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January 12, 2021 7:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. Attitude and Thanksgiving or back in your life right with anxiety for the present and find yourself busy, stressed, find some teasing and happiness joining us today on this additional fellowship in the work pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana going pastor Bill Gebhardt. Now once again he shows us how God's word meets laser pot if you like me can't wait. I really enjoy this time of year more than any other food smells whether decorations, music, movies, family, friends and meaningful football games. The culture sort of feels the same way always wants to the words we use describe the holidays. Happy Thanksgiving, Mary Christmas happy new year and the all-inclusive happy holidays. I agree wholeheartedly with Andy Williams when he saying it's the hap hap, happiest time of the year. Should you feel that way is a Christian should I feel that way.
So I think this is a special time of year and I should enjoy it more than any other time is it okay for me to feel that way, I think, is not only okay I think is mandatory that Christians enjoy the great enjoyable moments of life CS Lewis once wrote joy is serious business in heaven was exactly right. Unfortunately off a lot of Christians don't feel that way. I'm very much aware that the Bible says we are to be of sober spirit that we are to be serious and steadfast, but would be remiss not to see the balance that the Bible advocates the how important it is in the Bible, the Christians enjoy these great moments of their life. Last week I said that victorious Christians think great thoughts they think great thoughts about God, about themselves, about others, about life, about the future about the past even about the challenges of life.
This morning I want to say this, great Christians, victorious Christians, they truly enjoy the great moments of life would you open your Bibles to Ecclesiastes chapter 3 and you will hear the words of Solomon and is those people who been in the church for long time you realize this is my favorite book in the Old Testament in a book. I truly enjoyed preaching is a book of a lot of paradoxes, but there are some things and some moments in this book that Solomon gives incredible insight in chapter 3, verse one. He says something that's become very familiar to us.
There is an appointed time for everything, and there is a time for every event under heaven, and then in verse four he said there is a time to weep and a time to laugh. There is a time to mourn, and there is a time to dance. In other words, there are times to be joyful in life. In verse 11, he goes on explains what he means. He says he has made everything appropriate in its time. He is also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God is done from the beginning even to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one's lifetime. Moreover, that every man who eats and drinks and sees good and always labor is a gift of God catch it nothing better than to rejoice in one's lifetime.
Solomon nothing better than to rejoice in one's lifetime. And this joy is a gift of God, he says this capacity to enjoy life term in chapter 5 of Ecclesiastes and he finishes this whole section up beginning in verse 18 it gives us even more insight. He says here is what I have seen to be good and fitting to eat, to drink and to enjoy oneself at all.
One's labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him for this is his reward. Furthermore, as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth. He is also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor for this is the gift of God, for he will not often consider. He says the years of his life because God keeps him occupied with gladness of his heart.
God gives riches and wealth and he empowers the people that he gives this to to enjoy them.
Notice is no guiltier in first Timothy chapter 6, pulse is virtually the same thing. He says I want to instruct those who are rich in this world and I've set off and that probably all of us when you think of the percentage of the world and where you are, but he says I want them to enjoy it. In fact, Paul actually says that he supplies with all things for us to enjoy.
The only thing Paul adds is that we not feel conceited the reactors. Though we earn this and that we are ready and willing to share with those who have need. But notice, God gives riches and wealth and he empowers us to receive and that we should rejoice and I love this last phrase he will not often consider the days of his life. Solomon is not na´ve. He understands allies heart.
He understands at their suffering.
He understands their start days to understand is not easy. He says because God has given keeps him occupied with the gladness of his heart.
In other words, it's these moments of joy that creates a gladness of heart. This inner sense of well-being that allow us to be able to endure the days of our life on earth is a win-win situation.
The question is does this describe you if I would ask the people who knew you to tell me about this person is a joyful. This is a joyful human being, because if you are, by the way, that's the one thing the prevails and everybody knows it. But if you're not everybody knows it is well you see. Are you filled with contentment simply because you're alive. Are you filled with gratitude and thanksgiving for the good things that God is putting your life see you have joy or you look back in your life with regret and look forward in your life with anxiety and for the present, you find yourself busy, stressed, find yourself chasing a happiness that almost always elude you.
I fear that many of you in that second category. So what I want to do this morning as I want to talk about the reasons that you have joy in the reasons you might not but look how good joy can be for you. Turn to Psalm 84, and in this Psalm were going to see something about joy. See joy is important in God's given it to us as a gift. For this reason, joy reminds us of God's goodness.
See joy is in every reminder of the goodness of God knows how the psalmist starts out, he says, how lovely are your dwelling places the Lord of hosts by so long that even yearn for the courts of the Lord, my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
Then he says something kind of odd pieces. The burgers also found a house to swallow a nest for himself where she may lay her young, even your altar.
So Lord of hosts, my King and my God. How blessed are those who dwell in your house, they are ever praising you what is he happy about. He says I got a forever home with the Lord. I got a forever home with the Lord, you know birds they got nest he provides you what is provided for me a forever home. What a difference that makes this past Friday, we conducted a funeral for dear lady from our church 85 years on this earth.
