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I Got The Joy

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I don’t know about you all. I don’t know what gets you pumped up about God and what He is doing in the church, but I do know this, we will not be able to find joy in the church until we are all in on God. Today we will go through Colossians 3:1-17 and seek to find the way to find joy in the church.

Notes & Transcripts
To borrow an idea from a story that John Piper once told, I want to begin this morning with the thinking through of this question: What is more important, Duty or joy?
Duty is good, but delight is better. Picture me bringing a a hundred stems of daisies home to my wife on our wedding anniversary. I hold them out to her at the door; she smiles and says, "Oh Derek, they're beautiful, why did you?" Suppose I lift my hand in a hand to heart gesture and say, "It's my duty."
Duty is good, but delight is better. Picture me bringing a a hundred stems of daisies home to my wife on our wedding anniversary. I hold them out to her at the door; she smiles and says, "Oh Derek, they're beautiful, why did you?" Suppose I lift my hand in a hand to heart gesture and say, "It's my duty."
So what's wrong? Is duty a bad thing? No, it's not a bad thing. But it can only take you so far. If you want romance, duty won't reach. The right answer to my wife's question goes like this: "I couldn't help myself. My happiness just got out of hand. In fact, to make my day, I'd really enjoy taking you out tonight."
So what's wrong? Is duty a bad thing? No, it's not a bad thing. But it can only take you so far. If you want romance, duty won't reach. The right answer to my wife's question goes like this: "I couldn't help myself. My happiness just got out of hand. In fact, to make my day, I'd really enjoy taking you out tonight."
The amazing thing about this answer is that it does two things that many people think won't fit together. It expresses my happiness and makes her feel honored. A lot of people think that if I do something because it makes me happy, it can't honor another person.
The amazing thing about this answer is that it does two things that many people think won't fit together. It expresses my happiness and makes her feel honored. A lot of people think that if I do something because it makes me happy, it can't honor another person.
But it can! Why? Because having joy in someone is a very high compliment. If you enjoy someone, two amazing things happen: You get the joy; they get the glory. Our joy in them, our delight in them is our measure. Pleasure is the measure.
But it can! Why? Because having joy in someone is a very high compliment. If you enjoy someone, two amazing things happen: You get the joy; they get the glory. Our joy in them, our delight in them is our measure. Pleasure is the measure.
This is the approach that I want to teach from today in relation to God and in relation to joy in the church. I believe that we will not have a proper joy in the church and about the church until we have a proper joy in God and about God.
This is the approach that I want to teach from today in relation to God and in relation to joy in the church. I believe that we will not have a proper joy in the church and about the church until we have a proper joy in God and about God.
So to answer the question that I opened with, joy is most important especially in dealing with God and the church. So how is it that we find delight? How is it that we have joy? How is it that we are most satisfied in God? I believe that the answer is best answered in having a proper understanding of what you have.
So to answer the question that I opened with, joy is most important especially in dealing with God and the church. So how is it that we find delight? How is it that we have joy? How is it that we are most satisfied in God? I believe that the answer is best answered in having a proper understanding of what you have.
So many people have to fight for joy. I have to fight for joy, every day. Most of the time the battle is wrapped up in the mind, but of late it has been trying to get multiple things done in the day with very little wiggle room. My private worship time has changed because of this. This is what I am learning, as long as I burn both ends of the rope I cannot really worship Him whole heartedly.
So many people have to fight for joy. I have to fight for joy, every day. Most of the time the battle is wrapped up in the mind, but of late it has been trying to get multiple things done in the day with very little wiggle room. My private worship time has changed because of this. This is what I am learning, as long as I burn both ends of the rope I cannot really worship Him whole heartedly.
Scripture actually tells us that () that we are to be clear in our thoughts, and sober minded in our prayer time. It’s in the chaos (often my own created chaos) that I need to fight to come fully into the presence of God and just enjoy Him.
Scripture actually tells us that () that we are to be clear in our thoughts, and sober minded in our prayer time. It’s in the chaos (often my own created chaos) that I need to fight to come fully into the presence of God and just enjoy Him.
I don’t know about you all. I don’t know what gets you pumped up about God and what He is doing in the church, but I do know this, we will not be able to find joy in the church until we are all in on God. Today we will go through and seek to find the way to find joy in the church.
I don’t know about you all. I don’t know what gets you pumped up about God and what He is doing in the church, but I do know this, we will not be able to find joy in the church until we are all in on God. Today we will go through and seek to find the way to find joy in the church.
Colossians 3:1–17 NIV84
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:1–17 NIV84
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
The first point I want to make about true joy in the church is that ...
