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Has Your Joy Sprung a Leak? - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
August 27, 2021 2:00 am

Has Your Joy Sprung a Leak? - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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August 27, 2021 2:00 am

Spiritual thorns that deflate joy can also threaten our Christian experience. In the message "Has Your Joy Sprung a Leak?" Skip considers some principles to firm up your life journey and help you keep the joy of the Lord intact.

This teaching is from the series Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians .




This week's DevoMail:

Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
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Chip Ingram
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Pastor Ernie Sanders
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There are a number of things in life that can challenge anybody's joy. Circumstances can, people can, everyday problems can, overwork, sin, doubt, disease, chronic pain, those are just a few things that can challenge our joy. However, if those things steal your joy, you've got a problem. And the biggest problem is Paul the Apostle.

You say, Skip, how do you figure that's our biggest problem? Because if those things can steal your joy, you've got an apostle. You've got someone telling you to be joyful who has every reason not to be joyful. Someone once said, seek as a plain duty to cultivate a buoyant joyous sense of the crowded kindnesses of God in your daily life. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Skip explains how to guard your joy when circumstances threaten to deflate it. But before we begin, did you know you can get more inspiring teachings from Skip on his TV show? Here's how. Tune in for my program, Connect with Skip Heitzig on the Hillsong Channel on Saturdays at 4.30 p.m. Mountain Time, or watch it on TBN on Sundays at 5.30 a.m. Eastern.

Be sure to check your local listings. Now we want to let you know about a resource that helps you dive even deeper into God's truths. You know those times you hear a sermon that really speaks to you? It's almost as if the pastor knows what you're personally going through, and he teaches a message like you're the only one listening. Well, it's not that the pastor knows you personally, it's that God knows you personally.

Here's Skip Heitzig. In nearly 40 years of expository teaching, I still love hearing that one of my messages spoke to someone personally, that it urged them on to know God better or become more like him. But that's not because of me, that's just the power of the Word of God doing the work of God in the hearts of the people of God. Get to know the God who knows you with Pastor Skip's Picks, a collection of some of Pastor Skip's most memorable teachings, including Is the Rapture Real?

and Overcoming an Anxious Mind. This four DVD collection is our thanks for your gift of $25 or more to help keep this ministry connecting more people to Jesus. Call now to request your copy of Pastor Skip's Picks, 800-922-1888, or give online securely at slash offer.

Now we're in Philippians chapter three as Skip Heitzig gets into today's message. I don't know if you have heard the name Billy Sunday, or if you know much about who he was. Billy Sunday was a professional baseball player. He was a center fielder for Chicago who got converted and became an evangelist. And he was a fiery evangelist, so much so that when he would speak, people would remark on the joy and enthusiasm that emanated from Billy Sunday. Well he spoke a lot on the subject of joy. One of the things he said is, don't look as if your Christianity hurts you.

Isn't that good? There's too many people who say, I'm a Christian. They wince their way through life. He also said, the trouble with many people is that they have just enough religion to make them miserable. But my favorite quote by Billy Sunday on the subject of joy is this, if you have no joy, there's a leak in your Christianity somewhere. My question to you this morning is, have you sprung a leak? Have you sprung a leak in joy?

Has your joy sprung a leak? And there are a number of things in life that can challenge anybody's joy. Circumstances can, people can, everyday problems can, overwork, sin, doubt, disease, chronic pain, those are just a few things that can challenge our joy. However, if those things steal your joy, you got a problem. And the biggest problem is Paul the apostle.

You say, Skip, how do you figure that's our biggest problem? Because if those things can steal your joy, you've got an apostle, you've got someone telling you to be joyful who has every reason not to be joyful. Now we already know from studying this book that Paul writes this from a jail cell.

He does not know if the verdict is going to be live or die. But before we even read this text, let me remind you of something else Paul wrote. This is 2 Corinthians. It's a paragraph that he wrote in 2 Corinthians 11.

Listen to Paul describing his Christian background up to this point. He said, I have worked harder. I have been put in jail more often. I have been whipped times without number, faced death again and again five different times.

The Jews gave me 39 lashes. Three times I have been beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked.

