KNOWING GOD

 

 

KNOWING GOD’S JOY

#7 AND FINAL MESSAGE IN KNOWING GOD SERIES

 

Did you know that God is happy or joyful?

 

Nehemiah 8:10…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

 

We usually think of the joy of the Lord as something God gives to us, and He does. But God can not give joy to us unless he has it himself. And He is joy!  

 

1 Timothy 1:11According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

 

Paul calls God the “blessed God” here.  The word blessed means “happy”.  Have you ever stopped to think that God is happy?

·        God is happy because He is the great “I am”.  He is self-sufficient. He is satisfied or happy in Himself.

·        God is happy because He is sinless.

·        God is happy because He is the one who is happiness.

 

Was Jesus happy or joyful as God the Son? But of course!

John 15:11 - These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

 

So, I come ask the question, “Does your joy convict you of being a Christian?” Do you know God’s joy in a personal, intimate way, or you in a constant state of stress, anxiety, business, frustration and/or uncertainty?

 

1.     Do I know the joy of Salvation?

 

The Bible is very clear that every human being has failed God. Romans 3:10, 23

 

Our sin is a problem because God is a righteous, holy God.

He demands payment for sins committed against Him.

There is payment for sin.

Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death;

 

We are lost, headed for hell and punishment because “the wages of sin is death”.  But that’s not the end of the story.

God has placed a rescue plan in effect so you can be rescued from the punishment you deserve.

God sent His own Son to live a perfect life here on earth and then to take your place by bearing on His shoulders the punishment for you sins. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

 

So, because Jesus has died for you sins, He offers to you a wonderful alternative to eternal punishment.  It is called eternal life.   

Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Being saved is a gift received by faith. Ephesians 2:8-9

 

When you receive the free gift of eternal life, you also receive the gift of joy that comes from knowing that your sins are forgiven and that you are headed for Heaven.   

 

If you have not received the gift of salvation, I encourage you to do so today. 

 

1 Peter 1:8-9 - Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: [9] Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

 

Peter was writing to those who had not seen the Lord Jesus, but they loved Him. They realized what a great price Jesus, the very Son of God had paid for their sins

Their love for Jesus, which was a result of believing on Him as Savior produced an indescribable joy that was full of glory. The word glory, according to John MacArthur, means to ‘render highest praise’. John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary – 1Peter (Chicago, Moody Press, 2004), p.47

   

So how high is your joy level because you are saved?

Do you spend joyful times of praise during the week?

Are the times of worship here on Sunday Morning times of “joy unspeakable and full of glory?”

 

If you do not have times of “joy unspeakable and full of glory” ask yourself two questions:

1.     Am I saved? Have I truly trusted Jesus as my Savior?

2.     Am I doing something to hinder my joy? That may be a sin, or just plain neglect of time with the Lord because of business.  You need to confess and forsake whatever is keeping you from “joy unspeakable and full of glory.”

 

2.     Do I know the joy of the Savior?

 

John 15:11 - These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

 

Your Savior loves you so much that He wants your joy to be permanent.  Even in tough times He wants His joy to come to our rescue.

Your Savior also wants your joy to be full. 

When something is full, it’s complete and there is not room for anything else.

 

We expect our human love to be permanent, and the permanence of human love is preserved by human contact.  The more we are in intimate, frequent fellowship with the one we love, the stronger and more permanent the spiritual bond is between two people.

 

And the more we are in intimate frequent fellowship with the one we love, our joy in that relationship increases and becomes full.

 

Jesus says, These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

 

What did Jesus say to the disciples that would allow them to have the joy of Jesus?

He told them to have an intimate, frequent fellowship with the One we love, the Lord Jesus. John 15:4-5

 

Spend time with Jesus in His Word and prayer.

Reflect on His Word when you aren’t reading it.

Talk to the Lord Jesus as you would to an old friend who is spending the day with you.

After all Jesus is the “friend that sticks closer than a brother”.  He is spending the day with you!

 

3.     Do I know the joy of the­­ Spirit?

 

If you are truly born again the Spirit of God indwells you.

