Summary: When these things are working together in the church family, great things will happen! Leaders will love to lead because they love seeing what God does through His people! It is time for the people of God, step up and be the church with a mission!
How to Get the Most out of Your Leaders, Pt. 2
1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not put out the Spirit's fire; 20 do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil.
1. Respect them (12)
2. Love them wholeheartedly (13a)
3. Get along with one another (13b)
4. Help Share Some of the Ministry Load (14)
A. Warn those who are idle
B. Encourage those who are timid (faint-hearted, confused)
C. Help those who are weak
D. Be patient with everyone
5. Model and Encourage Mercy and Kindness (15)
-What are some other ways you can get the most out of your leaders as you live in a way that honors the Lord? I’ve identified 6 of these, but they can be seen as 2 groups of triads.
*Worship God as a way of life
(Praise, Prayer, Thankfulness)
6. Be joyful and express it!
7. Pray continually
8. Be grateful in all things
*Humbly Receive God’s Word
9. Do not extinguish God’s voice through others
10. Test everything
11. Hold on to the good stuff!
1. Be joyful always (16).
-At all times rejoicing. All of us desire to have more joy but life often throws up roadblocks on the highway to happiness. We might experience brief encounters with joy but they seem to be the exception, rather than the rule. And yet, the Bible is clear that joy is to be a way of life for the believer. Psalm 5:11: “But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy.” Psalm 32:11: “Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!” In Philippians 4:4, Paul had to say it twice because we don’t automatically default to a spirit of joy: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
-We must make an important distinction when we talk about joy. Happiness is related to “happenings,” while joy can be experienced and expressed in difficult circumstances. Even when we’re persecuted, Jesus said in Matthew 5:12: “Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven…” Paul was able to experience joy even when he was wiped out with weeping in 2 Corinthians 6:10, when he said: “Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.”
-And yet many of us are only “joyful” when things are going well. How can we be joyful always? Perhaps it would be helpful for us to state this exhortation in a different way: There is no event or circumstance that can occur in my life that should diminish my joy. We are commanded to be joyful always, no matter what is going on, no matter how bad things are around us. This command to rejoice will never be lifted due to difficulties.
-Let me suggest that the only way to be joyful always is to recognize that joy is the result of the presence of the Holy Spirit in us. It is not natural, but supernatural. But our will must be involved. The route to rejoicing begins with a deep-down confidence that God is in control of everything and He is working everything out for our good in time and our glory in eternity. Christian joy is not a wild emotion on top of a giddy feeling. It’s my response to what I know to be true about God.
-What do we do if we lack joy? We need to receive what God offers to us, not passively, but actively. If we allow our emotions to control us, we will only taste joy but if we focus on the faithfulness of God and cultivate some disciplines in our life, we can drink deeply from it. Joy is not automatic but we can access it with some work.
-Here are some proactive and practical steps we can take to find the joy of the Lord.
*Focus on the promises of God. Jesus is coming back, and if you know Him, you will be with Him forever. Luke 10:20: “…Rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”Stay close to Christ. Psalm 16:11: “…You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
*Read and feed upon the Word of God daily. Jeremiah 15:16: “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight…”
*Spend time with joyful believers. When referring to his friend, Paul wrote in Philemon 7: “Your love has given me great joy…”
*Share the gospel with people. In 1 Thessalonians 2:19, Paul called the new believers his “joy.”
*Sing praises of joy to God. Psalm 71:23: “My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you.”