Summary: Our text shows why being a Christian brings joy into our lives. 1- We’re called 2- We’re loved 3- We’re kept

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INTRO.- ILL.- After twenty years of shaving himself every morning, a man in a small Southern town decided he had enough. He told his wife that he intended to let the local barber shave him each day. So he went to the barber shop which was owned by the pastor of the town Baptist Church.

The barber’s wife, Grace, was working, so she performed the task. Grace shaved him and sprayed him with lilac water and said, "That will be $20."

The man thought the price was a bit high, but he paid the bill and went to work. The next morning the man looked in the mirror, and his face was as smooth as it had been when he left the barber shop the day before. Not bad, he thought. At least I don’t need to get a shave every day.

The next morning, the man’s face was still smooth. Two weeks later, the man was still unable to find any trace of whiskers on his face. It was more than he could take, so he returned to the barber shop.

"I thought $20 was high for a shave", he told the barber’s wife, "but you must have done a great job. It’s been two weeks and my whiskers still haven’t started growing back."

The expression on her face didn’t even change, expecting his comment. She responded, "You were shaved by Grace. Once shaved, always shaved."

Brothers and sisters, you can make whatever you want of this story. But let me say, once you know the joy of the Lord that joy should remain. You may have some tough days, but overall, the joy of the Lord should be with you and bless you always.

The world knows nothing of this joy.

ILL.- Sometime ago, a poor, nervous wreck of a man called on a famous London doctor. The doctor said: “You need to laugh. Go down and hear Grimaldi, the famous clown. All London is holding its sides laughing at him.” But the visitor straightened himself and said, “Doctor, I am Grimaldi.”

For me, this illustrates the so-called joy of this world. It’s artificial. It’s not real or lasting. It’s all on the outside.

ILL.- For example, look at how many Hollywood actors and actresses get hooked on booze and drugs and spend thousands and in some cases, millions of dollars on these things. WHY? Because they haven’t found true happiness. They are always looking for a bigger high in life. But they will never find it that way.

For example, the bright young actor, Heath Ledger, who played the "Joker" in the latest Batman movie. He died on January 22nd of this year from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs. BUT WHY WAS HE TAKING SO MANY PRESCRIPTION DRUGS? Was he that sick? Or was it something else? Was he perhaps having emotional or spiritual turmoil in his life that he had to take these in order to cope with life?

ILL.- As a third-century man was near death, he penned these last words to a friend: "It’s a bad world, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy, which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people are the Christians and I am one of them." Amen.

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