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Summary: Joy is a three letter word that spells contentment. It is a state of mind not an emotion. When we get life in the proper perspective we find real joy>

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THE SEARCH FOR JOY

Text: 1 John 4:7-14

INTRODUCTION

1. The one thing all people search for in their lives is happiness or joy

2. In this lesson we will dispel all doubts and demolish all rumors as to how to attain true happiness

a. There are those who say that happiness is a state of mind

b. Some say happiness is tied up with possessions

c. Some say it is a matter of physical placement in the world

3. With little due respect to all these people I would beg to differ with their opinions

4. Joy is the place you end up when you learn to do things God’s way and He is the one who places you there

5. Read Text

6. We learn about JOY in these verses

7. Joy is used as a simple acronym to help us keep focus and find real joy:

a. J= Jesus, first in our lives

b. O= Others, they must come next in our humble approach

c. Y= Yourself, you have value in the world because the blood of Christ was shed for you

8. When we keep this acronym as the rule for our lives God will add the joy to our hears, joy that fills to overflowing

TRANSITION: First of all, our number one priority must be:

I. Jesus

A. Jesus is the propitiation for our sins (V. 10)

1. What does propitiation mean?

2. It means appeasement

a. Like when natives of volcanic countries have offered women to appease the god of the volcano

b. Because of our sin God needed appeasement

c. Unspotted bull calves and goats were offered but that was not doing the job

d. Only real perfection could answer for our sins

e. We needed someone who could look sin in the eye and defeat it completely

f. Only Jesus could do that, only He did that, and we will never be able to match that feat

3. This appeasement or propitiation occurred because He loves us and does not want us to be victim of our own devices, the wages of our sin (Rom. 6:23)

4. Love drove Him out of His seat in heaven down to the physical body of a man, up to the hill and cross, down to the grave and Hades, out in the resurrection, out into the disciples for encouragement and back to heaven to prepare a place for me

B. Having been the recipient of such love, I ought to return such love to Him

1. How do we love Him in return?

a. John 14:15, “If you love Me, keep My commandments”

b. Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

2. How many times do we ask, “What can we do?”

a. The heart of this question is, “How close can I come to my own will and still not make God mad?”

b. What part of the world around me can I add to what God wants and still be OK?

c. Can we add things to His worship that we came up with that He did not directly address, can I do things in my life that He did not directly forbid?

3. The problem with this line of reasoning is that we are asking the wrong question

a. My question is, “What does God really want from me?”

b. “How can I be more pleasing to God and more of what He really expects of me?”

c. Not “how close to the world can I get” but “how close to God can I get”

4. The more we look like the world the less we look like Christ and the less we love Him


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