Alive Wesleyan

"Joyful Perspective" - Joy Bomb - Week 1

June 02, 2019
Alive Wesleyan
"Joyful Perspective" - Joy Bomb - Week 1
Chapters
Alive Wesleyan
"Joyful Perspective" - Joy Bomb - Week 1
Jun 02, 2019
Alive Wesleyan
Show Notes Transcript

Where does joy come from and why does it seem so elusive?


Acts 16:25 (NLT) 25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.


True joy is not dependent on circumstances, but is rooted in the eternal.


Acts 16:26 (NLT) 26 Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!


Philippians 1:1–6 (NIV84) Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus . . .3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, Ialways pray with joy


5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.


"The test of authentic joy is it is compatible with deep suffering." - John Ortberg

Speaker 1:
0:00
Ah, sure. Hope you're doing well. When a welcome those who are worshiping a at in the chapel this morning and also those at pleasant view and a specialist services going on down there. We welcome you. Glad you're part of us and that to kind of get us all headed in the same direction this moment. I'm going to have a word of prayer and then we'll share with you what's on my heart. Lord, thank you so much for these good folks and the high honor of being able to worship with them today. And I pray that whatever environment people are worshiping in today, be it the chapel, be at pleasant view, be it here in the auditorium or be it online that they would experience you speaking to them in an order for that to happen. Lord. Um, we need to open our hearts to you, uh, not to a person, not to a personality, but just to you.
Speaker 1:
0:40
We ask you, Lord, to use your truth, to speak to our hearts and when we leave, wherever it is we're worshiping today, when we leave this place, uh, we just want to be a little bit more like you. So I pray by the power of your spirit, you would allow that to happen. We would be a bit more like you and we leave. And, and, and know and know that you spoke to us. So a, hide me deep in your cross today in your name. Amen. Oh, I'll happy summer break to you. I'm a, we kind of still managed summer break according to whether the kids are in school or not and we still have one in there. So he is now out, although I think he's been out for awhile, but um, he is now out of school and you teachers are celebrating and you students are celebrating and that's fantastic.
Speaker 1:
1:18
So, um, I have, I've come to the realization that there are places in my life that tend to suck the joy out of me. And so I'm, I've made a list here, so like I can just like walk by these places. Here's my first one. The DMV. If you have to go to the DMV, you will not be filled with joy going in or leaving. So the Dmvs one, uh, for me doctor's offices, even though I'm have a very close relationship with someone who is in the doctor's office frequently, I rarely go to see here because doctor's office just sort of creeped me out. Uh, the dentist office creeps a lot of people out, but I actually love my God, my dentist. And so I love going to see a him and he does a great job. So, uh, but most people don't like the dentist hospitals in general.
Speaker 1:
2:00
I, I drive by a hospital, I get sweat on the top of my forehead, you know, a court, a lot of you spent time there. Um, court would be a place that would kind of suck the joy, you know, right, right out of you a Walmart, everybody, everybody. And of course school school can suck the joy out of people for our students and teachers and administrators alike, especially in late May. So, uh, those are all places. But here I find that in kind of go by those places and men like joy just like get sucked out of my soul and I start leaking joy. But it's not just places that suck joy out of us. It's also people fair. There are some people that if you could put a tee shirt on them, it would say joy sucker, you know, that would be what it would say because they just take joy from United there.
Speaker 1:
2:47
There, there, there are some people kind of in your lives that just kind of take it from you. I mean you get a text or a phone call and you can see who it is that's calling or trying to out to you and you kind of do this little inward grown. So there, there are some people who build into you. There are some people where it's like a mutual edification thing. And then there are some people that they will back their toxic waste dump truck up to your life every time they talk to you and just dumped fair. That's just fair. Don't point. That's just fair. There are some people, some people that are like that now. This is just my issue. Um, just pray, I'll get better. But I suspect it's many of our issues. And by the way, if I am ignoring your calls, um, well there may be something we need to explore.
Speaker 1:
3:36
So you know, that that's kind of kind of going on. So there are people, places and events that sort of just take the joy out of us in the joy from this lie. So daily, I would suggest we sort of faces this barrage of joy suckers and in one joy sucker isn't a big deal, but the cumulative effect of joy suckers in our lives is kind of having this impact. So have, have you ever been in this time of, of joylessness, maybe fighting a disease, something real serious, maybe grieving a loss, um, maybe a time where you've been worried or anxious about tomorrow or job or kids or marriage or friendships or whatever. And then, and then when you're going through that season, someone finds out about that and that just kind of drop a verse on you, like a Christian fortune cookie. And it's Kinda like they're doling these things out.
