Summer of Joy

By Bobby Blakey on June 2, 2019

Philippians 4:4

AUDIO

Summer of Joy

By Bobby Blakey on June 2, 2019

Philippians 4:4

This is a rush transcript.

[00:00:00] I have got good news for everybody here this morning. And you can guess what it is, three letters larger than life with light bulbs behind me. All right. So I'm gonna need some help. All right, you guys, I'm from fresh from a week off. I'm really excited. We're talking about Joy. This is going to be very participatory. All right. I'm just warning you right now. And if you look at your hand out, you you open up your Bible to Philippians four.

[00:00:25] You'll notice that we're gonna study specifically one verse from Philippians as an introduction to kind of a theme of the whole book. And the verse we're going to look at is Philippians. Chapter four, verse four.

[00:00:39] And we're all going to memorize it right now together, actually. Okay. And it's rejoice in the Lord always. And again, I say rejoice now, right when I say that some of us are actually singing it in our minds.

[00:00:53] You know who you are, right? Some of us who've been a church for a while, some of us grew up going to church. We actually used to sing this song as a way to memorize sing it. The verse as a way to memorize it as a song.

[00:01:06] And so it goes. Rejoice in the Lord always. And again I say rejoice.

[00:01:11] That's how it goes. All right. And then you say it again. And then you start doing this other part ritual through your voice. And again I say rejoice. OK. So a double clap. Everybody get your hands out. Get your hands. Here we go. If you don't know what, you're going to learn it right now. All right. All right. Sorry you missed out on church back in the day. It was a lot of fun. We're going to bring it back right now. I'm serious. All right. So every time we say rejoice in the Lord always. And again, I say rejoice. Double clap. Double clap. OK. Keep your hands loose. Keep your fingers free. And we're gonna sing it. Now, the here's here's the thing. We can't just sing it. We have to sing it in a round because that's how we used to do it back in the day. So we got worship director Ryan Pierce over here on this side.

[00:01:52] All right. He's ready to lead this side in the singing guy. We got music director Ron Hosie coming in on this.

[00:01:58] Oh, yeah. He's popped. He's popped up. All right.

[00:02:02] OK. So it goes like this two times. Rejoice in the Lord always. And again, I say rejoice. We clap. Everybody claps every time. All right. Then we go regionals. Rejoice two times of that, OK? If you did, you can't follow along. Just try to clap when everybody else claps. OK, Ryan, are you ready?

[00:02:21] All right. Here we go. Take us. Take us there. Right.

[00:02:24] Joyous in the Lord. Always. And again, I say rejoice. There we go.

[00:02:29] Okay. You guys ready to bring him in, Ron? Okay, here we go.

[00:02:33] Rejoice in the Lord o way.

[00:02:41] Free Joe. Sweet Joe. Sing again. I say everybody. Joe. Sweet Joe. Sin again. I say rejoice.

[00:02:50] There you go. Now I got it memorized. There it is right there.

[00:02:55] So if anybody around here just gives a double clap, you know what time it is. You know what I mean? Somebody sends you to clap in emojis this week. You know what they're talking about. Their target right away. It should come to your mind. You should be able to pull it to your mind at any moment. Rejoice in the Lord always. And again, I say rejoice. Let's picture it. Yeah. See you guys. Got it.

[00:03:17] Oh, yes. My favorite service right here. Everybody, let's go.

[00:03:22] So when you're on the four or five freeway this week and some of you guys spend some quality time there. Now, my car, I feel like, is a normal sized car most of the time. And then I drive on the four 05 and we start moving real flow real slow. And it just starts to like, you know, like like feels really like I'm confined here.

[00:03:39] Right. And why am I moving so slow? And I start looking at these other people, like, what's their problem? Why can't they just drive, you know? And at that moment you can reach past space and you can reach outside of time and you can rejoice in the Lord always. And again, I say rejoice.

[00:03:59] That's how we're gonna do it.

[00:04:01] Okay, so now that we've got that verse, let's get the full context here in Philippians, chapter four versus one to 13. And I would like to read this for us because what we want to see the whole picture, not just pick out one verse, but we're starting with the end of the book and you'll see why. As we move on. So this so let's read this scripture. And out of respect for God's word, I would love for everybody to stand up. And we're going to read starting in verse one all the way to verse 13. This is Philippians four. It's on page 982. If you got one of our Bibles, please follow along. All read it. Let's give this our full and undivided attention. What is God trying to say to us when he says Rejoice in the Lord always? What does he mean? Let's let's study this. Therefore, my brothers, who my love and long for my joy and crown stand firm, does in the Lord, my beloved, I entreat you Odia and I entreat sin Tickie. You agree in the Lord? Yes, I ask you also true companion, help these women who have labored side-by-side with me in the Gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers whose names are in the Book of life.

[00:05:13] Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say rejoice. Let your reasonable net be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand. Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication. With Thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding. Will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable. If there is any excellence. If there is anything worthy of praise. Think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen and me practice these things. And the God of peace will be with you. I rejoiced in the Lord greatly. That now, at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me. But you had no opportunity. Not that I'm speaking of being in need for. I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low. And I know how to abound in any and every circumstance. I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me and ends the reading of God's word.

