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Summary: THE LINK BETWEEN JOY AND WORSHIP

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THE LINK BETWEEN JOY AND WORSHIP

PHILIPPIANS 3:1-3 FINALLY, MY BRETHREN, REJOICE IN THE LORD. TO WRITE THE SAME THINGS AGAIN IS NO TROUBLE TO ME, AND IT IS A SAFEGUARD FOR YOU. 2 BEWARE OF THE DOGS, BEWARE OF THE EVIL WORKERS, BEWARE OF THE FALSE CIRCUMCISION; 3 FOR WE ARE THE TRUE CIRCUMCISION, WHO WORSHIP IN THE SPIRIT OF GOD AND GLORY IN CHRIST JESUS AND PUT NO CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH,

PROPOSITION: WE CANNOT DENY THE LINK BETWEEN JOY AND WORSHIP

INTRODUCTION: AS WE HAVE SHARED MANY TIMES, THE BOOK OF PHILIPPIANS IS A BOOK ABOUT JOY. HERE, AS WE BEGIN CHAPTER THREE, WE SEE THAT PAUL MAKES A CONNECTION BETWEEN JOY AND WORSHIP. THESE FIRST THREE VERSES ARE PACKED WITH THE SIMPLE TRUTH THAT WE CANNOT HAVE REAL JOY APART FROM REAL WORSHIP.

I. THE PROMISE OF JOY

a. DEFINITION OF JOY: SUPERNATURAL DELIGHT IN GOD AND IN GOD’S GOODNESS

b. PROMISED TO THOSE WHO FOLLOW

LUKE 2:10-11 BUT THE ANGEL SAID TO THEM, "DO NOT BE AFRAID; FOR BEHOLD, I BRING YOU GOOD NEWS OF GREAT JOY WHICH WILL BE FOR ALL THE PEOPLE; 11 FOR TODAY IN THE CITY OF DAVID THERE HAS BEEN BORN FOR YOU A SAVIOR, WHO IS CHRIST THE LORD.

JOHN 15:11 "THESE THINGS I HAVE SPOKEN TO YOU SO THAT MY JOY MAY BE IN YOU, AND THAT YOUR JOY MAY BE MADE FULL.

JOHN 17:13 "BUT NOW I COME TO YOU; AND THESE THINGS I SPEAK IN THE WORLD SO THAT THEY MAY HAVE MY JOY MADE FULL IN THEMSELVES.

i. JOY IS A PRODUCT OF SALVATION

ii. SINCE IT IS A PRODUCT OF SALVATION, JOY CANNOT BE KNOWN APART FROM A SALVATION EXPERIENCE.

ILLUSTRATION: WALTER KNIGHT PUT IT THIS WAY, “JOY IS THE FLAG FLOWN HIGH OVER THE CASTLE OF OUR HEART ANNOUNCING THAT THE KING IS IN RESIDENCE TODAY.”

iii. POSSESSED JOY THEN IS A PROFOUND TOOL IN SHARING THE GOSPEL AND BRINGING SOMEONE TO KNOW CHRIST AS SAVIOR AND LORD

ILLUSTRATION: “JOY IS A WINSOME MAGNET THAT DRAWS PEOPLE IN BECAUSE IT IS ONE THING THEY DO NOT HAVE.”

c. JOY IS ONE OF MANY ALTERNATIVES TO WHAT THE WORLD OFFERS.

i. THE WORLD OFFERS SEX, AND CHRIST OFFERS LOVE

ii. THE WORLD OFFERS SECURITY AND CHRIST OFFERS TRUST

iii. THE WORLD OFFERS SELF-GRATIFICATION AND CHRIST OFFERS PEACE

iv. THE WORLD OFFERS HAPPINESS AND CHRIST OFFERS JOY

1. JOY IS COMPLETELY UNRELATED TO ADVERSITY OR CIRCUMSTANCE

II. THE PERIL OF JOY – IT CAN BE LOST

a. WE CAN LOSE OUR JOY WHEN WE FORGET THE BLESSING OF ALL THAT CHRIST DID FOR US TO PROVIDE OUR SALVATION

b. WE CAN LOSE OUR JOY WHEN WE ALLOW OUR CIRCUMSTANCES TO OVERWHELM GOD’S GRACE AND PROVISION IN OUR LIVES

c. WE CAN LOSE OUR JOY WHEN WE ALLOW THIS WORLD TO DEPRESS US, FORGETTING THAT WE ARE ONLY HERE FOR A SHORT WHILE.

III. THE REMEDY FOR LOSING OUR JOY

a. EMBRACE OUR SALVATION IN CHRIST

i. THERE ARE SOME WHO DO NOT KNOW CHRIST, BUT THINK THAT THE FRUIT OF A RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST CAN BE CULTIVATED APART FROM CHRIST.

1. MUST UNDERSTAND THAT JOY IS SUPERNATURAL NOT NATURAL

2. MUST SURRENDER YOU LIFE TO CHRIST

ii. THERE ARE OTHERS WHO THINK THEY ARE CHRISTIANS WHEN THEY ARE NOT

1. BEING IN THE ENVIRONMENT OF CHRISTIANITY IS NOT THE SAME AS BEING A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST.

NEITHER CAN EXPERIENCE JOY BECAUSE AT THEIR SPIRITUAL CORE, THEY DO NOT KNOW CHRIST

iii. THEN THERE ARE THOSE WHO HAVE COME TO KNOW CHRIST, BUT HAVE FAILED TO LET THE GOSPEL FULLY CHANGE THEM.

ILLUSTRATION: A BAZAR WAS HELD IN A VILLAGE IN NORTHERN INDIA. EVERYONE BROUGHT HIS WARES TO TRAE AND SELL. ONE OLD FARMER BROUGHT IN A WHOLE COVEY OF QUALL. HE HAD TIED A STRING AROUND ONE LEG OF EACH BIRD. THE OTHER ENDS OF ALL THE STRINGS WERE TIED TOA RING WHICH FIT LOOSELY OVER A CENTRAL STICK. HE HAD TAUGHT THE TO WALK DOLEFULLY IN A CIRCLE, AROUND AND AROUND, LIKE MULES AT A SUGARCANE MILL. NOBODY SEEMED INTERESTED IN BUYING THE BIRDS UNTIL A DEVOUT BRAHMAN CAME ALONG. HE BELIEVED IN THE HINDU IDEA OF RESPECT FOR ALL LIFE, SOHIS HEART OF COMPASSION WENT OUT TO THOSE POOR LITTLE CREATURES WALKING AROUND IN THEIR MONOTONOUS CIRCLES.

“I WANT TO BUY THEM ALL,” HE TOLD THE MERCHANT, WHO WAS ELATED. AFTER RECEIVING THE MONEY, HE WAS SURPRISED TO HEAR THE BUYER SAY, “NOW I WANT YOU TO SET THEM ALL FREE.”

“WHAT’S THAT SIR?”

“YOU HEARD ME. CUT THE STRINGS FROM THEIR LEGS AND TURN THEM LOOSE. SET THEM ALL FREE!”

WITH A SHRUG, THE OLD FARMER BENT DOWN AND SNIPPED THE STRINGS OFF THE QUAIL. THEY WERE FREED, AT LAST. WHAT HAPPENED? THE BIRDS SIMPLY CONTINUED MARCHING AROUND AND AROUND IN A CIRCLE. FINALLY, THE MAN HAD TO SHOO THEM OFF. BUT EVEN WHEN THEY LANDED SOME DISTANCE AWAY, THE RESUMED THEIR PREDICTABLE MARCH. FREE, UNFETTERED, RELEASED, YET THEY WERE GOING IN CIRCLES AS IF STILL TIED….. SALVATION CUTS THE STRINGS OF SIN. IT’S TIME TO STOP MARCHING AND START FLYING.

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