Celebrating Christ at Christmas

Janet Aucoin December 16, 2022

Christmas is almost here! For many of us, the frantic pace of the season crowds out the celebration of Christ’s birth. Join Janet and Jocelyn as they take some time to slow down and contemplate Christ and his incarnation. Listen in as they discuss the beauty and glory of Christ and how it shines so brightly at Christmas.

Visit the Joyful Journey website to sign up for our newsletter, view a transcript, and search previous episodes.

Emails us with questions or comments at joyfuljourneyquestions@outlook.com

Facebook, Instagram

Donate to Joyful Journey Podcast

Joyful Journey Podcast is a ministry of Faith Bible Seminary. All proceeds go to offset costs of this podcast and toward scholarships for women to receive their MABC through Faith Bible Seminary.


Episode Transcript


The Glory of Christ Abridged - John Owens

Things of Earth - John Piper

Knowing God - J. I. Packer

Biblical Doctrine - John MacArthur


No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus - Stephanie Gretzinger

Christ Our Treasure - Sovereign Grace


Beholding the Glory of God in the Face of Jesus - Suzanne McDonald


Faith Bible Seminary MABC


Jocelyn: I don't just need to feel better. I need the truth. And ultimately that will make me better.

Janet: I just want to make it as totally simple as possible for ladies to see that the Bible is really applicable to their everyday life.

Jocelyn: When they understand theology, the application flows out of it quickly with joy.

Janet: It is a journey, but even the journey itself is joyful when I'm doing it, holding the hand of my savior and trusting him all along the way. This is the joyful journey podcast, a podcast to inspire and equip women to passionately pursue beautiful biblical truth on their journey as women of God. When you choose truth, you're choosing joy.

Janet: Well, welcome back listeners. This is Janet once again with my trusty co-host, Jocelyn.

Jocelyn: Hi, friends.

Janet: And I guess we'll start this episode by just saying Merry Christmas.

Jocelyn: Merry Christmas, listeners. We're so excited to be able to celebrate Christmas with you on today's episode.

Janet: Especially because we're gonna get to talk about the true reason that we're celebrating, that it gives such hope in a dark world.

Jocelyn: Absolutely. So Janet, what do you love about Christmas?

Janet: You know, it's so funny, my first thought is, I'm gonna tell you what I don't like.

Jocelyn: Okay, cool.

Janet: You like that?

Jocelyn: Let's do that.

Janet: It's sad to me that Christmas has become when people are the loneliest, because we make it about having a wonderful environment.

Jocelyn: Ooh, interesting.

Janet: And we think Christmas, I should have the perfect family. We should have the perfect gifts. We should have the perfect time together. And I think the reality is what do we love about Christmas? That our world was so dark that Jesus came.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Right in the middle of it.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: That it really is the most hopeful time when we remember what it's all about.

Jocelyn: I also really have some things I hate about Christmas, like all the emphasis on finding the perfect gift.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And spending exorbitant amounts of money.

Janet: And going into debt.

Jocelyn: And going into debt to provide this experience for your family that is like the complete opposite of what Christmas is supposed to be about. Like I hate that. But there are some things I really love about Christmas. I really love all the festivities and beauty.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And this is why. As a person, I'm pretty minimalist. Like I don't enjoy decorating. It's shocking to me that one of my kids wants to grow up to become an interior designer. Like I don't know where that came from. So I'm pretty minimalist. We don't really do very much. Like we do get a tree because we have these ornaments that we've collected for our kids.

Janet: That are meaningful.

Jocelyn: They're meaningful and, every time you pull one outta the box, we're like, oh, do you remember when you were four, and this happened? So we don't decorate our house very much because it's a ton of work, and I'm very regimented and boring. But I love the holidays because we get to go places that are beautiful.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And for us, the music is very meaningful.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: We get to listen to beautiful music. We have a really cool event our church does called Taste of Christmas, that's a really magnificent, concert. And we get to eat delicious food and you get to visit with friends and family that you don't normally get to see. So Christmas and really all the holidays in November, December, and January are such a time of the pursuit of pleasure and beauty and just exulting in special things. Obviously, like we said, to be fair, we can go overboard.