[00:06:35] Please go ahead and have a seat. And so sadly, one of the things we do as Christians is we kind of break these things down to like different things, joys over here, pieces over here, contentment over here. But this is all describing one person who is standing firm and the Lord go back, diverse one in and years, his his command. Here's his parting words as he begins the last chapter here, my brothers. And that's how Paul referred to Christian people as brothers. And he was using the masculine tense. But brothers and sisters as people who are with me in Jesus Christ. He says to this church and Phillip High that he loves them. He longs for them. They're his joy and his crown. And then he says this. Stand firm. Thus in the Lord, my beloved. So I want you guys to stand firm. And he gives us different pictures here of what that looks like for someone to stand firm with their faith in Jesus Christ. And so Joy, we see is one of the things that he says. But we see he also goes on and describes peace and contentment. And I am sure if I ask, hey, who wants more joy, more peace and contentment? I think that's something we would all want more of in our life. Well, you say in here how you can really have it, how you could stand firm in it. You say you could rejoice always in the Lord again. I say rejoice. And then he says in verse six, do not be anxious about anything. We talked about that a few weeks ago. That anxiety is something I feel like we can all relate to that worrying about things, that feeling of uncomfort ability inside of us going into a situation. And I just don't feel good about it. Maybe some of us, we don't feel good about things. A lot of the times we feel very burned and very afraid, very worried. Some of us, even our emotions, the way that we feel, really determines how we live our day like we feel good, we're OK with talking to people, interact, and we don't feel good. We kind of isolate ourselves. We kind of don't want to put ourselves out there in social situations. He says, hey, no, we're not going to live in anxiety, says do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication. With Thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. See, he's saying something here really important. We're not going to let how we feel determined our day. We're going to let our relationship with God determine our day. And so if you pray about how you feel and if you interact with God about it, the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ. Jesus know, when you take the things that you're concerned about and you cast those cares up to the Lord and you really pray about them. There's this peace that comes and guards your heart and your mind because you're in Christ Jesus. So what is Joy? Well, one thing, we're going to give you a few little things to think about here if you want to take notes with us. Joy is more than internal emotions. That's our first one. Joy is more than internal emotions. It's more than just a certain way of feeling inside of yourself. You know, sometimes I see a person who's a positive person to be around. They're very optimistic. We might say they have a bubbly personality. Right? They're very upbeat in their and the way that they kind of conduct themselves. So a lot of times we use joy to describe somebody who's got like a positive personality. Okay. It's more than just feeling good about what's going on. There is joy is more than that. It's something that has to do with being in Christ Jesus something that we actually get from God. And so it's more than internal emotions. Now, look at contentment there in verse 10. He talks about how he's rejoicing greatly, that they've revived their concern for him. And it's clear from the rest of the book. We're going to see that they must've sent him a gift, even a financial gift to help him with where he was. And he's so thankful for their gift. But he also wants to make it clear, like like he's learned this secret of contentment. He calls a verse eleven, says not that I'm speaking of being in need for. I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be low and I know how to abound in any and every circumstance. I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, of abundance and need. I can do all things through here, through Christ, who strengthens me. So now we see verse 13 Philippians for 13 in context here.

[00:11:22] A lot of times you hear about this verse and it's like an athlete who say in Philippians 413 because they could do all things in Christ because they're going to go get a victory in Christ as they compete in some sport. Or maybe somebody who's been training to run a marathon is like quoting Philippians 413, like they're gonna be able to run the marathon because Christ is strengthening. That's not what this is saying here. It's saying, hey, do you have a lot or do you have a little? You can be content because Christ will give you strength.

[00:11:49] It's talking about there's this contentment that comes from your relationship with Jesus, no matter what your circumstances. There's this peace that comes from your relationship with Jesus, no matter how you're feeling.

[00:12:01] So this joy that we want to all experience here together, it's more than internal emotions. Secondly, it's more than external circumstances. He says he's learned to be content in any and every circumstance. So the joy is not based on what's happening in me and the joy is not based on what's happening around me. OK, so. So then what is the joy based on if it's not coming from the inside and it's not coming from the outside? Well, then where is it common from?

[00:12:33] We'll look back at chapter three. Look what led us here to add to chapter four. Look at verse 18, the end of Philippians three 18. He's describing people who walk as enemies of the Cross of Christ. People who are up to this point. They rejected the good news of great joy. That's for everybody.

[00:12:50] They've rejected the gospel of Jesus, that he died for their sin, that he rose to give them this new and eternal life. They haven't believed in that yet. They've rejected it so far. They're walking as enemies of the cross. I don't think they need Jesus's death to pay for their sin. They're still living in their sin. Now, he describes people who don't have Christ. He says their end is destruction. They're headed towards death and judgment. Their God is their belly. They're in it for themselves. They're in it for how they feel. They glory in their shame. You can see that today all around people boasting about things that we should be ashamed of before God, people taking pride in what God describes as sin. And so it says here they have their minds set on earthly things. Says. We see how they're living and the way they're the reason they're living that way is they're living for the here and now. But our citizenship, verse 20 is in heaven. And from it, we await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

[00:14:06] Says, hey, you shouldn't be living like your life is for the here and now. Like you belong here in this world. You belong in heaven. You're citizens of the eternal life and Jesus. He's gonna come back any day. We're waiting for him. He's gonna come back. And when you see Jesus and all of his glory, he will transform you. You will be made like him.

[00:14:29] That's how we're supposed to be thinking in this eternal kind of way. Not in how do I feel? Not in what's happening around me, but what's happening between me and Jesus, what's happening outside of space and time. Any Chernivtsi. That's where Joy comes from. So let's get it down like this. It is. And a turtle mentality. There's a typo there on your hand. It shouldn't say external again. You should take that X out. It should say E Turnell. OK, Joy is an E Turnell mentality, to sum it up. Joy is knowing Jesus. That's where Joy comes from. Doesn't come from you and it doesn't come from what's happening in your life. And if you've tried to live based on your feelings, you know that for every day you're feeling good.

[00:15:15] There's gonna come a day, you're feeling bad. And I getting a man from anybody on that. If you're trying to live by your circumstances, you know that there's been the high times and then there's been the low times. Can I get any man from anybody on that? You'll never find joy and feelings. You'll never find joy in circumstances.

[00:15:29] There is always a reason to rejoice in the Lord. Again, I say rejoice, right?

[00:15:38] That's what it's saying. You got to get outside of space and time in your mind.

[00:15:43] And when you're thinking about eternal things, heavenly things, the reality that Jesus is coming, he's gonna get you, he's gonna take you home, you're gonna be with him, you're gonna be made like him. That's a reason to rejoice.

[00:15:57] If you're stuck on the four or five, you're feeling bad. If things are crumbling that you thought were gonna last for a long time, you can rejoice in eternal thinking about Jesus Christ.

[00:16:10] That's how we're supposed to be thinking and the fact that some of us are not experiencing much joy in our lives. What that's actually saying is you're living based on feelings and circumstances. You're living based on what's happening right now in your life.

[00:16:26] And you're evaluating how your life's going based on how you feel about it or some kind of circumstance here, not evaluating it based on the fact that you have salvation in Jesus Christ for all of eternity.