The first point I want to make about true joy in the church is that ...
The first point I want to make about true joy in the church is that ...
1. Joy in the church will not be found until you are serious about your relationship with Christ.

1. Joy in the church will not be found until you are serious about your _relationship with Christ_

will not be found until you are serious about your _relationship with Christ_

_relationship with Christ_

Jesus told us that He came so that we could experience the fullness of this life. What you will find as you drive through scripture is that the fullness of joy is found in Christ alone. We will love things of this world, yes, but loving Jesus should lead to transforming us. It may not happen quickly but it should be clearly seen over time.
Jesus told us that He came so that we could experience the fullness of this life. What you will find as you drive through scripture is that the fullness of joy is found in Christ alone. We will love things of this world, yes, but loving Jesus should lead to transforming us. It may not happen quickly but it should be clearly seen over time.
Friends we are called to a life of ongoing repentance, eternal, soul saturated life changes, not here for a moment and gone the next moments of joy. In the first five verses we find our first step that leads us to a true joy and out second, but we will get to that in a few.
Friends we are called to a life of ongoing repentance, eternal, soul saturated life changes, not here for a moment and gone the next moments of joy. In the first five verses we find our first step that leads us to a true joy and out second, but we will get to that in a few.
Read: 1-5
Read: 1-5
Nothing in that section tells us that we can't experience pleasure and yet so many people read it that way. What it is telling us is that we will never experience the fullness of joy that is intended for us as long as we are not in a deep relationship with Him.
Nothing in that section tells us that we can't experience pleasure and yet so many people read it that way. What it is telling us is that we will never experience the fullness of joy that is intended for us as long as we are not in a deep relationship with Him.
How many of you who are Christians would say you've had a season of your Christian life where you've walked through what we Christians call the desert, where it felt dry and that you felt alone?
How many of you who are Christians would say you've had a season of your Christian life where you've walked through what we Christians call the desert, where it felt dry and that you felt alone?
Look, I never want to take away from the legitimacy of that. You see it in Scripture all over the place, that God in an act of love will lead his people through a dry season to get them on their knees and on their face and back to the thing they need to be focussed upon. That is where God can break down idols.
Look, I never want to take away from the legitimacy of that. You see it in Scripture all over the place, that God in an act of love will lead his people through a dry season to get them on their knees and on their face and back to the thing they need to be focussed upon. That is where God can break down idols.
Here is the problem though, let's make sure that we are not in the desert by our own choosing to be there. When God needs to take us though the desert to shape us, He will take us there. The problem is that many of us choose to run into the desert on our own and complain about being thirsty when the water was available already. That is on you my friend, not on God.
Here is the problem though, let's make sure that we are not in the desert by our own choosing to be there. When God needs to take us though the desert to shape us, He will take us there. The problem is that many of us choose to run into the desert on our own and complain about being thirsty when the water was available already. That is on you my friend, not on God.
If you come here week in and week out and find yourself unhappy and miserable then I would ask you are you eating and drinking. We like to run on our own strength but when we rely on self it is like running up a flight of stairs in a marathon, eventually your legs will give way and you will buckle and you will roll on back down the stairs crying out, "I'm thirsty!"
If you come here week in and week out and find yourself unhappy and miserable then I would ask you are you eating and drinking. We like to run on our own strength but when we rely on self it is like running up a flight of stairs in a marathon, eventually your legs will give way and you will buckle and you will roll on back down the stairs crying out, "I'm thirsty!"
If you're not eating and drinking in Jesus regularly, of you're not getting serious about this relationship, if you're refusing to come to the well for a drink, then don't be surprised that you are going to be dehydrated.
If you're not eating and drinking in Jesus regularly, of you're not getting serious about this relationship, if you're refusing to come to the well for a drink, then don't be surprised that you are going to be dehydrated.
I have known way too many people who have tossed in the Christianity towel before they have ever really given it a shot. Let me set you straight, Christianity is not about being good, or stopping some addiction. It is about seeking and repenting to the Lord regularly. It's about knowing Him not just knowing about Him.
I have known way too many people who have tossed in the Christianity towel before they have ever really given it a shot. Let me set you straight, Christianity is not about being good, or stopping some addiction. It is about seeking and repenting to the Lord regularly. It's about knowing Him not just knowing about Him.
The second point I want to make about true joy in the church is that ...
The second point I want to make about true joy in the church is that ...
2. Joy in the church will not be found as long as you believe in the promises of the world.
2. Joy in the church will not be found as long as you believe in the promises of the world.
One of the things you're going to see happen over and over again is you are men and women driven by your appetites and by your belief that your actions will make you happy. You do what you do because you think in doing them you're going to be satisfied, you're going to find life, you're going to experience joy.
