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Summary: Our text gives us six short takes in scripture. 1- Be joyful 2- Pray continually 3- Give thanks 4- Build fire 5- Test everything

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INTRO.- Short takes. What is this? I assume it’s the idea of taking a short look at some subject. It could be a short or brief look at politics. No, we don’t want to go there because it seems that there is nothing short when it comes to politics; not speeches, not conventions, not debates, etc. Ok, then how about sermons.

ILL.- The longest sermon on record was preached by Rev. Robert Marshall, minister of the Birmingham Unitarian Church, Michigan, in 1976. He preached for 60 hours and 31 minutes. The previous record holder was Robert McKee who preached for 52 hours. He said that it took him two-and-a-half years to write the 500,000-word sermon. HAVE NO FEAR. Not from this preacher.

How about short sermons? Now that’s more like it, wouldn’t you say? I believe it’s better to have people leave the church wanting more than wishing for less. But some preachers have never heard of anything like that.

What about short quotes?

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

All diseases run into one, old age.

- William Shakespeare

Love all, trust a few.

- Lewis Carroll

Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it.

- Malcolm Forbes

The dumbest people I know are those who know it all.

- Tom Peters

If you’re not confused, you’re not paying attention.

I think it’s true that there is moral in most things in life: work, socializing, play time, etc.

ILL.- Listen to these. Some time ago I wrote these short quotes. pray much. sing praise. fear not. rejoice greatly. gripe less. bless others. commend often. give thanks. see good. stop evil. praise God. sin not. count blessings. be quiet. speak less. listen more. drink wisely. eat less. fast more. call often. care much. love strongly. hug often. be friendly. walk more. think deeply. laugh loudly. smile broadly. cleanse daily. work hard. hold children. love babies. live holy. admire goodness. speak softly. exercise often. share generously. compliment quickly. breathe deeply. be courteous. open doors. express gratitude. remember others.

PROP.- Our text gives us six short takes in scripture. 1- Be joyful 2- Pray continually 3- Give thanks 4- Build fire 5- Test everything

1. BE JOYFUL

16Be joyful always.

Phil. 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!"

Romans 15:13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

We’ve heard people say something like, "I just want to be happy." As long as someone is happy they are fine. But I’ve also heard it said that from a Christian perspective that happiness is not our goal, holiness is. And there’s a difference between short term happiness and long term joy.

ILL.- For example, I may buy a new car that has absolutely everything I want on it: leather seats, auto, big engine, classy sporty look, etc. and for a period of time I’m absolutely delighted and filled with joy. But what happens when someone in the Walmart parking lot backs into the right front fender? (like they did my Grand Prix over a year ago) Where is our joy then? Our joy probably went out the window. At least, for a period of time.


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