Once I spent a whole night and day adrift at sea. I have traveled many weary miles. I have faced danger from flooded rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on stormy seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be Christians but are not. I have lived with weariness and pain and sleepless nights. Often I have been hungry and thirsty and have gone without food. Often I have shivered with cold without enough clothing to keep me warm. Then besides all of this, I have the daily burden of how the churches are getting along.

So how are you doing? I mean with this guy's background and yet Paul the Apostle felt he was so anchored to Jesus Christ, so trusting in Jesus for his future, that he felt it was no way he could not have joy. He couldn't help but be joyful. And that has been a key note in this letter up to this point. We've noted that.

I want you to note it one more time. Go back to chapter 1 verse 3 and just notice this. This prisoner in jail facing death possibly, verse 3 says, I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making requests for you all with joy. Verse 18 chapter 1.

What then? Only that in every way whether in pretense or in truth Christ is preached and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice. Chapter 2 verse 16. Holding fast the word of life so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain, yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith. In other words, if this costs me my very life and I die in the process, I am glad and rejoice with you all for the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.

Now let's Skip ahead. Look at chapter 4 verse 4. Rejoice in the Lord always.

Again I will say rejoice. Okay, so if you were to go back and go through this letter and count how many times Paul uses joy or rejoice or rejoicing, you would count 14 times in all just in this letter. Now with that as our background, let's look at our verses this morning. Philippians chapter 3. We're only going to look at three verses, one, two, and three. Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord for me to write the same things to you is not tedious but for you it is safe. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation for we are the circumcision who worship God in the spirit.

Rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh. Now immediately you notice that though he's talking about rejoicing, he uses some pretty strong language, very vivid warnings. Why? I think he wants to shock them a bit. I think he wants their attention. Their joy is being threatened and he wants to keep them safe from the things and the people that are a challenge to their joy that are possibly robbing them of joy. You know sometimes when you give instructions to people, they've heard them before so they're not listening. And so you introduce an element of shock to draw them in so they get the point.

So let me give you an example. There was a principal of a school, junior high school in Oregon. He had a problem. Some of the girls in that junior high school were wearing lipstick. They'd go in the little girls in the girls room and put lipstick on but then they would press their lips up against the mirror leaving dozens of lip prints in the in the restroom. So the principal kindly asked them not to do that, instructing them why. We have to clean up every time you do that.

Please don't do that. You think it helped? Uh-uh.

Didn't help at all. They kept doing it so he thought well I got to get a little more creative. So he invited all the girls into the restroom, said I'm going to give you a demonstration. This is how hard it is to clean the mirror. So he got all the girls in the room and said now girls when you put your lip prints up there, we got to clean it every day and here's a custodian to show you that you're going to clean it every day. He's going to show you that it's not that easy of a task.

Well they're just sort of licking their little clicks talking and not really paying attention and giggling. So he says okay I'm going to demonstrate. So he tells the custodian to demonstrate cleaning the mirror in the bathroom. So the custodian gets the long handled squeegee, dips it in the toilet, scrubs the marks off, and squeegees it off. Since that day there have been no more lip prints on the mirrors in the girls restroom.

He's a pretty smart guy isn't he? That little shock value changed everything. Well so Paul does the same thing in these three verses especially in verse two. What I want to show you here are three defenses that will stop leaking joy. Three defenses that will stop that will help you against your joy leaking out.

First of all joy must be guarded. Look at verse one, finally my brethren rejoice in the Lord. Now let me just say that just because Paul says finally here doesn't mean he's done. He's got a whole half a book left. So he's a preacher so when he says finally doesn't mean finally. It means I have a whole second half of the book to go. So it doesn't mean he's lying it just means that the word translated here should probably have been translated more appropriately furthermore or also or on another vein. That's what the word can mean it's translated here finally. He's going to use this word again in chapter 4 verse 8 when he does at that time he is closing the letter down. But here finally means furthermore so furthermore or also my brethren rejoice in the Lord. Those words from anybody else would sound very shallow but when they come from the guy who experienced all that we found out that he experienced they are very profound words. Rejoice in the Lord.