Janet: Absolutely.

Jocelyn: Eat too much, buy too much, organize too much in our schedule. And you have to be really careful enjoying pleasures too much during the holidays or you're gonna end up needing to make up for it all the next, you know, into the new year.

Janet: Or buy bigger clothes.

Jocelyn: There's always that. But there's one thing that we can indulge in to exorbitant degrees at Christmas, and never be in trouble for. We'll never be like, whoa, that was too rich. That was too delicious. Now I have to cut back down a little and slim down, like, we'll never have to say that.

Janet: And everybody's thinking, are you kidding me? What in the world would that be?

Jocelyn: Well, it's not Christmas fudge, but that's the topic of our episode today. We're gonna be talking about celebrating Christ at Christmas, and specifically the glory of Christ, which I'm very excited to talk about because the glory of Christ has been something that has really been hard for me to understand over the years. And I've really had to study it and understand it.

Janet: Well, it's such a phrase that we use that we don't really know what it means.

Jocelyn: Right. It's like a Christian-ese phrase that we all probably say, but probably don't think much realistically what it means. So in the midst of all the earthly pleasures, we get to celebrate at Christmas and we get to participate in, we get to remember that Christmas is a time of year devoted to acknowledging that Jesus was born as a little baby. Entering into our human experience for the specific purpose of joining his divinity with our humanity. Coming into our human experience, to redeem us from the curse of sin. And that's amazing. That's revolutionary. It's breathtaking. That's astounding. It's rich. It's audacious. We can never get too much of thinking about that.

Janet: Well already that is an amazing amount of descriptive words. So I'm already excited. Tell us more.

Jocelyn: So, I'm in the beginning stages of reading a little book by a puritan preacher named John Owens. And the book is called The Glory of Christ. And in the preface of that book, this is what John Owens writes. The design of the ensuing discourse is to declare some part of that glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was revealed in the scripture and proposed as the principle object of our faith, love, delight, and admiration. So the goal of John Owen's book is simply to declare a little, tiny bit of the gloriousness of Jesus Christ. And we see his glory revealed in scripture, and that glorious Jesus Christ is proposed as the principle object of our faith, love, delight, and admiration. We're supposed to see Jesus revealed in scripture and believe it. And we're supposed to see the glory of Jesus Christ in scripture and love him. And we're supposed to see Jesus Christ revealed in scripture and delight in him. Like delighting in the greatest Christmas fudge you've ever gotten to taste. That Jesus Christ we see in scripture is supposed to be the object of our highest admiration.

Janet: So we're supposed to search and study scripture to find this amazing Jesus Christ, and in finding him, we're supposed to be mesmerized and dazzled by the glory of who we find there. We're supposed to feast off of him and stuff our faces with him. Just absolutely revel in him. And we're supposed to find that of all the pleasure in the universe, he is our great reward and our highest treasure. So I'm already thinking that when I read scripture. That isn't always my experience.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: But Jocelyn, you're making me want that to be my experience.

Jocelyn: Yeah. John Owens is making me want that too. So John Owens then goes on to say, but alas, after our utmost and diligent inquiries, we must say, How little a portion it is of him that we can understand. His glory is incomprehensible and his praises are unutterable. Some things, an illuminated mind may conceive of it, but what we can express in comparison of what it is in itself is even less than nothing.

Janet: Wow.

Jocelyn: Isn't that deep?

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Some people who have searched out the glory of Christ have even forsaken the true guidance of scriptures and attempted to be wiser than what was written there. And to elevate their thinking through fanciful imagination above what was written in scripture. And as a result, they've ended up with a darkened mind, just like Romans one talks about.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: Talking about things they don't understand, which ultimately have no substance or spiritual food of faith in them.

Janet: So can I just stop you there for a minute. Cuz I think that's really important. You just whet our appetite to see and savor Jesus. And if I read the scripture and I don't experience that, and I want that experience, which is a good thing to want. I'm gonna be tempted to go outside of scripture to my own imagination and try to get that.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: I might get an experience, but it has no substance is what you're saying. And that it might actually darken my mind from the true Jesus in the Bible.

