Summary: “Why is a personal relationship with Christ the foundation for a joyful home?” It's because Christ is the source of our joy.
You may be single, but today’s message will help to point you in the right direction should you get married and have kids in the future. You may be older or widowed. These principles are ones that you can pass along to your kids and to your grandchildren.
The family is under attack from all sides in this culture in which we live, and one of the reasons why families are disintegrating is because of a lack of joy. This flies directly in the face of what Jesus said would be the byproduct of those who follow Him. In John 10:10 Jesus says, “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” In other words, Christians should be having more fun and have more joy than anyone else. Why? Because your past is forgiven and because your future is settled and secure. So it stands to reason that we should stand out from the rest of society because, as Christians, we are experiencing this “life to the full,” that it should multiply within our homes as there are several there who are living in this community of faith within your home.
Several years ago I spoke for a conference for pastors and for their spouses, and the event was held at a very nice resort. Throughout our stay I was intrigued by the name badges each employee wore. All the badges had the employee’s name, of course, but below it was not their hometown or the department they worked in. Instead below their name was the word passion, and next to it was what their passion in life was. You can imagine that some of them had music, others had travel, (and) others had golf. I became friends with one jovial employee that week whose passion was food and no one questioned his honesty. (Laughter) And the novelty of the name badges generated a lot of conversation during that week. On our last day, out of curiosity, I asked the manager, “What is the most prevalent passion that you have among your employees?” And he said, “Oh, that’s easy.” He said, “That’s a piece of cake. Hands down, by far, it’s family.”
But here’s the irony. Most people would claim that family is their Number One priority next to the Lord, but why then don’t more children feel important to their parents? Why don’t families spend time together? Why are we going in so many different directions?
Is it just me or do you see the distractions and diversions of this world sucking the life out of families? And in a world of electronic devises and hectic schedules and temptation at every turn, the family is suffering.
Someone said, “If Satan can’t make you bad, he’ll keep you busy.” And he has. And we’re so exhausted that we drag ourselves through our days, we fall into bed, and then we get up the next morning and we do it all over again. And joy and fulfillment has been replaced by worry and hurry.
I tried to think of a way that would be easy for us to recall some building blocks for constructing a joyful home. I want you to think today of a pyramid, and I want you to think about the base of that pyramid – the foundation – being a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You say, “Why is that the foundation for a joyful home?” Well, that’s easy. It’s because Christ is the source of our joy.
And I want you to go back in your mind. The year is around 62 AD. The Apostle Paul is sitting in a musty, smelly room, seated on a dirty floor. The Bible tells us he’s chained to a prison guard. He has no freedom. He has bad food. He has limited visitation. He has failing health. And it’s in the midst of that setting that the Apostle Paul pens these words: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Be content regardless of your situation.
Joy? Contentment in that setting? Some of you are saying, “Well, in all truthfulness, I struggle with this area. I couldn’t be happy in those circumstances.” Maybe you’re thinking, “I mean, just on my way into church, I’ve already complained about my parking spot and the heat outside and the fact that Kyle’s not preaching.” You know? (Laughter)
Read this out loud with me. Take a look at Philippians 4:4. Read this with me: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” I love the way The Message paraphrased this. It says, “Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in Him!”
From an earthly perspective, Paul should’ve been the last person on earth to have joy. The joyless person thinks he will only be happy if his circumstances all perfectly line up. “If I get that promotion, if I land that job, if I get the girl, if I’m able to retire early…” We have our litany of lists. But that’s not where joy comes from. Paul says in Philippians 4:11-13: “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 can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”