Alive Wesleyan

"Privilege of Knowing Christ"- Joy Bomb- Week 2

June 10, 2019
Alive Wesleyan
"Privilege of Knowing Christ"- Joy Bomb- Week 2
Chapters
Alive Wesleyan
"Privilege of Knowing Christ"- Joy Bomb- Week 2
Jun 10, 2019
Alive Wesleyan
Show Notes Transcript

Fierce Joy isn’t dependent on circumstances, but rooted in eternity.

 

Philippians 3:1-11

1 Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.

 

2 Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. 


Ephesians 2:8-10

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.



Speaker 1:
0:00
Well. Good morning. I'm so excited to help us to get got further in this series, this joy bomb series we're in week two and a, I cannot wait to get into what the scripture is going to tell us today, but before we do that, I'd like to invite you to just pray with me. So let's pray. Father, I thank you so much for this church. I thank you for the ability we have to gather. I thank you for every single person in this room. God, I thank you for scripture and what it has to teach us and ask that your spirit even now would be doing whatever you would like to do in our hearts. God, no matter what we brought in, no matter what we're thinking about, if it's stress is, if it's excitement, whatever it is. Father, I just ask that you would allow us to set it aside for a second and we invite you to speak to us, changed my heart, God, change our hearts.
Speaker 1:
0:44
In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. So as we talk about joy, there's a lot of, I think, responses each of us have to that word. And I need to just get something out there for you. I am not an expert in joy. I'm trying to be, but I'm not there yet. And I actually about a year ago, I wrote on my to do list that I see almost every day, right at the top of genuine heartfelt prayer to God. God teach me how to live a life full of joy. And I think he really is starting to teach me. And it's coming in ways I never expected, but I think it's happening. But if I think about the word joy, it's taken a long time for me to pray that prayer because when ever I hear joy, I just have weird association. So my mom's name is joy, right? Joy, urban.
Speaker 1:
1:24
She's amazing. It just an incredible woman. And that is probably the association I have to the word joy for most of my life that has positive. Honestly. And I think as I thought about this, it actually goes back a ways to my childhood. And, and maybe you guys have had some experiences like this. I attached the idea of joy to a lot of different songs cause that's where I heard about joy. And so I want to see if maybe you all were raised in a way similar to how I was raised. And that means I'm going to do something. You're going to hear me, you're going to know exactly when you should respond and how you should respond and that will tell me that you were raised like me. So here's how it's going to go already. I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.
Speaker 1:
2:04
Yes, a bunch of you get it right. The rest of you, you're welcome. It was, it was not that great. But, um, I learned that song and I vividly remember like five or six years old, I'm in a room, I'm being led in this song. It feels like four 30 in the morning. It probably wasn't, but it felt like it. And the people up front and some of my friends around me are just exuberant and seeing us at the top of their lungs. And I'm sitting there just like young me looking around. I'm like, I don't, I don't get it. I do. I, I don't feel what they're talking about right now. In fact, I'm in dress clothes and I don't like dress clothes. I'm tired. My socks by dress socks are all crumbled up underneath my toe. Do you guys want, I'm talking about in my shoes and that's all I've been thinking about for the last two hours.
Speaker 1:
2:47
Like I can't fix these socks. There's no joy in my life right now because I have these stupid socks on. And I think about that and I think, I don't think I got the vaccine everybody else got or I got it and it messed me up. But that's a different conversation for a different day. But I don't, I don't remember feeling the joy that everybody else was talking about. And so I felt this sense of fake until you make it. That's what joy is. Fake it till you make it, pretend you feel it and then eventually you'll feel it. And then I started hearing other songs like, I'm not going to sing them because it would be a torturous experience for you, but joyful, joyful. We Adore the God of glory, Lord of Love, light life. I'm not sure, honestly, I don't know. You guys seemed confused too, so that's great.
Speaker 1:
3:30
So, but that song, you can hear it in your mind. It's symphonic orchestra or it's a choir. It's people just building with this massive swell of joy, man, joy. And I love that. It's beautiful. I love listening to it. But if I'm honest, I have days in my life where I'm doing something where if you put that song on and I was doing this thing, it wouldn't match like joyful, joyful. I'm doing dishes, joyful, joyful. Let me change this diaper. Joyful, joyful. I'm going to mow the lawn. That's what I put on my headphones when I'm mowing the lawn. I was just joyful.