Speaker 1:
4:29
And I, you all know I have a gift of cynicism. And so I kind of have this kind of reaction to that. And I just think, you know, this verse will magically turn your joylessness into being joyful. And often these verses are put on our put on coffee cups, you know, so like you can go to the Christian bookstore anywhere now you can just go into, every time you get a jolt of caffeine, you know, all things work together for good. You know? And that's true. I'm not saying it's not true, it's in the Bible, it's gotta be true. Or maybe this one, no weapon fashion against you will stand. And then like, this is the Ulta, the joy of the Lord. Is My strength, easy is my strength as much my sermon is my strength. And so we kind of have that reaction, you know, we had that kind of thing.
Speaker 1:
5:15
Someone actually gave me one of those, have to put my office, someone on staff. It actually says, I saw that God. So I don't know what that's about. But anyway, so we had these cuffs in it and I don't, I'm not, I'm not even discouraged or anything by those kinds of things. Now, of course we put it on Facebook and we'll put some verse on there and I do the same thing, but sometimes it just seems sort of trite to me. Sometimes it just seems like I'm supposed to read that verse and Poof, you know, everything's wonderful again and it, it's not, it doesn't work that way in my life. And if I can be honest with you, these types of things in their timing really don't bring me joy. I might read them and see them as like, oh yeah, that's true. But it doesn't really have an effect on me.
Speaker 1:
6:04
Uh, I'm, I'm actually thinking about launching a new business in case this one doesn't work out. And I was thinking, you know, maybe, um, kind of a business for those people who aren't completely whole yet. You know, people that still are a work in progress, if you will. Um, in the Bible there are these things called imprecatory prayers. Now, some of you, the reason you're at church right now is because of what I'm getting ready to teach you. So you should be taking notes or pictures or whatever. So imprecatory prayers, the purpose of these prayers that are in the Bible is to actually call judgment or curses on your enemies.
Speaker 1:
6:42
Okay? So stay with me. So the Bible teaches us how to pray, asking God to open a can on people. We don't like the Bible teaches us this. So I was, you should read your Bible. I mean, cause this is in there. So, so, so these are prayers in the Bible that asks God to wipe out. Your enemies are, aren't you glad? So this is like one of the verses, some of you will only virtual memorize this year. So what I've done is I've actually sent this to a marketing department to kind of figure what it would like to put some of these imprecatory prayers on coffee cups. And so here's, here's a, here's a item number one for us to consider. Uh, this is, uh, Deuteronomy Chapter 28, verse 35. The Lord will cover your knees and legs within curable boils. In fact, you will be covered from head to foot, praise the Lord, and had awesome. It had a great verse. Okay, let me give you another one because I can see that one didn't fly as well. So how about this mug number two, let death stock my enemies that the grave swallow them alive. Bless you. You know, you can just kind of send out the imprecatory prayer to people that are stealing. Joe. One last one, and this is one of my favorite ones. This is psalm 58 made a be like snails that dissolve into slime.
Speaker 1:
7:57
Now, unfortunately, the only thing some of you are going to do is you're going to send me an email saying, Tom, where can I buy those modes? You know, you're gonna ask me where I could buy those bugs. Now, of course I'm being cynical, but to get at our joy bomb series started here. Here's my question. That is a valid question that I think we should talk about this summer. And here's what, here's what it is. Where does, where does joy come from? And at times, why does it seem so doggone elusive? I'm talking like real joy. I'm not talking like being polite. I'm talking about joy that just bubbles over. People see, I believe the scriptures and I try to live my life as scripture lays it out for me to live. But, but sometimes when I, what I read in scripture and what I experience seem to be a bit disconnected, and I hope I'm not being too honest with you.
