Summary: There is no reason in this universe why a Christian should have no joy in life and especially life in Christ. Let the whole world know!
Five Great Reasons for a Joyful Life
Griffith Baptist Church – 12/14/08
Text: Nehemiah 11-12
Key verse: Nehemiah 12:43 – Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.
Premise: There is no reason in this universe why a Christian should have no joy in life and especially life in Christ. Let the whole world know!
CHAIN LETTER FOR PARENTS It reads: "Dear Friend: This chain letter is meant to bring relief and happiness to you. Unlike other chain letters, this one does not cost money. Simply send a copy of this letter to six other parents who are tired of their teenagers. Then bundle your teenager up and send him or her to the parent at the bottom of the list. In one week you will receive 16,436 teenagers – and one of them should be worth keeping. Warning: One dad broke the chain and got his own teenager back." SOURCE: Contributed by Phil Morgan.
I don’t know too many people who hate to laugh, to have joy.
That is why I can never figure out Christians who seem to be so unhappy:
o Some who complain more than anything
o Always seem to have a sour look on their face
o Never have a praise or a testimony of God’s goodness
o Always look at things as an inconvenience
We should be people of joy – Psalms 16:11 - Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
An English preacher named Watkinson was out on a beach with his little grandson. An elderly man came along. They spoke and the elderly man began to lash out at the preacher ... using terrible language. It frightened the little boy. Another man came along behind the disgruntled older man and said, "Please don’t be alarmed by him. He is suffering from a sun stroke." The little boy later said to his granddad, "Granddad. I hope you don’t ever suffer from a sunset." Some today are suffering from a sunset. They no longer see the new day and welcome it with joy in their hearts. They want things to remain as they were.
Discuss the text:
1. Chapter 11 deals with those who were selected to come and live in Jerusalem (10%)
2. Chapter 12 deals more with the temple setup, the priests and Levites and the dedication of the walls.
3. At the end of chapter 12 there is a celebration of the temple order and the focus for our message is on verse 43:
Let’s take a look at 5 great truths that can pick us up and keep us going, especially when we find ourselves down.
1. A Great Salvation
A. Given with love
i. Nothing beats the love of God in our lives - Ephesians 2:4 – But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
ii. It is what drove Jesus to the cross and kept Him there - John 15:13 - Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
B. Given with grace
i. Looks like this man could use a good dose of common sense and grace - Friday at quitting time, Jim said, ‘Boss, have you got any extra work I can do tonight?’ Sure do but I can’t pay you overtime. That’s okay, I just don’t want to go home. Why not? Well, I’ve been in the doghouse since last night. I see...Why? What did you do to deserve that? I still don’t know, it must be one of those woman things. I was minding my own business relaxing in front of the TV. My wife enters the room & asks, "What’s on the TV?" And honestly, I swear all I said was, "Dust!" She’s been mad ever since!”
ii. Saved by grace (Eph. 2:8-9)
iii. Grace power is greater than sin power – Romans 5:20 – Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
iv. Grace operates every day of our lives
C. Given forever
i. What part of “everlasting life” do we not understand
ii. God is not an Indian giver
iii. Hebrews 7:25 - Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
2. A Great Freedom
A. Freedom from sin
i. A young woman went to her pastor and said, "Pastor, I have a besetting sin, and I want your help. I come to church on Sunday and can’t help thinking I’m the prettiest girl in the congregation. I know I ought not think that, but I can’t help it. I want you to help me with it."The pastor replied, "Mary, don’t worry about it. In your case it’s not a sin. It’s just a horrible mistake." (Haddon Robinson, "Good Guys, Bad Guys, and Us Guys,")