Speaker 1:
4:06
Much of my life doesn't connect to that scale of joy even though I love it. I love the idea. And then I heard the song joy to the world. The Lord has come, let Earth receive her king. And I have vivid imagery of just holding candles and singing and all of the sense of Christmas and the sounds of Christmas and the stuff of Christmas. And I love it, I love it, but it feels like it takes the Christmas itself for me to feel that. And so that that season arrives and, and that joy is welling up in me and then that season wanes a little bit and the rest of life sets in. And so joy in that sense, it feels like it comes and goes. And so I'll, none of those things are bad. I haven't always known how to access joy. And when I don't know how to access something or figure something out or, or be an expert on something, I do it.
Speaker 1:
4:57
Many of you all probably do, I Google it or youtube it. I will save you some time. Don't do that with joy. It's not that helpful. There are some really funny videos, but beyond that it's not that helpful. And so then I go to my next thing, which I normally do, and that is that, well, if I'm googling things, I'm going to Google Joey, I'm going to youtube joy in it. It could be anything. It could be, you know, remodeling part of my house. I'm going to do that. So I'm gonna Google it on Youtube it, um, doing some something in my yard, planting a tree I've never planted or gardening. I youtube a lot of things. Fixing my car with no understanding whatsoever of a modern engine. Doesn't matter. Google it, youtube it. I'm going to mess around with it. I'm trying to recover from an injury that I should probably see a doctor for. I don't have time for that right now. Nobody does. I'm just going to Google that. Youtube that whatever. Raising kids, honestly, you might be shocked at what I've googled regarding raising children. I don't know. I don't care. I feel no judgment whatsoever. You're probably with me. Honestly. You are the reason why the search came up the way it did, right? Yeah. But again,
Speaker 1:
5:58
joy just, it's hard to figure something like Joey out based on those resources. As amazing as those resources are. So what I do next usually is I go to someone I think might know something more about it than me. And I like vaguely ask around about question in like gauges. So like not that long ago I did this with somebody and I walked up to them and I said, hey, if I was going to take down like a pretty big tree and I had a chainsaw and a rope and a family SUV, do you think that that would be fine?
Speaker 1:
6:25
They were like, well, how big is this tree used a saw before. What kind of SUV? What are you doing with nevermind? Oh, it's about like, like a small redwood in my backyard Honda pilot. I think it should do the trick ropes kind of stretchy. I don't know if that's bad. Um, and I just kind of gauge their response. And so I've tried to do that with joy and I've gotten to the point where I realized if I'm going to learn true joy, like real joy, it's not fake it til you make it and it's not too elevated from my everyday life experience. And it's not the roller coaster of seasons in, in, in and out. But it's the kind of joy we talked about last week as a team kind of joy. We're talking about this series, if it's the fierce joy we talked about, the pastor Tom said it wasn't rooted in circumstances, but it was rooted in eternity.
Speaker 1:
7:15
I actually don't know if I know a lot of people that I can just vaguely learn from. I need something deeper than that. And so we're going to scripture over and over again in this series, not just because the Bible is a good idea or preachers should, should use the Bible, but, but I genuinely believe that in scripture you find the source of this joy talked about in a way that you don't find it anywhere else. And I want that kind of joy. And so learning from an expert, a genuine expert, calling up professional like I should do way more often in my life from the sounds of it. Today we're going to call it professional and we're going to ask if God would speak through his word. And the Apostle Paul is writing this letter to this church in Philippi and he's writing this letter and chapter by chapter.
Speaker 1:
8:01
It will be read out in front of these people and we're going to actually ease drop a little bit on it. And so, so the Apostle Paul or pastor Paul to these people in Philippians chapter three verse one starts out this, this chapter of the letter by saying further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice. Take Joy, have joy in the Lord. It's no trouble for me to write these same things to you again. He says it over and over again to them in this letter have joy, take joy, choose joy, rejoice, and it's a safeguard for you. This is actually going to help you. It's going to protect you. And Paul's just saying, listen, no matter where you've come from, no matter what you've done, no matter what you've experienced, no matter what kind of day you've had, no matter where you've come from with Jesus or how long you've known him, you should be intentional about the joy that you're feeling and expressing.