One of the things you're going to see happen over and over again is you are men and women driven by your appetites and by your belief that your actions will make you happy. You do what you do because you think in doing them you're going to be satisfied, you're going to find life, you're going to experience joy.
The mere fact that we are in this room together is because we are looking to experience joy. Even if you are here under the pure desire to please the one who invited you, or to make your spouse happy, it was your pursuit of pleasure that drove you into this room. We are driven by pleasure.
The mere fact that we are in this room together is because we are looking to experience joy. Even if you are here under the pure desire to please the one who invited you, or to make your spouse happy, it was your pursuit of pleasure that drove you into this room. We are driven by pleasure.
The end of verse five tells us, "5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you:[b] sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry."
The end of verse five tells us, "5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you:[b] sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry."
This is a legit struggle for most of us in the room. I know this is church, so it's hard to be honest, but let's try. How many of you would say, "I have a sin, a type of sin that has kind of hung around my life for an extended period of time. I'll have seasons in which I'm gaining victory, but it always seems to every once in a while sneak up and knock me down"? Anyone? (Wait for a real response)
This is a legit struggle for most of us in the room. I know this is church, so it's hard to be honest, but let's try. How many of you would say, "I have a sin, a type of sin that has kind of hung around my life for an extended period of time. I'll have seasons in which I'm gaining victory, but it always seems to every once in a while sneak up and knock me down"? Anyone? (Wait for a real response)
Be encouraged friends, you are not alone in this. If you feel all alone, you're not! All of us stand in this battle ground from time to time. Let me help us wrap our mind around the core issue of sin and how it steals out joy in the church.
Be encouraged friends, you are not alone in this. If you feel all alone, you're not! All of us stand in this battle ground from time to time. Let me help us wrap our mind around the core issue of sin and how it steals out joy in the church.
When you and I walk into that sin, what we do to ourselves, because of our desire for self, is we are believing in the promise that the sin has to offer. Let's look at just a couple of common ones. Lust and anger are fairly common.
When you and I walk into that sin, what we do to ourselves, because of our desire for self, is we are believing in the promise that the sin has to offer. Let's look at just a couple of common ones. Lust and anger are fairly common.
Take lust, this common destroyer and shame filler. Lust promises excitement and entering into taboo areas of life. But let's be honest, Lust never delivers on it's promises. If we really look at it in its various forms, most often pornography and promiscuity, unless you are dead inside, it always creates shame.
Take lust, this common destroyer and shame filler. Lust promises excitement and entering into taboo areas of life. But let's be honest, Lust never delivers on it's promises. If we really look at it in its various forms, most often pornography and promiscuity, unless you are dead inside, it always creates shame.
Lust lies and says this is going to meet and satisfy that need, but in the end that lie is a false promise that leaves you feeling guilt, and shame.
Lust lies and says this is going to meet and satisfy that need, but in the end that lie is a false promise that leaves you feeling guilt, and shame.
Now let's take anger on. It tells you that you want and deserve justice and that you will not be treated that way! It tells you that justice will satisfy you. What I have found is that my anger has hurt my relationships and has caused more pain.
Now let's take anger on. It tells you that you want and deserve justice and that you will not be treated that way! It tells you that justice will satisfy you. What I have found is that my anger has hurt my relationships and has caused more pain.
We believe that justice will be served but what we actually get is that things are more busted up than when we started. So how do we combat the lies of this world? We combat with the promises of God. When God makes a promise, its nothing like the promise of sin. His promises are always yes and Amen.
We believe that justice will be served but what we actually get is that things are more busted up than when we started. So how do we combat the lies of this world? We combat with the promises of God. When God makes a promise, its nothing like the promise of sin. His promises are always yes and Amen.
Listen, no one just stumbles into sin. You choose to walk into it. It rarely happens on a whim either. You will make several decisions that are flat wrong decisions that put you in the danger of that sin. Be reminded friends that God controls the river of delight, so why would we not want to do things His way? If you are after the fullest joy possible then do things His way, you might just be surprised.
Listen, no one just stumbles into sin. You choose to walk into it. It rarely happens on a whim either. You will make several decisions that are flat wrong decisions that put you in the danger of that sin. Be reminded friends that God controls the river of delight, so why would we not want to do things His way? If you are after the fullest joy possible then do things His way, you might just be surprised.
The final point I want to make about true joy in the church is that ...
The final point I want to make about true joy in the church is that ...
