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Lord of the Joy
How many here are saved?
How many here have joy?
It should be the same exact crowd. A joyless Christian ought to be a contradiction in terms...an oxymoron.
How many know about the sorrow of v. 21? [Guys, put your hands down!]
As a teen, I wondered why any woman would ever have more than one child. But this verse answers that question. That sorrow is turned into joy...that is, until they become teens!
v. 22b The world did not give you your joy, therefore, the world cannot take it away!
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
God's Word is sufficient today to whatever needs in this room. I believe He is about to comfort the afflicted ... and afflict the comfortable.
ill.--Ponce de Leon never found the fountain of youth. Why? Is it because it doesn't exist? That's not altogether true. He never found it because he was looking in the wrong place.
It exists only in God's Word...
Nothing will keep you young like the joy of the Lord!
We have in our church some of the youngest old folks you'll ever know. And their secret isn't found in a vitamin store, a yoga class, or a jar of Oil of Old Lady! Their youth cannot be attributed to good genes or avoiding sweets any more than it can be attributed to Obamacare!
It's the joy of the Lord, and it's found in the eyes, and overcomes any crows' feet around them. It's found in a toothy smile, and it doesn't matter if those teeth were original issue. And it's not really outward anyway, so even if the hair turns gray, turns blue, or turns loose, the joy of the Lord has roots that go much deeper!
Outside of our wonderful senior saints here, have you ever known some aging folks who get grouchier instead of sweeter? Aging is not as pleasant as we thought when we were 9. Things are starting to break. Places hurt where I didn't know there were places!
But the joy of the Lord only grows fuller with age, and as I walk around between s.s. classes it seems the joy increases with each age group I ascend!
ill.--I heard about a 95 year old widower who still went out on nursing home visitation. One day he approached a lovely lady who was a resident at the nursing home and asked her to marry him! He said, "I've got $15,000 and just need someone to help me spend it!"
I hope I'm like that one day...not hitting on old ladies, but having that spark of joy!
I hope you don't just spend time with people your age. Some like to work with kids or teens to help keep them young. I guarantee the same results when you spend time with your elders. And that's the group the Bible tells us to get to know. The younger are to submit to the elder, and elders are commanded to teach the younger.
Think about it. Our younger crowd has lots of decisions to make, and not much wisdom and experience to make decisions from. Our elders have lots of wisdom and experience, and not many decisions to make. If you would seek their advice and spend time with them it would not only make their day, it would help your life!
ill.--the other day Bro. Priddy took me to lunch, and we had a great time. He's over 80 now, and here I am, just 35! [wink]
The joy of the Lord is the fountain of youth.
1. The Misery of a Heavy Heart. [not filled with joy]
a. Burdens the soul.
Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.
ill.--imagine you are walking down the road with a heavy backpack on. Someone pulls over and gives you a ride. But you choose not to remove the backpack. You have taken them up on their offer of a ride, but it's not as big of a blessing to you as they intended. It could be an insult to the driver.
Some of you have hopped into God's truck of salvation. Now, allow Him to carry your burdens for you as well. Don't insult the driver!
What is your burden? Guilt? Something from the past? Let God forgive it and help you forget it!
Is it a burden of worry or anxiety for the future? Take it to the Lord and leave it there.
Heavy burdens make the heart stoop. [Harold]
b. Breaks the spirit.
A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.