Speaker 1:
8:45
And my hope is that sometime in the rest of this chapter, Paul is going to tell us how, and I thought that would come next. But actually what comes next in this section of scripture was really confusing. It was like a one 80 and I don't understand it, but he says in verse two, Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh, which sounds super on joyful to me. I don't know where he went with that. He says, take joy, rejoice. It's a good thing you should do it. But also watch out for those dogs. And when I hear that at first I think of little like family Fido who's like running around and you know, embarking on and being cute and got a little dish and a name tag and a doggy door. And like he has a place on the couch and he's not supposed to be up there, but it's okay.
Speaker 1:
9:24
You're kind of cute and you let him sit there and you take them out. He'd take a bag with you to the park and like this dog that I have in my mind, it turns out scripturally is totally different. So Paul is not saying that cause that's not that big of an insult. Paul is actually using a heavy insult for these people that he's really, really mad at. He's calling them dogs and dogs. In that day, they actually hung out outside of town. They weren't usually invited inside and these dogs, they were skin and bones and smelly and disgusting. These dogs were actually more like jackals are coyotes. The dogs he's referring to you would not want your kids playing with, you would not even want to turn your back on them if you were walking around. These dogs hung out where you don't want to hang out.
Speaker 1:
10:06
These dogs were usually up to no good. They had mischief on their mind. They were in survival mode all the time. So when Paul, who's a pastor, call someone a dog. That's kind of funny cause I, I think it's funny when, when people do that stuff, but I'm a passenger. I don't think I'm allowed to do it. And Paul's in charge. So he does it. I think it's funny. But Paul says, listen, watch out for them. Well why does Paul so harsh about these people, these mutilators of the flesh? Well these people were also called Judaizers. And it turns out that everywhere Paul went, as he was preaching about the love and grace of Jesus Christ and the gospel of Jesus, these people would follow and it would come in and basically what they would teach is, hey, it's fine if you're accepting Christ. If you're a gentile and a non Jew and you're choosing to follow Jesus and his teachings, it's okay, but you just should know that you're not done.
Speaker 1:
10:53
You actually have more that you have to do on top of the accepting of Jesus. You actually have to obey all the customs and all the food laws and all the rituals and all the things, the holidays of the Hebrew culture. And that's one level, but the second level was this actually also if you're a man and you accept Christ, if you want to be a real God follower, you must be circumcised. Now, if you're in this room and you don't know what that word is as your youth pastor, I want to just say, ask your parents after this. Don't Google it. Ask Your parents.
Speaker 1:
11:26
Paul says this and in my mind as as Paul is saying, watch out for them and the Judaizers were saying this is what you have to do. I imagine it like a membership class or a discovery class and if part one of the discovery class after Paul's gone is you have to do this, this, this and this and Oh yeah. By the way, grown men, you have to get circumcised to follow God. I imagined attendance for the discovery class goes way down night too, right, because I'm not, I don't want anything to do with that. That is in no way, shape or form what
Speaker 1:
11:54
I signed up for. And the reason Paul is so mad is that the very gospel he's been preaching to these people is the exact opposite of the statement that was just made to them by these Judaizers, these dogs, these evildoers, he's mutilators of the flesh. And Paul makes it really, really clear. Actually in another passage, he's talking to them and he's saying, listen, that's not how it works. Any fusions, chapter two, he's writing to a different church and he says, listen to Gospel I preached to you is like this. God saved you by His grace when you believed that's it. And you can't take credit for this. It's a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things you've done. So none of us can boast about it. That's the gospel that Paul was preaching about Jesus and that the Judaizers wanted to add to, and Paul says, watch out for those guys. That's not it.
Speaker 2:
12:49
Yeah.
Speaker 1:
12:49
You know as I hear this, as I'm reading the scripture, I'm thinking about this and I'm saying, you know what? I don't want any part of the operation necessarily, but, but when the Judaizers came around, if I were sitting there, I can see why it'd be tempting to believe what they were saying because in our culture we celebrate hard work, right? We celebrate cutting down the nets of the end of a tournament. We celebrate accepting an award on stage. We celebrate standing on the podium. We celebrate putting on a green jacket. We celebrate lifting a cup. We celebrate a perfect score on the dean's list and being Valedictorian and we celebrate being employee of the year and a fortune 500 list and we celebrate things being up into the right. We say things like, there's no such thing as a free lunch. The early bird gets the worm. Pick yourself up by the bootstraps skin, your own skunks. They say that in Pennsylvania, taking care of business, you can do it. We can help. That last one is from a company that that I really love. There's something about that tagline. It feels so empowering and for a guy who wants to cut down a redwood into my back yard, I feel like, you know what, that's great. I can do it and I do need some help, but I don't want to ask. So yeah, I can do it and you can help.
Speaker 1:
14:09
And this makes sense that the people that Paul's writing to, because their culture was a culture that put on the first Olympics. Their culture was a culture that was taking over the world. Their culture was a culture that built roads and aqua ducks that you could go stand on today. They knew something about hard work and training and sacrifice and earning your own way. I had two group of people like them to a group of people like us. If you hear, hey, this is a free gift of God, this is nothing. You can earn your thinking. That sounds great, but what's the catch and into that space, did you guys just came and said, hey, that's great. Here's the catch. There's a lot more you have to do. And we're like, okay, cool. Sign me up. I'll do that. I'll work. I know how to do that, but Paul's anger, his frustration
Speaker 1:
14:54
is that that's a really dangerous idea. Not only is it not the gospel of Jesus Christ, it could infect the gospel of Jesus Christ in your life. It's a dangerous idea. So he says, watch out for those people because if you're not careful, you may adopt this mentality in your faith that goes a little bit. Something like this, I can do it. God can help whatever I'm facing, whatever I'm experiencing, whatever I've done, whatever I've messed up, don't worry about it. I can do it. I'm a can do kind of person. I can do it and God can help. Sprinkle a little bit of him on whatever I'm a part of. It's going to be fine. And Paul is saying to these people, listen, you should rejoice in the Lord. So watch out for these people who are trying to get you to rejoice in anything else other than the Lord to find your joy.
Speaker 1:
15:44
Paul continues after warning them about these dogs, these Judaizers, he says, for it is we who are the circumcision. We who serve God by his spirit who boast in Christ Jesus and we who put no confidence in the flesh. Listen, he's saying it's not what you do on the outside necessarily that proves what's going on in your relationship with God. It's actually something going on with the spirit of God in your life that will allow you to worship him freely, that will actually convince you that there is nothing in your effort, your energy or your existence that you should put confidence in. We put confidence in Christ alone. That's how you know you've done everything you need to do 100% confidence in Jesus. We lean on him.
Speaker 1:
16:32
Then Paul continues and he says something really interesting, so he just said, hey, we don't lean on anything other than Jesus. We put no confidence in the flesh, but then he says something cool. He says, though, I myself have confidence or reasons to put confidence in the flesh. If someone else thinks they have reasons to build confidence in the flesh. I have more. Okay Paul. Alright, circumcised on the eighth today. Before I even made a decision in my life. My parents got me the surgery you are supposed to get. They got it on the exact right ritual day, so I just started right of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews in regard to the law, a pharisee. As for zeal persecuting the church as for righteousness, based on the law, faultless, what Paul just said is a resume that if they were listening, none of them could have even come close to.
Speaker 1:
17:23
In fact, my suspicion is that even those dogs, those people that were trying to teach these people extra, none of them could have stacked the resume up to Paul. Paul is saying, listen, I was born on the in the right group of people on the right side of town, in the right tribe, the holiest of holy people. I got the sticker on my car that says native, except for a rather than a Palmetto. It's an olive tree with the Star of David on top. Like I'm in the right crowd, right? I have the best education, the best teachers, the best scores. I was so ambitious about my faith and about who I was and about exemplifying everything good and godly that I actually set out the persecute. Some of you guys cause I thought you were wrong. I was so trusted in my field that I had the leader of all leaders handing me the keys of authority to do what needed to be done.
Speaker 1:
18:14
As for being good or bad, I was perfect. If there's a checklist to grade someone's moral behavior, I checked every single box. Paul says, I was the man and as this letter is being read out loud to this young church that Paul had helped plant in the room would have been people that we talked about last week. There would have been a woman named Lydia who Paul had met when he was planting the church, who would take in what she was doing with her life and brought into this, this church into her world and started to support the church and started to up lift the church and started to be an advocate for Jesus and what he was doing in her life. There would have been a demon possessed girl who was being abused and used by her masters to make all kinds of money and the power of Jesus Christ has set her free from demonic possession.
Speaker 1:
19:02
She had a brand new lease on life and freedom. She had never felt, and there would have been a jailer who actually had escapees on his hands and rather than lose his reputation faced the consequences. He was about to take his own life, only to realize that Paul had actually brought everybody back and said, hey, don't do it. We're still here. And in response to that, he was so overwhelmed that he gave his life to Jesus and there would've been people who are sitting here thinking, you know what? When Paul came to us, he didn't tell us about any of that stuff. When he preached the Gospel, he didn't pull his resume out and say, this is why you should listen to me. He just kept talking about Jesus and he had been crucified and how he'd been raised from the dead and how he invited us to know him. And Yeah, Paul, you could have bragged about all that. That would've been impressive.
Speaker 1:
19:50
And then Paul begins to let us in on his own spiritual journey that takes place after he meets Jesus on the road and he starts to lay out, I think the path that we're invited to, that he's walking ahead of us. That answers the question of Paul, if I want that kind of joy that you talk about, how might I go about it if it's not in the resume and if it's not in stacking stuff up and it's not an extra earning of all of the stuff that, that the Judy is on duty hazards are saying, how might I find that? So Paul in verse seven says this, whatever were gains to me, whatever that were, the wages that I had earned from all of that, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What's more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage that I may gain and be found in him not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law. I've been there, done that, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith,
Speaker 1:
21:03
that beautiful, rich language sticks out to me. I will never forget the first time I heard that in a brand new way. I was, I was in between my junior and senior year of high school. I was at a church camp in the summer. I was exhausted from just camping it up and I was in one of the final sessions and the preacher gave us that passage. And in my mind, I thought, if I don't read along, I'm going to totally dose right now and he's gonna see me and I'm trying so hard and I pull out my bible and he begins to preach and I truthfully have no idea what he said. I read that scripture over and over and over again and still eat. You started praying at the end of the message, so captivated by what Paul was saying. So aware that even though I didn't know what most of it meant, I wanted to so badly.
Speaker 1:
21:50
Paul, you just said you lose everything. You lose everything in your, you're fine with it. Paul, you just said that you consider all of that worth nothing. Paul, you said that this all surpassing worth of knowing Jesus was worth more than anything you'd ever seen. I want to know what that means. I want to know how that leads to joy. I want to know how they're connected. I knew Jesus as my savior. I'd give him my heart to, to him. Okay. I knew Jesus in the flannel graphs and the stories. I knew Jesus in the water color paintings where his eyes are really kind. I knew I knew about Jesus, but it was very obvious to me in that moment that Paul knew Jesus in a way. I did not know Jesus and there were three layers of this awareness to hit me. The first layer of awareness in the story is that Paul's resume was stinking impressive and there was almost a sense of like, aw and hopelessness. Like Paul stocked up a resume so good. And I tried to figure out the equivalent to what it would be and I just thought I, there's no way I can do that. Paul. A really impressive person. If it becomes about comparison back and forth, like I have no hope like Paul, you're just amazing.
Speaker 1:
23:01
But then the second layer of awareness about the story kind of hit me like Paul, you stacked all of that amazing stuff up and you totally walked away from it. It's all on top of all of the cool, virtuous, just incredible character of Paul to build that kind of life. He had something even cooler because what's cooler than building that? It's walking away from it. What kind of virtue has to just be springing up in a person's life to be able to make that kind of courageous decisions? So Paul went from like a hero of mine to an even bigger hero. Like that's incredible. But then I read it again. No, that's not at all what Paul said.
Speaker 2:
23:38
Okay.
Speaker 1:
23:38
Paul said that he stacked all of that up. Any evaluated it next to Jesus and all of a sudden he knits. Then he realized that next to Jesus, all of that was garbage and I realized that my life, it takes me no character or virtue to walk away from garbage. In fact, I do it all the time. It takes me not even a second to walk away from a full garbage can. It smells terrible. There's all kinds of weird stuff in it. No matter how hard I try to give it to my family to compost, they don't. They just do everything in the trashcan. Do you know what that smells like? I don't leave in compost for earth saving reasons. I compost so my trash won't smell cause I'm the one that takes it out. The word that Paul uses for garbage, the way it's translated is kind of idiomatic to the point where, I'm not even sure I'm allowed to say it here. It's actually really poetic too because he's talking about these dogs in this landfill who are just teaching terrible stuff and the word he uses kind of brings up this idea of what would be left over after the dogs had eaten some landfill garbage and then been done with it.
Speaker 1:
24:49
That's not hard for me to walk away from it all. I have no problem walking away from that. I hope I don't step in it. I could run away from that without a second thought. Paul says, listen, it's not impressive that I walked away from all of that. It wasn't impressive that I built it. What's impressive is Jesus, what is mind boggling? What is worth more than I can even wrap my mind around what is worth more than the time it took me to just evaluate. Jesus is worth so much. The all surpassing worth of being able to actually know him is so huge that I haven't even spent a second on that since there is no joy in that. When you compare it to the joy in Jesus, Paul says, the scandal of it all is not that Paul walked away. It's dead. He didn't even care anymore. And that blows my mind.
Speaker 2:
25:47
Okay.
Speaker 1:
25:47
Because rather than me having to build up some crazy amount of character to get to the point where I could take a dramatic leap like that, all I have to do actually is looking in the face of who Christ is and it will instantly be done in me.
Speaker 1:
26:01
And that's totally different. And so one of the things I think about is it, Paul doesn't stop there because if I think about my life and I stack up all the stuff that I would put on my resume in a box, and I consider walking away from it and I want to understand what Jesus looks like and how amazing he is. And that in and of itself is kind of a mind trip for me. And then Paul and Vitas even into deeper waters with him, and if that process resulted in joy for him, there's even more joy beyond that. And I'll be really honest with you. This is where it starts to scare me a little bit. This is where I start to tremble a little bit at the idea that Paul is putting out there because in verse 10 Paul says, I want to know Christ.
Speaker 1:
26:54
I want to know Christ before he used the word. No. That kind of meant like an awareness of a, an enlightened men of how these things all come together, how Jesus fits into the big picture. This word means something much more intimate. This word could almost be used as a way to describe our husband and wife would go from living two totally different lives and then after their wedding day would be joined together in a life where they would know each other holistically, where there would be no more secrets, where there will be a full awareness of each other, where there would be knowledge of each other. Paul says, I don't want to just know about God. I don't want to just know how Jesus fits in. I want to know Christ, yes. To know the power of his resurrection, to feel that power of the resurrection and participation in his sufferings becoming like him in his death. And so somehow attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Speaker 2:
27:46
Yeah.
Speaker 1:
27:52
Paul's joy.
Speaker 2:
27:55
Yeah.
Speaker 1:
27:55
So attached to Jesus is setting up the idea for me that if I want that so badly, if I understood his worth compared to anything else that I would actually be interested in. Almost even excited by the idea of walking through even suffering to get to him almost to the point where I could look death straight in the face and say, come what may, if it brings me more of you, Jesus, I'm in. And that is a little bit strange to me. And Paul seems to be saying, if you want more joy, here's a path of invitation for you to find more of it.
Speaker 1:
28:54
I almost picture Paul and I, this isn't biblical. I don't, I don't, I don't know how far we can take this, but I almost picture Paul rummaging around in his, like his existence, his life and half like a mad scientist and with a smile on his face, just finding anything in his life that he hasn't completely given over to Christ and anything in his life that he's using as a crutch or anything in his life that he's trying to, to figure out or lean on and just finding it and just happily throwing it out a window. Because if there's anything in his life that he's leaning on other than Jesus hits wasted space and he wants to know more. And even if suffering comes along, it's like, yes, that's fine. And I want to know joy and I want to know joy in Jesus so badly. And yet this is a little bit of a crazy proposition Paul's making.
Speaker 2:
29:41
Yeah.
Speaker 1:
29:42
And I get this plot. I see it in culture, like we tell these stories a lot. How many songs or videos or TV shows have you seen where a person has a chance encounter with, with someone and they just know in that incident as they calculate all of it, that everything they've known and everything they've done and all of the life they've built is not worth it anymore. And they jump on a plane or they run out of their house or they pulled up a boombox or they do something just to find their lover forever, happily ever after. And in business, right. You know, people who have built a business or they, they've been a part of a, a place where they just work for a long time and they just get to a point where they say, you know what, I'm done with all of this. I'm cashing it all in. I'm going to start the business of my dreams. And we, we applaud those entrepreneurs because they get it. And when Paul says, listen, it's like that only everything.
Speaker 2:
30:31
Yeah.
Speaker 1:
30:32
It's like that only for Jesus and the joy that he brings for some reason, even though that makes so much sense, it also makes me a little nervous.
