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September 17, 2020 8:00 am
Today on the Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ.
He rejoiced. It's a commandment like the 10 Commandments. This is a commandment in the New Testament which sorts again I reset rejoiced, how you commit somebody to rejoice. I'm telling you know more than what you really can't command somebody because more point of view, we would say so just can't make himself. My children growing up today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bonaparte Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie going pastor will go for now is once again he shows us how God's word me know about chapter 5 in verse 40 in the early church as enemies, real enemies. These are enemies and eventually will martyr almost all site it says in verse 40 that they took his advice and after calling the apostles and they flog them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and then he released now.
I think all of us would do this but I would call a flogging day a bad day. If you were taken by the authorities in that world and you were flog. That's a really bad day. In fact, for many of us, and remember happiness and joy are two different things.
Happiness is circumstantially driven joy is internal well-being noticed the response then and so they went on their way from the presence of the Council rejoicing. Wasn't that a great flogging was like I knew what he was doing.
You see, they want to waive the presence of the Council rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for his name and every day in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus the Christ.
You see, you couldn't have a bad day and take their joy away.
You know why because joy makes you unsinkable you see when you have the joy of the Lord. It's unsinkable is not tied to bad circumstances.
Let's move the chapter 8 of the book of acts, and here we see another reason why people were so joyful. This is the Ethiopian eunuch who happened to be leaving Jerusalem, heading home.
Reading Isaiah Philip shows up and he says to Phil about a meeting Isaiah in Isaiah is talking about someone was coming down the road and I don't know who that is.
Do you and Philip said while this is a perfect set up any shares the gospel and Jesus Christ. And so in verse 3080 city ordered the chariot to stop and they both went on in the water and Philip as well as the Munich and Philip baptized soon as it's over. When they came up out of the water. The spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away. That's what makes me think he just managed and assessed in the unique, he says, no longer saw him, but he went on his way rejoicing. Is he just found Christ same ideas in acts chapter 2 he went on his way rejoicing. Now let's go to chapter 13 of the book of acts, this time as Paul and Barnabas in their English and their sharing the gospel in the enemies of their insulin verse 50 F chapter 13 of acts it says, but the Jews incited devout women of prominence and the leading men of the city and instigated a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and they drove them out of their district. Another very hostile reaction and he says, and they shook off the dust off your feet in protest against them and they went on diakonia and then it says this and the disciples were continually filled with joy, and the Holy Spirit. We always talk about that filling ministry of the Holy Spirit you know you really need to be controlled by the spirit of God. That's the filling ministry of the Holy Spirit, how often we talk about the fact that we need to be filled with joy. You see, said they were filled with joy completely filled with joy. They were just rejected and threatened.
It had to go somewhere else and they go is a district you see they were unsinkable with me. Now that acts chapter 16 and this is the Philippian jailer and once again we have the apostle Paul is kind of interesting that there's an earthquake and a code of escape, but they didn't. The general thought he was going to die, but Paul said he were in here. Everything's fine when I can escape. So in verse 30 it says jailer says to them, he said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved as a person saved man, I just that's easiest question will all Paul said Thomas when they said to him, believe in the Lord Jesus, you will be saved you and your household believe the Lord Jesus, then it says this he takes him home and says in verse 34 and he brought them into his house and he said food before them, and he rejoice greatly, having believed in God with his whole household.
She never got over it.
We should never be over. That's the whole point.
Jesus came to reinstate joy into your life and that joy is not at all depending on the circumstances of your life.
I am sure that when they got flog. Somebody said, ouch, ouch. That really hurt you see that has nothing to do with it.
In fact, what you end up with tears you start realizing in this kind of a case that this joy is not dependent. That way, the apostle Paul and and second Corinthians 6, said we are sorrowful, yet always rejoicing in a chapter 7 or send brilliance. He said in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds. You see, this is the sense of inner well-being. This is joy. This is what we are have us Christians is why does a Christian have such joy. Why think it's it's related to the other things we talked about often hear the church, you hear her say every single week when Pastor Brad opens up the service that we we really want driven we can to help you be followers of Jesus Christ and we talk about the characteristics of a follower of Christ, and that your life is marked with things like joy and peace and hope.
And the more I thought about that. That's where the joy comes from. You see, the reason I can be joyful with simple.
I have peace with God. That's reconciliation because I've been redeemed and I also have the peace of God which Paul writes is beyond all understanding.
You see, and I have hope for the future and I don't mean this kind of hope. I mean biblical hope.
