Our Theme: 2018
Sharing The Joy of the Lord
The joy of the Lord is your strength. (Neh. 8:10) Literally, your stronghold and fortress. The Jews at that time, feeble as they were, the joy of the Lord would be safety against enemies. It would inspire them, make them brave, stimulate them in God’s service, and it would secure His protection and blessing. What a glimpse of the New Covenant there is in this. The great and eternal principle of religion is this, as Jesus stated it, “This my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11) The angelic chorus sang it the night the Christ was born, and an angel of God declared to the shepherds, “Behold, I bring you tidings of great joy that shall be to all people.” (Luke 2:10)
The Websterian definition of joy is “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune.” The Biblical meaning is “the happy state that results from knowing and serving God.” The word JOY is found more than 150 times in the Bible. Thus, it can be considered a major theme in the Bible. Joy overflows from a Christian who is happy in the Lord. In our text, John 15:11, Jesus talked about my joy. Jesus’ joy was to do His Father’s will.
The joy of being a Christian does not end with one’s joy of being a Christian. The joy that one receives with being a child of God is his desire to spread that joy to others in order that they can feast in the glorious fellowship of Jesus Christ. The Bible is full of scriptures referring to joy and rejoicing.
There is a natural joy – gladness, contentment, satisfaction, cheerfulness.
There is romantic joy – love, courtship and marriage.
There is spiritual joy – joy of faith, rejoicing of hope.
There is eschatological joy.
The Joy of the Lord is Jesus-joy which is repeatedly indicated as the natural outcome of fellowship with God through Jesus Christ.
Peter dropped his fishing nets for Jesus-joy.
Paul, a promising rabbi, the apparent successor of Dr. Gamaliel, left his father’s religion for Jesus-joy.
A woman of Samaria, a hooker, left her sex business for Jesus-joy.
A Bible-reading, church-going man who was on his way home from church learned about Jesus-joy. He in essence said, “See here is water what doth hinder me from getting Jesus-joy? He was buried in the water of baptism and came up out of the water and went on his way rejoicing with Jesus-joy.
What is this thing called The Joy of the Lord/Jesus-joy? I am not talking about foolish joy, fleshly joy, fleeting joy, better-felt than told joy, but I am talking about the unspeakable joy of having been born again, past sins washed away.
I speak of the joy of having your name written in heaven. Luke 10:20 says, but rather rejoice.
I am through with low living, cursing, drinking, smoking, fornicating, gambling and stealing.
James says, ‘Brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations: knowing this that the trying of your faith worketh patience… James 1:2,3
There is joy in thinking about the goodness of God.
He saved us by His grace. Joy!
He keeps us by His power. Joy!
He nourishes us by His word. Joy!
He is merciful toward us in our failures. Joy!
He hides us in His pavilion. Joy!
He lights our way in the darkness. Joy!
He seeks for us when we stray. Joy!
He props us when we are leaning. Joy!
He understands us when no one else tries. Joy!
He heals us when we get wounded. Joy!
He gives us rest when we are weary. Joy!
He stands by us in trouble. Joy!
He holds us in the hallow of His hand. Joy!
He blesses us when we are unworthy. Joy!
He makes a way out of no way for us. Joy!
He gives us hope in the midst of despair. Joy!
He gives us strength for the journey. Joy!
He makes our enemies behave. Joy!
He hears us when we pray. Joy!
He comforts us when we are all alone. Joy!
18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: (1 Peter 1:18-19)
- THE JOY OF THE LORD IS BECAUSE THE CHRISTIAN IS A PART OF THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE UNASHAMED.
If we had ten thousand tongues, we would praise Christ in every Tongue. We are not ashamed of Christ and we are not ashamed to wear Christ’s name.
Phillip went down to Samaria and preached Christ unto them and the good Book says, “and there was great joy in that city.” Acts 8:8
There is joy when you can read the name of your church in the Bible.
Joy when you can read the name of the founder of your church in the Bible.
Joy when you can read the plan of salvation in the Bible.
UNEVANGELIZED MILLIONS NEED THIS JOY.
All around us, there are people who need this joy.
This joy is not found in alcohol, drugs, marijuana, angel dust.
This joy is not found in nightclubbing, partying, sinful entertainment.
This joy is not found in denominational churches.
This joy is not found in the philosophies of men.
The Church of Christ is unique.
Speaks where the Bible speaks.
Calls things by Bible Names.
Blood bought, Spirit-filled, hell proof and heaven bound.
Its headquarters are in heaven, where the Head is.
Unique – sing without instrumental music.
Unique – takes the Lord’s Supper every Sunday.
Unique – baptizes for the remission of sins.
Unique – does not call preachers reverend, father, rabbi or pastor.