Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Secret To Joy



Today’s Bible readings are Deuteronomy 23:1-25:19, Luke 10:13-37, Psalm 75:1-10, & Proverbs 12:12-14


Luke 10:17
17 When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”

Have there ever been times when you experienced great joy? Have you ever wondered how to have more joy in your life? I believe that the answer to this question is found in our reading today.

I see a lot of depression today in the lives of people. I also notice that there are so many in the body of Christ that are discouraged & discontented. Why is it that Christians are losing their joy? What is it that robs so many of the joy that Christ offers so freely? I believe that the answer is that so many people have stopped serving in the kingdom. The moment we stop serving is the moment that joy starts to die.

The answer is so simple, yet it is one that many people fight tooth & nail. They refuse to believe that it could be this simple. Sometimes, they have become so calloused that they don’t even realize how much of a sour puss they have really become.

It is so easy to blame others for what I lacking in our own individual lives. We say things like:
1.      It’s my wife’s fault I don’t have joy. She never stops nagging.
2.      It’s my bosses fault I don’t have joy. He is to demanding.
3.      It’s is my kids fault. They always stress me out.
4.      If my health was better I would have something to be joyful about.
5.      It’s God’s fault. He is so unfair to me.

All of these excuses are really LIES that we have chosen to believe. They are lies that come from satan. When we agree with them we give power & place to them. The truth is that joy comes as we serve in the kingdom of God.

Look at our text for a moment. Jesus had just sent the disciples out to do the work of the kingdom. He commissioned them & they went. He anointed them for what He commissioned them to do. They went & did it. In doing it they were filled with joy. WHY???

·        Joy is a by-product of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It is the fruit that He produces when we are walking in the Spirit.

 

Galatians 5:22-23

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Did you see that? The Holy Spirit produces joy in our lives. It comes as a result of us walking in the Spirit.

As the disciples were out doing ministry, they were empowered by the Holy Spirit. They yielded to Him. He was working through them. As He worked through them He produced joy in them. It was such a joy that the bible calls it an “over-flowing joy”. 

Luke 10:17
17 When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”

That choice of word shows us that joy was running over. They were full of joy. This was not a joy that the world knows. It is not a joy that the world can even offer. It is a joy that can only come from use serving in the kingdom as the Spirit empowers us.

Think about a time in your life as a Christian when you had the most joy? Now what you will find to be true across the board is that it was a time when you were serving in the kingdom. God was using you. You were yielding to His Spirit. As a result, He produced joy in you.

For whatever reason, many along the way have stopped serving. Maybe they got offended. Maybe they started to think that people didn’t appreciate what they were doing. Maybe they didn’t like the leader. Maybe they thought it was somebody else’s turn for a change. All of these come from the deceiver of your soul who wants to
1.      STEAL
2.      KILL
3.      DESTROY

He wants to steal, kill, & destroy your joy because joy gives you strength.

 

Nehemiah 8:10

10 And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

It is time for many of you to get back into the game. You have been sitting on the side lines far too long & your lack of joy shows it. Here are some things that you can do ASAP to get back in the game & get your joy back.

1.      Ask your pastor what you can do to help him. NOTE:  Be prepared to catch him because he will probably faint when he hears you ask that question.


2.      Just do whatever needs to be done. Don’t have the “I’m too qualified for that” attitude.


3.      Help with the kids at church, drive a van route, etc..


4.      Do what others are not willing to do so you can have what others don’t have.


5.      Start visiting people who haven’t been to church in a while. NOTE:  Don’t get into negative talk with them during your visits. Always pull it back to the great things that God is doing in your church.


6.      Start praying for sick people. Get a list from your church & go get them healed.



7.      Start sharing your faith with people that you don’t live with. YES, THAT MEANS STRANGERS!!!


Bottom line is this:  Be a light where you are. God has you right where He wants you. Be faithful where you are & you will be entrusted with more. This may not seem like that deep of a revelation BUT I assure you that it will lead to greater measures of joy in your life.

Pastor Richard Schlotter

3 comments:

Luke Willis said...

Love point #4! Great lesson.

Anonymous said...

Good word!

Anonymous said...

Covering and explaining the bible has been and is a great blessing for my seedling spirit. I prayrd for god to help me and he sent me to this church and each day i learn to love and grow in his word that i may help my fellow man without judgement and a humble spirit filled with the lord