If the Holy Spirit indwells you, you should be aware of His presence. You should feel His presence and feel the effects of His presence.  If you have no cognizance of the presence of the Holy Spirit of God, I’d be concerned. Romans 8:9

 

If the Holy Spirit is in us, we should allow Him to control us through confessing all known sin, yielding to Christ, and asking God to fill us. Ephesians 5:18, Galatians 5:16

 

So what happens when we are controlled by the indwelling Holy Spirit?  We have joy!   

   

Acts 13:52 - And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.

Galatians 5:22 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

 

4.     Do I know the joy of Submission?

 

Matthew 11:28-30 - Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

 

Have you noticed that nobody is happy when someone is stubborn?  Your child is stubborn and neither of you are happy.  Your mate is stubborn and neither of you is happy.  Your boss or employee is stubborn and neither of you is happy.

 

When we are stubborn, God is not pleased with our actions and will not fill us joy.  And we are unhappy because we lack God’s joy when we are stubborn.

 

The solution to this problem is really quite simple.

When we lack rest we come to Jesus for rest.

When we lack rest we take the same yoke that Jesus wore for our own.

A yoke was placed around oxen in order to control them.

Jesus says to take “His yoke”.

The yoke that Jesus wore was a yoke of obedience to the Heavenly Father.

John 4:34 - Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

 

And please notice, that Jesus’ yoke is easy and His burden is light.  There is no better way to find God’s Joy than to learn from Jesus and to obey.   

 

John 13:17 - If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

 

In this passage Jesus promises rest for our souls.

When our souls are at rest because we are being submissive to God, we will have joy.

 

5.     Do I know the joy of Supplication?

 

John 16:24 - Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

 

Has it ever occurred to you that we forfeit our own joy when we fail to ask for things in the name of the Lord Jesus?  Failure to pray is a guarantee that we will not have joy.

 

When we ask in Jesus’ name we are saying to God that we believe that we are asking is according to Jesus’ will. 

We recognize that we have no authority before God to ask, but Jesus does, and we are asking in His name, because He is our Savior and He says to ask in His name.

 

Why does Jesus choose to see that our prayers are answered?

First of all, when our prayers are answered God is glorified through the Lord Jesus.

 

John 14:13-14 - And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. [14] If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

 

God is glorified when your prayers are answered, because every answer to prayer is a miracle, even though the answer often comes through what seems to be human involvement.

 

Secondly, Jesus chooses to see that our prayers are answered because answered prayer brings us joy.

You know how joyful you are when you make a request and someone gives you what you ask for.

 

Jesus wants you be joyful with the answers that He will give you.

Of course, our prayers need to be according to the will of God.  But if we are in tune with God’s will, we will want the things that He wants and will pray accordingly. John 15:45

 

6.     Do I know the joy of Sharing?

 

1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 - For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? [20] For ye are our glory and joy.

 

Paul was looking forward to the day that he would stand before His Lord in judgment.

He realized that those to whom He ministered, who had been saved our grown under his ministry would be His reward.

 

What a joy it will be to be in Heaven with us those who were reached with the Gospel through our efforts.

What a joy it will be to be in Heaven with those who grew in Christ because of our efforts.

 

We need to learn the joy of sharing Jesus Christ with those who don’t know Him.

 

Not everyone we witness to will receive Christ, but some will.

Not every Christian that we teach or encourage will grow under our tutelage, but some will.

What a joy it will be to be able to present to the Lord Jesus those we’ve led to the Lord and those we’ve helped.

 

2 Corinthians 9:6-7 - But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

 

Another way we share is through giving of our resources to the Lord’s work and to those in need.

If we sow sparingly in the area of giving, we will reap sparingly.  But the more we invest in the Lord’s work, the more dividends there will be. Matthew 6:19-20

 

According to 2 Corinthians 9:7 sharing is to be our joy.

God has done so much for us. We should want to share what He’s given us joyfully with others.   

 

7.     Do I know the joy of God’s Strength?   

 

Nehemiah 8:10 - …for the joy of the Lord is your strength.   

   

We end where we began.

If we are going to be strong in this life, it is because we have made the joy of the Lord our strength.  It will be because we have learned to rely on Him, and to do those things which bring us His joy?

 

So my question this morning is simply this – If you were brought into a court of law being accused of being a Christian, would your Christian joy convict you?

 

 

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