[00:16:39] Liquidy says in versus two and three, if you could imagine this, the Philippines have all gathered together. Palls written them a letter. It's clear that Paul loves these people. They love Paul. He's got a great relationship with the people here in this church. And he says, I entreat you Odia and I entreat SINTA key to agree in the Lord. Can you imagine if all of a sudden, like during the sermon, we just kind of called out like a couple ladies over here, you guys need to start getting along. What's your problem over there? Ouch. Right. You're reading this letter. You're like crying. You're like, yes, this is amazing. Thank you, Paul, for sending this. All of a sudden, your name gets called out and how you're having a disagreement with another sister in the church who. I mean, it's it's no wonder nobody's naming their babies, you already are sent key after that one. You know what I mean? That didn't catch. But but it's sad that that's the way we know those ladies, because look at what he actually says about him. He says, yes. I ask you also, true companion, help these women who have labored side by side with me in the gospel. He actually thinks of them really as sisters in Christ, in fact, ministry partners spreading that good news of great joy with him.

[00:17:45] And he says that with Clement, they helped me with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers whose names are in the Book of Life.

[00:17:54] And it's like as soon as he says The Book of Life.

[00:17:58] As soon as even thinking about the fact that his name is written in heaven and their names are written in heaven, he immediately says, Rejoice in the Lord always.

[00:18:07] And again, I say rejoice because we're written down in heaven.

[00:18:12] Guys, our names are in the book. Is that what Jesus said to his disciples when they were so excited because they could cast out demons in the name of Jesus? And they came back and they said, hey, we were doing all these things, just like you said, it was awesome. We were casting out demons. And Jesus says, yes, you did that. Yes, that was good. But you know what? You should really rejoice in that. Your name is written in the Book of Life in Heaven. That's a reason to rejoice always. And it's like he's thinking about how these people to have their mind on earthly things and they need to stand firm because their names are written in the Book of life.

[00:18:49] And as soon as he says the book of life, it's like that brings to mind right away the reason that he has joy.

[00:18:56] He knows where he's going. And he knows he has salvation and Jesus. And it's a thought he can bring to his mind at any time. That gives him a real reason to rejoice. I mean, is your mind set on the things of Earth? Or are you really thinking about the eternal things, the things of heaven, the things of the spiritual realm that we can't see? Turn with me first, Peter, chapter one. Here's another verse about the joy of Jesus Christ. First Peter, chapter one, verse eight, page 1014. If he got one of our books and I love this passage, it describes your relationship with Jesus. My relationship with Jesus. Anybody here who's believed in Jesus. And and now we have this walk with him. This is what it's like. First, Peter, chapter one, verse eight. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Can I get a man from anybody on that one right there? And I love Jesus Christ. I'm live in my life for Jesus Christ. Never even laid eyes on. Never even seen him, it's all long distance right now, it's all by faith right now. But but I love him. And then look what it says here, though, you do not now see him. You believe in him.

[00:20:09] You have faith in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. Like, even though you can't see him just believing in him, just thinking about him and the fact that someday you'll be with him, you'll see his glory. You'll be made like him in his glory. Just that eternal thought of what you have in Jesus. And all of a sudden, there's this joy, inexpressible and filled with glory. It's like you experience the fullness of your salvation just pulsating through your body. And you're like, Yes, I know Jesus.

[00:20:53] And you can rejoice in that always, he said.

[00:20:57] Now, what's really amazing is when you get the context of Philippians Kay, go back to Philippians and let's now look at Chapter one here and we're gonna be study in this all summer. It's gonna take us longer than the summer. We're gonna be going into the fall. We really want to understand this book maybe more than any other one we've done so far here at our church. So we know that this is a book that has that not only the command of joy that we've been singing and clapping and memorizing, but the joy is the theme throughout 16 different times in four chapters. He mentions joy. It's translated Glad or rejoice or joy. And then and then he says this like a chapter one, verse seven. Liquidy says these people. He says, It's right for me to feel this way about you all because I hold you in my heart for you all our partakers with me of grace, both in my. What does he say there?

[00:21:51] And one imprisonment.

[00:21:55] So where is he when he's writing this letter to the church in fill a pie that they're reading together, whereas he is in prison.

[00:22:03] He's in jail.

[00:22:05] Now that now I've started to put a different spin on it, he's writing a letter from jail and the letter is defined and marked by joy. OK.

[00:22:16] Wow. Now it's even deeper than that, go to Act 16 with me and you'll see. Now, how did the church and Philip Pie even get started in the Book of Acts? It records when Paul went to this city, when he preached the gospel, there are talks about the first people that got saved there. And look what happens here in Acts Chapter 16. OK. So he's writing about joy. Maybe you're already starting to get convicted because you're thinking, yeah, I'm not really thinking internally. I'm not really rejoicing in the Lord.

[00:22:46] And then you realize that he's writing it from jail and he's defined by joy.

[00:22:52] OK, well, now let's see how the church got started in Filipacchi.

[00:22:57] Pick it up with me in verse 11, Act 16, verse 11, page nine hundred and twenty five. If you got one of our books and he has this vision to go to Macedonia and it says here in verse eleven, so setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Sam Earthrace and Fault and the following dates and the apples. And from there to II, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. So an act. Sixteen palls on a missionary journey, not sure where to go next, gets a vision to come to Macedonia. This is how Paul operates. He goes straight to the leading city of Macedonia. Straight to where there is a garrison of Roman soldiers, a Roman colony. He goes right for downtown, the biggest city they got there in Macedonia. Let's go to Philip Pie.

[00:23:44] That's where he goes. And he remained in that city some days. Now, here's what happens when he comes in.

[00:23:50] Paul has this faith that if he goes into any place and he starts preaching the gospel, people are going to get saved. And the church is going to be built. And so that's where he starts doing here. Verse 13 on the Sabbath day, we went outside the gate to the riverside where we supposed there was a place of prayer. And we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. One who heard us was a woman named Lydia from the city of Tire Tira, a seller of purple goods who was a worshiper of God. And the Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul and after she was baptized, her and her household as well. She urged us, saying, if you have judge me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay. And she prevailed upon us. Now, can you see that right there in there at the end of verse 14?

[00:24:42] The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. That's every preacher loves that line right there. Right. When we meet these people, they want to worship God, but they don't really know the good news of Jesus. Here comes Paul. He starts telling them about the death of Christ, the resurrection of Christ. And he starts explaining it. And this woman, Lydia God, just opens her heart. She hears what he's saying. She believes it. It says even her household believes it. They're getting baptized. And immediately she's like, hey, you guys got to come and stay with me. I want to support you while you're doing this here in town. Like, immediately she becomes not just someone who believes in the gospel, but she becomes a partner in the gospel with Paul letting him stay there. An inspiring story of this woman who has faith as God opens her heart.