3. Joy in the church will not be found until we are a family that mirrors Jesus.
3. Joy in the church will not be found until we are a family that mirrors Jesus.
Read 11-17
Read 11-17
I love how Paul ties this all together at the end, "Look, no matter what you think, there is no dividing wall between us." (11) There are two races he is essentially saying, In Christ and outside of Christ. That's it. We who are in Christ should be doing all that we can to unite with one another and move people towards the grace of Jesus.
I love how Paul ties this all together at the end, "Look, no matter what you think, there is no dividing wall between us." (11) There are two races he is essentially saying, In Christ and outside of Christ. That's it. We who are in Christ should be doing all that we can to unite with one another and move people towards the grace of Jesus.
Look, I'm not an idiot. Are there ethnic differences? Sure. Should that separate us? No! Are there socioeconomic differences? Yes. Should that have us create a church built around those demographics? Absolutely not. The rich should worship with the poor. The white should worship with the black.The Hispanic should worship with the white, black, and Asian.
Look, I'm not an idiot. Are there ethnic differences? Sure. Should that separate us? No! Are there socioeconomic differences? Yes. Should that have us create a church built around those demographics? Absolutely not. The rich should worship with the poor. The white should worship with the black.The Hispanic should worship with the white, black, and Asian.
We must be a church family that is reflective of the saving work of Jesus Christ. His work is ALL inclusive. Christ is meant for all of us. We are defined by His saving grace and not by anything else. If we really want joy as a church we must always have this perspective.
We must be a church family that is reflective of the saving work of Jesus Christ. His work is ALL inclusive. Christ is meant for all of us. We are defined by His saving grace and not by anything else. If we really want joy as a church we must always have this perspective.
We must be compassionate, kind, humble, meek, patient, bearing with one another (underline that one), forgiving, and above all else allow love to bind us as a family. As we do this we must be thankful too, to our great God.
We must be compassionate, kind, humble, meek, patient, bearing with one another (underline that one), forgiving, and above all else allow love to bind us as a family. As we do this we must be thankful too, to our great God.
You want to condense all this into a way to remember how find joy in the church? Get to know how good God has been to you friends. I mean really think and evaluate this. Our default is to say, "Look at what I don't have." or to look at what others do have. How God has blessed them differently than you. Re-evaluate.
You want to condense all this into a way to remember how find joy in the church? Get to know how good God has been to you friends. I mean really think and evaluate this. Our default is to say, "Look at what I don't have." or to look at what others do have. How God has blessed them differently than you. Re-evaluate.
Put the scorecards down. Learn to walk in thankfulness, and gratitude. Everything in your relationship with God, others, and most assuredly the church will change drastically. Marvel at His goodness an put away the thought of what you don't have.
Put the scorecards down. Learn to walk in thankfulness, and gratitude. Everything in your relationship with God, others, and most assuredly the church will change drastically. Marvel at His goodness an put away the thought of what you don't have.
Think about it this way. There are people who cannot be here this morning because of illness, but you are. Thank you God. Maybe your marriage is falling apart at the seems and you are begging for God to hear you, while others are looking at you wishing their spouse was still with them. Be thankful right where you are.
Think about it this way. There are people who cannot be here this morning because of illness, but you are. Thank you God. Maybe your marriage is falling apart at the seems and you are begging for God to hear you, while others are looking at you wishing their spouse was still with them. Be thankful right where you are.
Maybe you options for breakfast weren't much to look at, but do you know how many people today don't even have breakfast? Do you have a roof over your head, do you have money in the bank, do you have any friends, do you have a car that just keeps breaking down, do you have children, do you have a job, do you have a faucet that leaks, do you have ...?
Maybe you options for breakfast weren't much to look at, but do you know how many people today don't even have breakfast? Do you have a roof over your head, do you have money in the bank, do you have any friends, do you have a car that just keeps breaking down, do you have children, do you have a job, do you have a faucet that leaks, do you have ...?
I could go on and on, but the truth is there are people that I know personally that would call it a win to have just one of those things. We must weigh His goodness daily friends. I will end with this quote from C.S. Lewis's book The Weight of Glory.
I could go on and on, but the truth is there are people that I know personally that would call it a win to have just one of those things. We must weigh His goodness daily friends. I will end with this quote from C.S. Lewis's book The Weight of Glory.
"We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."
"We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."
Oh, that we might not be ignorant children, making mud pies when the beach is an option. Get serious about your relationship with Jesus. Live in the prosper of his promises and not of the worlds. Mirror Jesus as you continue to be a part of this church family.
Oh, that we might not be ignorant children, making mud pies when the beach is an option. Get serious about your relationship with Jesus. Live in the prosper of his promises and not of the worlds. Mirror Jesus as you continue to be a part of this church family.
Conclusion:
Conclusion:
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