Sunday, June 28, 2009

God's Spirit - Part 5 - Spiritual Fruit of Joy II

Our Great Commission
God’s Spirit
Part 5: The Fruit of Joy Part II
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – http://www.ps127.org/ http://www.truthdigest.org/


ANNOUNCEMENTS

Cook out right after Church today!!

6:00PM Evening Service at the church –
“Seminary Students will be preaching”

Cancelled this week----Monday Bible Study back at the Shields’ 5:00PM

Tuesday Women’s at Lori’s 5:00PM

Men’s on Friday at the church 8:00PM



WHERE WE ARE AT

† Maturing in Christ
† Understanding in Christ
† Love of God


This Series: God’s Spirit

Previously:
God’s Spirit with us / in us
The Fruit of the Spirit
The Fruit of Love
The Fruit of Joy Part I


TODAY’S SERMON: Our Great Commission
God’s Spirit
Part 6: The Fruit of Joy II

OPEN IN PRAYER

SCRIPTURE READING

John 15:11 – Jesus Speaking
“These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”

“My joy…” Jesus wants His joy for us to remain

“…that your joy might be full.” He also wants us to have joy in life


INTRODUCTION

Speaking on the Fruits of the Spirit in Galatians

We are commanded to “…keep in step with the Spirit” Galatians 5:25

This is what is meant by “walk in the Spirit”


Last week we spoke on Joy busters…this week we will speak on Joy builders.

Things that BUILD and allow the Spirit of God to produce the fruit of Joy in our lives.





1. Recognize that God is joyful.

We can be helped greatly in our journey towards joy if we learn to see the Almighty not as a taskmaster, but as the God of the Universe with a joy in His heart.

When I first discovered Zephaniah 3:17 I had to read it several times because it was such a new thought for me.

Listen to how God feels about you: “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” God delights in you and breaks out into song when He thinks about you! That’s hard to believe, isn’t it? Psalm 104:31 says, “May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works.”

You are part of HIS WORKS…He created you! And He rejoices in you.

Genesis 1:31: “And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good…”

Isaiah 65:18-19: “But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people…”If we have little or no joy in our lives, it could very well be because we don’t know God well enough, because joy is one of His character qualities.

When we recognize God as joyful we will be even more drawn to Him.

He is not a distant judge just waiting for us to mess up so He can unleash His fury. He has created us to be His delight. He finds great joy in you! He rejoices over you in happy song.As we view God this way, we will discover that He takes great pleasure in us. He is the Good Gardener who toils over us with constant care.

He waits patiently for His fruit to ripen and with great joy He longs to gather in the harvest.

Since there is enthusiasm in everything He undertakes and sweet satisfaction in all He does, His joy can be transmitted directly to us by His Holy Spirit who lives within us.
That’s exactly what Nehemiah discovered in Nehemiah 8:10: “…The joy of the LORD is your strength.”
2. (Joy Builder) Rehearse God’s attributes in worship.

God delights in us and finds great joy in His creation – then when we celebrate His attributes in worship we allow our joy to flow back to Him. Psalm 66:1-4: “Shout with joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious! Say to God, ‘How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name.’”Our collective worship of God on Sundays should be the culmination of our individual and private worship during the week.

When David focused on God’s character in Psalm 28, he couldn’t help but break out into joy. Listen to verse 7: “The Lord is my strength and shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.”
3. (Joy Builder) Reaffirm your commitment to others.

The first two joy builders are vertical and have to do with how we view God and how He views us.

If we’re serious about drinking deeply out of the rivers of joy, we must also make sure that we are doing OK on the horizontal dimension by living in biblical community with others.

We can’t do it alone.

Romans 12:15 challenges us to “rejoice with those who rejoice…”

We’re not able to do this unless we’re connected to others. If you’re not in fellowship with believers, your joy will dissipate.Here’s the point. As I connect with you and you connect with me, our joy will overflow. We need each other. If we’re not attending church on a regular basis, or coming and not interacting with others, we could be jeopardizing the joy of other people, as well as in ourselves.

When we live in loving relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ, we’ll be more joyful and we’ll be helping others lift up their joy.
4. (Joy Builder) Reignite your passion for evangelism.

One of the best ways to build joy into your life is by talking to other’s about Jesus. Philemon 6: “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” Luke 15 records for us how much rejoicing takes place when the lost are found. When the lost sheep is recovered, verse 5 says that the owner “joyfully puts it on his shoulders” and then goes home and calls his friends and neighbors together and declares in verse 6, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep. I tell you in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents…”

Jesus reminds us in John 4:36 that we can be filled with glad joy when we participate in the process of evangelism: “Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.”
We are to rejoice with those who have reaped the benefits of Christ through our sowing of the Gospel!

Each week I make my sermons available online, and put the video on our church website.

A few years ago I received a letter from a Pastor in India who wrote me to thank me for making my Sermons available for free to anyone in the world.

He wanted to let me know that He preached one of my sermons in India before 5000 people, and that close to 2000 accepted Christ that night!

I rejoice knowing that when I get to heaven, I will meet these people who God so graciously allowed me to be part of their joy.

Praise God.
5. (Joy Builder) Release your problems to the Lord.

One of the hallmarks of Christian joy is that it can be experienced in the midst of intense sorrow and loss.

Often we define happiness as the absence of something undesirable, such as pain, suffering, or disappointment.

But Christian joy is the proper response to the presence of something desirable: God Himself…regardless of what other conditions are or are not present.In Acts 16, the authorities beat Paul and Silas. After they were severely flogged, they were thrown into prison. In order to make sure they didn’t escape, they were put in the inner cell and had their feet fastened in stocks.

If that were me, I’d be scared! Verse 25 says that Paul and Silas “were praying and singing hymns to God…”

This word for praying is not the same Greek word used for making requests, but rather the Greek word used for praise, or worship.

Instead of asking God to get them out, they turned this tough situation into an opportunity for rejoicing.The only way to have an attitude like this is to release our problems to the Lord. Because He’s in charge we can have joy – no matter what happens.

Paul put it this way in 2 Corinthians 7:4: “…in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.” James 1:2 challenges us to “consider it pure joy…whenever you face trials of many kinds.”This takes a conscious decision. We’re commanded to work at it.

While we can’t manufacture joy we can give our problems to the Lord by leaning on Him with everything we’ve got.
ConclusionThe only way to have real joy is to nurture your relationship with Jesus and keep in step with the Spirit on a daily basis.1. Guard yourself against those joy busters that crash into your life like a tidal wave. 2. Identify one joy builder that you need to work on. Pick one that is weak for you.• Recognize God as joyful• Rehearse God’s attributes in worship• Reaffirm your commitment to others• Reignite your passion for evangelism• Release your problems to the Lord In closing, let’s allow Romans 14:17 to penetrate our lives: “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.”