Summary: What will happen on the day of investigation for the believer? The purpose of this sermon series is to help Christians bear fruit that will pass the test. In this sermon we cover the fruit of joy.

(Mark 11:12-14) “On the next day, when they had left Bethany, He became hungry. Seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if perhaps He would find anything on it; and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples were listening.”

(Galatians 5:22-23)” But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

(Nehemiah 8:10) “Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

(John 15:11) “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

INTRODUCTION: In Mark chapter 11 we read the story of Jesus cursing the fig tree to die. He was moved to indignation because the tree appeared to be fruitful from afar. However, as Jesus further investigated the tree there were no figs--Only leaves that camouflaged as fruit.

In the same way, as Christians, we have leaves of religiosity that hide areas that we’re not actually bearing fruit. However, there will come a day when every believer will stand before Christ and give accounts of our works and fruits--down to the very motive. At that time, Jesus will separate the leaves and fruits in our lives.

For the fruit, we will receive a reward.For the leaves we will lose rewards. In this sermon we will talk about the fruit of joy.

Leaves of Happiness Versus the Fruit of Joy

1.Happiness is External.

Joy is Internal.

(2 Corinthians 4:16-18) “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen,but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

2. Happiness is based on Circumstances.

Joy is based on Christ.

(Philippians 4:11) “…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”

3. Happiness is based on Chance.

Joy is based on a Choice.

(Deuteronomy 30:19) “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses

against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life…”

How to have a joy that will last…..

1. Get over the Hurt of what happened.

(Philippians 1:12) “Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.”

2. Surrender Everything.

(Luke 17:33) “Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.”

3. Flee from Negativity.

(Galatians 5:7) “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?”

(Philippians 4:8)Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

4.Be Thankful for what you do have

(Philippians 4:11-12) “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

(I Timothy 6:6) “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

5. Focus on Eternity.

(Philippians 1:15-18) “It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.”

6. Start Serving other people

(Matthew 20:26-27) “Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave.”

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