Jocelyn: Right. It's good to understand that. It's good to see that.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And to be warned by it. John Owens goes on to say, that real view, which we may have of Christ and His glory in this world by faith, however weak and obscure that knowledge which we might obtain of them by divine revelation is inexpressibly to be preferred above all other wisdom, understanding, or knowledge, whatever.

Janet: Wow.

Jocelyn: So we end up in this place where Paul ended in Philippians 3:8 saying, indeed, I count everything as a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord. Because if we don't end up there, in that spot of saying that all the whys and wonderful things I can know and be impressed with and changed by, all of the pleasures of the world full of pleasures are nothing. They're nothing compared to the ultimately surpassing excellence of knowing Jesus. If we don't end up there, then we don't really deserve any of Jesus. If he's not the prize, our absolutely greatest pleasure, then we're missing the point.

Janet: And we have to stop there and.say, Let's honestly admit we're all just growing toward this. As you say that, I'm like, wow, then I don't deserve any of Jesus.

Jocelyn: And fighting for it. Like that's what I want.

Janet: Right. Recognizing I don't deserve any Jesus.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Doesn't mean I don't get any Jesus.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: He loves me in my weakness, which should cause me to prize him even more.

Jocelyn: John Owens goes on to say this, the revelation made of Christ and the Blessed Gospel is far more excellent, more glorious, and more filled with rays of divine wisdom and goodness than the whole creation, and the just comprehension of it, if attainable, can contain or afford. Without the knowledge hereof the mind of man, however, priding itself in other inventions and discoveries is wrapped up in darkness and confusion. So Owens is stating there that if we don't understand the glory of Christ as our ultimate knowledge, then our very best worldly knowledge is just darkness and confusion. And we honestly, we don't have to try too hard to see that in the world around us, the very best that the world's experts have to offer us are ridiculousness. Sometimes

Janet: Right. It's so confusing.

Jocelyn: So confusing. He goes on to say, this, therefore, the knowledge of Jesus Christ, deserves the severest of our thoughts, the best of our meditations and our utmost diligence in them. For if our future blessedness shall consist of being where he is and beholding of his glory, what better preparation can there be for it than in a constant preview contemplation of that glory and the revelation that is made in the gospel. Until this very end that by a view of it, we may be gradually transformed into the same glory. So what he's doing is inviting us. He's urging us to have this constant thought on our minds, as the thought that runs behind all of our other thoughts. Jesus Christ and how glorious he is. Because when we see Jesus for how glorious he is in the scriptures, by seeing that view now, we'll be changed little by little to be more and more like him, which you and I use those scripture passages all the time.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: That as we get to look at Christ and understand him, we are little by little changed to be more and more like him. And our ultimate happiness then is that someday we're gonna be with him forever. Isn't that the best news ever today? The object of our adoration will be in our view for the rest of eternity. And I loved the way that John Owen said this in his book. He talked about how the glory of Jesus is so glorious that the first look that we have at Jesus, we will be consumed with pleasure.

Janet: Wow.

Jocelyn: It will ultimately make us happy. And so if that's the future truth, then the best thing for our minds now is to think about that same Jesus.

Janet: Yeah. And it's gonna be by faith. Cuz as you're saying that, I know there are people going, I don't feel that great pleasure when I think about him. It's hard for me to imagine. Is that really what's gonna bring-- Yes. That is what you were designed for. So as my act of faith, filling my mind now with Jesus should be the backbone of all my other thoughts.

Jocelyn: Absolutely. And we should also purposely meditate on him as much as we can so that we have factual things about this glorious Jesus to be thinking about. He's not saying like, let's make up some Jesus in our head that satisfies us. What he's saying is, Get to know who Jesus really is and then fill your mind with him.

Janet: We don't get to say, this is how I think of Jesus.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: This is what Jesus is to me.

Jocelyn: Right. That's such a,

Janet: It's what he is.

Jocelyn: It's such a postmodern way to think about Jesus. Like create Jesus in your own image. No. Let Jesus be who he is, and then think about that.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Every believer is urged to take on that challenge.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Think about the glory of Jesus Christ. And without doing that, here's a couple of dangerous things that can happen. Here's a couple of ditches that you might end up in. First of all, if you don't think about the glory of Jesus, we're gonna be tempted to immerse ourselves into lesser pleasures like sensual, earthly pleasures that drench ourself in the love of the world and the love of present things. That's where addictions are born out of. If you follow that to the nth degree. The second ditch is, we'll be so oppressed by the suffering of this world that we'll never really rest or find satisfaction. So those two ditches are important to understand.

Janet: You know what's fascinating? Those two ditches I think are even more tempting at Christmas.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: The lesser pleasures seem like that's what Christmas is all about. And then, because for most of us, they don't satisfy. We don't get true rest and satisfaction.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And we're more depressed at Christmas.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Than at any other time. And it also doesn't mean that we don't enjoy the pleasures that God gives. It means that all of those pleasures draw our mind back to him.

Jocelyn: Exactly. Because I think. Pleasurable things on earth are a good way for us to think about Christ.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: The pleasure that God allows us to have here, even under the curse of sin, is just a whetting our appetite for the future

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: pleasures that we're gonna have when we're with him.

Janet: A book that was really helpful for me on that was Things of Earth. And we'll link that in the show notes. But realizing that all pleasures on Earth are from him and to him. And when I realize that, I actually enjoy the pleasures

Jocelyn: Yep. That is a great book. John Owens goes on to say this, he it is alone in whom the race of mankind may boast in glory, on whom all its felicities do depend. Such old words.

Janet: And that means what?

Jocelyn: Humans were created in the image of God, but our natures were debased because of our rebellion against him.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Humans who are crowned with honor and dignity at creation, being made in the image of God and given dominion over all the lower earth, were supposed to have made earth the seat of excellence, beauty and glory. But that was all taken away and made destitute because of sin. And all of our internal faculties are taken over by that deformed lust. So I was made for this glorious goal, this purpose.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And instead, the curse of sin has just ruined me on the inside. So instead of being the chief image of creative glory, Now humans and the rebellion are evil and base and filled with contempt. With the glory of God they were created in utterly corrupted. So we were created to peculiarly, be near to the creator. And honor, that's an honor in itself. Now, humans are fallen so far from God that they're left to perish eternally.

Janet: And we have to recognize that. But if the story ends there, and it really rightly could, that is what we deserve.

Jocelyn: Absolutely.

Janet: I already feel the weight of hopelessness and despair from that.

Jocelyn: But that, is why we celebrate Christmas.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: It was into that lost, base, poor cursed condition that Jesus Christ entered into humanity.

Janet: Wow.

Jocelyn: In infinite condescension and compassion, Jesus took that humanity to be his own person. That is why God has so exalted Christ above all else. He was willing to condescend into our human condition, ruined by our own willingness to rebel and to permanently take onto his perfection, humanity. And if we understand this correctly, to remain in that human condition forever and ever and ever. So Jesus, perfectly God, joined himself to also be completely human, as debased as that condition had become because of the curse of sin. And it's in that 100% God, 100% human, but sinless form that Jesus now, right now, sits at the right hand of God the father.

Janet: Wow.

Jocelyn: God did exalt Jesus for entering into our human condition to provide salvation. But Jesus never, ever got to revert to his prehuman state after that.

Janet: And I don't think he even wanted to.

Jocelyn: He forever, voluntarily, willingly limited himself in some ways by taking on the human form. And Psalm eight tells us that one of the reasons we praise his majestic name in all of the earth is that.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: That's why we should think of Jesus and be amazed by His glory. And that is what Christmas is about.

Janet: And then when we're thinking that way, I'm not gonna go into Christmas and be depressed.

Jocelyn: Exactly. Or be wrongly consumed with earthly pleasures that is

Janet: Yes, either of those ditches

Jocelyn: so much less. Right?

Janet: Yes. It makes me think about something J. I.Packer said in his book, Knowing God, that really struck me. I'm not gonna quote it. I know he said it much better than this, but it's where I got this perspective. It isn't even shocking that Jesus would rise from the dead. I mean, it's miraculous. It's powerful. It is amazing. But it's not really shocking. I mean, he's God. Of course.

