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Summary: Will we demonstrate righteousness; worship joyfully; and celebrate joy? The Bible tells us that BEFORE we demonstrate we must RECEIVE!

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Joy Series, Part 2 (“How Do You Get Joy”)

John 15:11 (and various others)

Introduction

- Last week we began a series on joy in a most unconventional way

- We talked at length about what steals joy fastest; we focused on Joseph

- Most would think that his joy would be stolen by accusers, lies, and gossip

-- Let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to give up with everyone talking about you?

- But … his desire was to LIVE for God; and thus his JOY was strengthened

- He was not distracted by the things of this world; and we cannot be either

- Of course, if we are the ones seeking to remove others joy; examine yourself

- There will obviously be challenges and those who want to talk about you

- But for the believer this can be a season of renewal; of strengthening

- The bottom line is our JOY must NOT be based on what man does to us

- APP: Every time we encounter the word of God it must cause a change

- If there is no change, it could be b/c your heart is hardened in that area

- I believe that God wants to reach even that hardened place and break things apart

-- John 12:48, “The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.”

- The application of God’s Word here is simple, to the point, and without doubt:

-- Hebrews 3:7-9, “So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did.”

- We’re in rebellion before we were saved; if saved now, the rebellion is a choice

- If we hear what the Spirit is saying, we MUST obey and transform our thinking

- If we do, the Bible tells us that joy will be ours; joy unspeakable from Christ

- Joy from Christ can only be ours is if CHOOSE to obey and to submit to Him

- John 15:11 says, “These things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you”

- Pray

- Along with our focus verse of John 15:11, we have 4 angles to examine

- In each of these verses there is an key to JOY that we can grab onto

- The challenge today is: Do we reflect the joy in these verses to others?

- The Christmas season offers us a tremendous opportunity to show joy to all

- And as a believer, once we have it we need to show others how to have it also

- Jesus taught us in John 15:11 so we might have His joy in us; let’s examine joy

Point 1 – Righteousness from God Brings Joy

- Psalm 97:11-12, “Light shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart. Rejoice in the LORD, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name.”

- Gaining the term “righteous” is not something that you and I can do alone

- It is not a badge that we just go out and earn through works (not boy scouts)

-- It is not something that we just assume because we are “good people”

- We do not get righteous because of something that we have done

- Even “living right” and “going to church” and “being a good person” = nothing

-- Isa 64:6, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”

-- The bible is clear that just living won’t do it; we have to have Him live in us

-- It is the realization that He does the work that makes us joyous

- When we live a life that is made righteous b/c of God; it brings joy to us

- There is a joy that flows from us because of the PURE joy God gives us

Point 2 – When we Worship we Show Joy

- Psalm 27:6, “Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.”

- Even when the world presses in and we feel the pressure of our enemies …

-- Esp. when we experience the despair of the holiday season (lack of money, etc.)

- Joy brings us into a realization of responding to what God has done

-- When we comprehend what He does; our outpouring of joy becomes genuine

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