Speaker 2:
30:42
Okay.
Speaker 1:
30:43
And at this point in time, Paul really doesn't have anything. I mean, Paul had nothing left other than like Jesus and his friends who follow Jesus. In fact, in, in writing this letter, some of you know this, Paul was actually in prison, right? Then he's writing this church, telling them to choose joy. Talking about suffering while seated in prison.
Speaker 2:
31:11
Yeah.
Speaker 1:
31:11
Paul has no reputation left. Paul has a shattered grid or religious system.
Speaker 2:
31:19
Yeah.
Speaker 1:
31:19
Paul has no scale of good, bad to figure out what they had a good day or is going to be a good person at the end of his life. Paul had no relationships more intimate than his with Jesus. He had no comfort. And yet Paul, when you read, he also had no fear of suffering or of death. He almost talked about these things with affection.
Speaker 2:
31:46
Yeah.
Speaker 1:
31:46
Because in those moments of suffering, in those moments of facing death and those moments of loneliness, he found intimacy with Christ. And so Paul warns the Church against this, this idea of I can do it. God can help in any invites us to know what it would look like if we let go of a lot of that and invited Jesus into those places.
Speaker 1:
32:13
And so I actually want to ask you, what is it that if you were asked about your own life, your own resume, but you would have to be honest that you're tempted to, or a even actively leaning into, if I asked you to put a box out there in your brain and put into it everything that you've earned and built and everything you've relied on and the things that you would put on a list like that, maybe it's impressive. Maybe it wouldn't fit into a box. It would have to be like a storage unit and maybe it's not even stuff. Maybe. Maybe it's not so much the things you put on your wall or on your trophy case or maybe it's people and if you think about trading all of that in or not finding a sense of joy or comfort in those things, if you think about not leaning on those things, I think there's some emotions that come up. Maybe you feel a little afraid like what happens if I do that? It doesn't work. Maybe you could feel a little bit insecure like I built all of this and if I, if I don't lean on this anymore than who does that mean that I am like what? What's left of who I am in this? Maybe a little embarrassed man. I spend a lot of time on this. If I, if I walk away from this, does that mean that's all wasted time? That's a, that's a lot of investment.
Speaker 1:
33:39
Sometimes I think I feel a little ashamed when I think about this. Like when someone gets your bill at a restaurant but you don't like to owe somebody like God, I like to work for it.
Speaker 2:
33:50
Yeah.
Speaker 1:
33:50
If I, if I lean on you, Jesus, what am I doing?
Speaker 2:
33:54
What am I doing?
Speaker 1:
33:57
And I think all of those emotions, all of those feelings, I think all of that is incredibly appropriate and completely normal. In fact, I remember some of the old timers in the church I was raised in, they would call that counting the cost and they would say that you don't make a big decision in your life without counting the cost. There's wisdom in it. You're realizing that a decision like that
Speaker 2:
34:22
is big
Speaker 1:
34:25
and it comes with consequences and maybe God is actually quite literally asking you to follow in Paul's footsteps to sell everything and give up everything and go to a different place and and be about nothing except for preaching the Gospel, but maybe he's not. Maybe God's not calling you to do that at all. Maybe God's calling you to live in the exact house you live in, a neighborhood you live in with the people you live in the house with and go to work at the place you worked with, the people you go to work with and accomplish all the things on your five 10 1520 year plan. Maybe that's exactly what he wants for you, but maybe what he wants in that process is for you not to lean on any of that so that as you begin to lean on Jesus more and more and more, you will live in that house with those people and go to work with those people and live out those plans that you've got that he's maybe even given you with such a different sense of joy in your life that none of those things can specifically provide that even in the same circumstances, no matter what they are in life often doesn't ask permission, right?
Speaker 1:
35:26
But in the same circumstances, you will find a joy that you have never known and never been able to actually build for yourself in the moment. Not at the end of some long career or some big dream being accomplished, but just right now, this afternoon,
Speaker 2:
35:43
yeah,
Speaker 1:
35:44
you could be introduced to a joy that comes from Jesus that cannot be shaken. There will follow you everywhere you go.
