Summary: Three ways to renew your joy. 1. Live each day by GRACE 2. Keep your priorities in PERSPECTIVE 3. Grow in your RELATIONSHIP with Christ

Finding The Joy You Have Lost

Paul writing to the Philippians in chapter three says:

“Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.” Philippians 3:1 (NKJV)

Go ahead and circle the word “rejoice”. Have you ever considered the definition of this word? It means to celebrate – to express joy – to cheer – to exult – to be glad – to delight. Paul says: “rejoice in the Lord.”

Back when I was a lot younger I remember we used to buy re-tread tires for the car. In fact I can remember “re-treads” being advertised in the paper. Re-treads were popular in that day. For those of you who don’t know what retreads are – they would take an old tire – about worn out and put a new layer of tread over the top. The tires would look brand new when you bought them. Even though they would not last as long as a brand new tire – they would last quite a while. The tires were re-newed – given a second chance – allowed to be useful again – they were restored to usefulness.

Do you need re-newed joy?

Why is it that so many Christians lose their joy? Has their “tread” been worn off? Do they need to be “re-treaded” so that they can become useful again? After King David had an affair with Bathsheba – he said:

“Restore to me the joy of Your salvation.” Psalms 51:12 (NKJV)

He had lost something – now he needed a new start. Guess what? God gave it to him.

When I first became a Christian – I remember – everything was fantastic. I had an excitement – a joy – a peace – that was fantastic. In this journey called life – I just don’t feel that sometimes – sometimes I need a retread. I need a renewed sense of joy to that I can rejoice. How about you? Do you need a new sense of joy – so that you can rejoice?

I know that there are a lot of kill joys in life – things that will rob you of joy.

Today I want us to look at what Paul has to say about "How to Find the Joy that you have lost". If you have not lost your joy then use this sermon to maintain the joy that you have. Let’s read our focal text again:

“Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord.” Philippians 3:1a (NKJV)

This is a recurring theme in the book of Philippians. Paul talks about joy seventeen different times in this book. He keeps returning to this point – to remind us that we need to have joy. The Message Bible says it this way:

“And that's about it, friends. Be glad in God! I don't mind repeating what I have written in earlier letters, and I hope you don't mind hearing it again. Better safe than sorry.” Philippians 3:1 (MSG)

Paul is concerned about the joy of the Philippians – that they don't lose their joy.

Here are three guidelines to help you restore or maintain your joy:

1. Live each day by GRACE

Legalism can kill your joy. It can destroy the joy in your life. It can ruin a family, people, and churches. The Bible tells us:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV)

Our salvation comes by grace – not by all the works. It is not the good works that you have preformed that has won God’s favor. It is not that you have performed well – like some trained animal – that has caused God to love you. You have not won God’s grace by what you have done – He has freely given it to you. He loves you just as you are – but remember – He loves you so much – that He not willing to leave you there. He wants to build a relationship with you – and that relationship is to be based on His grace and mercy to you.

Legalism – on the other hand – is substituting rules and regulations for a relationship with Christ. It comes in very subtly to a believer. It gets the focus off what God has done for you and gets the focus on what you have to do for God. It says – “In order for God to love me I must ……” You can fill in the blank with many things. Some Christians believe they MUST go to church every Sunday – or they MUST read their Bible every day – or they MUST tithe – in order for God to love them. Although many things are good habits to get into – it is not doing all these “things” that cause God to love you. God loves you because He chooses to love you. Romans chapter five says:

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