Summary: N ew Year Sermon
“I WANT MORE!”
David P. Nolte
The story of Oliver Twist is a sad one. Oliver Twist is born in a workhouse in 1830s England. His mother, whose name no one knows, is found on the street and dies just after Oliver's birth. Oliver spends the first nine years of his life in a badly run home for young orphans and then is transferred to a workhouse for adults. While still at the orphanage, he was constantly cold, tired, lonely and hungry. One evening at supper, Oliver committed a major gaffe. Let’s see that happen:
CLIP Of OLIVER TWIST ASKING FOR MORE.
Oliver wanted more of whatever glop they were serving, and it seemed to the pampered and overfed overseers that he had committed a capital crime.
When it comes to our lives of what do we want more? IF IT IS JUST MATERIAL WEALTH, THAT’S GREED AND IDOLATRY. IF WHAT WE WANT MORE OF IS RELEVANT TO OUR FAITH AND CHARACTER, THAT IS GOOD AND IDEAL.
As we stand on the threshold of a brand new unspoiled year, let us want more, but more of the right things.
Listen to the text: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:4-13 (NASB).
Of what should we want more in 2017?
I. I WANT MORE JOY!
A. This is good advice: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!”
1. First note the area and source of joy: “in the Lord.”
2. Then note the constancy of joy; “always.”
B. Let’s see what the Bible says about joy:
1. Joy, in the Bible, means, “to exult in gladness; to be filled with delight.”
2. We can have joy in every time of life, even the difficult.
a. James said, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4 (NASB).
b. After the apostles were flogged for preaching about Jesus, “they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.” Acts 5:40-41 (NASB).
c. “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NASB).
d. “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2 (NASB).
C. So it is not only when the sun shines, we are well, the bills are paid, the kids don’t fight and the dog doesn’t bite that joy is a possibility.
1. Joy does not depend on circumstances but upon our attitude in those circumstances.
2. Real joy is based on our relationship to Jesus.
a. He said “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” John 15:9-11 (NASB).
b. John wrote, “We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.” 1 John 1:3-4 (NLT).