Speaker 1:
35:59
And I don't know what that looks like for you. I don't know what's in the box or the storage unit or on your wall or in your brain. Maybe it's confidence and raising your kids the right way or in making money or building a company or controlling things around you in your world. Maybe you put confidence in your ability to make people like you here to build a certain reputation. Maybe you could put confidence in this idea a long ways from now where you're on a porch or on a golf course or on a boat or with a certain group of people and there's joy attached to those ideas. But my challenge for you is this. I think this might be what Paul is saying. Any confidence you put in anything else he said flesh, any confidence you put in, anything else, try to put it in Jesus this week.
Speaker 1:
36:51
The old idea of I can do it and God can help ask yourself a serious question. Whatever that thing is, is it producing the kind of joy that you want? And I think this is a process. And I think the question maybe that when you start to ask ourselves is not, is this thing producing joy and is this meet with God's help? But maybe God's asking us, will you accept this statement? I will do it. Will you help God's saying to you, I will do this stuff. Will you help me? That's all I want to get really vulnerable with you for a moment. And I want to tell you about what my week is going to look like cause I feel like it, you got to practice what you preach, right? And so even leading up to this moment, I've been trying to practice this in my life and I'm gonna continue to this week.
Speaker 1:
37:45
Sometimes I put a lot of confidence. I lean into what it is that people say about me. No, I don't want you to be nervous. If you want to come talk to me about how I did today, that's fine. I'm not going to feel weird. But sometimes I put a lot of confidence in what you all think about me and I'm tempted to hear your reaction or to hear what you say and to take that and put it in a bin here and combine it with a lot of other people's and maybe let that influence how I see myself. And so this week I'm going to try not to freak people out, but as I'm living my daily life, if I'm tempted to do that, I'm, I'm trying to pause in my heart and just say, God, how do you feel about me?
Speaker 1:
38:22
God, what does your word say about me? God, what were the words of that Song we sang on Sunday? I want to believe that. Do you decide, I want to feel the joy that comes from you, not the unpredictable emotion attached to knowing how, think about me, Jesus. No matter what, said good, bad, whatever. I want to hear what you think about me. I want to know you in that moment and so I don't know what your stuff would be. I don't know what your prayer would sound like, but I, I'm praying this week. You would find yourself in a moment where you're attempted to lean into something or find your joy in something or to put your confidence in something, whatever it is, and you could just pause for a second and say, Jesus, what can I learn about you in this small? Yeah, Jesus, how can I know you in this moment? Jesus, how can I lean on you in this moment? Jesus, what joy do you have for me in this moment? Then I wouldn't find if I did it my old way.
Speaker 1:
39:18
Apparently there is a fierce kind of joy that comes from knowing Jesus that you can't find anywhere else and that no matter what you go through and no matter what you attempt to, no matter what you try to build, you can not produce, but it can be given. And when we see it, we wouldn't even take another second to evaluate. We would run towards it. So I made a little edit on the definition of fierce joy. It's not that much different, but this is the way I wrote it. Fierce joy is rooted in Jesus today and forever because what we walk in today and what we point to with the rest of our lives, if we want to find joy in him is Jesus.
Speaker 1:
40:02
And for some of us this week, it's going to be a wild ride even a little moments. So I want to pray for our church collectively as we try to pursue this kind of fierce joy rooted in Jesus. Would you pray with me? Father, I thank you so much for these moments together. I thank you for every single person in this room. Thank God for some of us, man. Our resumes are, are pretty impressive and for some of us got, the thing is that we we lean into and we put our confidence in. They are long standing traditions, habits, preferences, God, you know, everything wrapped up in all of that for us. And so for some of us as we consider now, we could know you in such a way that I would instantly put all of that stuff in a totally different category, that that can be a little scary and yet god, for some of us, we feel that call that draw that urge to know you more, to know the all surpassing worth of being so close to you that if we had you and nothing else that would be more than enough and so god, I just pray for us that you would give us courage.
Speaker 1:
41:23
I pray for us that you would show us you in a very, very clear way this week and allow us to have that work done within us, that you instantly put things in. God, I pray you would help us to pause even in our very busy active lives, to just pray those heartfelt prayers. God teach me. Let me know you in this moment. God, allow me to know your joy. Father, I think about what would happen in a person's life, what would happen in their home with their family interactions, what happened in a workplace? What happened in a park, what would happen in Walmart? What would happen in the small group if we could actually be freed up to find joy in you, God, how you would flow through us to other people. And so God, I pray that that would be the result of a process that for some of us is going to start this week. We trust you with that process. We lean into you.
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