Summary: 2nd sermon about joy in a 4 week series looking at the letter to the Philippians.
In the summer of 1990, finished first year of college (first freshman year) and working at CHBR in Kosciusko.
Christian less than a year…some would question how much I looked the part because of my hair; confess to having a mullet.
Yet Bro. Dan saw something in me and hired me on staff.
About halfway through the summer our Program Director, Darren, spoke up in our Monday morning staff meeting and said, “There is a thief among us…”; and I thought “Great I’m a new Christian, not from around here like everyone else and have long hair…they are going to think it’s me!”.
So, even though I hadn’t taken anything from anyone I started getting uncomfortable because I felt I would be wrongly accused…and about that time Darren said, “And he has stolen something from each of us.”
Now my mindset went from, “They are going to think it’s me” to “OK…who took something from me! I don’t know what you took, but I’m going to hurt you when I find out who and what!”
So, with everyone eye balling everyone else Darren then said, “He has stolen our joy, our peace, our happiness…it’s the devil, and he has come to steal, kill and destroy.”
That really got our attention, because he was right.
We were tired, it had been a long, hot summer and the devil was stealing our joy.
Trans: Jesus said in John 10:10 “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy” and I’m convinced one of the things he enjoys taking from us as believers the most is our joy.
We lose our joy and sometimes we try to replace it with happiness (remember, as a result of luck and circumstances, and is only temporary)…or we just don’t bother to replace it at all.
You know what I’m talking about, you walk into some churches and you think the sign should say First Frigidaire.
The entire front row of the choir loft sits there stone faced, which is good because it distracts you from seeing the back row that is half asleep.
And rather than shining the blessed Gospel light, they are sitting on their blessed assurance and standing on the premises…looking like the baptismal is filled with bad vinegar.
The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy.
Do you believe that?
We began a new series last week called “Fall into Joy”, a study of Paul’s letter to the Philippians, a book that is over flowing with joy.
Last week we learned what it means to have joy and how we can have joy by how we view God, others and ourselves.
This week I want us to consider those things that can take our joy from us.
I call them “Joy Junkers”, because for one…it sounds catchy.
And two, that is what they do; they kind of just throw our joy away and tosses it to the side like garbage.
So this morning I want us to consider what those are, but first let’s read a portion of chapter 2 of this great book of scripture.
Read Phil 2:1-18 and pray.
Trans: The Apostle Paul tells us of 3 “Joy Junkers” that we can run into in our lives and can steal our joy.
What are they?
The first joy junker…
1. Wrong Priorities
Read verse 3
“Rivalry and conceit” are by products of selfishness.
I’m not sure if you are aware of this or not, but humans have a problem with being selfish.
Yeah…I know, shocking, huh?
But not really…because all you have to do is go back to the beginning to see this.
Adam and Eve…Eve thought the fruit looked good to her (in spite of what God said); as did Adam.
And when they realized what they did, they tried to blame someone else (not my fault!)
The next thing we know Cain and Abel are on the scene and Cain murders Abel out of what…jealousy.
Basically a sibling rivalry gone bad.
And that is one of the things Paul warns us against in verse 3…q competition against one another.
We need to remember that we aren’t competing against each other in this congregation; we may not always agree or see eye to eye; but we are not in competition with each other.
The worst thing that can ever happen in a congregation of believers is for politics to take hold and people start campaigning against each other.
Then you have this camp lead by this personality against that camp lead by that personality…and we forget who the church belongs to.
Do you remember who that is?
Read Matt. 16:13-18.
If I’m not mistaken, this was the first sermon I preached here as your pastor.
This is not my church.
It is not the deacon’s church.