Speaker 1:
8:47
Um, there are times when it feels like the weapons that have been fashioned against me are doing a pretty doggone good job and I feel it. It's like somebody put this plan together to discourage or two to take me out or whatever the plans are. I don't know. And you think, wow, that was a, that's a great plan and I think it might actually work this time. You ever felt like that? Or sometimes there've been times when I feel like maybe God took a break from being faithful to me. You know, it was like, oh, I know it says you're faithful. And I know like you're, you're supposedly like a sparrow falls to the ground, you know, and you know, all the hairs on my head and all that. But it seems like you sort of missed out on what's been going on this week and never been other times when I felt well, pretty weak, even discouraged and, and um, I don't know, maybe, maybe a little low.
Speaker 1:
9:51
And I read something like the joy of the Lord. And that's nowhere on my horizon. I'm just just being honest with you. So either there's something incredibly dark and wrong with me, which is a possibility, or there's something I don't yet understand about God's joy and me and how we relate. So there's this small book in the New Testament and we're going to spend some time there this summer. I'm excited about this. It's actually only got four chapters, so if you're not in the Bible reading, just make it your goal that summer to read those four chapters. I'll tell you the book in a minute, but in this book, in these four chapters, the word joy is actually used like a 14 times in this, in this one little book, and the book is often quoted in championships circles. If you see somebody win a fight or you see somebody win a game or a win a championship or whatever, and the competitor will look into the camera and they're smiling ear to ear, filled with joy after just winning in and they'll say something like, you know, I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength and quoting those words is, is kind of ironic in that moment because of the context of those words are written in.
Speaker 1:
11:01
Generally what I'm saying, it's almost like we quote those words at the wrong times. We quote them when everything is up into the right, but the words are actually written at a whole different period in time for the author and the people that received received the letter. One of the cool things about the book we're studying is we actually have the backstory to this book and the backstory is written in acts chapter 16. Paul arrives in Philippi Philippides this Roman colony, which means there'll be no Jewish synagogues, no Jewish tradition, nothing like that. It's a Roman colony, no synagogues a while. He, Paul is there, he has to find a place to pray. So on the Sabbath he asked around, where do people go to pray? And he finds out they go out of the city, down by the river. And so he heads out of the city, goes down by the river to pray.
Speaker 1:
11:55
And there he meets this lady named Lydia. And Lydia is a business woman Xtrordinair as she deals in purple, the selling of purple cloth, purple material kind of thing. So Paul meets her and ends up sharing Jesus and his gospel message with Lydia. And, um, and while that's going on, um, she and her members of her family except this message of Jesus and she asked to be forgiven for her sin. And then her and her whole family are baptized into this new faith. And so the little dialogue continues and then, um, Lydia finds out what Paul's doing in town and she says, well, you can now come stay with me at, at my place and I'll give you whatever you need while you're here ministering. And so Paul's living high off the hog this point because like, he's got like, you know, great meals, got servants in the household, got a beautiful, you know, high thread count sheets, you know, all these kinds of stuff that's part of his kind of, uh, living in mission field kind of stuff.
Speaker 1:
12:57
And he's doing well while short time after this, Paul who's traveling with Silas are actually going back to that same place by the river to kind of, for, for prayer. And while they're there, kind of harassed by the slave girl who was possessed by a demon and that possession allowed her to tell people's future. And so, uh, the people that owned this girl, we're making money off this girl's possession. Well Paul cast the demon out of that slave girl. And I know there's a whole nother discussion that has to take place right there. We'll do it sometime, but it's not, it's not right now. So this whole other kind of possession thing and then this, this, this girl had the demons cast out and we'll talk about that sometime and, and all of a sudden the girl can no longer tell the future because she's, she's not possessed anymore.
Speaker 1:
13:47
And so when that happens, kind of the owners get upset with Paul and Silas cause the girl was trying to predict the future and they were making a lot of money off of her and now she can't do it. So the owners of the girl gather all the men in the area and they start beating Paul and Silas, no with sticks and, and, and throw rocks, whatever you do. And then they actually end up having Paul and Silas, uh, arrested. So they're, they're beaten by a mob flogged after the rest of the scripture says, then they're stripped naked and then they're thrown into jail. Now we need to pause here because we read over stuff like that and forget that these are humans. We forget that these are people who feel live experience just like all of us, just like all of us. And you think today if anything like that we just read happened, you know, we would be in therapy for years trying to figure out how to, how to move forward.