Jocelyn: Of course.

Janet: He's powerful enough to do that. What is shocking is that he would come in the first place.

Jocelyn: Absolutely. And that is why we celebrate Christmas.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: He came. He came into this mess. So here's the Exortation from the Puritan John Owens. If we humans fill our minds with sensual lust and worldly pleasures and expect temporal earthly things to make us happy and satisfy us, then we are seeking to be satisfied in a state of aposty from God. So we're seeking to be satisfied in a state of rebellion. But if we've received the light of faith and grace, so we're able to understand what it means to be human rightly, is to be in a right relationship with our creator. Then we'll see that our greatest happiness is to be delivered from our corrupted human experience by Jesus. And that Jesus and his sacrifice to enter into our human experience so mesmerizes us that we just can't stop contemplating him for the rest of our lives. Our greatest good is wrapped up in his glory and thinking about him.

Janet: And only God could make that happen.

Jocelyn: Isn't it amazing? Humans who were created expressly by Jesus Christ, for Jesus Christ, were made to have happiness in our friendship with the creator. Our aposty and rebellion from the creator ruined our happiness, and we became mortally distanced from God, who sustains life, and we were made as enemies, and we were flung into the depths of misery. Salvation, through faith in Jesus Christ is the means to have our happiness restored to us and to have that returned. It's a miracle that any of us, so once ruined by sin ever get another chance to exist within friendship to God.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: We cannot possibly conceive or express or admire enough the wisdom, goodness, and condescension of God that made that possible. We could and should happily spend the rest of our days contemplating the glory of Christ that made our rescue possible. And we're fools if we would think that any other thing could possibly make us happier. As we're unified with him in salvation, we ourselves get to participate in that glory too.

Janet: Wow. It's such a reminder. God's plans and his ways are so different

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: from ours. And I still think that all too often we want to think about him just long enough to not feel guilty. And then I wanna think about what's gonna truly make me happy, which is usually me.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Or everything that I think I want and need.

Janet: Yes. That will help me. We are so deceived.

Jocelyn: And right now we're stuck here on earth, as beautiful as it actually is, as full of all the pleasures that we get to celebrate at Christmas, in these bodies made of clay.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down, but with our eyes on the skies, knowing that there's gonna come a day when this cursed human experience will be swallowed up in the glory that we will experience the second we lay our eyes on the glorious Jesus Christ. One day we'll be exalted above all of this human experience and everlastingly exist in places just incomprehensibly more glorious than anything we can imagine.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And it's only because Jesus Christ has given us a pledge, a promise that one day we will live with him and be like him, sharing his glory forever and ever and ever.

Janet: Wow. Sharing his glory, which is then why we can cheerfully, comfortably and victoriously through both life and death be carried through to that next life.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Because we're gonna get to enjoy Jesus by thinking about him and his glory as we know him now by faith in reading the scriptures. And we'll get to enjoy him in the future by seeing him face to face.

Jocelyn: So right now though, there are a lot of things that concern us.

Janet: Rightly.

Jocelyn: I mean, sometimes the load on our shoulders is heavy.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: There are temptations, there are afflictions, changes. There are sorrows and dangers and fears and sickness and pain. And everything we know of pleasure here is uncertain. It's transitory.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And it's

Janet: nothing lasts

Jocelyn: ultimately unsatisfactory. It does not actually satisfy us. Both our experience on earth and our pursuits of happiness are stained by the remainders of sin.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: That's so sad. Everything we experience here has the root of trouble and sorrow in it. And when we see by faith the things that we cannot see now spiritually and eternally, we alienate ourselves from our afflictions, making our burdens light and preserving our souls from fainting under them. Of all the things that we see by faith, the glory of Christ, it's the principle. It's the greatest. Yeah. He says it's a woeful kind of life. When men scramble for poor perishing reliefs in their distresses.

Janet: Wow. Poor perishing reliefs. And we think they're worth clamoring after.

