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Summary: I used to think it was just important to rejoice about anything, but this text let’s me know that my rejoicing must be in line with Jesus’ priorities, if my rejoicing is going to produce in me what Jesus wants in me.

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INTRO: 1. When Jesus recruited the 70 to go forth and spread the good news of the gospel, He didn’t paint a glamorous picture for them.

a. Vs. 3 he tells them that he sends them out as “lambs among wolves.”

b. Take little with them, no money bag, bed, or extra sandals.

c. Told them to greet nobody on the road…little time for frivolous socializing.

d. To be dependent on god to provide them a place to stay… but goes on to say there will be cities that reject them.

e. With such a bleak job description these 70 paired up and went out in obedience to preach the gospel and heal the sick as Jesus instructed in verse 9.

2. Yet as they obediently stepped out in faith they discovered something they hadn’t expected…not only a power over sickness, but over Satan and his kingdom.

a. We must realize that this was a new experience biblically, Prophets, Priests and Kings are not recorded to ever had cast out demons.

b. This must has been a surprise discovery as they went forth preaching…not gone out looking for devils for fight.

3. After what must have been a few weeks these 70 returned overjoyed at their new found power in Jesus Christ and they couldn’t wait to tell Jesus.

a. But why hadn’t he told them about this before he sent them?

b. Why didn’t he command them to heal the sick, preach the gospel and cast out demons?

4. Jesus let them know that his focus has never been on what the devil and his crew is up to…not even a speed bump on the path of God’s higher purposes.

a. Notice what he said of the devil…

Vs. 18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

b. In other words the defeat of Satan is already sealed and his defeat was immediate and permanent.

c. He lets them know that the devil should never be a major obstacle in what we do in the authority of the name of Jesus Christ.

Vs. 19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

5. As powerful as that fact was, it wasn’t the truth he wanted to leave them with the most…He turned his attention on their rejoicing.

Vs. 20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

a. He would that day adjust their rejoicing for maximal impact in their lives.

b. There are hundreds of things in this bible to rejoice over, but we need our rejoicing adjusted to heaven’s standards.

6. I used to think it was just important to rejoice about anything, but this text let’s me know that my rejoicing must be in line with Jesus’ priorities, if my rejoicing is going to produce in me what Jesus wants in me.

7. I’m not here tonight to give you reasons to rejoice, but THE reason to rejoice.

… because your names are written in heaven.

8. Let’s take a few minutes tonight and see what Jesus teaches us about rejoicing.

I. WE MUST REALIGN OUR REJOICING

a. Jesus begins his teaching on rejoicing by saying

Vs. 20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

b. Let me say first that from the context of what he is saying and from an understanding of ancient oriental speech, Jesus was not rebuking them for rejoicing over their victory over the devil.

c. He confirmed that it was so and even imparted more power in vs. 19 to go forth.

d. What Jesus was in fact doing was realigning the priority of their rejoicing.

e. He was in fact saying that as good as reason as that is to rejoice about… there is a far better reason to rejoice.

f. Jesus understood there must be a proper balance in our rejoicing.

g. Jesus understood that our rejoicing must be biblically sound…securely founded in the word and not merely on what we feel and see.

h. Jesus understood that to focus our rejoicing on our victory over the devil alone left us in danger of extremes and excess.

A. REJOICE IN GRACE OVER GIFTINGS

1. They came back pointing their fingers at what they had done by the name of Jesus.

2. Jesus quickly realigned their focus not to what they had done, but what He had done for them.

3. Jesus wants us to never forget that God’s grace is the greatest miracle of all and it’s not by our hands, but by his hands that we rejoice.

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