Now he's given them a command in fact it's in what's called the present act of indicative which would be translated this way. Go on constantly rejoicing or be continually rejoicing. Now when I discovered that that's what that wording means that tells me something about joy. Number one it tells me that joy has much less to do with what's going on around you and much more to do with what's going on inside you. That no matter what's going on around you you can respond to that with joy. Second thing it tells me is that it's not an automatic response this is something that is a learned response. It's a choice that you make to make joy your outlook. How do I know that? Because by the time we get to chapter 4 verse 11 Paul says this listen carefully I have learned in whatever state I am to be content.

It's not automatic I had to learn that and I have learned it so that is now my response. Some of you will remember when David in the Old Testament King David was before he was king he was being chased by Saul and he was very discouraged and very distraught and he thought he was going to lose his life. We come to first Samuel chapter 30 and we are told then David encouraged himself in the Lord.

So that's Paul. Paul said I will rejoice and he goes rejoice in the Lord. You see joy was Paul's outlook because Jesus was Paul's up look. Speaking of that look at the phrase finally my brethren he didn't say rejoice period he says rejoice in the Lord.

Why is that important? Because he's not saying rejoice in your circumstances or be dependent on people for your joy. When you rejoice in the Lord your joy is a by-product of a relationship with God. Perhaps one of the reasons you don't experience joy is because you're looking for joy in all the wrong places.

You're looking for something or someone else to produce it for you and in you. The way I see it joy is a spiritual reality check. Let's see God is still on the throne check.

I'm a child of God check. All things work together for those who love God check. All of that produces my response of okay then I'm going to be joyful. So I'm not joyful because my circumstances are favorable oftentimes they're not favorable. And I'm not joyful because people are wonderful because are they always? No.

Have you seen the way they drive around here? That's enough to take your joy away. I'm not joyful because I own things or sad because I don't own things. My joy is a by-product of my relationship with the living loving Lord of the universe.

Rejoice in the Lord. That qualifies the command. Look at the next sentence of verse one. Paul says for me to write the same things to you it's not tedious or burdensome or irksome or troublesome. It's not tedious but for you it is safe.

No. Paul knows he's repeating himself. He's saying the same things to them. For me to say the same things to you it's not tedious. He knows he's repeating himself.

Living Bible puts it this way. I never get tired of telling you this and it's good for you to hear it again and again. What does he mean? Well he's already talked about joy several times and he's not done. And he knows that people listening or reading this letter could get a little tedious.

Okay so you're reading Philippians you're reading along and he talks about your joy and then a few verses later talks about joy and a few verse later rejoice and after a while you're going he keeps saying that. It's getting tedious. Hearing things repeated can get tedious for some people. When I was a kid when I was in the bratty stage of being a kid my parents would tell me things. They would repeat themselves especially my father. And I had that juvenile dopey response rolling my eyes and I wanted to finish.

I know I can actually finish your paragraph. Dad I know exactly what you're going to say. I knew the spiel and listening to things over and over again got a bit tedious.

Well I'm a parent now obviously and a grandparent and I see things a little bit differently. I find myself repeating those sayings and history goes on. A good instructor repeats himself.

Let me say that again. Paul says I've said this before I'm saying it again it's not tedious for me and it's actually safe for you. Now Paul isn't the only one to do this. Peter when he writes his letter he says this second Peter chapter one I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things though you know and are established in the present truth.

Yes I think it's right as long as I am in this tent this body to stir you up by reminding you. Educators have always known the value of repetition. Ask any fitness coach any athletic coach. My brother's a golf pro and he will tell you you need to make that swing and make those body motions over and over again and he will have you repeat that and repeat that so that muscle memory gets locked in. You repeat it.

Even Aristotle a couple thousand years ago said it's frequent repetition that produces natural tendency. So he goes I've said it before I'm saying it again I don't mind saying it again and by the way for you it's actually safe that I say it again and again. Why is it safe? It's safe because he knows that there are joy stealers out there. There are grace killers.

