Summary: Christian Living
Title: Two Ways to Be Joyful
Focus: Christian Living
Introduction: The definition of “be” points to three basic factors: (1) identity, (2) quality and (3) condition of a person or thing. We push the “be” or “don’t be” all the time. For example, be happy, be grateful, be kind, be loving, etc. don’t be grumpy, don’t be selfish, etc. Last week was about “being” motivated to be...
• Strong (“Steadfast” - 1 Corinthians 15:58a)
• Steady (“Immovable” – 1 Corinthians 15:58b)
• Successful (“Abounding” – 1 Corinthians 15:58c)
If the goal of the Christian is to be like Christ, then we have some work to do not only in being motivated but also in being joyful.
Explanation of Joy: Two words are used for joy in the Hebrew OT meaning to be excited. In the NT Greek we see this same expression but with more intensity. Both OT and NT joy is used to as a mark for both an individual and the church as a whole. Being joyful is not just an emotion but a characteristic that is grounded in the attributes of God which we are to hold onto as we live in this life as well as when we are forever with Christ in the kingdom of heaven (Rev. 19:7). Two ways to be joyful…
#1: Participate in It (Old Testament)
• Explanation: In the OT the Israelites found joy in loud and noisy, almost ear-piercing ways because they could see God’s hand moving in all they did.
o They found joy in God’s salvation and the future to come
• “Like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10).
o They found joy in participating in presenting offerings and sacrifices.
• “Bring your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes… And you shall rejoice… in all that you undertake, in which the LORD your God has blessed you.” (Dt. 12:6-7)
o They found joy in participating in celebrating after wars had been won in the name of God.
• “The women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments.” (1 Sa. 18:6).
o They found joy in their corporate worship
• “I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration!” (Psalm 42:4)
• Illustration: “Joy is the byproduct of obedience.” Anom
• Application: We too can find this same joy if we…
o Participate in God’s salvation and the future coming
o Participate in presenting our offerings and sacrifices.
• “Everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord… I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.” (Philippians 3:8)
o Participate in celebrating the wars that are being won in the name of God.
o Participate in corporate worship
• “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:16)
#2: Proclaim It (New Testament)
• Explanation: All four of the gospels discuss how joy comes when it is proclaimed…
o At the Birth of Jesus: “I bring you good news to all the people.” (Luke 2:10),
o At the Work of Jesus: “The whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, shouting: “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Luke 19:37-38),
o At the Resurrection of Jesus: “They ran from the tomb with great joy.” (Mt. 28:8).
• Jesus himself who communicated that we as Christians will have a joy from knowing him - not as a man but as God in faith.
• “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” (John 15:11 and 16:24)
• Illustration: A man walked by a table in a hotel and noticed three men and a dog playing cards. The dog appeared to be winning. "That must be a very smart dog," the man commented. "He ain't so smart," said one of the players. "Every time he gets a good hand he wags his tail!"
o When we have joy in our hearts, it will be obvious to everyone! "A joyful heart makes a cheerful face" (Prov. 15:13)