[00:25:27] We were reading through acts years ago before we were making the videos on scripture the day we read through acts. And it inspired our very own pastor Bill and his wife Corrie, when God bless them, with a little baby girl. They named her Lydia after this lady right here. So he comes in, he preaches the gospel. People are already believe.

[00:25:46] And then this happens verse sixteen as we were go into the place of prayer. So they're going back for another gathering together. We were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination, now a spirit of divination. What does that mean? This lady was possessed by a what?

[00:26:01] A demon. Right. Is a demon possessed woman. And she brought her owners. The slave lady brought her owners much gain by telling.

[00:26:10] She followed Paul and us crying out. These men are servants of the most high God who proclaim to you the way of salvation.

[00:26:19] True statement. Probably not the source you want spreading that news all over town, right? The fortune teller ladies saying these guys will tell you how to get saved. This she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.

[00:26:39] And it came out that very hour.

[00:26:41] Now that to me, that sounds like a win situation, right? Maybe I'm weird where I come from, but I think a lady who's demon possessed demon gets cast out in the name of Jesus. Sounds like a good thing to me. You guys with me on that? Does that seem positive? Not so much in Phillip Filipacchi. Not to the owners. No. When her owner saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas. They dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. And when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, these men are Jews. They are disturbing our city.

[00:27:13] They advocate customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to accept or practice. And the crowd joined in attacking them. The magistrates tour the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely, having received this order. He put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. That escalated quickly, everybody. I mean, that is shocking injustice. There's a woman following them around. They cast the demon out of this woman. The owners are outraged. They grab them, drag them, falsely accuse them. And there's no justice here. The crowd is jumping in with a mob mentality. The magistrates, the leaders are ripping the clothes off of them so they can beat them with many blows, with rods. And after they beat them up, they put them in prison in the deepest part of the dungeon with their feet in stocks, like there's some kind of flight risk or menace to society because they're out there trying to share good news and cast out demons. Now we have this little thing we do when we go to church and we hear Bible stories. We kind of like put them in this little file. This is shocking injustice. Can you realize this like the worst criminals in America right now, people who are doing evil that should not even be spoken of. They're not getting beaten up with rods and put their feet in stocks in prison. Like, that's not happening to the worst criminals we have in our society and it's happening to these guys because they're casting a demon out of a woman.

[00:29:03] How would you react? It's even hard for us to consider this level of mistreatment and injustice that we would get beaten up with rods, that we would get thrown in prison for being falsely accused, that we would be down in the deep, dark dungeon where we can even see with exposed wounds that haven't been treated with our feet in the stocks. What's your response in that situation? I mean, how. I don't know how you would respond to somebody beating you up physically, how you would respond to all of these false accusations and this injustice against you, and then you're confined in this cramped space where you can't even see where there's probably people wailing and weeping and moaning all around you in the deepest part of the prison.

[00:29:49] Verse 25, about midnight. Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God.

[00:29:56] Does that sound like a guy who is practicing what he preaches? That sounds like a guy who made do you think that stories spread throughout vilify?

[00:30:06] Do you think this guy that's a guy who got thrown in prison and he was having a hymn sing at midnight with his buddy Silas? A little prayer meeting at midnight. When was the last time you were up at midnight worshiping God and praying?

[00:30:16] You're not even in prison. What what was what was keeping you from that? Right. I mean, we were worshiping God and we're praying together here this morning. Is that something you do by yourself? You have a bad day where the world beats you up. The world hates you. The world throws you in prison. And you're still singing hymns at midnight. This is the kind of joy here, there's a kind of way of thinking that Paul has that unfortunately seems very distant from the way a lot of us here at church think today. Oh, he and Silas, they're singing hymns at midnight. And look what's happening. The prisoners were listening to them hate. Hey, let me ask you a question. Do we need some joy in America today? Would Joy really stand out today, would it? Would it be like bright light to shining in the dark? And people who are really singing songs and really have this this overflowing excitement in their soul? Do you think that the world around us would pay attention to that? They would notice that. Do you think that kind of joy would be contagious and it would spread? And more people would want some of that. Know, I hear Christians say things like, well, we don't believe in happiness here at church. We believe in joy because it's a lot more spiritual. You know, happiness is real superficial. We believe in something a lot more deep and a lot more profound. Some of our joy is so deep and profound, we would never know it was even there. That's how deep and profound it is. We won't even know there was joy there.

[00:31:44] These guys have got to have one of the worst days. I mean, Paul has a lot of bad days. One of the worst days you could possibly have.

[00:31:53] And they're rejoicing.

[00:31:55] That their names are written in heaven, there's Avenir him sing at midnight. He Silas, you know that one that sing that one one more time.

[00:32:02] And everybody it says the prisoners are listening to them and then verse 26. Suddenly there was a great earthquake. Well, what a coincidence that is. Right. Suddenly there was a great earthquake so that that the foundations of the prison were shaking.

[00:32:16] And immediately all the doors were opened. And everyone's bonds were on Fassett. Now, that has got to be the most technically skillful earthquake I've ever heard of. I mean, earthquakes are always knocking things down when I read about them. Here's an earthquake that just so happens to be opening prison doors in unfastening bonds. What a unique earthquake happening here. The prisoners weren't the only ones listening to these guys praying and singing hymns.

[00:32:48] See, rejoicing is something that happens between you and God. Got a response to these guys.

[00:32:55] Verse 27 says when the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself. That's another sign that should help us realize how intense this situation there is there in right now.

[00:33:07] The guy who's been charged to watch them thinks if they've escaped. If the doors are open. If they've gotten free. I don't want to face the consequences of them getting out on my watch. He's ready to commit suicide and kill himself. Supposing that the prisoners had escaped. Now, let's think that through. Okay. If he knows the doors are open and he thinks the prisoners have escaped, the prisoners are actually all still there in their cells. What does that tell you? This prison is so dark he can't even see.

[00:33:37] These guys were singing in pitch darkness.

[00:33:43] And fortunately here, verse 28, Paul cried with a loud voice, Do not harm yourself. We are all here.

