Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. For while, we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. [NRSV]
Just Only John
As a child, one of the books my parents gave me was a juvenile work, a story about a little boy named John. The boy dreams of all the other things he might want to be, except for being himself. He choices to be someone other than himself left him alone, afraid, and uncertain anything but joyful when he had the choice to be himself again he chose to be Just only John, (the title the book.)
Our Look at Joy
This week I offer you a perspective on
- our Source of Joy,
- Obstacles of Joy and
- Yourself as a Joyful person
Ask your neighbor: Do you see Joy in me tonight?
🎼 I’ve got the Joy, Joy! Joy, Joy, down in my heart, where? Down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart, I’ve got the Joy, Joy! Joy, Joy, Down in my heart, to stay.
Lost Down in my Heart…
The truth is that we are not always joy-filled people. Sometimes we live without the power of Joy.
Just because we don’t find the Joy doesn’t mean it is not there, or here
The camp/ VBS song we sing is sometimes the truest picture that Joy is so deep down that we lose grasp of it
Joy comes in the morning
Psalm 30.5 For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes in the morning.For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes in the morning.[RSV]
Joy is something to seek to find, wait to receive, anticipate until it is enjoyed, AND shared until Christ returns.
Will the Real Joy Stand Up
Joy comes from God through Justification.
Justification is a good Methodist Work describing what Jesus has done for us through work of grace in the cross and power of the resurrection.
Jesus makes it right.. from the song/hymn, “Have a little talk with Jesus”
Eternal Joy is made By God, Through Jesus and shared by the Holy Spirit.
We might not use Justification as a theological term that often,
But we are fully away of how to justify our actions and in-actions in the world.
Problem with just only John
The problem of the lesson I learn about the childhood book I mentioned earlier is that most of the time I attempt to find joy, peace and meaning from my choices. my justifying thug d brings temporary joy
- I will be joyful when I finish school
- I will be joyful when I get a house
- I will be joyful when I get a job
- I will be joyful when I marry
- I will be joyful when I retire
- I will be joyful when I win the lottery
The implication is that I will not have joy until these come to pass, and if they don’t I don’t know where my joy comes from?
Finding the Joy.
We live in a stressful, frustrating world filled with division, fighting, and fear.
How we wish the people of ISIS would find the joy of Jesus Christ.
How we wish the people fighting over radical histories would find our joy
How we wish people in our own community would find joy even in poverty and uncertainty
How we wish we could find joy when we feel lost in grief and fear.
Sometimes we have to Swim further our and dive deeper
If joy is deep in my heart, I’ve got to go deep to get it
Jumping into the deep end of joy.
Where do we Go to find Joy?
Challenge you to find someone, in the next two days, who does not have a church home and ask them, “What would it take for you to come visit my church tomorrow night?”
- Would it take buying groceries or putting gas in their tank?
- Would you have to keep their kids or mow their lawn?
- Would it take driving them a doctor’s visit?
- You would do it for the least of these gathered here tonight, why not try it on someone else who needs a home? (Come Back to the challenge)
Jumping into our world view. How does to the world see us? Do we have the right clothes, car, hair style, jewelry, the right bumper stickers or yard signs
- If my joy is based on money and I don’t have money, then I have no joy
- If my joy is based on toys and I don’t have the latest toy, I have no joy
- If my joy is based on what others think or perceive from me, and they don’t like or approve of me, then I have no joy.
- What if my joy is founded in the one who loves me, I will always have joy
- What if my joy is grounded in the one who made me, I can always find joy
- What if my joy is rooting in the one who sees my brokenness and sin and still claims me as their own, Joy is always an option.
Tomorrow we will celebrate some JOY because you will bring the joy in the process of opening your hearts and share the search for Joy with others.
We will talk about the obstacles to JOY tomorrow.
Tonight we pray for those persons who need the JOY we know in Christ.
Tonight we pray for the JOY that will be revealed in the morning.
Tonight we celebrate that Jesus has planted JOY by Justification, but making right our broken hearts and lives.
Look at your neighbor: Tell them I want to see the JOY living in you.
Tell them: I’ve Got the JOY of Jesus Christ in my, let me tell all about it.