Speaker 1:
14:51
So, and Silas, just, just so we're clear, we're beaten by a group of men with sticks or bats or broom handles, whatever words you want to think about. Now think about that. People just like you stick upside the head, cross the face, cross the bridge of the nose, Cross your back, whatever they're beaten with those sticks. Imagine the bruises, the cuts, the lost teeth, broken ribs, whatever. Then they're flog, which is kind of like a whipping thing that was part of the justice system. And then after they're stripped completely naked and scripture says so they're beaten, flogged, whipped, whatever. And then they're strip naked and then they're thrown into prison.
Speaker 2:
15:32
Yeah.
Speaker 1:
15:33
No weapon formed against you. The joy of the Lord is my strength.
Speaker 2:
15:40
Yeah.
Speaker 1:
15:40
All things work together for good. So, so just pause long enough to not give me the Jesus answer, but how would you respond to a situation like that? I mean, please tell me I'm not the only one in the room that would have this moment where I was like, Yo, God, I have you lost track. God, Yo, you know, maybe time for you to circle back around to this location where I'm at right now because this whole faithful business doesn't seem to be Paul and Silas respond in a way that challenges me and has for most of my life. This is what Paul Islands do. Around midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God and the other prisoners were listening.
Speaker 2:
16:32
Okay,
Speaker 1:
16:35
beaten, flogged, strip naked, humiliated, thrown into prison. And Paul and Silas have a hymn fest. There's something about that that is so foreign to me. And yet there's something about that that is so attractive to me.
Speaker 2:
16:53
Fair.
Speaker 1:
16:55
There's something about that. And you read, not only don't, I don't know that experience. I'm not sure I know anybody who has that experience or have that kind of response. I mean, I stop a toll. My kid goes to a difficult time getting mad. At least there's something goes on at Church and, and, and this isn't my response. This my friends is what we mean by joy balm. This is what we're going to talk about this summer. The joy is so significant and an individual or group of individuals, individuals that it is powerful, it is disruptive and everybody notices that's a joy bomb. Whatever's going on in Paul and Silas, it was powerful and it was disruptive and everybody notices. Here's my question.
Speaker 2:
17:47
Yeah.
Speaker 1:
17:47
Where in the world does that come from and why is it not part of the modern church?
Speaker 2:
17:54
Okay.
Speaker 1:
17:56
Why are we Christians not getting passing grades on this?
Speaker 2:
18:00
Yeah.
Speaker 1:
18:01
How do Paul and Silas find joy in the midst of incredible, incredibly disturbing life altering circumstances like they faced? Because Paul and Silas and others in scripture, even Jesus himself, I would suggest reveal a very challenging truth to me. See if you agree with me. Joy. True. Joy isn't dependent on circumstances, but it's rooted in something eternal.
Speaker 2:
18:35
Yeah.
Speaker 1:
18:36
Now, pause just long enough for me to say, I think this is in scripture. I'm not saying I own this one. I think it's in scripture. I think this is an area of growth that still is a part of me.
Speaker 2:
18:51
Okay?
Speaker 1:
18:52
Paul and Silas are physically beaten to a pulp, hurting, laying in some cold damp cell with an uncertain future.
Speaker 2:
19:00
Yeah,
Speaker 1:
19:02
and they sing great as I. Faithfulness are amazing Grazer, you know, something like that.
Speaker 2:
19:07
Okay.
Speaker 1:
19:08
And their joy is powerful. It is disruptive. And others listen, it's noticed. And then the story gets even a little weirder. Chris, Paul and Silas are sitting in jail. They're singing along. Everybody's listening to them. And then this happened. Suddenly there, there's this massive earthquake and the prison is shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately fly open and the chains of every prisoner falls off
Speaker 1:
19:39
when this happens, the jailer of the prison, keep in mind, we're in Philip. Hi Roman colony, the jailer of the prison, who probably is a retired Roman soldier, thinks this is a jailbreak. All the prisoners are now free to go. The doors are open to change. The fallen off a whole bunch of prisoners running out of town. He thinks his life is over. And he'd rather deal with this on a personal level than face the consequences. So the scripture says he pulls his sword ready to end his own life. And then Paul shouts out, hey, cool, your jets, they're Barney, something like that. We are all here.
Speaker 2:
20:16
Yeah.
Speaker 1:
20:16
And as a result of this, the jailer says, what's weird about you and Silas Paul, how can y'all come in here and sings hymns after what happened to you? And then you have a opportunity to be free from this joy sucker, but you actually decide to stay in the joy sucker. And the jailer says, so what's up with y'all? And Paul tells them about Jesus.
Speaker 2:
20:44
Okay.
Speaker 1:
20:45
And then the scriptures say that night, the and all his family,
Speaker 2:
20:50
yeah.
Speaker 1:
20:51
Are Baptized, become followers of Jesus. You know the irony of all this, you have now met the three main characters that will plant a church in Philippi.
Speaker 2:
21:10
Lydia,
Speaker 1:
21:12
a slave girl who used to tell people's fortunes and the jailer who used to be a Roman guard. God, we use these three people to plant the church and Phil Pie
Speaker 1:
21:28
about 10 years later, after all this happens, Paul writes a letter back to the believers, the jailer, Lydia and slave girl in Phillip High. And we actually had that letter in our scripture, which is amazing. Imagine the church at Philippi gathering much like this church might gather today. And we're gathering because rumor has it in the community that the Apostle Paul has actually written a letter that will be red today. Say everybody gathers to get in because they don't want to miss what Paul has to say to keep in mind. This was a great time because there was no email, no text, no Facebook. So you actually had to talk to people face to face. So this is a wonderful time and human development and we all get together, you know, we're all in this place and, and, and they pull the letter out from the Apostle Paul spiritual father to many of them that were part of the church there and fill a pie. And all of a sudden the person who's getting ready to read looks across this congregation, this built and there's the jail and maybe the slave girl. And then maybe Lydia and he starts this way, Paul and Timothy Servants of Christ Jesus. I thank my God every time I remember you in all my prayers for all of you. I always pray with joy.
Speaker 2:
22:47
Yeah.
Speaker 1:
22:48
How would that fly over you? How would that, how would that impact you? Joy? Why? Because of the partnership in the Gospel from the first day and everybody in the room has these little memory trips about the first day. Oh yeah. I was selling that purple cloth down by bio down by the river. Oh Man. I was chasing Paul and Silas around telling people's future, being abused by owners. I was supposed to be watching the prison. I think because of your partnership thing might go with Joy Gospel from the first day until now being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Why do you think Paul used that phrasing to the church at Philippi 10 years later?
Speaker 2:
24:06
Yeah,
Speaker 1:
24:07
I mean, out of all the things he could have written.
Speaker 2:
24:10
Okay,
Speaker 1:
24:10
why did he use that phrasing? I mean, he could've said, I hear great things about what y'all are doing. You're feeding the hungry and caring for the poor, your churches growing, but right out of the gate he says, I remember you with joy. Why? Because of your partnership in the spreading of this gospel and remember your joy because he who began a good work in you.
Speaker 2:
24:43
Okay.
Speaker 1:
24:44
What do you, what do you think was going on and fill a pie that prompted Paul to write the letter?
Speaker 2:
24:51
Yeah.
Speaker 1:
24:52
See I've, I've been on this road for a while of following Jesus, and many of you have as well the do you think, do you think maybe Paul had heard Lydia on the slave girl on the Roman guard that things right? Do you think that just because the slave girl and Lydia and the Roman guard had Jesus, everything was now hunky Dory in their lives? Do you think they got on the Jesus boss and all of a sudden everything is cared for and we smile off into heaven? Do you think that's what was going on? Because you know, once your Bible people, you become like fairy tale people.
Speaker 2:
25:33
Okay.
Speaker 1:
25:34
Christians never have bad days or bad seasons. Christians never get sick. Never get this pointed. Never grieve, never get confused, never get betrayed. Never feel anxious, never feel depressed. Or do you think Paul knew that may be Lydia, maybe Tom, maybe Steph, bill, Susie and Walt.
Speaker 2:
26:05
Okay.
Speaker 1:
26:08
Could actually still have some tough days ahead of them even after saying yes to Jesus. Here's a question. Even if you don't believe, do you think Lydia might've experienced any impact to her business? In a Roman colony as people found out she was a Christ follower. This is the same group you remember that actually killed Jesus Dee Dee. Do you think this slave girl had any issues that she would have to work out in her life? Do you think maybe she had some bad memories and histories and perceptions and difficulties of trust that she would have to work out that you can't just sprinkle a little Jesus on and it's all gonna be fine.
Speaker 2:
26:59
Yeah.
Speaker 1:
27:00
Do you think that the Roman guard had any difficult days being employed by Rome and then people hearing that he's now a follower of Jesus and, and what about us?
Speaker 2:
27:23
D
Speaker 1:
27:25
Do you have, you have days, please tell me you do. Do you have weeks, maybe even seasons? Anybody else even have years when the struggle seems like it's more real than the promise. Do you ever need the reminder? But even on your worst day,
Speaker 2:
27:58
God's working,
Speaker 1:
28:03
you ever neither reminder that the one that was powerful enough to save you is also powerful enough to sustain you and what you're going through right now. You need to remind her that the ones powerful enough to start the work in you is actually come on. It's actually powerful enough to complete the work in you. You need that because if you got some of that, you could share porn. This Cup right here, and I'm going to down it. John Ortberg writes this, the test of authentic joy,
Speaker 2:
28:53
okay?
Speaker 1:
28:55
Is it as compatible with deep suffering?
Speaker 2:
29:01
Okay.
Speaker 1:
29:04
I, I would suggest that Paul knew the good people in Philippi high would get discouraged in their faith. I think Paul knew that joy leaks even out of good people like us. And when, when these people heard from Paul,
Speaker 1:
29:43
they were hearing from a guy that they all knew had experienced suffering. He wasn't a TV preacher, that everything was always great and people sent them money. But this was a guy who they all knew was an ordinary dude, but he'd actually experienced like shipwrecks and beatings and jail and prison. In fact, the letter he's writing right now is written from a prison to this church, and this happened in their midst. So when they read this letter, they're all looking, hey, do you remember when, when Paul, do you remember they arrested him in Silas? You remember that? And the Roman soldier over here is maybe he said, Oh yeah, I was there. That was the day me and my family followed Jesus. I wonder, I wonder what the response of the crowd would've been the day this letter was read even more. I wonder if the crowd would have been bowled over when they got to verse 21 of Paul's opening remarks.
Speaker 2:
31:10
Yeah.
Speaker 1:
31:10
When Paul wrote this, he said, for me to live is Christ
Speaker 2:
31:17
to die even better.
Speaker 1:
31:24
Who? Who can say that and not have someone screaming to put you on medicine are screaming to kind of get you some therapy right now. Paul writes that to this church and he's writing again from prison, and yet even this letter from prison to the people that fill pie is filled with this powerful joy and his perspective is so challenging to me because his perspective is I may die in jail or I may not. I mean, who says if I get to live great, if I die even better? Who says that you know the opponent you never want to go up against the one who isn't afraid to lose? Paul has this perspective. I rarely see an even more rarely see in myself. Paul has a perspective that I'm not sure is part of our modern church and I would just say he was joyfully fierce.
Speaker 2:
32:36
Okay.
Speaker 1:
32:38
You should maybe say fiercely joyful or joy of fierce, fierce of joy, but you know, you add your own words, whatever you want to do, but this is kind of the general idea. I think Paul had this fierce joy, not this like, oh, everything's great cotton candy, Unicorns and rainbows. It wasn't that kind of joy. It was like, Yep, this may cost me everything. Yippee. I don't know if a, but you'll just bring it, bring it on, and I didn't know how. How you defeat that. How do you, how do you discourage that? How does this person have a bad day?
Speaker 1:
33:18
I think Paul had a tattoo that said, bring it on baby. Right across his lower back. I'm pretty sure that's where it was. Paul had a tattoo like that. I don't know if that's true or not, but maybe he did. Just says, bring it on. If I, if I live great, if I die even better. He's in afraid to live. Are you? He isn't afraid to fight. He isn't afraid of illness or grief or loss. Peas and afraid of the season he's in. The season is coming out over the season. He's edited into, he isn't afraid of shipwrecks. He's in afraid of illness. He's in afraid of challenge. He isn't afraid of being whipped or being flogged or being alone. I Bet Paul was so filled with joy. He was obnoxious. Where did that fierce joy come from?
Speaker 2:
34:17
Okay.
Speaker 1:
34:22
I'm wondering if he got it a bit, at least from Jesus' cause. That seems like the right answer in church,
Speaker 1:
34:31
maybe from the followers of Jesus. Do you remember what Hebrews 12 says? Oh, I'll remind you. Let us fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and Perfecter of our faith. Who that is Jesus for the joy set before him. No. Make sure you follow this. This is, this is leading up to Easter moments. People for the joy set before him endured the cross shame and now sits down at the right hand of the throne of God. I'm challenged by that part of Jesus and I'm challenged by that part of Paul. Are you? Because I have discovered what may be you have discovered? Joy based on circumstances is so stinking hard for me to manage and it's impossible for me to control, but I'm trying desperately to do both.
Speaker 2:
35:26
Okay?
Speaker 1:
35:27
If we are to find our joy from controlling our wellbeing, if we're to find our joy from controlling the wellbeing of our children, the wellbeing of our spouse, dwell, being of work environments, the well being of our bodies, then we're going to lose. It's only a matter of time and you know that. I know that the better how much I try to insulate myself to pad my accounts to build this and penetrable life. Eventually something uninvited comes into it. I'm joyful. As long as I'm healthy, I'm joyful, as long as everybody loves me, I'm joyful. As long as my finances are good or as long as I'm in control, as long as my relationships are. Well, let me make one small adjustment to the earlier definition I gave you for this whole discussion. Fierce joy is not dependent on circumstances, but it's actually rooted in the eternal. So this summer I want to invite you to journey with me in this
Speaker 2:
36:42
not fake people, joyful people,
Speaker 1:
36:48
people like Paul, people like Jesus. I'm not asking us to become Coffee Cup Christians, but, but what if? What if fierce joy is something God desires to give us, to build us in Paul's perspective to live is Christ to die even better. That literally translates living is Christ to me and I'm grasping at this truth. I'm trying to find every little nuance that might have an impact on my own heart and life. And there is something about this part of Paul's character that produced this fierce joy in his life and I'm attracted to it. I'm hungry for it, aren't aren't you?
Speaker 1:
37:39
I think what I should do right now is I should tell you a story of someone that has fierce joy. Pray for you and go home. But that seems to trite to me. I want us to take a journey together here and I don't want to pretend like I had this all tied up in a bow cause I, I don't, maybe that'd be a bit forced if I tried to offer you some kind of recipe for this. If it was easy, I think we'd already have it fair, but maybe I can offer a perspective as we do summer together and the alive community living as Christ
Speaker 2:
38:28
death is even better.
Speaker 1:
38:31
I'm not sure about the whole death thing. I'm not even sure I want to have discussion right now.
Speaker 2:
38:38
Yeah.
Speaker 1:
38:39
So maybe we should let God kind of carry the death thing for awhile, but we can look at the living part and maybe that's something we could impact today. So I've written down this question and then a simple application point for our takeaway today.
Speaker 2:
38:57
Okay,
Speaker 1:
38:59
what am I doing that only makes sense because of Jesus and go do more of that.
Speaker 2:
39:10
Okay.
Speaker 1:
39:13
I thought that would bring more joy to the room. He didn't, didn't seem to have a lot of joy. And your people, you're still kind of like, so what am I doing that only makes sense because of Jesus and we say we do more of that because here's what I know about you. If you even right now are personally processing that you long for you and your family to be part of a community that's doing that. This is a great way to live and even better way to die.
Speaker 2:
39:57
So
Speaker 1:
39:59
what are you doing that you're relentlessly seeking the face of God in your life? Do more of that. What are you doing where you sacrificially serve other people like Jesus? We should do more of that.
Speaker 2:
40:25
Cool.
Speaker 1:
40:27
What are you doing that we'd like to invest in this next generation of people? Do more of that.
Speaker 2:
40:41
What are we doing
Speaker 1:
40:43
in a hopeless society and culture? It seems to extend hope to people. We should do more of that.
Speaker 2:
40:57
Whatever you're doing,
Speaker 1:
40:59
it only makes sense because of Jesus. Let's do more of that as we go on our journey together this summer. Laura, thank you so much for your love and your goodness and your joy. How man, Lord, no matter how many times I read your scripture, the challenges come rolling in fresh and new, and I'm so grateful for that. I'm grateful, Lord, that you never leave us where we are, but you're always shaping and molding and teaching, empowering us to become more like you and Lord. Oh, we'll let it be said of the alive community that is a fierce, fiercely joyful group of people. Let it be said for all those who walk out of the doors and they're alive worship environment today. Man, they got some joy up in that place. And Lord, on a very personal level, as we all walk with you, wherever we are, some of walked with us for a long with you for a long time. Some are just starting, some are exploring this week as we live our lives. May this simple kind of rubric be used, whatever and I doing because of Jesus. I want to do more of that
Speaker 2:
42:19
and your name. Amen.
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