Jocelyn: Yeah. We think it's gonna do it.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: So that's what fallen humans think is the goal of life: to try to get out of our diseases. But what's going to really help us in our journey on this earth, as hard as it is-- this is hard to hear-- it's not to just escape from the trouble, but to be able to retreat into our minds, into a view of that glorious Jesus Christ and through considering it to have comfort and support given to us now while we need it so badly.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: It's in the contemplation of the glory of Christ that we will find rest for our souls. And it's in contemplating the glory of Christ that we're gonna be able to see how slight and inconsiderable those things are that our troubles are coming up from.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Because all of our troubles grow from the root of an overvaluation of temporal things.

Janet: Wow.

Jocelyn: Unless we can all arrive at the place where we realize that judgment is true, that all things here below are transitory and perishing, reaching only the outer man, or the body, and it might even kill it, the best of us have nothing that is truly substantial or abiding in us.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Then it is impossible to ever spend our lives in any way other than sorrow, fear and destruction. So if we don't see more than that, the best we can do here in life is to distract ourselves.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: One real view of the glory of Christ and our own involvement in it will give us relief. Because all the things that we're suffering now pale in comparison to Jesus's transcendent glory. Every earthly thing falls in place behind that eternal, incomprehensible glory of Christ. So we compose our minds with the glory of Christ, and that restores our minds. It brings us into a frame of mind where we can be calm. It bolsters our faith so that we can speak truth into desperate circumstances and passions that are out of control.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And we can say to them, peace be still.

Janet: Wow. I love the concept that you said, restore our mind. And while it makes our troubles fall into perspective, When we do that, we're actually freer to enjoy the good gifts he does bring.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: We don't need them.

Jocelyn: Yep.

Janet: We don't clamor for them and we're not fearful of losing them. We can truly enjoy them from the hand of our savior and know that it's just a foretaste of being with him. So, like you said, troubles pale and blessings give me more to rejoice in.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Yep.

Janet: They're just a taste of the future.

Jocelyn: It also helps us just to be ready for the realities of life. It's the Holy Spirit alone who conveys to us a sense of the love God has for us within our very souls. Romans 8: 2 through 5 talks about that. But there are ways and means that we can choose to receive those communications of defined love. The Holy Spirit gives us a sense of the love of God, which causes us to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. And it lifts our hearts and minds above the troubles that we have in this life. And it's the sovereign antidote that will, you know, get rid of all the poison that's in them.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Which otherwise just perplexes us. It just weighs us down and it enslaves our souls. We want to engage in giving up the pleasures of this earth that have tried to enslave us. Because nothing of our experience here on earth will stay with us.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Not even one hour or take one step with us into eternity.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Isn't that such a helpful thing to remember?

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: None of the greatest pleasures that we experience here on Earth by our senses will follow us into eternity.

Janet: We don't live that way, but we need to think that way.

Jocelyn: We need to think that way. Our relationship with Christ will transcend our life.

Janet: Praise God.

Jocelyn: And our love of Him here on Earth will grow as we learn about him in the scriptures and contemplate the glories that we find about him there. So we have this desire to be with him. That desire will grow as we see who he is in the scripture and believe it by faith. Our strength and confidence for the future, including the time when our days on earth are completed, will be rooted in realities of truth that we've learned to trust, as we think about Jesus. That's why we can become willing and ready to part with our human body in physical death one day without fearing, like someone without Jesus would fear.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: We're willing for our souls to leave our bodies, even though that's super weird and freaky, until they're raised and glorified. Because it's in viewing by faith Christ and his glory that we realize, to be with him is incomparably better than being here on Earth, apart from him. And everything that we know and love on earth will be swallowed up in a better,

Janet: yes,

Jocelyn: more satisfying experience being with him in heaven. And when we're prepared for death, we'll be free from the bondage of the fear of dying. Which you and I have both gotten to see in the saints that we love who have gone to heaven before us.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: They've been able to die without the fear that people without Christ experience.

Janet: I love that though. The fact that you're ready to die because you know what's coming means that you're free to actually live while you're here.

Jocelyn: Yes.

Janet: You're free to fulfill your purpose, which is the joy of making him known to others and being transformed to look more like him.

