Summary: God created us as relational beings who experience abundant joy when we focus on loving and serving other people.
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).
2. Don’t be selfish – no selfish ambition or conceit (NKJV). This is one of the signs of the times of today’s sinful world! “Arrogant know-it-alls stir up discord, but wise men and women listen to each other's counsel.” (Prov. 13:10, Message).
- Three hardest words to say: “I was wrong.” Admit it when you’re wrong.
- Talk about being a youth pastor at BF, Bible College students – some came to serve, and some came wanting to preach and be on the stage – difference!
3. Be humble – think of others as better than yourself
- Someone described J.O.Y. as Jesus, Others and You – in that order.
QUOTE: “Love is the overflow of joy in God that gladly meets the needs of others and… love is finding your joy in the joy of another… We double our delight in God as we expand it in the lives of others.” (John Piper, Desiring God).
- A church is built by humility, but destroyed by pride.
STORY: A BROTHER LIKE THAT: (Chicken Soup for the Soul).
Paul received a car from his brother as a Christmas present. On Christmas Eve when Paul came out of his office, a street urchin was walking around the shiny new car, admiring it.
"Is this your car, Mister?" he asked.
Paul nodded. "My brother gave it to me for Christmas." The boy was astounded. "You mean your brother gave it to you and it didn't cost you nothing? Boy, I wish..." He hesitated. Of course Paul knew what he was going to wish for. He was going to wish he had a brother like that. But what the boy said shocked Paul all the way down to his heels.