[00:33:50] And the jailer called for light so we can actually see that they were there and rushed in and trembling with fear. He fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, Sirs, what must I do to be what? What is he looking for? Saved. I want what you've got.

[00:34:08] I need what you have.

[00:34:10] What are you guys doing? Praying and singing at midnight. Now there's this earthquake. I need you.

[00:34:17] I was just ready to kill myself because I thought I had a bad day. And you had a bad day and you're singing hymns. I need what you guys have.

[00:34:26] How do I get saved?

[00:34:29] And they said, believe in the Lord Jesus. This is where it comes from.

[00:34:32] Joy comes from Jesus Christ, your salvation. And you will be saved. You and your household. Verse 32. And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. How are they speaking to all who were in his house? Well, he took them that same hour of the night and washed their wounds.

[00:34:49] Hey, so think this through with me for a second one. He's as soon as he's saved, as soon as he's believing he's washing their wounds. That just kind of tells you these guys had clear, obvious medical treatment that they needed from getting beaten with the rods that nobody cared about because they just threw him in prison. And as soon as he sees them as people, he immediately starts tending their wounds. That's how beat up they are.

[00:35:13] Then he he was just afraid that if they had gotten away, that he would kill himself because he didn't want to face the consequences of them escaping. Now he's just freely inviting them over to his house.

[00:35:25] And they're preaching the word of the Lord to them, the good news of Jesus to him.

[00:35:30] And he was baptized at once, he and all his family. And he brought them up into his house and said food before them.

[00:35:36] And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.

[00:35:48] We could have this kind of credibility that we had, this kind of joy, that there is nothing that this world could throw at us that could take away the joy we have in Jesus Christ.

[00:36:01] That we would know the father holds us, we are held in his hand. He will never let go of us. We are on our way to heaven. We will be with Jesus forever.

[00:36:09] And even in our darkest of moments when we're in the most possible human pain, we rejoice in the Lord always. And again, I say rejoice.

[00:36:22] That's what we need. We need a lot more double clap in the Christian life these days. And maybe people would be a lot more interested in what we're all about. If they saw it making a difference like this in our lives. So this is the story of the Philippians church.

[00:36:37] He came to town. He got thrown in prison. People got saved. He left town. He got thrown in prison. Now he's writing to him.

[00:36:44] That's the story. All right. It's a book about joy with a climax of rejoicing. And it's written by a man in prison who also got thrown into prison when he started the church. And it completely makes you and me ask, what's our excuse? I mean, if this guy's rejoicing and writing a letter all about joy when he's thrown into prison, beaten up in the darkness. Why aren't you and I find enjoy what's holding us back, our feet and stocks. Why that c you realize that the the cell that a lot of us are in is not prison. We're trapped in the cell of ourself. We're trapped and living in our own emotions, we're trapped and living in the here and now from the case study of the apostle Paul. Let's get this down. Don't get trapped in the cell of yourself. Better to be in prison and thinking internally than to be free and thinking selfishly. And that's what a lot of us are doing, we're not finding joy in Jesus because we're focused on ourself. How are we feeling? What's happening to me? I don't think I should have been treated that way. If you if you're thinking about that, you shouldn't be treated that way and you're really upset about it. You're probably not praying and singing hymns at midnight. No, you're thinking about the things of the Lord. You're thinking about Jesus Christ and you're rejoicing. See, what we're what we're going to see is that Paul and he thought he shared this with the Phillipi church, that they had a different mindset than what a lot of us have here today.

[00:38:19] And that's why we're starting at the end of the book, we're starting with joy, peace and contentment, because that fits with our mindset. We all want to be able to rejoice no matter what is happening, no matter how we're feeling. We all want this joy inexpressible flowing through us. We would all agree about that. OK, well, now go to Philippians Chapter one and let's see what leads to that. What did Paul have in his heart? What did he share with these Philippians that leads to all of this rejoicing? What was his mindset that he had that leads him to singing hymns at midnight in prison?

[00:38:56] Well, you see here in Philippians, chapter one, verse three, diving into it now. From the beginning, I think, my God, in all my remembrance of you, every time I think about you, I'm thanking God for you always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with key word of the day, making my prayer with joy.

[00:39:15] And then here it is. Why does he have joy? Why did the Philippians bring that joy out? Verse five. It's a because clause. He is going to tell us now, once and for all what this joy is about because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.

[00:39:33] Here's why every time I think about you guys, I've got joy, because I know that I'm about people hearing the gospel of Jesus and you are right there with me. You are partners. Side by side with me in more people hearing about Jesus.

[00:39:49] And now we get it.

[00:39:50] Now that we've seen Act 16, he goes and tells the gospel to Lydia, it's not just Lydia, it's her whole household. She's not just believing, hey, come and stay with me. We'll support you while you're here. He tells the gospel to the jailer who wants to be safe. Well, it's not just him. It's his whole household. And hey, come on over. All tend to your wounds. I'll give you something to eat. Like right away. These people don't just believe it. They're like, we're with you for it will help you in it. We're all partners. We got to spread this good news of great joy to more people. Everybody needs to know Jesus.

[00:40:25] This is the criteria that Paul used to evaluate his life when he's putting his head on the pillow, if he even has a pillow because he's spending so much time in prison, when he's going to sleep at the end of the day, the way he answers the question, was it a good day or not?

[00:40:39] Is not how did I feel about today? It's not, hey, what happened to me today? Do I have more money in the bank today? Are my relationships working out today? Here's a question on Paul's mind. Is the gospel going forward to more people today? Are Christian people being encouraged in Jesus today? Because it doesn't matter how I feel or what's happening to me.

[00:41:00] If the gospel of Jesus is going forward, then today was a good day and I'm going to rejoice.

[00:41:07] That's how he thinks. See, his heavenly mindset leads to an earthly mission.

[00:41:13] Let's get that down for point number one. The heavenly mindset equals an earthly mission. It gives you real purpose, real clarity on why you are here. If your life is about knowing Jesus and you're gonna be with him in heaven and you're gonna be made like him for all of eternity, you're gonna experience his glory.

[00:41:34] Then the whole point of being here is that you would grow in Jesus. And more people would know Jesus and get ready to be there with you. Jesus made it so clear, go and make disciples of all nations. That was the mission he gave us. Paul is a man who actually lived like it. That's how he did it.

