Summary: Get the joy!
JOY IN MY HEART
C: Seeing the big picture
Th: Toward the Goal
Pr: GET THE JOY!
?: How? How do we get the joy?
TS: We will find in our study of Philippians 1.1-18 three concepts that help us get the joy.
PA: How is the change to be observed?
• Grow in love – love one another, serve one another, look out for one another
• Push forward – don’t worry if it looks bad, God is bigger
• It’s about Jesus – all that matters is that Jesus is proclaimed
RMBC 01 June 08 AM
ILL Happiness (H)
The actor Alan Alda once said:
"It isn’t necessary to be rich and famous to be happy. It’s only necessary to be rich."
Is that a statement that you agree with?
What makes you happy?
Will a new car make you happy?
Will a new home make you happy?
Will a new laptop make you happy?
For you ladies, how about one more pair of shoes?
For you men, how about one more tool?
Or for some of you that are like me, how about one more book?
What is it that will truly make you happy?
One of the fallacies in Christian circles is that it is the goal of the Christian to be happy.
God wants you to be happy.
I believe there is something fundamentally wrong with such an approach.
It treats the concepts of happiness and joy as the same.
This is wrong, I believe, because…
There is a distinct difference between happiness and joy.
Let me first define happiness.
Happiness is an attitude of satisfaction or delight when the circumstances are favorable.
When the circumstances dictate it, I am happy.
Joy, however, is deeper.
Joy is not dependent on one’s circumstances.
Joy is a state of satisfaction or delight regardless of the circumstances.
It is the willingness to state “all is well” in spite of how I feel at any given moment.
We begin today a study on the letter the apostle Paul writes to the church in Philippi.
It is a letter that has joy all throughout it.
And before you say, “Well that’s nice. It is good that Paul wrote about joy,” I want you to understand this.
Paul writes this while letter in chains.
He is imprisoned, waiting for his trial before Caesar.
And here is what he writes…
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all, making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.
Here he is – literally in bonds – and what does he say to the Philippians?
“I have you in my heart!”
His heart is glad.
When he thinks of them, it brings joy.
He remembers, and it makes him smile.
You have to wonder about Paul, though…
After all, when he first came to Philippi, he was illegally arrested, beaten, placed in stocks and humiliated before the people.
I don’t think I would have fond memories of a place and a people that did that to me.
But that is not what made him smile.
What made him smile is the people to whom he ministered.
When he thought about them, it brought him great satisfaction.
Because, as he puts it…
“We are partners.”
Though he was the teacher…
Though he was the founder of the church in Philippi…
Though he was their spiritual father…
He understood that it was a partnership.
He understood there was communion between them.
There was relationship.
Even though he was imprisoned, he was not alone.
They were with him – practically and spiritually.
Think about that for a moment…
Is that true of you?
Those that have been your pastors and spiritual leaders, when they think of you, does it make them smile?
Are you a joy to them?
Does their face perk up at the mention of your name?
Do they consider you a full partner in ministry?
And perhaps, now time and distance separate you, but that does not matter.
The thought of you brings joy to their heart.
Paul was able to explain why he felt this way to the people in Philippi.