Temple Baptist Church - 4-30-2017
A. I am contemplating making this verse my life verse! “Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet!” This verse is a Baptist preacher’s dream. We often quote the last part of the verse without taking it in its proper context. J Smile, God loves you!
B. One thing that I find strangely missing among the people of God is that of joy! We are to be enjoying the things of God. Yes, I know that we have problems but thank God, one day, troubles and sorrows will all end and we have an eternity to enjoy the “riches of his grace!” Our sinfulness and, too often, our situations rob us of the joy of the Lord.
C. Believers begin to endure church, the tithe, the brethren, and the Christian lifestyle! We should enjoy the Lord, the Book, the brethren, the church, the tithe, the preaching, and the life! Many lose the freshness of their salvation; the first love of the Saviour; and the excitement of their service.
D. Joy is important to the child of God. Without the joy of the Lord, you will become unfaithful; without the joy of the Lord, you will fail of the grace of God; without the joy of the Lord, you will fall to the wayside! The joy of the Lord is your strength.
1. Joy goes beyond our circumstances! In Nehemiah’s day, these who went home to rebuild the walls ran into dire circumstances and strong resistance. The people came back to Jerusalem in the perfect will of God and found problems on almost every hand.
2. God gave deliverance through tribulation, not from it! God never promised His children a Rose Garden but He did promise them victory in this life. The key to victory is a faith that brings about the joy OF the Lord!
3. Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
E. Now, let us look at some things found in our text that will give us the faith and desire to finish our course with joy.
1. The Place of Joy – Vs. 1 “the water gate” The place of assembly! The place of preaching and teaching! What a wonderful Bible we have and what a marvelous privilege to be able to hear its preaching.
2. The People of Joy – Vs. 1-7 “all the people…as one man” Unity in fellowship. How sweet to gather with the people of God. You are my family; you are my friends!
3. The Preaching of Joy – Vs. 8 “read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading” It was read distinctly! It was explained explicitly! It was understood universally!
4. The Purpose of Joy – Vs. 9-14 holiness…strength” A holy, happy people is the result of Christian joy.
5. The Publishing of Joy – Vs. 15 “publish…proclaim” Joy causes the world to both see and seek what the child of God has. Yes, we have problems and sorrows but we also have hope.
F. What joy does:
1. Joy changes Duty into Delight! 1 Thessalonians 2:18-20 (18) Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us. (19) For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? (20) For ye are our glory and joy. (Is it drudgery or a delight to live for God? Is it a duty or is it a desire to live for God?)
2. Joy changes Persecution into Privilege! Acts 5:40-42 And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. (41) And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. (42) And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
3. Joy changes Burdens into Blessings! Philippians 1:12-14 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; (13) So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; (14) And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
4. Joy changes Trials into Triumphs! James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; (3) Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. (4) But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
WHERE THE CHRISTIAN FINDS HIS JOY
1. Christian Joy Is Found In Salvation - Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
2. Christian Joy Is Found In Hope - Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
3. Christian Joy Is Found In God’s Word - Nehemiah 8:12 And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.
4. Christian Joy Is Found In Church - Psalms 42:4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.
a. The Joy Of Singing - Psalms 95:1 O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
b. The Joy Of Praise - Psalms 27:6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
5. Christian Joy Is Found In A Finished Course - Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
6. Christian Joy Is Found In The Saviour - 1 Peter 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
Psalms 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
7. Christian Joy Is Found In Eternal Things - Psalms 16:8-11 I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
1 Peter 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
Jude 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,