[00:41:57] Like they are more people being made, disciples are more people hearing the gospel of Jesus. OK, well, then then everything's moving forward exactly as planned. Everything is good. We should rejoice. That's how the guy thought and he thought the Philippians thought that way, too, that they were partners with him. That's why he shares so much joy with them, because we're thinking eternally and it's giving us purpose in this life.

[00:42:23] I know a lot of people who evaluate their lives as to how much money they're going to leave to the next generation.

[00:42:29] And know a lot of people who evaluate their lives about how things are going with the health and prosperity of their family. It seems like I know less people who evaluate their lives, how many disciples they're making in the name of Jesus. That's how Paul thought. He thought the Philippians thought that way. That was the secret to their joy. So if you want to join peace and contentment, you need to pay attention as we go over every word of this book because there's this partnership in the gospel. That's the key phrase right there. They're doing something in the gospel together. And that's where all of this joy is coming from. And if you just want to, Joy, but you don't want the gospel, you're not going to get to the joy in the end because it's coming from this partnership, because he says in verse 18, he's saying this and he says, I'm in prison.

[00:43:16] And he actually says, hey, guys, don't worry about me being in prison. It's actually served to advance the gospel DCR. He thinks, hey, I'm not feeling good. Yeah, I'm not in a good place. The circumstances aren't good. But let me tell you, it's actually good because the gospels being advanced and he starts giving them reasons, he says, because I'm in prison.

[00:43:36] Some of the believers are more bold to tell people about Jesus. There's an increase in boldness. And because I'm in prison. I've been telling all these guards and they've been talking to each other.

[00:43:47] So it's like the whole Imperial Guard is now here in the gospel of Jesus Christ. They're like chained to me. I've got a captive audience here. Like, this is going well, everybody.

[00:43:57] Then there's other people. They're noticing that Paul's in prison and they're like stepping up as preachers to try to get everybody who would listen to Paul, to listen to them. So they're like using the gospel and preaching the gospel till I get Paul's attention and have people follow them.

[00:44:13] And even then, he says in verse 18, what then? Only that in every way, whether in pretests or in truth, Christ is proclaimed. And in that I rejoice if the name of Jesus is being lifted. Hi, I'm rejoicing.

[00:44:29] Today was a good day, even if I'm in prison, guys. Is just a different way. That he thinks that's the way that you and I need to learn how to think. If we want to experience this kind of joy. Is the gospel going out? Are more people here in it? Are those who know Jesus being built up in their faith?

[00:44:51] Now, in verse 21, we're going gonna look at a famous phrase here for me to live is Christ and to die is gain. He's like, I'm ready to die. I'm ready to go to heaven. I'm ready to experience what happens outside of space and time and eternity. But then he says this in verse 25, he's convinced he's not going to die because I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith.

[00:45:16] I need to keep living because I need you guys to keep growing and keep getting to know the joy that I know in the faith. Look, chapter two, verse two, he talks about the joy here, how his joy could be complete, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. It was so important that the church would be united to Paul. And what is this mindset that he wants us to have verse three to nothing from selfish ambition? Or can C get completely over yourself? That's the key to Joy right there.

[00:45:52] Verse five, have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus. Hey, does everybody see what Jesus did? He left heaven, humbled himself, took on flesh in a human body, lived for 33 years of time and then died, gave his life for all of us. Okay, let's get that mind going. That's the mind that leads to everlasting, eternal joy. Let's all have the same mind where we get over ourselves and we give our lives away for other people, because if more people are here in the gospel, then we're going to rejoice. That's what he's saying.

[00:46:31] Chapter three, verse one, he says, finally. My brothers, and isn't that classic Paul right there to say finally when he's still got two more chapters to go? I mean, that that's that's classic. Finally, my brothers rejoice in the Lord to write the same things to you is no trouble to me. And it's safe for you. So he's already telling him to rejoice in the Lord in chapter three, verse one, he's doubling down in chapter four.

[00:46:54] Verse four.

[00:46:56] Go to chapter four, verse one, where we kind of started this morning, says, therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for now, this is look at this race, how he refers to them, my joy and crown.

[00:47:12] So it's really interesting and you start to see that in a lot of the writings of Paul as we've been reading through the New Testament. And for those of us who are reading the scripture of the day, he feels that same way about the first Thessalonians that we're reading right now. He refers to them as his joy. He even says they're kind of his source of of boasting. See, here's how Paul thinks about life. The thing that's going to matter about your life is the moment you stand in the presence of Jesus Christ.

[00:47:38] And that's the moment you're either going to hear depart from me. I never knew you or you're going to hear well done, good and faithful servant.

[00:47:44] And the well done is all going to be based on who did you help believe in Jesus, who was a brother or sister that did believe in Jesus. And you encouraged them. You built them up, you you came alongside and strengthen them. That's all that's going to matter on that day, is the souls of people who've been saved by Jesus Christ. All the feelings, all the circumstances will not matter in eternity. What's going to matter is, hey, when I'm there before Jesus. It won't just be me there. You'll be there with me, guys. That's why you're my joy. You're my crown. You're what my life has been about. See if you don't have that passion, if you're not trying to make disciples, if you're not spreading the good news to see more people get saved, if you don't really think about other people as brothers or sisters that you want to lift up and encourage and see them grow strong in their faith, then you're missing out on what he's saying brings all the joy.

[00:48:45] It's eternity. Who's gonna be with us in the presence of Jesus, that's rejoicing. So these people are his joy.

[00:48:55] Because they're the gospel bearing fruit, saving more souls, and now those people are partnering with him to reach even more people. He's so excited about it. He's writing a letter about joy from prison because in his mind, everything's moving towards eternity. The gospel is reaching more people. We need this mindset that he's got right here in our church. We need to make sure that we are partners in the gospel. And that's the criteria we use to evaluate our lives. Is the gospel reaching more souls? Are more people getting saved? Are the brothers and sisters growing up and progressing in their faith? That is a reason to rejoice. That's internal mindset leading to earthly mission. Now, we can't go over everything the Bible says about joy, but there are two passages I need to share with you. One is in Psalm 51.