I mean certitude about the future. I have a certitude faith about the future of this world and I have a certitude faith about me. You see, because I have peace with God and the peace of God, and I have a certitude hope about the future. I have joy. You see I have joy and that plays itself out in the most practical ways possible. I don't mean to be disrespectful to anybody in the medical profession here, but when you and someone will eventually probably you know tell me that I have a fatal diagnosis and prognosis. I would have to say I believe your you see, I believe you're wrong. It's not fatal over the years I've said how many times this congregation. The worst thing that could possibly happen to you can happen to you.
That's what it means to know Jesus Christ. You see, that's what it means and what does that give me joy. That is, that make me want to enjoy the suffering before I went absolutely not. But CI could still be in anguish, and still have joy because of the idea of the certitude in the hope that I have for the future. I have peace with God. I have the peace of God have a certitude about what's going to happen future. The Scripture is clear. I'll be absent from the body and I'll be present with the Lord. You see after you believe the good news.
You really can't give me bad news when it compares to the good news of Jesus Christ. You just can't you see that's the whole point of being Christian. That's why the early church. You see, that's why they accepted the flogging.
I mean, the apostle Paul believed this so much that when he was asked the question an interesting one and just think, if you rest this would you rather stay start right now. Stay or leave today and when I mean leave.
I mean, leave what would you rather do. Would you other state would you rather leave today. Remember what Paul said I'd rather leave today to see if you give me a choice. He said it's not up for me to decide. But if you give me a choice, I'd rather leave. But for your sake, I'll be more than happy to stay if God wants me to know what Paul had. He had joy and you know what that made him unsinkable. You see, how do you threaten a man with capital punishment martyrdom. Who's not afraid of capital punishment martyrdom. You see, you can't threaten them use it.
Will you what were going to do you send me home today.
You see, it's a whole different perspective of living things. That's what joy can produce in your life. Peace and joy and hope is a joyful God. God's homes. A joyful place. Joy is woven into the creation. Jesus came to reinstate joy and we have the privilege to live joyfully. Turn with me to first Peter first Peter chapter 1 please understand that Peter is writing a whole group of people that are all suffering.
These are people that are suffering most of them outcast from their own families. Most of them in economic ruin. They were not like them at all by the Jews. They were certainly not like by the Greeks and Romans.
So they find himself in a really difficult spot and that's with the first epistle of Peter wrote is all about. In verse six he says this he says in this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, because I know how hard it is for what you're going through. He then says so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. And though you have not seen him, you love him, and though you do not see him now, but you believe in him you he says greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.
He's telling a suffering group of people you have inexpressible joy. What a privilege. This is usually the only thing that can stop a believer from having joy in their life is the believer is the only person I can stop you as you and what ends up happening when you are stopped as you simply do not trust or believe we got a set about joy and of course the one who pays the most for that issue. The psalmist said in Psalm 3433 sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous, for it is fitting. He says to the upright to be joyful would be joyful people should be marked by that other circumstances of the culture we live in getting more more difficult. Yes, but that should not ever rob us of our joy, not at all is a joyful God.
God's home is a joyful place. Joy is woven into his creation. Jesus came to reinstate joy. We have the privilege of living joyfully, so here's my overall conclusion that we should become students and scholars of joy all edgy and not take my word for me show you why turn with me to Philippians chapter 4, a very famous verse Philippians 4 verse four. By the way, the whole epistle to the Philippians is about joy.
That's what it's about. By the way Paul was in prison, not knowing if it's going to get out or be executed. When he writes but the whole epistle is about joy. And then he says this in 44 Mrs. Downing you you know the words are famous.
Rejoice in the Lord always again I will say, rejoice. Now here's what makes that so unusual is the Greek. Every time you see the word rejoice there. It's imperative mood was at mean it's commanded being sent. You know what you need idea if you rejoiced. It's a commandment like the 10 Commandments. This is a commandment in the New Testament rejoice again I reset rejoice command somebody to rejoice in you be happy. I'm telling you know more that you can see from my point of view, you really can't command somebody because of our point of view, we would say someone just can't make himself rejoice in what God would say my children again. They certainly can.
That's why command rejoice see rejoice in the Lord always again I say rejoice.
He understands how important joy is in your lives is not being na´ve about this, he gets it last passage on a look at the book of Habakkuk, so let's go to the book of Habakkuk it by the weights book right before Zephaniah, so you should have no trouble. The book of Habakkuk and wanted to see how this pilgrimage can work in your life because a work in his Habakkuk chapter 1 and verse two. Habakkuk says this. How long will Lord why call for help and you will not hear. I cry out to you violence and yet you do not deliver or save ever been there. Lord, along I think you hear me at all. This is awful. He's looking at a culture by the way where the evil was prospering much like a culture were beginning to look at and he says why do you make me see iniquity and cause me to look on wickedness. Yes, destruction and violence are before me strife. Existing contention arises.