Jocelyn: John Owens talked about something in this book that just kind of blew my mind a little bit. He said what Jesus really wanted to give his children. Isn't that something cool to think about when we're thinking about the perfect present to give to our kids?

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Jesus really wanted to give his children something amazing, and we find it in John 17:24. In John 17:24, Jesus says, Father, I desire that they also, who you've given me may be with me where I am to see my glory that you have given me.

Janet: Wow.

Jocelyn: Because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Jesus Christ himself asked something special of God the Father, that those God had given to him would be with him someday and would see his glory. Jesus asked for that, not because he had this ostentatious preoccupation with himself, although it is right that he's consumed with his own glory. Jesus asked that his children would see his glory because that and that alone would give them satisfaction. We were made for Christ, and we will only ever be satisfied when he is the object of our affections. So I'm quoting Owens here when I say this. The beholding of the glory of Christ is one of the greatest privileges and advancements that believers are capable of in this world, or that which is to come. It is that whereby they are first gradually conformed unto it and then fixed in the eternal enjoyment of it. For here in this life, beholding his glory, they're changed or transformed into his likeness and hereafter they shall forever be like him because they'll see him as he is. That is what our present comforts and future blessedness depends on.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: This is the life and reward of our souls. He that has seen him, has seen the father also. For we discern the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, only in the face of Jesus Christ. So as we contemplate the glory of Christ, a couple things are happening inside of us. First of all, we're made fit for heaven.

Janet: Yeah, we're being prepared.

Jocelyn: Yes. Secondly, We're made like Christ in all of his glory here on Earth. Third, we have rest and satisfaction for our souls here on Earth. And fourth, we are investing in our everlasting blessedness. We were created to enjoy God. That is the sole fountain where blessedness for our souls will come from. Another quote from Owens is this. There enters sometimes by the word and spirit into believers' hearts such a sense of the untreated glory of God shining forth in Christ as effects and satiates their souls with ineffable joy. From there arises such peace of God that passes all understanding, keeping our hearts and minds through Jesus Christ. Christ and believers, the hope of glory, gives them to taste of the first fruits of it, sometimes to bathe their souls in the fountain of life and to drink of the rivers of pleasure that are at his right hand.

Janet: Oh, that reminds me so much of Psalm 16:11. You make known to me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy. At your right hand are pleasures forever more.

Jocelyn: So this Christmas we invite you, we urge you to find pleasure in thinking about Jesus. In the middle of the pleasures of the holidays, which are so many, think about the greatest pleasure our hearts can enjoy, the pleasure we were created for, and the creator who gives us so much joy through our relationship with him.

Janet: and remembering that by faith, we meditate on that. We don't wait until we already feel pleasure in him.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: We realize we're getting out of a deception. So we're gonna choose that by faith.

Jocelyn: Absolutely.

Janet: And to help you do that, there are some resources we wanna recommend.

Jocelyn: So first of all is a little book that I've been referring to basically this whole episode, it's called The Glory of Christ. It's written by the Puritan John Owens. Essentially every single thing I shared today was either a quote or a paraphrase from that book. I did my best to translate his lofty old English into something that was more understandable. And thankfully I'm linking in the show notes an actually paraphrased version of this book that is way easier to read than his highfalutin English. Really, just to reiterate, literally everything that I shared today was from the preface of that book. And in the book that I'm sharing with you in the show notes, that doesn't have the preface in it. So I'm glad that we got to talk about it today.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: But imagine what delights are in the actual book. Like I only talked about the preface. The whole book is there for you to unfold.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: You can find some modernized versions on Amazon, and we're also gonna link that in our show notes. There are also two modern hymns that talk about this kind of love, this kind of pleasure that we find in looking at the glory of Jesus Christ. Stephanie Gretsinger's song, No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus is a song that I really love. There's a link in the show notes and some of the lyrics to that song are this: if my heart could tell a story, if my life would sing a song, if I have a testimony, if I have anything at all, no one ever cared for me like Jesus. His faithful hand has held me all this way. And when I'm old and gray, and all my days are numbered on the earth, let it be known in you alone my joy was found.

