Joy to the World
Sermon Title: Joy to the World
Sermon Text: Luke 2: 1-14
Sermon Date: December 11, 2016
God's plan for you is that you have joy, but not ordinary joy, full joy, constant joy, conspicuous joy, contagious joy, God's plan is that you have fullness of joy.
John 15:11-12 says, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”
Says the same thing in I John1:4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
1 Peter 1:8 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,
Happiness comes from the outside. Happiness can be defined as the positive emotional response a person experiences because of favorable life situations. In other words, happiness depends on outward circumstances to determine an inward state of mind. Although happiness is not wrong, it can present problems because outward circumstances are both uncontrollable and often changeable. Because these circumstances change on a regular basis, our happiness will fluctuate as well. As a result, we become victims of our own circumstances. How does joy differ from happiness?
Joy comes from the inside. Joy can be defined as an inner sense of fulfillment, satisfaction, or fullness of life irrespective of circumstances. It does not mean there is an absence of pain. To put it differently, joy is an inward state of being that determines a person’s outward response to the situation.
Joy is a choice. In the book of Philippians, Apostle Paul writes from a state of imprisonment. Although circumstances are not favorable for him, he commands the Christians at Philippi and all believers alike to rejoice in the Lord always. Here Paul reveals the secret to experiencing joy. The secret to accessing the joy of the Holy Spirit comes through intentionally shifting our focus to the awesome person and work of God in all circumstances. We must make the decision to praise God despite our feelings. When doing this, we make the soil of our hearts available for the divine cultivation of joy.
The world will tell you that you can find job in Pleasures, in Possessions or in Power but only true joy is in Christ. The joy of the Lord is my strength.
- Look at life from God’s PERSPECTIVE
If you want to have joy then celebrate the Lord regardless of the circumstances.
What is bringing you joy today? You say, "The Lord is making me happy." How do you know it's not that nice automobile? Or that "special someone"? Or your good looks? Or your bank account? Or your popularity?
Here's how you can know. By the process of elimination. Let God take away your health, your home, your job, and if you still have joy, then you know it is Jesus.
You'll never know that Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have.
If you lose your joy when you lose any of these things, then those things are an idol to you. Why? Because that is where you are getting your joy! I don't mean that you cannot be temporarily upset over the loss, but if the joy goes out of your life, then you weren't getting your joy from the Lord.
Joy is the overflow of the life of God within
- Live life with God’s PRIORTIES
- Seek God’s POWER to live on
Paul says in Philippians 1:19 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance
he had two things that give me strength and keep me going
- They prayers of other people
- The abiding power of the Holy Spirit.
At salvation, God implants joy in all believers through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit supernaturally works on the heart of a believer to produce His fruit of joy (Galatians 5:22). Thus, access to joy constantly resides within a believer because of the consistent presence of the Holy Spirit, whether the Christian realizes it or not. How do we access this joy?
God desires that believers have joy in their Christian walk, but not all believers experience it. Experiencing God’s joy in our lives requires us to make a decision. We must abandon our pursuit of happiness, and we must seek God’s joy for our lives by rejoicing in the Lord always, positioning us for the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit.
The joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10
Nehemiah gave the theory of joy. The Levites gave the command to be joyful. But until the people actually went away and practiced joy, they didn't know it. Until they prepared the feast and actually sat down to taste the food, they had no idea how good the feast could be. Until they tasted the drinks, they had no concept of how delightful that could be. And as they followed the instructions to celebrate, they got the hang of the songs. They realized that the Levites weren't kidding, that the day really, really was meant for celebration. They literally practiced joy