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Summary: In Philippians, Paul shares with us three characteristics of joyful Christians: loving relationships, a growing faith, and living a worthy life.

TRIUMPHANT JOY #3: LOVING, GROWING AND LIVING

(August 2013 – Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)

INTRO TO TOPIC: The Pursuit of Happiness (from the July 15, 2013 Time Magazine)

The Pursuit of Happiness: Why Americans are wired to be happy, and what that’s doing to us.

“Our happiness… (is) an almost adolescent restlessness, an itch to do the Next Big Thing.”

“It’s not as if we don’t have the financial means to keep ourselves stimulated.” We spend:

• $118 billion on travel abroad in 2012

• close to $25 billion per year to attend sporting events

• nearly $11 billion on movie tickets

• an annual $140 billion on recreational equipment and $200 billion on electronics:

HOWEVER: “The gap between our optimistic expectations and the reality that a significant portion of the population is, of late, cranky and dissatisfied may be what has spawned the vast happiness industry. We tap that industry in a lot of ways, with:

• Pills (25% of women & 5% of men say they are taking antidepressants)

• Food (48% of women and 44% of men eat to improve their mood)

• Self-improvement products and services (books and motivational speakers)

According to the World Happiness Report, published by the Earth Institute of Columbia:

• Top 4: Denmark, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands (Canada = #5; US = #11).

One of the most interesting stats from the Time Magazine article:

• Nearly half of regular worshippers say they’re very happy, compared with 26% of those who seldom or never attend religious services. (Christians are happier!)

QUOTE: “The longing to be happy is a universal human experience, and it is good, not sinful… the deepest and most enduring happiness is found only in God.” (John Piper, Desiring God).

BACKGROUND TO PHILIPPIANS:

Author & Date: The Apostle Paul in 61 AD

Theme: Joy in Christ

Occasion: Paul wrote Philippians during his first Roman imprisonment.

Review: We have learned that we are saints and servants, and rejoice in suffering.

THE BIG IDEA: In Philippians, Paul shares with us three characteristics of joyful Christians: loving relationships, a growing faith, and living a worthy life.

PAUL’S PRAYER: THREE CHARACTERISTICS OF JOYFUL CHRISTIANS:

“9 I pray that your love for each other will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in your knowledge and understanding. 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until Christ returns. 11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation -- those good things that are produced in your life by Jesus Christ -- for this will bring much glory and praise to God.” (Phil. 1:9-11, NLT).

• When we have loving relationships, a growing faith, and a worthy life, God is glorified.

1. JOY IN LOVING RELATIONSHIPS.

Paul’s Prayer: “I pray that your love for each other will overflow more and more…” (v.9a).

• The essence of Christian discipleship – love, acceptance & forgiveness!

“Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one heart and purpose.” (Phil. 2:2).

• In Philippians over and over we see a connection between joy and loving relationships.

“1 Dear brothers and sisters, I love you and long to see you, for you are my joy and the reward for my work. So please stay true to the Lord, my dear friends. 2 And now I want to plead with those two women, Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. 3 And I ask you, my true teammate, to help these women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News. And they worked with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the Book of Life.” (Phil. 4:1-3).

• Love, peace and joy are all fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

• Sometimes people have disagreements in the church, and need help from others.

2. JOY IN A GROWING FAITH.

Paul’s Prayer: “that…you will keep on growing in your knowledge and understanding…” (v.9b).

“And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again.” (Phil. 1:25-26, NKJV).

• As our faith grows and we get closer to Jesus, we experience more joy in our lives.

• “These things I have spoken to you (God’s Word), that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11, NKJV).

• Do you want more joy in your life? Get more of God’s Word in your heart and life!

• Memorize Scriptures from Philippians: 1:6; 2:5; 3:10 & 4:13.

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