Summary: Do you let people or things steal your joy? Paul shows us how to not let this happen. In Philippians 3:1-21 we find 9 tips for keeping our joy safe.
"How To Keep Your Joy Safe"
"9 Safety Tips For Protecting Your Joy"
Text: Philippians 3:1-21
How many of you believe God wants you to be joyful?
I agree with you, I believe God wants each of us here tonight to have joy.
How many of you know that Joy is different from happiness?
Joy is different from Happiness. They’re not the same thing.
Happiness is based on Happenings.
Depending on what’s happening around me determines whether I’ll be happy or not.
If I like what’s happening around me, then I’m happy. If I don’t like what’s happening, then I’m unhappy.
But Joy is different. Joy is only found in Jesus.
Just like there are certain rare species of animals and plants that can only be found in certain countries, Joy can only be gotten from one place, JESUS.
But there’s a big problem!
We live in ajoyless society. Watch the 10:00 O’clock ne\vs and see how many joyful stories they tell.
There are a lot of Joy Thieves out there. People who want to steal your JOY.
They don’t want you to smile and have too much fun.
You might make them feel bad for doing it.
That’s why you have to keep your joy safe. You’ve got to protect it.
Because you can lose it so easily.
Tonight, we’re going to look in the Book of Philippians at "How to Keep Our Joy Safe."
The book of Philippians can be summed up in 9 words: Knowing Jesus and Being Like Him Is Pure Joy.
Joy is one of the major themes of this book.
Paul uses the word ’joy’ 4 times in this letter. He uses the word ’rejoice’ 9 times. In the early chapters Paul uses these words to describe his own experience as a Christian. But the beginning of chapter 3, however, is a transition point, shifting to a section of spiritual direction. Paul’s expression "rejoice in the Lord"(3: 1) is the first time in this letter for the phrase "in the Lord," signifying the reason and sphere in which the believers joy exists.
This theme of joy is amazing considering the fact that Paul was sitting in Jail when He wrote this letter.
Paul. was in jail because everywhere Paul preached about Jesus, two types of people fought him.
He faced opposition first from unreligious people. People who didn’t have a desire to love God or care about spiritual things. In fact, they’re the ones that got Paul thrown in jail.
The other type of people who opposed Paul were Religious people.
Namely, Jews who practiced their religion called, Judaism.
The Jews who practiced Judaism did not believe Jesus \vas the Messiah. However some Jews did come to a saving kno\vledge of Christ.
Both hounded Christians and tried to steal their joy in different ways.
I want to share wIth you "9 Safety Tips To Protect Your Joy"
Please turn with me to the Book ofPhilil!Pians 3:1-21
Safety Tip #1:
Avoid adding to what God says
v. 2 - "Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation."
This verse is a warning from Paul against False Teachers.
People who teach things that aren’t true.
Paul says, "Look out for the dogs."
What was happening, is that some people were telling the Christians that they needed to adhere to the laws of Moses and be circumcised. These people were Jews who practiced Judaism.
He refers to them as "dogs" because they were constantly hounding the Christians that they must do this or they must do that.
"And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, ’Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved ’"
This is similar, if not identical to what was happening in Philippi.
The problem is that they were adding to what God had said.
God never said you had to be circumcised to be saved, or that your salvation came through keeping the laws.
They added on to what God said.
The Bible word for "adding to what God says" is called Legalism.
Do you remember the command God gave Adam and Eve back in . the Garden of Eden?
He told them:
"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ’Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die. ’" - Genesis 2: 16
Do you remember what happened then?
The serpent came to Eve and said, "Has God indeed said, , You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’
Notice Eve’s response:
"And the woman said to the serpent, ’We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst