St. Luke's Church Faribault
12/15/19
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  • Joyful, joyful, we adore thee
  • O Little Town Of Bethlehem
  • It Came Upon The Midnight Clear (Carol)
  • Title Slide
    (Video Intro-get ready to dim lights)
    During Christmas we do everything we can to bring joy into our lives. We have trees, and lights and songs like sleigh ride and presents under the tree. We are making sure that everything around us is joyful. I love that. its awesome, it helps get us into the Christmas spirit. Christmas is contagious it overflows into our life, and we become happy, and then our happiness has to come out or overflows into others.
    Did you see the video that has been winning the internet this week? It is about a woman who has the Christmas Spirit overflowing out of her life.
    A couple of words o explanation so that you all understand, this video is set in the South. And down South there are a chain of convenience stores called WaWA, so it takes place at a store called WaWa, and She is on facebook live, so every once in a while when it sounds like she talking to someone she is responding to comments.
    Let’s dim the lights and roll the video.
    roll video
    She says, “I just love humanity and the Christmas magic, that’s hilarious.” This morning let’s talk a little more about that. But first a word of prayer.
    pray
    Joy, is our topic today. We started with Hope, last week was peace, and this week is joy. We have all experienced joy at one time or another, especially at Christmas. Christmas joy, generally works like this. At this time of year we are surrounded with happy things. A jolly snowman, twinkling lights, happy songs, heart warming stories, and it makes us feel good, and we call the resulting emotion joy. When we experience it, we have to let it out. Joy is an emotion that express, an external release.It can be smiling , laughing, singing or in the case of the woman in the video spontaneously hugging someone.
    This works fairly well for most of society. The problem is, that joy is short-lived, and it is dependent on the externals. What happens around you determines your joy, as long as things are in the right formula you, joy is produced. If you lack joy, strive to fix the surroundings, and joy will eventually be produced again.
    In that video, there was no mention of Jesus. This type of joy, can be, and usually is completely separate and apart from Jesus. People maybe have a manger scene and a heart warming feel, but for the most part, Jesus gets lumped into the other folklore of Christmas. ANd we call the spread of this happiness the Christmas magic. Snowflakes stars, cue the harp.
    The reality is that not everyone has it so easy. There are some and they might be sitting right next to you in the pew that are going through something right now, or they have a loved one or friend that is going through something, and all the happy songs and hot cocoa in the world is not going to make things joyful for them. They are just not going to “catch the Christmas magic”. And worse yet what happens to all of us in January and February? Is the joy gone?
    The famous Christmas verse from Luke chapter 2 is this,
    Luke 2:10 NIV
    10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.
    Good News-GREAT JOY- ALL the people. Very different.
    For the most part, people read this and just write it off. It is a helpful story. the great joy and all the people was then, and it doesn’t really have an effect on their life today. Or, there is another possibility, this is true. If that is the case, and there is Good news and great joy, and if it is available to all the people, it had better look different than what we are describing. It had better be available anytime, and in every situation.
    WHAT IS BIBLICAL JOY?
    We think of happiness when we think of joy, and the two are often related and used interchangeably. Happiness, however is more often used as an emotion, or an emotional response to an external situation. For instance, I recieved a new shirt for a present, and it made me happy, we call that experience joy, and as the new shirt wears out and the experience fades, so does our joy.
    When the Bible uses joy it is often used with happiness, but it includes with it a state of being. I am in state of sadness I experience something, then I can exist in state of joy. It can be independent of circumstances, or seasons, or surroundings. Maybe to say it this way, it is more internal.
    Let’s look at some verses. This from Psalm 15, of all places. Often thought of a serious Psalm of repentance. David writes.
    Psalm 51:9 NIV
    9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.
    David is in one state, a state of mourning, or sadness, specifically a state of sin. He has done something wrong, for David here it was adultery and murder, for us it could be any number of things. But He is is in one state a state of sin, and he asks God for something-to change his position.
    Psalm 51:10 NIV
    10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
    So he asks God for something- He is not asking for new clothes or a job, or health, all that stays the same. He is asking God To make his his heart pure, and to make his spirit steadfast. In the next verse he goes on to plead with God
    Psalm 51:11 NIV
    11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
    The most important thing that he is asking is that he is with God, that the Holy spirit does not leave him. This is a relationship, he wants and craves and needs that relationship. This is more than a helpful story, or a light up manger scene on a lawn. He wants to be with God in the presence of God the Holy Spirit dwelling with Him.
    Verse 11
    Psalm 51:12 NIV
    12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
    And there it is- Restore to me the Joy of your salvation. Salvation produces joy.
    David is asking the Lord to move him from a state of sin, to a new place a place with a new heart a willing spirit, being to be n the presence of God, and He is calling that experience salvation, and in that experience he gets JOY.
    Ps 32, is very similar.
    Psalm 32:5 NIV
    5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.
    The Psalmist is in this state of sin, again. He does not know what to do, he cannot fix that so, he confesses his sins to the Lord--- and the Lord forgives Him, He was in a state of guilt, and the Lord moved him from that state to a new place, a place of being “upright in heart” and by the end of the Psalm we read.
    Psalm 32:11 NIV
    11 Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!
    Biblical joy comes as the result of experiencing God rescuing, or saving you, or redeeming you or delivering you. You were once in one place, and God came and rescued you and moved you out of that place into a place. Into a place of His favor. As a result- you are happy. Deeply happy, overwhelmingly happy and that emotion is joy. Biblical joy. It is deeper than regular happiness over your circumstances, it doesn’t compare.
    You can have anything here on this earth, or not have anything on this earth, and it doesn’t compare. When God saves you or rescues you you have experienced His saving love personally. He cares personally about you. He cares about Greg.
    Nothing compares to having God. What is better in all the Universe than God, what is more magnificient and spectacular and powerful and beautiful than God, everything in the universe was created by Him and for Him, he is the supreme above all else, and in salvation you have that God with you personally.
    Biblical Joy, is the result of having the experience of being delivered by God, and it is independent of all of outside circumstances.
    In order to experience it, you have to be delivered from something. Rescued from something
    The problem, is that the world rarely sees that need rescuing. They do not feel the need for deliverance, they do experience salvation, do not have Biblical joy, and as a result search for happiness in the externals, and Jesus is reduced to a blow mold manger scene, nice heart warming an add on.
    Society looks at sin and think it is not that bad. We are not that bad, we mean well. Everyone makes mistakes, God won’t send everyone to hell. So, we convince ourself and God only sends the worst of sinners to hell, and he most of us are pretty good.
    The truth is our God is prefect. Perfect in Holiness and perfect in love. His word is pure and perfect and right and true. Not a single verse in the whole Bible is dated or out of place. The truth is any sin has no place in the Holy presence of God the Father. He cannot even look on sin. All of us, every person from one end of the earth to the other has been born in a state of sin. All have sinned, and fall short of the Glory of God, Romans 3.23. We are all in need of a rescuer. We need to be delivered, we need to bought out of that slavery. Unless we know that, we never know biblical joy.
    Last week we heard O come O come Emmanuel the lyrics to that song teach this principle.
    O come, o come Emmanuel To free your captive Israel That mourns in lonely exile here
    As Israel was held captive, they needed rescue. There was no way out, they pleaded with God for deliverance. So as Israel lived for these thousands of years in captivity, in bondage to and slavery to sin they pleaded with God to somehow come, and be among them to somehow come and be with his people.
    Biblical joy is experienced when we confront who we are in light of who God is, and humble ourselves, confess our sins and rely on the finished work of Christ alone.
    Back to Psalm 32, 5.
    Psalm 32:5 NIV
    5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.
    We see ourselves in a state of sin, and we allow the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin, whatever sin that is for us. We do not deny or downplay our short comings. Then, we humbly and honestly turn to Jesus and confess our sins, believing and trusting in His finished work in the cross.
    And at that moment, at that very moment, salvation comes to us, The Holy Spirit comes to us. Jesus Emmanuel, God with us! and that my friends is the good news of great joy to all the people. The victory over our sin is won, the victory over our condemnation is complete. God has fought the battle. Our guilt is gone Jesus has won the battle at the cross and delivered us. That joy doesn’t matter what is going on around us, you can experience it with a Christmas tree or without.
    Biblical Joy is express in Community