Janet: That's beautiful.

Jocelyn: My other favorite modern worship song on this topic is from Sovereign Grace, and it's called Christ Our Treasure. I love it so much. I would just love to play it for you on my phone right now, but I can't because of licensing issues. So I will put the link in the show notes to make it easy for you. But as soon as this episode is done, you have to go listen to it. This is what it says, Lord, our feet have wandered all the earth unsatisfied. Drinking from a sea of emptiness that has left us dry. So we turn our eyes to Christ, our treasure. There is none like you. Precious Jesus, there is none like you. Living water, word of life, you are forever true. Every blessing, joy abounding here in knowing you. So we fix our eyes on Christ, our treasure. There is none like you. Precious Jesus, there is none like you. We also have a Christmas playlist on Spotify that I wanna encourage you to check out. You can find that@joyfuljourneypod.com. And then finally, if you wanna dig a little deeper, you can find great content about Jesus Christ by studying the Christology section of any good solid theology book. My favorite is Biblical Doctrine by John MacArthur, but there are a lot of great theology books out there.

Janet: And typically, I know Paul Tripp, Nancy Demoss Wilgumuth, Nancy Guthrie, many of them have devotionals for the Christmas season that are all about seeing and savoring Christ. So this is a great time to be doing those and being reminded about Christ. But in addition to resources, some of you I hope are thinking, how can I practically grow in being awed by Christ? Well, certainly the resources are gonna get us thinking about him, but let's not forget, pray for it.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Don't just try. Like, God, would you help me see how beautiful Christ is? God wants that for you more than you want it for yourself. So ask him. Read the gospel accounts, not just these resources about the gospel.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Read the gospel accounts and specifically answer this question in whatever amount you read each day. What is Jesus like? Take the time to praise him for what you're seeing and then remember that he wants you to emulate him. That's what Christmas is about. It's not about what do I get?

Jocelyn: Yep.

Janet: And then choose. Choose to believe him that that's what's gonna be best for your soul. Commit to emulating that character trait in some way. Read some of the resources recommended here. Listen to these songs. Saturate yourself with it. Commit to sharing something about what you love about Jesus with somebody every day. And trust God that he'll continue to open your eyes to his beauty.

Jocelyn: I think that's the biggest thing. Trust God, that he wants you to see how beautiful Jesus is.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: This is what he wants for you and he knows what it will satisfy you the most.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: As we close, we urge you. Enjoy the pleasures that come with celebrating Christmas. And as you experience those pleasures, let your mind be drawn to the greatest pleasure we can possibly contemplate: Jesus Christ, who is glorious beyond our comprehension, but who we are able to understand a little bit now. And as we learn about him and reflect on him, we're made ready for heaven. We're made useful here. We're transformed to be like him. We find rest for our souls in his goodness and grace, and we're investing in our greatest pleasure possible, our eternal happiness with him in heaven.

Janet: And there is no better way to end our episode than thinking about that. So we pray for our listeners that this season would be one that draws you closer to Christ and in awe of what he's done. And we hope you'll be with us for our next episode.

To keep from missing any future episodes, please sign up for our newsletter on our webpage joyfuljourneypod.com. From there you can also subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Google, or Spotify. You can also visit us on our Facebook page or Instagram at Joyful Journey Podcast. If you have questions or comments for us, you can email us at joyfuljourneyquestions@outlook.com. Joyful Journey Podcast is a ministry of Faith Bible Seminary. All proceeds go to offset costs of this podcast and toward scholarships for women to receive their MABC through Faith Bible Seminary.

Host Janet and her husband, Brent, also speak at a variety of conferences as a way to raise money for the seminary. If you want to look at what they offer or book them for a conference, go to their website.

Janet Aucoin


Janet is the Director of Women's Ministry at Faith Church (Lafayette, IN); Host of the Joyful Journey Podcast (helping women learn that when you choose truth you choose joy); ACBC certified; teacher in Faith Community Institute; Coordinator of FBS seminary wives fellowship, retreat and conference speaker; B.S. Human Resources, University of South Florida.