There are legalistic people that attach themselves to every congregation. So joy must be guarded but number two legalism must be avoided and that's his thought when he gets to verse two he says beware of dogs. He's not speaking to mailmen who are delivering your mail with a little sign beware of dog he's speaking about something different. Beware of dogs. Beware of evil workers. Beware of the mutilation. Notice three times he uses the word beware beware beware beware.

These are warnings. Who is he warning them against? He's warning them against false teachers called Judaizers. Judaizers.

Let me explain who they are. I don't even know if you've ever heard the term Judaizers. I'm not speaking about Jewish people. Judaizers were people who mixed the grace of Jesus Christ with the law of the Old Testament and they believe you you needed both in order to be right with God. So when Peter in Acts chapter 10 goes into a Gentiles house Cornelius and shares with him and eats a meal with him the folks back in Jerusalem the Judaizers they were Jewish people messianic Jews converted to Jesus Christ trusted in Jesus but thought Peter you can't do that you can't go into a Gentiles house and have a meal with him they're like unclean people they got all upset why because they said you have to come through Judaism in order to get to Christ Paul the Apostle had the same problem he goes on his first missionary journey he goes into the synagogues first to the Jew first also to the Greek they kick him out of the synagogues he preaches to the Greeks in the Areopagus at the Agora in every city Gentiles non-jews here respond well by the time this filters back to Jerusalem in Acts chapter 15 they're like they're beside themselves they throw a fit Acts chapter 15 this is what they say verse 1 unless you are circumcised and keep the laws of Moses you cannot be saved those were Judaizers they attached themselves to the church and they said the Gentiles had to submit to Jewish rules and they opposed Paul wherever he went so he warns them by the way if you're thinking well those days are long gone we don't have people like that around today do we are you nuts there there's always people who have a list of rules to keep and you have to go through those rules to be right with God and by the way not much different than back then there's been a movement it's been popular for some time it's called the Jewish roots movement that's what apologetic teachers will call a Jewish roots movement sounds beautiful that is let's get in touch with our Jewish roots and find out about the festivals and the prayer shawls and the Hebrew prayers and light the candles and where the keep and blow the shofar and and that's cool but what they do is a lot of times these are Gentiles not Jewish people who are going back to Jewish roots and believe that you have to be under the laws of the Torah in order to be right with God and so it's dangerous so Paul says beware beware beware why because he knows that being joyful means being careful and we learn a lot about the characteristics of these legalists just from looking at this verse notice first of all the legalists can be scavengers that's why Paul says beware of dogs that's a term of contempt by the way you may want to try that go up to somebody go you dog no don't do that on secondhand it's it was a turn it was like a cuss word the origin of the term dog in Hebrew parlance goes back to Deuteronomy chapter 23 it referred to a male cult prostitute in Deuteronomy 23 it says you shall not bring the wages of a harlot nor the price of a dog to the house of the Lord very stark language to describe a male cult prostitute well as time went on did you know that Orthodox Jews started using the term dog to refer to non Jews Gentiles so Jews Orthodox Jews would often refer to Gentiles as dogs interesting that Paul decides I'm gonna throw that term back at them these Judaizers who say that we have to keep the laws of Moses to be saved beware of dogs he's saying that's who they are that's Skip Heitzigsing with a message from his series Technicolor joy now here's Skip to tell you about how you can keep encouraging messages like this coming your way as you help connect others to the gospel the greatest demonstration of love I mean true love is Jesus Christ he left heaven came to earth went to a cross and paid the ultimate penalty for us he gave his life and we want to bring the good news of salvation through Christ to as many people as we can and you can help make that happen will you give generously would you consider partnering in connecting others to the gospel of Jesus give us a call at eight hundred nine two two eighteen eighty eight to give a gift today eight hundred nine two two eighteen eighty eight or visit connect with Skip dot-com slash donate that's connect with Skip dot-com slash donate your generosity will keep this biblical encouragement coming your way and help change lives now before we go did you know that you can watch skips messages from the comfort of your home with your Roku device or Apple TV just search for his channel and watch thousands of powerful Bible teachings and live services find more information on the broadcast page at join us next Monday as Skip Heitzig explains how knowing your identity in Christ can give you lasting joy. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of connection communications connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-12 21:41:04 / 2023-09-12 21:50:11 / 9

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