    It is natural to express joy. Like our lady in the video, we need to express our joy to others, The Israelites would share stories of how this great God delivered them. This is what we see in the Psalms. The Psalms are songs and prayers of praise and joy. They would read these Psalms and sing these songs as they came together in community. It was a joyous celebration of music and songs and celebration. Wether they were celebrating being led out of captivity in Egypt, or entering the promised land, or returning to Zion, it was a joy as a result of the experience of being delivered, by God.
    We read from Psalm 126 today.
    Psalm 126:1 NIV
    1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed.
    We were in one state-poor without fortunes, and when God restored them or when He delivered us, then we see the joy.
    Psalm 126:2 NIV
    2 Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”
    Then they said it among the nations, the Lord has doen great things for us, so they come together and share the stories with one another.
    Psalm 126:3 NIV
    3 The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
    True joy like this is shared in community, as people who have experienced the Lord delivering them come together in community and share joy. Churches are a place where those who have been delivered gather. It is a place where the joy is shared. We come together to let the joy spill over with one another in our community. We sing we proclaim, we tell stories, and we hug strangers. If people think this lady is strange they ought to think is a really weird place, because year round we are sharing joy.
    Biblical Joy is a Characteristic of a Christian.
    Since a christian is one who has experienced salvation, and salvation is having the Holy Spirit with you, all Christians have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. The Bible tells us in Galatians 5, that a product or a fruit, or the result of having the Holy Spirit is joy. Therefore a mark of all Christians is joy.
    Galatians 5:22 NIV
    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
    The fruit of the spirit is LOVE and JOY. If you have the Holy Spirit you have love, and JOY that is evidence of the Spirit’s presence. That makes the Church community a place of love and joy.
    Now, it is possible that you may sitting here and this Biblical joy has escaped you. You have never known for sure that you were rescued, or delivered or redeemed. Do you feel captive? Is there some sin that is holding you captive are you guilty before a Holy and pure God, do you want rescue?
    Jesus came. The Lord Jesus was born of a virgin, became man and lived a perfect and sinless life and died on the cross for your sins. He rose three days later because the grave could hold the sinless one. Confess your sins to Jesus and trust in Him to deliver you.
    Maybe, you have experienced that Biblical joy, but it has faded, the light has grown dim, as life has gotten hard, and you cannot see a way out. Maybe it is illness, or finances or a sin struggle, and you don;t have joy.
    Biblical Joy is also found in looking toward future salvation.
    God once did something, he saved you, you had that joy. Based on that past act. That past event PROVED God’s loved for you, you know God’s word is true, now look forward to the future rescue he will provide.
    The Israelites were really good at this---look at Psalm 126 again
    Psalm 126 starts with what God has done
    Psalm 126:1–3 NIV
    1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. 2 Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” 3 The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
    This happened, He restored, He rescued He delivered, but what about now?
    Then the Psalm switches to what God will do
    Psalm 126:4–6 NIV
    4 Restore our fortunes, Lord, like streams in the Negev. 5 Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. 6 Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.
    This will happen, God will restore everything, and that produces the same joy! Do you see that?
    God will restore whatever you need sometime in the future-our health our happiness, our tears will be wiped away, our pain we will be gone.
    We are not promised this will happen today or tomorrow, but it will happen someday. It might not be in this life, but it will be in the next. This will for sure happen when we are brought home, and sometimes we may just need to realize that as it says in Romans 13:11, our salvation now is neare now that it will ever be.
    Rejoice brothers and sisters we are closer now than ever, God salvation draws nearer, press on Great joy awaits, The one who promises is Jesus and His wrds are faithful and true. Share your joy with one another.
      • Luke 2:10NIV2011

      • Psalm 51:9NIV2011

      • Psalm 51:10NIV2011

      • Psalm 51:11NIV2011

      • Psalm 51:12NIV2011

      • Psalm 32:5NIV2011

      • Psalm 32:11NIV2011

      • Psalm 32:5NIV2011

      • Psalm 126:1NIV2011

      • Psalm 126:2NIV2011

      • Psalm 126:3NIV2011

      • Galatians 5:22NIV2011

      • Psalm 126:1–3NIV2011

      • Psalm 126:4–6NIV2011

  • White As Snow
  • Infant Holy Infant Lowly
  • Let's Worship and Adore Him
  • How Great Our Joy
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