Summary: Finding Joy in knowing God

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This morning we’re going to talk about what it means to know God and be joyous in knowing the Lord. So, without any further delay, let’s open our bibles and be encouraged by God’s beautiful Word. Please turn to Philippians Chapter Three.


 SIDE NOTE: Encourage the congregation to bring their bibles each week.

 ----- PAUSE ----- Okay… let’s dig-in.

 Let’s start by reading V.1. I love how Paul starts this out —with a word of encouragement: He said, “Finally, my brothers — [and let me bracket, sisters as well] — rejoice in the Lord!”

 Talk about the difference between happiness and joy: Happiness is an emotional response based on an external event; where as Joy is an attitude of the heart,

 Happiness: Homecoming events

 Lack of Joy: Lady at Top of China buffet with hard-pressed grimace on her face.

 Lake this lady, so often these days lots of people walk around looking like they’re down-in-the-dumps. But we, can choose otherwise; we can choose to live with joy

 But we first must have that joy within us.

 An Irish monk wrote, “Joy is the echo of God’s life in us."

 Talk about Christian Joy -- the Joy of our salvation

 I love this word, rejoice. It means two things, two have personally joy, and to give joy.

 To give, means we first must have.

 Joy is a gift from God. He’s put his joy within us through his Holy Spirit when we accepted Jesus’ free gift of salvation.

 Jesus died on the cross for our sins.

 Jesus died to give us his joy. Jesus died to share his joy with us.

 Mark Twain wrote, “Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of joy, you must have somebody to divide it with."

 Twain’s words really sum up the meaning of Christian joy.

 He’s put his joy in there for us to share with others -- for us to give away. Ya know, God really wants us to give our joy away.

 By having fellowship with him, our joy is made complete. The Apostle John wrote: “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.” (1 Jn 1:3–4).

 But, sometimes we need a refill. Talk about refilling our tank:

 Reading God’s word each day

 Christians fellowship: Sunday worship, Bible studies, and things quilting and Food, Fun and Film

 Singing and praising God:

 Talk about my time this week waking up and singing the Psalm 51 liturgy that I remember so fondly from my youth.

• Ya know what, let’s rejoice and sing it together. If you don’t remember the words, that’s okay; humming it would be just fine too.


 What’s particularly meaning for me is V.12 of David’s Psalm: “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”

 Prayer: individual and community. It’s through prayer that we can really know the Joy of the Lord, the joy of living a fulfilled Christian life, and the joy of one another. “A church that prays together, stays together.”


 Our tanks need to filled at all times, with God’s joy, so that we can continue on amidst our trials and tribulations

 READ V.2

This was written by a journalist at the Washington Post: “Christian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani faces potential execution.”

“Just days after Iran released two Americans accused of spying, an Iranian court has upheld the apostasy conviction and execution sentence of Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. The 11th branch of Iran’s Gilan Provincial Court has determined that Nadarkhani has Islamic ancestry and therefore must recant his faith in Jesus Christ. [This is where the story gets neat and has relevance for our time this morning.]

When asked to “repent” by the judges, Youcef stated, “Repent means to return. What should I return to? To the blasphemy that I had before my faith in Christ?” The judges replied , “To the religion of your ancestors, Islam.” To which [Youcef] replied, “I cannot.””

 Its ’easy to be outraged over Iran’s dark stance and evil decision to execute Pastor Nadarkhani. But ya know — on the flip-side of things — this story illustrates a beautiful paradox; Pastor Youcef’s didn’t recant. He stood there before the Iranian tribunal and demonstrated his love for God with a deep, intimate knowing of Christ Jesus that says, because I love and know him so much, I will not forfeit my joy in the Lord in order to save my mortal life.

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