Summary: Knowing and understanding God's Word brings great joy!

Please turn to the Gospel of John, chapter 15 beginning at verse 1. Remember, your eternal salvation is too important to trust to someone else—you need to read and know God’s word for yourself.

Read from bible. John 15:1-12

When I stand at the foot of the steps each Sunday greeting you as you leave the sanctuary, I enjoy it when someone tells me that my sermon touched them and that they needed to hear what I said.

But what I would like even more than that -is to see your life reflect that you have not only listened to it but you have applied its teachings to your life.

One of the reasons I have been preaching on the same subject for the past month is because I know that the only way for us to live a Christ centered life is if our hearts are centered on Christ.

The Psalmist says in Psalm 1 verse 2 that people who focus on the God’s Word day and night delight in doing everything he wants and they have great joy.

1. All over the nation people are sitting in churches today.

2. They are there for many different reasons.

3. Some are there to worship God.

4. Some are there because they love the Lord and want to give honor and glory to God as they worship together.

5. Some there because they are going through some tough times and feel the church is a place of refuge.

6. Some are there because their parents make them.

7. Some are there simply because it’s Sunday and it what they’ve always done.

Now I don’t know your reason for being here but I do know why I am here.

I am here because this is where God has placed me to help you get to know and understand his word.

• I am here because I love you and don’t want to see any of you miss out on the wonderful gift of salvation that God offers –that his Son Jesus has already paid for with his blood.

• I don’t want any of you to miss out on the real joy of living a true Christian life - a life that bring honor and glory to God.

Two weeks I asked if you were experiencing the benefits of being a Christian. Today I want to continue along the same line of thought by asking if you are experiencing the JOY of being in a close intimate relationship with Jesus Christ?

Psalm 1 verse 2 suggests that an intimate relationship with God grows out of both the quantity and the quality of time we spend focused on him.

When I talk about Joy I’m talking about the kind of joy that is constant in our lives—

The kind of joy that is not dependent upon our circumstances but comes out of a deep sense of inner peace that comes from making the Holy Spirit our constant companion.

Now please, I don’t want you to confuse JOY with HAPPINESS.

There is a difference between the two.

First of all Happiness is based on our circumstances.

When thing go well in our lives we are happy.

Like having a good job.

Lots of toys to play with.

No conflicts in life.

Well behaved children.

All of these things are nice and we usually feel happy when we experience them but they don’t bring real everlasting joy. As soon as things start to unravel and go sour we become unhappy.

Real joy is constant. Real joy doesn’t fluctuate and come and go as our circumstance change.

Real joy remains the same regardless of whether good things are happening to us or not.

Because Real Joy is not based upon our circumstances, but on our relationship with Jesus. Amen.

Being able to experience joy in times of trouble and tribulations is one of the benefits of being a true follower of Jesus.

In Philippians 4, the Apostle Paul says: I have learned the secret of living a contented life no matter what my circumstance.

He says, “I know what it is to have plenty and I know what it is to be in need. I know what it feels like to be well fed and I know what it feels like to be hungry.

Whether I have a little or a lot it doesn’t make any difference, I remain content because of the one who lives In me.

He says: “I can do all this through Him who strengthens me.”

There are millions of people who are going through some tough times today and they are not experiencing joy or contentment because they have become separated from the one who gives joy or they have never known him.

And there are others who have no relationship with the Holy Spirit but have everything they want but they still don’t have the kind of joy that comes from being in relationship with God.

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