River Church NOLA
2020 Oct 25 The First Choice
  • Friend Of God
  • You Never Let Go
  • Worshiping You
  • Intro
    2020… what else do I need to say? It’s been a year. Because it’s been that kind of year, most of our messages have been pretty heavy.
    So today, I want to shift gears for a few weeks. We have been fighting the pandemic along with being in an election year so I think we need to lighten if up a bit…
    I want us to focus on Joy for a few weeks. Don’t You might think, how in the world can we have joy during this time? You have to choose joy.
    Isaiah 61:1–4 NKJV
    1 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, 3 To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” 4 And they shall rebuild the old ruins, They shall raise up the former desolations, And they shall repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations.
    anointed… You are getting ready to see 4 things… Know God, find freedom, Discover your purpose and make a difference
    Oil of Joy… spirit of heaviness… it’s not just a circumstantial … it’s spiritual. There is a spirit of heaviness where the devil is trying to destroy our lives. There is darkness in our land, Racism, depression… suicide… violence… We want all this stuff to change, but it’s not necessarily going to change. We want them to change, but they may not.

    God will help you find joy in the middle of difficult times

    Big Idea - God says I am going to help you find joy in the middle of problems, but you have to choose it. You won’t feel it first, you have to choose it first. Choices lead feelings follow...
    Boudreaux went to the doctor. Everything from head to toe hurts… Boudreaux… your finger is broken.
    Paul had every reason to be depressed… shipwrecked… snake bit… Paul was always rejoicing in spite of his circumstances.
    2 Corinthians 6:10 NIV84
    10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
    Paul chose to have joy… Guess what, we have to make choices too. The first choice is this…

    Choose to Pray

    Pray before you leave the house… definitely pray before you get on FB...
    Prayer should be our first response, not our last resort
    Usually we wait to pray until last and not first.
    Philippians 4:4–5 NIV84
    4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
    “Re” joice…
    When we are in turmoil we typically don’t show our gentleness. We are to show our gentleness because Jesus is near.

    1. Prayer replaces worry

    Worry - to strangle. That’s what worry does. It’s strangles us.
    Philippians 4:6 NLT
    6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
    Philippians 4:6 The Message
    6 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.
    Worry borrows from the future. It hasn’t happened yet, but you worry it will. Most of what you worry about will never happen.
    Worry doesn’t work.
    Matthew 6:27 NLT
    27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
    Matthew 6:34 NLT
    34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
    Don’t borrow
    What we worry about the most reveals where we trust God the least
    We need to release our worries to the Lord.

    2. Prayer gives up control

    Most of us want to remain in control.
    Philippians 4:6–7 NIV84
    6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
    present… lay it down at his feet and give it to the Lord. But most of us, want to tell God how we want him to listen to how we want him to do it. We know we have presented it to him when we experience the peace mentioned here.
    Here’s what we all need to learn....
    It can’t be God’s problem and my problem at the same time.
    1 Peter 5:7 NLT
    7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
    He wants you to through your concerns onto the Lord.
    Romans 15:13 NIV84
    13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    3. Prayer regulates thinking

    Often we go into prayer with our minds all messed up. Prayer helps to regulate our thinking.
    We need God to wash our minds… Here is how it happens...
    Philippians 4:8 NIV84
    8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
    Colossians 3:2 NLT
    2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.
    The news is ok, but we need to change what we think about and allow into our minds.
    Aim at heaven and you’ll get earth thrown in. Aim at Earth ands you’ll get neither. CS Lewis

    4. Prayer reveals contentment

    IOW, when I pray, I go into it telling God all I need but by the time I get done, I realize I have all I need.
    Philippians 4:12 NIV84
    12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
    Paul was content… Look at what David said.
    Psalm 23:1 NLT
    1 The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
    I will not trust in riches but in Him who richly provides.
    When you can do this, you experience Joy.

    5. Prayer relies on God

    Every place I do have need, I can confess....
    Philippians 4:13 NLT
    13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
    Philippians 4:19 NLT
    19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
    Prayer is the process of us giving up control and relying on God.
    Proverbs 16:20 GNB
    20 Pay attention to what you are taught, and you will be successful; trust in the Lord and you will be happy.

    Prayer doesn’t move God toward us.

    Prayer doesn’t move God toward us. Prayer moves us toward God.

    Prayer time
    Rebuke the spirit of heaviness off of everyone… When you really trust him, HE will fill you will JOY.
    Help us to make choices to cooperate with what you want to do in us…
    Salvation Prayer -
      • Isaiah 61:1–4NIV

      • 2 Corinthians 6:10NIV

      • Philippians 4:4–5NIV

      • Philippians 4:6NIV

      • Philippians 4:6NIV

      • Matthew 6:27NIV

      • Matthew 6:34NIV

      • Philippians 4:6–7NIV

      • 1 Peter 5:7NIV

      • Romans 15:13NIV

      • Philippians 4:8NIV

      • Colossians 3:2NIV

      • Philippians 4:12NIV

      • Psalm 23:1NIV

      • Philippians 4:13NIV

      • Philippians 4:19NIV

      • Proverbs 16:20NLT

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