made by hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year by year with blood that is not His own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been revealed to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And just as it is destined for people to die once, and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. (Hebrews 9:24-28 NASB)

Holding Fast to Hope,

Scripture References: Isaiah 9:6, 42:1-4; 2 Peter 3:9; Psalm 96:11-13, 98; Hebrews 9:24-28


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