Summary: The first sermon in a 4 week series looking at Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, a study about joy.
I’ve got the Joy
Ask: Who went to children’s camp as a child?
Who went to youth camp?
Who had to wait until they were an adult to go to camp? (That’s me!)
I’ve got a song that I’m sure if you have been to camp, you may know…sing “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy” and stop on “I’m so happy…”
Trans: That is where I have a problem
Difference between being happy and being joyful
“Hap” means luck…
Joy comes not from luck, but from God…Gal. 5:22-23
Trans: We are beginning a new series today that I’m ecstatic about…called “Fall into Joy”.
A 4 week study of Philippians.
Written by Apostle Paul around 62 AD…sitting in a Roman prison.
Not like US prisons where you are innocent until proven guilty…you are arrested and held until a charge is created that would more than likely lead to your death.
24/7 he was attached to a member of the Praetorian Guard, the private security of Caesar.
Yet if you read Philippians what you will find is a book that is about joy…it is over flowing with joy!
Think about it, if you were in jail for any reason…especially for a crime you didn’t commit, what would your attitude be?
Sing “I hear a train a coming…”
Not with Paul, he had joy and he wanted the church in Philippi to experience it and the Holy Spirit wants us to experience that today.
So, let’s begin by reading Phil 1:1-14…and then pray.
When I was in my first year of college, as a young Christian, I learned an acronym for Joy…that if you wanted to have joy you just needed to spell it out:
Meaning, if you want to have joy in your life, you need to think about the will of God and Jesus first and then…
Well, I’m going to borrow that acronym this morning for our outline if you want to follow along in your bulletin.
So, if you want joy, first think about…
Read vs. 1-3
Notice this…the name of Jesus is mentioned 3 times and the name of God is mentioned once in this passage.
And the last thing Paul says in verse 3 is, “I thank God…”
He was writing this from a jail folks!
He was sitting with an armed guard secured to him waiting for him to mess up and give him a reason to kill him.
He had no rights and to the average person he would seem to have no hope.
Yet on the front of Paul’s mind is God.
His desire remains doing and keeping the will of God.
And he is thanking God for where he is!
Let me ask you…when you are at your wits end, do you think about God and thank God?
When things are not going your way, is the will of God your desire?
We’ll touch on this more in a moment, but for now know that if you want to have joy, you need to consider Jesus first.
Second, you need to think about…
Read verse 3.
Do you realize how extraordinary this is?
Not all pastors can say that…
• Some say “Why me God!”
• Some say, “My blood pressure goes up…”
• Some say, “I thank God for Prilosec OTC…”
I can honestly say though, I thank God ALMOST every time I think of you.
Don’t let that bother you though, I don’t always thank God when I think of my kids…sometimes I think about putting them on Ebay.
I know October is considered Pastor Appreciation month…but I want you to know I appreciate you.
I am thankful for you.
Let’s look at our text and see 5 reasons why Paul was thankful for the Philippian believers.
A. Prayer (vs. 4)
B. Partnership (vs. 5…not about programs, but people working together)
C. Perseverance (vs. 6…letting God do it, not about us; we can’t earn our salvation and God does it through us.)
D. Passion (vs. 8…love for each other)
E. Pledge (vs. 9-11…their commitment to things of God)
Let me ask you, would Paul be thankful for the First Baptist Church of Lewisville?
Do you think of others?
Are you experiencing the joy that can come when we are committed to prayer, partnership, perseverance, passion and our pledge?
You want joy in your life, you’ve got to think about Jesus first, Others second and then third…
Just a reminder, Paul was a prisoner…in a Roman prison.
He was chained 24/7 to a member of Caesar’s own personal security force.
They had no intention of letting him go, so they just wanted to make his life miserable until they could kill him…at the very least they were at least keeping him and that Gospel message he was preaching quiet, right?