Therefore the law is ignored and justice is never upheld for the wicked surround the righteous, and therefore justice comes out perverted. It sounds like you just read our newspapers. You see, said Lord what's going on and then as you read through the book you realize Habakkuk made a mistake and that as he looked at the circumstances and thought they would give him happiness and joy, and they were awful and what he learned is I have to get back in the presence of God.
And that's what he does. He comes back in the presence of God to remember, as I said is a joyful God's intent for you is the reinstate joy through Jesus Christ in your life. He commands us to rejoice. Now let's go to the very end of the book chapter 3 verse 17 and here's how he concludes what he started that I just read he says in verse 17 though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines and though the yield of the all of the show fell in the fields produce no food and though the flock should be cut off from the fold, and there be no cattle in the stalls. What is he describing complete total economic ruin.
This is an agricultural culture. It means they have nothing no money, no food, nothing.
He said if all this happens what's what he says. Yet, I will exalt in the Lord. I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, he has made my feet like Hinds feet and makes me walk in my high places is joyful and what else Habakkuk are saying I'm unsinkable you see on unsinkable who doesn't want that in your life. You see, we can have that that's there for us, no matter how difficult life can get his name was Capt. Josh Byers. He was a West Point grad stationed in Iraq. He was in a Humvee with a Sgt. who was driving the Humvee in one or two. I'm not sure yet which in the backseat of the Humvee. They were on their way to Falluja in Iraq.
Sgt. Tim which kill was driving. He recounted they hit a roadside bomb. He said as soon as they had a roadside bomb. The impact was so great on him that he said I actually, the door came off and I flew out the window. I had such a tight grip on the steering wheel. I flew right back in. He said that was the impact he said my natural instinct and was a gym on the break, he said, but In buyers right beside me yelled out very loudly.
Keep moving forward.
I heard the order. I pushed on the gas pedal. As soon as they pulled away another roadside bomb went off. He said that moved to keep moving forward.
Save the lives of two of them him and one of the soldiers in the backseat. But when he looked over to the passenger seat. He said Capt. Josh Byers was dead and he said from that moment on our little group you said used as our motto. Keep moving forward.
In fact, a few years later is a book written the title the book is keep moving forward. My son's last words. It was by Dr. Lloyd Byers and this is what he writes. He said when the numbness began to wear off after the devastating news of Josh. I lost my joy.
In fact, I got angry with God for a while and afterward he said I dealt with much guilt since I had served as a minister of the gospel in the foreign missionary teaching others about the joy of the Lord. He said God just love me through all of it.
He said through my hurt and struggle and I quickly realized just how powerful and patient and kind. His love was is it was not until a friend shared with me.
Isaiah 57, one that I learned that I could have joy in my life again. This is what Isaiah 51 71 says the righteous parish and no one takes it to heart. The devout are taken away and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. I read that with a heavy heart that God shouted to me in my pain is that I now can continually praise the Lord as the joy of the Lord is my strength. He said one day I'll be in heaven with Jesus and my son forever, but for now I can rejoice that Josh doesn't have to deal with this world of heartache and pain. I can continually keep moving forward, filled with joy.
He then writes the joy of the Lord is the only dynamic that enables us to keep moving forward at life's hardest moments. This kind of joy doesn't cancel the difficult moments in life, but it does transcend life's most difficult circumstances. Joy the ocean of God's joy is in unsinkable see.
It's as uplifting in your life is the very heart of Jesus Christ rejoice in the Lord always again. He says I say rejoice. Spring father, I fear that joy is one of those things that we all wish we could attain, but so many of us never find it. So many of us have allowed the difficult and painful circumstances of our life. The shapeless we become pessimistic and bitter.
We have become fearful of the very world in which we live. Father that's not your intent, because we have peace with you, through Jesus Christ, your spirit indwells us and so we can have the peace of God in our lives. We have a certitude of a hope for a future not just ours, but for this entire creation, but father that hope and that peace should produce a joy in us a sense of well-being within us.
It doesn't alleviate us from dealing with the difficult pain and circumstances of life, but it does prevail and get us through father. I would pray that if we were a joyful people as you intended for B what a witness, we would have to this culture that is now beginning to reap what they sow. So much so much hatred so much pain and despair.
Father I pray that all of us search the Scriptures look for the promises see the joy that you offer us and then father. We simply mean because once we do, we are in sync. We pray this for our good price pastoral gift card on the radio ministry of fellowship Lord, if you ever missed one of our broadcast or maybe you just take a listen to the message one more time.
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