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Summary: To show that joy is a mark of the Spirit-Filled life.

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INTRODUCTION

-Tonight, we are going to begin a series on the fruit of the Spirit as found in Galatians 5:22-23

-Warning 1: These fruits are the results and evidences of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives

-We cannot create them in ourselves

-Much as we would like to and often try to

-But, we can cultivate a susceptible place for them to be grown and to thrive

-Warning 2: The Fruits of the Spirit are not to be confused with the Gifts of the Spirit

-Tonight we will take a look at joy

-We’ll save love for later in the series

-As a fruit, I would symbolize joy with the lemon

-I will note why later on

-I Peter 1:3-9

-Joy is perhaps one of the most misunderstood concepts of human life

-It is too often tied to happiness

-They are not synonymous

-The presence of one does not impact at all the presence of the other

-Happiness is an outward condition

-Ruled by what happens around the individual

-Joy is an inward condition

-Ruled by the person’s makeup or characteristics

-This is why so many vices are present in society

-Man looks for happiness when what he really needs is God-given joy

-Tonight let’s take a look at four marks of joy in our lives

I. Joy Is A Constant

-I Thessalonians 5:16

A. People who are Spirit-filled will always have joy

-Joy is not the same thing as happiness

-Joy is like the results of child birth

B. Some to a greater measure than others

-Dependent on their willingness to allow the Spirit to

work it in their lives

-You can lead a horse to water. . .

II. Joy Brings Strength

-Nehemiah 8:10b

A. To battle discouragement

-This is why I symbolize joy with the lemon

-ILL: Paul and Silas in jail

-Certainly they were not happy about their circumstances

-But their joy in the Lord gave them strength to hold a praise rally in prison

-Discouragement is going to come to you

-But, joy will give you the strength to battle it

-It shows what you are truly made of

B. To battle temptation

-When we are joyful, we are less likely to fall from our temptations

-Satan tempts us the most frequent and the most severe when we lack joy in the Lord

-When we are dissatisfied

III. Joy Looks At The End Results

-Not necessarily the present circumstances

-Oswald Chambers once said, “The Bible nowhere speaks about a "happy’ Christian; it talks plentifully of joy. Happiness depends on things that happen, and may sometimes be an insult: joyfulness is never touched by external conditions, and a joyful heart is never an insult"

-James 1:2-4

-I learned much and grew in my faith that day

A. God has a perfect plan

1. For mankind

2. For individuals

B. God provides blessings along the way

1. In response to promises

2. Because He is gracious

-He is our Heavenly Father

C. Heaven will outshine everything here

-II Corinthians 4:17-18

IV. Joy Can Be Increased

-I John 1:4

A. By focusing on God’s promises

B. By following of God’s commands

-You see, the commands of God are not a heavy yoke

-They are an easy yoke

-By following God’s commands, we actually are more joyful for we are more in the center of God’s will

CONCLUSION

-Let’s leave here walking in the joy that comes only from the Lord

-Let it remain in you always

-Let it strengthen you

-Both in discouragement and temptation

-Let it see what lies ahead, not only what is

-And let it increase day to day


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