[00:49:50] Please grab the Bible, go to the Old Testament, Psalm 51, this famous writing of King David after he had sinned when he was repenting of his sin. Look what he says here in Psalm 51. This is page 474 if you got one of our books. So two more things we want to say about joy. The thing that will kill your joy. And the thing that is your source of joy. Now, David. He was a man after God's own heart. King David, we know, wrote songs about God to worship God. In fact, you might want to write down if you're taking notes, Psalm 16 eleven is a verse where David says that in your presence is fullness of joy at your right hands are pleasures forevermore. That's what he knew about God. That's what he was singing about God.

[00:50:43] I know that there's full joy with you and you alone. He's right in that.

[00:50:49] Well, unfortunately, there came a time in David's life when he forgot his own theme song. And it was the time when the king was supposed to go out with the troops to battle and David, he'd won many battles in the name of the Lord, he'd seen great victory. But for some reason this time, he just sent the troops and he stayed and took a nap in the palace and he started browsing around the roof of his palace, seeing what's going on. And he saw a woman and he began to lust for the woman. Her name was Bathsheba. He committed adultery with her.

[00:51:20] And after he did that, he tried to cover it up. And when he couldn't cover it up, he had her husband murdered in the battle that he was supposed to be in. And so godsends his prophet Nathan, to go and confront the most powerful man among God's people, the king. So imagine if you're the prophet going to confront the king who has all authority, who decides who lives or dies. And Nathan comes in and he speaks to David and he tells a story of a rich man who had all these herds and flocks and then a poor man who had one little lamb and how the rich man came. And he took that land from the poor man and he used it to feed his guests. And David was outraged. And he says that's not right. Something should be done against that rich man.

[00:52:02] And Nathan got his pointy finger out and said, You're the man.

[00:52:08] And Diva was broken. And he was repentant.

[00:52:13] And he went and prayed before gardening, wrote Psalm 32. He wrote Psalm 51, and this is what he says in this moment of repentance after Nathan the Prophet went to him and confronted him. He says in Psalm 51, verse eight. Let me hear joy and gladness. You know what David is missing? He's missing that joy.

[00:52:34] He feels like he's so far away from joy, the quote he says, let the bombs that you have broken. Rejoice. It feels like my bones are broken. Because of the burden of carrying around this sin. Let me tell you, nothing will kill your joy, like sinning against God.

[00:52:52] Sin is such a liar. It's so deceptive. It promises good feelings. Happy circumstances. And it doesn't deliver its end is death. Its path is judgment. How many times this is something we can all relate to, we've been taken.

[00:53:12] We've been had we thought that sin would actually leave the satisfaction and enjoyment. And what it led to was misery and pain. And here's a guy who knows God coming out of his sin saying, if I could just get back to the joy of being near God.

[00:53:29] Look, look at how he cries out verse nine, hide your face from my sins, blot out all my inequities, create in me a clean heart, oh God, renew a right spirit within me.

[00:53:39] Cast me not away from your presence.

[00:53:41] Take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit.

[00:53:50] Then look what he goes on to say, then I'll teach transgressors your ways and sinners will return to you. Says, God, don't take me away from your presence. That's where the joy is.

[00:54:00] Don't take your spirit away from me. The fruit of the spirit is joy. I need you to give back to me that joy I had in being saved.

[00:54:09] I wonder if there's some brothers and sisters who feel like that man. When you got saved, you were so on fire for Jesus Christ.

[00:54:17] You came to that moment where you were convicted of your sin and your sin was this heavy burden and you knew you deserved to be judged by God and you cried out and God forgave you for all of your sin because of Jesus Christ dying in your place.

[00:54:32] And you felt the relief of all of that guilt and shame going off of your shoulders. And you felt like you had a new life.

[00:54:39] Like there was a second chance, like there was a whole clean slate and you could now go live for God and you could actually say no to your scene and start doing what is right before God sigh. And the joy of your salvation, inexpressible, just overflowing out of you. Do you know that joy that I'm talking about?

[00:55:00] Has since been keeping you from that joy in your life. No, it's fascinating when you get into the Hebrew here and it says Ristau to me, the joy of my salvation. It's this Hebrew word, Shoeb. I don't know if you know Hebrew at all. That's the language the Old Testament written in. But Shoeb is one of the most common words in the Old Testament. And it's a word that means to turn a lot of times the word Shoeb is used when it's talking about repenting of sin, turning from your sin and turning to God. And here's basically what he's saying.

[00:55:29] Hey, God, will you turn to me the joy again and I'll go teach all the sinners to turn to you. See how he's saying, hey, if we if we turn from our sin, God, will you turn to us? The joy.

[00:55:44] Let's get that down for point number two. Turn from center, the joy of salvation. And if you've known that joy of salvation, if you've known that sweet release of having your sin forgiven and the confidence that you will be with Jesus when you die and experience eternal life.

[00:56:01] If you've been freed from the confines of space and time and you've actually entered into the spiritual realm and you can see the things of Jesus, you know that joy that I'm talking about, I want to say to you, are you let insane keep you from fullness of joy in the presence of God?

[00:56:18] That's not a good move. That's not a fair trade. Sin is not going to lead you to fullness of joy.

[00:56:24] You need to turn and ask God to restore on to you the joy of salvation. And maybe as I'm describing this joy of being saved. There's some of us here in the room that are like, I don't know that joy.

[00:56:37] All of my joy depends on how I feel. All of my happiness comes from what's happening in my life.

[00:56:43] I don't know some joy of eternity outside of space and time where no matter what's happening to me, I can reach out by faith in Jesus and rejoice in the gospel. I don't know that.

[00:56:56] Well, here's what you need to do, you need to turn from your sin and you need to turn to the joy of salvation in Jesus Christ. You could experience that joy for the first time right here today. Talking to John 15, this is the verse I want to I want to leave you with I really want you to think about this verse. OK, we've got our command. We've got our verse that we've memorized. Hopefully the double claps gonna keep that one in your mind. Right. But besides Philippians four four, I really want you to consider John 59 to. These are the words of Jesus. And let me read them for us and then we'll see two things here that Jesus says, two things that you should have locked down that you should have on repeat, that you should be able to bring to your mind at any moment. That will fill you with Joy, Liquidy says John 15, verse nine, page nine hundred and two right here at the top. He says, As the father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.

[00:58:01] If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my father's commandments and abide in his love.

[00:58:10] These things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be full.

[00:58:18] Am I speaking to anybody here right now as Jesus speaking to anybody?

