GOD PROMISES JOY
MANY CHRISTIANS DON’T HAVE IT. THAT’S WHY THE TITLE OF MY MESSAGE IS, “HOW TO BE LESS MISERABLE.” SOME CHRISTIANS ARE MISERABLE PEOPLE, ATTRACTING FEW OUTSIDERS TO KNOW GOD BECAUSE OF THEIR SOUR FACES AND COMPLAINTS ABOUT LIFE. BUT, YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN JOY FROM GOD.
HOWEVER, IF YOU IGNORE SOMETHING LONG ENOUGH, YOU FORGET YOU HAVE IT.
TWO THINGS WEAR THE BELIEVER DOWN–
–THE WORLD NEWS
A woman saw the same movie 15 times. Each time, she cries for 30 minutes or more, and is difficult to be around. She complained to her husband that the movie always puts her in a very depressed state. He gives a simple answer: “Do you want to feel better ? QUIT WATCHING THE STUPID MOVIE !”
2 Corinthians 1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.
THIS MORNING, I WANT TO HELP YOUR JOY.
1. ACTING IN FAITH ACCORDING TO THESE TRUTHS CAN BRING YOU FULLNESS OF JOY.
A. GREAT THINGS HAPPEN WHEN GOD ENCOMPASSES YOUR WHOLE LIFE.
John 15:11These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
♦ YOU CAN GET YOUR PRAYERS ANSWERED.
John 15:7 If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
♦ YOU CAN BE A DISCIPLE IN MODERN TIMES.
John 15:8 Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples.
♦ GOD LOVES YOU, AND YOU SHOULD MAINTAIN YOUR LOVE FOR HIM.
John 15:9 As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you: continue ye in My love.
♦ YOU MAINTAIN THE LOVE OF GOD BY DOING WHAT HE SAYS.
John 15:10-11 If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love. These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
B. JOHN CONFIRMS THAT THESE THINGS WORK.
Almost 60 years after Jesus ascended into Heaven, John had a chance to see God’s teachings work. So, he once again reminds the Believers of their powerful practical work.
1 John 1:4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
WHAT THINGS WAS HE ABOUT TO WRITE TO THEM ? (HE INCLUDED BASICALLY THE SAME THINGS THAT JESUS SAID IN JOHN 15).
♦ WE CAN MAINTAIN FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD BY DOING WHAT HE SAYS.
1 John 1:6-7 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.
1 John 2:5-6 But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.
♦ YOU CAN MAINTAIN THE LOVE OF GOD BY DEALING WITH YOUR SINS.
1 John 1:9-10 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
♦ YOU CAN BE A DISCIPLE OF SOME DEGREE IN THESE END TIMES.
1 John 1:12-14 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known Him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known Him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
*NOTICE THE SPIRITUAL MATURITY LEVELS THE HOLY SPIRIT IDENTIFIES HERE. LITTLE CHILDREN, YOUNG MEN, AND FATHERS. WHERE ARE YOU ON GOD’S CHART ? YOUR SPIRITUAL MATURITY DETERMINES HOW MUCH YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH.
DON’T EXPECT TO ACCOMPLISH GREAT THINGS WHEN YOU HAVEN’T MATURED SPIRITUALLY. It would be like a three year old child telling you that he will win the Boston Marathon race this year. The child MIGHT do that later in life, but he has to grow up first. But, they aren’t going to do it later, either unless that child grows up and fills their body with good things that enable it to deal with the stress and heart-pounding exertion of such a race. Same is true with Christians. We need to be filled with all the fullness of Christ !
♦ WE HAVE THE POWER TO BE THE DISCIPLES THAT JESUS WANTS US TO BE.
1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.
2. KEEPING OTHER THINGS OUT WILL ALLOW YOUR HEART TO BE FULL
A. LET GOD FILL YOUR LIFE.
HE COMMANDS US TO BE FILLED WITH HIM. HE IS TO TO YOUR GUIDE IN ALL DECISIONS. HE IS TO BE YOUR SECURITY, YOUR SOURCE OF HELP OF ALL KINDS.
The devil tries to reduce the amount of space for God by filling people with other influences. Someone spoke with me about a recent phone call with a senior Christian. The senior Christian spoke of only two things in a two hour conversation unless she was pushed into another subject. Do you know what those two things were ? Medical conditions and how bad the world is.
Ephesians 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
On the other hand, when we are filled with the Spirit of God, He gives us purpose and a focus that fills us with JOY !
3. YOU CAN’T BE FULL OF THE JOY OF THE LORD AND BE FULL WITH THE WORLD’S PROPAGANDA AND NEWS, TOO !
THERE IS ONLY SO MUCH INTELLIGENCE, AND ONLY SO MUCH TIME, AND ONLY SO MUCH ROOM IN EACH PERSON’S LIFE.
A. THIS WORLD IS FILLED WITH THE WRONG THINGS, AND IT WANTS TO PUSH THEM DOWN YOUR THROAT, TOO.
The devil’s goal seems to be to bring the world to the same condition it was in right before the Flood.
Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
THAT IS FILLING THE THOUGHTS OF PEOPLE WITH THOUGHTS OF NOT DEPENDING ON GOD, OF MAKING MAN’S ANSWERS MORE IMPORTANT THAN GOD, PUSHING FEAR AND ANXIETY ON US -YES, EVEN ON BELIEVERS TODAY. WHAT IS THAT ? FILLING THEM WITH THE WRONG THINGS.
Romans 1:28-32 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
B. FILL YOUR MIND AND SOULS WITH THE THINGS THAT GOD SAYS ARE IMPORTANT
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
♦ BRINGING THE GOSPEL TO EVEN ONE PERSON IS LOVELY.
♦ SERVING GOD BY FIXING THINGS AROUND HIS HOUSE IS LOVELY.
♦ USING YOUR TALENTS TO MAKE MONEY THAT CAN KEEP THE CHURCH RUNNING AND REACH SOULS OVERSEAS IS LOVELY.
AS BAD AS SOME PEOPLE THINK THINGS ARE TODAY – THERE ARE SOME VERY IMPORTANT FACTORS THAT HAVE NOT CHANGED.
1. THE PROMISES OF GOD ARE STILL TRUE.
2. THE COMMANDS OF GOD ARE STILL IN EFFECT.
3. YOU STILL HAVE THE POWER OF CHOICE THAT GOD GAVE TO YOU.
RIGHT NOW, YOU ARE EITHER FILLED WITH YOUR OWN SINS, OR YOU HAVE BEEN CLEANSED BY THE POWER OF CHRIST. YOU HAVE THE CHOICE TO RECEIVE GOD’S CLEANSING, OR KEEP YOUR SINS AND PAY FOR THEM FOREVER.
“How To Be Less Miserable”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams