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Summary: God created us as relational beings who experience abundant joy when we focus on loving and serving other people.

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TRIUMPHANT JOY #4: REJOICING IN LOVING AND SERVING OTHERS

INTRO TO SPEAKER: This past week, Liza and the family and I went camping at Wild Oaks.

INTRO TO TOPIC: This summer, we are studying the Book of Philippians, a letter written from the Apostle Paul while he was in prison. The letter is all about experiencing JOY.

• One of the things that keeps us from experiencing joy is strained or broken relationships.

• “It is not good that man should be alone.” (Genesis 1:18).

THE BIG IDEA: God created us as relational beings who experience abundant joy when we focus on loving and serving other people.

1. THE FOUNDATION: A LOVING RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD:

“1 Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and sympathetic?” (Phil. 2:1, NLT).

• Before we can begin to have a loving relationship with others, we must have a healthy relationship with God. If you are a Christian:

o You belong to God - this should encourage you

o He loves you - this should comfort you

o You are a part of a family - and we have fellowship with one another

o If you know these things, then your heart should be tender and compassionate.

“'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:37-39, NKJV).

• If we don’t know how much God loves us, we won’t be able to love others.

• Action step: Meditate on the Cross! Behold what manner of love… (1 John 3:1).

“We love each other as a result of his loving us first.” (1 John 4:19, NLT).

• Our love is a response to experiencing God’s love and goodness first.

2. THREE CHARACTERISTICS OF LOVING RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS:

“2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one heart and purpose. 3 Don't be selfish; don't live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. 4 Don't think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing.” (Phil. 2:2-4, NLT).

1. Work together – unity, agreement, with one heart and purpose. We are partners together – a family, a team, with the goal of glorifying God and saving souls!

- A sports team needs to work together to achieve victory.

Love Defined: “4 Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, Doesn't have a swelled head, 5 Doesn't force itself on others, Isn't always "me first," Doesn't fly off the handle, Doesn't keep score of the sins of others… 7 Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. 8 Love never dies.” (1 Cor. 13:4-8a, The Message).


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