[00:58:22] Would anybody like the joy of Jesus in you as you leave here today? Would you like your joy to be for as you leave here today? Well, then let's pay attention to these things that he's speaking to us. The first one in verse nine as the father has loved me. So have I loved you.

[00:58:41] Well, let's think about that. That's hard for us to think about because God exists outside of space and time. God exists in the eternal spiritual realm, and I've always been confined in this body and what's happening around me. I've always been confined in the present moment that I'm living in. I've never known eternity, so it's hard for me to get my mind there.

[00:59:02] But one thing the Bible makes clear is even before the foundation of the world, it was the Father, Son and Holy Spirit living in this perfect, blessed relationship, and that even before there was creation, the father gave all things as a love gift to his son, Jesus Christ. Let me ask you this. Do you believe that God, the father perfectly loves his son, Jesus Christ? Well, it says that your love the same exact way.

[00:59:34] The same exact way.

[00:59:37] That there is an internal relationship going on between father and son, that is the definition of love. Love to the fulness. Love to the maximum. And you have now been brought into that relationship.

[00:59:49] That the way Jesus loves you is the exact same way that the father loves the son. You are perfectly and fully loved by Jesus. And how can you know for sure that he loves you? How do you know that? It's not just an idea, but it's an action. It's real. Well, you can just picture in your mind Jesus dying on that cross. And he doesn't have to be there. He's willing to be there. He's laying down his life for you there, he's proving once and for all that he loves you. And he's proving it with his blood. He's dying for your sin. He's paying the judgment that you deserve because you haven't kept the commands of God perfectly Jesus. He's taking that wrath in your place. That's how much he loves you. He loves all of us who are his own in the world. He has loved us to the end, to the completion. There is no more possible love than what you have right now in Jesus. That's a thought that you should be able to bring to your mind at any moment. Now, we've mentioned keeping commands. Look what it says in verse 10. Look at this. If you keep my commands, you will abide in my love. And you're thinking, yeah, but I don't perfectly keep the commands of Jesus will. Look what he says next. Just as I have kept my father's commandments and abide in his love.

[01:01:18] Well, let's talk about that. How did Jesus keep the father's commandments? What does the Bible say? Did Jesus ever sin? Hey, let's think that through, Jesus says, fulfilled all righteousness.

[01:01:30] He did everything God told him to do and he never did anything that God told him not to do for 33 years. He nailed it. Perfection, absolute righteousness. And so is your living, your life in Christ, as you're living to obey the commandments and remain in this relationship with God, even though you don't keep the commandments perfectly. It's just as he kept his father's commandments. So you are seen by God in heaven right now as 100 percent pure and spotless. The blood of Jesus has spoken for your soul and you are righteous in heaven as you sit here today.

[01:02:12] So next time you're sitting on the four or five freeway. You're 100 percent loved as the father loves the son and you're 100 percent righteous as Jesus obeyed the father. Rejoice in the Lord always. And again, I say rejoice.

[01:02:29] And we're way past the four or five. Now, let's go to your hospital room. Let's go to hospice. Let's go to where this disease, this pain is rising up now. You don't even feel like you have your own body. Like even your own body now is running out of space. And you're wondering how many days, how many hours, how many minutes do I have? Even there at the end of space and time, you can rejoice because you are loved and you are righteous in Jesus Christ.

[01:02:58] That's what we've got.

[01:03:01] Number three, Jesus loves you to the bloody end. Jesus loves you to the bloody end. You are loved as much as the father loves the son and you are seen as righteous as much as the son obeyed the father. And he says these things to you so that you could know his joy. And that your joy could be full. Overflowing, so we need to remember what Jesus has done for us.

[01:03:29] We're gonna do communion right now and we're going to remember we're gonna get a piece of bread to think of how he gave his body out of love. We're gonna get the cop to think about how his blood makes us righteous because, hey, it's this great exchange when you believe in Jesus Christ. See, he pays for all of your sin and you receive all of his righteousness, and if you've experienced that transaction in your soul, you have a reason to rejoice. No matter how you feel, no matter the circumstance. And so it's time for us to remember and maybe some of us, we need to confess that we're not live in a joyful life in Jesus Christ, that we're way too focused on feelings, we're way too focused on circumstances. Maybe some of us here this morning. We need to confess some sin that we have fallen into that is stealing the joy of our salvation. Someone asked the ushers to go ahead and come forward. Ron's going to play a little bit on the piano and this is a moment for you to pray to God, for you to talk about where you're at in your relationship with God, whether you have joy in your soul or not. And so we do this. This is for brothers and sisters in Christ. This is a symbolic reminder of the body and the blood of Jesus. So take these two elements and then we'll all partake together. But I want to speak to those right now who know that you don't have the joy of salvation to even think back on. You can't pray to God to restore the joy of salvation because you don't know the joy of salvation. I just got to tell you right now that emptiness that you're feeling in your soul is not worth it.

[01:05:07] The joy in Jesus Christ will make you feel not only in the here and now, but for all of eternity. It is worth it to believe in Jesus Christ. And you don't need this act of communion, I I'd encourage you if you need joy, if you need salvation, you need to cry out for God to save your soul.

[01:05:28] You need to confess your sins and believe in Jesus. And you could be saved. You and your whole household could be saved through the gospel of Jesus. Right here, right now, you don't need to remember something. You need it to happen to you right here today. So you have a chance to pray right now. And then after after we're done praying and singing, there'll be some people here in the back of the room and they would love to pray with you. They'd love to talk with you about what it really means to be saved by faith in Jesus Christ. So let me pray for us as we enter this time of communion, this time of remembering Jesus. Father in heaven. We come to you and we confess. But a lot of times we are living joyless. When we have a reason to rejoice all of the time. So what we want to just ask that you would forgive us for making our feelings so important.

[01:06:22] We ask that you would forgive us for living based on our circumstances rather than living based on our salvation that we have in Jesus Christ. Father, we thank you for this reminder. We know you love your son and the fact that your son would love us in that same exact way. The fact that Jesus, who was righteous and perfect, would shed his blood to pay for our sin and that he would give us freely his righteousness. Father Jesus gave his life for us. What more could he give? Let us remember now the joy of our salvation and let us rejoice in our Lord Jesus here today, we pray in his name, Amy.

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