And now the presence of the Lord, and you know what made that joyful in the midst of the sorrow she's home she went home. The Lord is preparing a place just for her, for that's joyful to make you happy with the song, saying that it was in verse five he says how blessed is the man knows how happy is the man whose strength is in you and whose heart are the highways that has INE says passing through the Valley of Buckeye that they make it to spring. The early rain also covers it with blessings.
They go forth from strength to strength. Every one of them appears before God in Zion was he saying he said you know what I have God's home for the future. I have got strength for the present. So that's what I have I have God's strength for the present. That's why Paul called us more than conquerors, positive God before you. Who could be against you. I can do all things through him who strengthens me see that you give us joy.
I don't just have the promise of a place to go when I die I have the promise of God strength to sustain me while I'm here and in verse eight he goes on, and he says, oh Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer give ear God of Jacob. Behold our shield of God and look upon the face of your anointed for a day in your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand on the threshold of the house of my God and dwell in the tents of wickedness. What is he saying he saying this, I've got something infinitely better than Temple blessing is that I got something. In fact, he gives us something else that we have beside the strength of God uses the word shield generally have a hope of God for a future home in the strength of God for the present.
But I got the protection of God and so do you. He said I'll be your shield. Many closes this little song God by saying, for the Lord God is a sun and shield the Lord gives grace and glory. What a great statement. Next, no good thing does he withhold from those who walk up rightly.
Oh Lord of hosts, how happy is the man who trust in you see, I've got the God in my life who will hold no good thing from me so you shouldn't that make you happy. Should they give you joy. You see as you reflect back on your life.
The provision in the promises of God. The providence of God, how he is guided your life is I give you joy it should.
God wants it to.
Yesterday Rama was in the kitchen and that I was going by.
She said here. I want to look at this and she had an elbow that she put together. She likes to do this and you put this album together and said I want to look at these and I said okay so I'm standing there looking at the woman starts out and we begin to see a variety of things in this album and in this photo of my see my parents and I thank God for them and I see Velma's mom and her uncle Norman. I thank God for them. Then I see my children when they're born in their insert of the pilgrimage of life and I see that and I thank God for them and then it goes on and on. It shows every house we lived in every gives of every car we drove every sport we participated in which and watched which are a myriad and I began to look at this and what happened when this was. I began to be filled with joy because of what God has done see you take time to reflect on that what God is done how he is brought you here what he has blessed you with joy reminds us of the goodness of God.
There is a second thing. Joy sustains us in adversity turn in Nehemiah chapter 8. Nehemiah chapter 8 the book of Nehemiah, at least in the beginning is not a very happy book. In fact, the book of Nehemiah has a lot of tears and I just like our lives do the book of Nehemiah is the fact that Nehemiah finds himself disenfranchised away from his beloved Jerusalem.
He is in a foreign country, and he hears that Jerusalem is falling apart. The walls of falling down that the gates are laying and rolling in Nehemiah's moved to tears and anguish because what can be done for his beloved Jerusalem and then through God's providential care.
Nehemiah bends to have connections and as he gets connections with the Persians in a be able to get a permission and all of a sudden Nehemiah's back in the land and they begin to rebuild and there's lots of trouble. There's enemies afoot is a lot of trouble rebuilding the walls and the gate but now we come to Nehemiah chapter 8 and verse nine says, then Nehemiah, who is now the governor and Ezra the priest and scribe in the Levites who taught the people said all the people this day is holy to the Lord your God.
Do not mourn or weep for all the people were weeping when they heard the words of the law and then he said to them, go eat of the fat drink of the sweet, and send portions to him was nothing prepared for this day is holy to your Lord, do not grieve, be grieved for the joy of the Lord is your strength. What is he saying remember this day make a joyful put in your memory have a party.
You see, that's what you're saying look I don't want to breathing out what your morning now about is not the time there's a time to mourn, but this is a net is a time to be joyfully says. Notice how that sustains them in all their adversity. Small victories you do that you see one of the things it gives me joy in life is I've been through a lot of life. I've been through disappointments. I've been through failures. See, I understand, and so of you, and yet here I am, usually God has got me through, and God has got you through. And God got them through, and God says enjoy that moment when God get you through something is very difficult, delightful party.
See enjoy it because joy will help sustain you in adversity later. We have to face it on your own.
There's another thing that joy does James chapter 1 joy honors God is the source of joy joy not only reminds me of God's goodness and Joy sustains me in my adversity with joy honors God is the source of joy. I tell you what I told the first service I am not going to talk about verse to which I do every third week.
Consider all joy, my brothers, when various you encounter various trials, that's true, and it sort of fits but not really well and look at this morning's verses 16 and 17. He said do not be deceived, my beloved brother and every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of lights with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow joy honors God as the source of joy. Even the capacity that I have doing joy comes from God. It's a wonderful thing to be created in the image of God is to be created with the capacity to enjoy putting one of the things we want the mess and it's wonderful to see than the word of God is God is a joyful God and so that we never think of God. That way we don't think God is joyful.
You see, that's one of the great things about God and he gives us the capacity to have joy so joy honors God is the source of joy joy also does something else. Joy connects us with other people in a special way. Turn the Luke chapter 2 obviously a passage or be very familiar with this time of year.
Luke chapter 2.
Joy reminds us of God's goodness. Joy sustains us in adversity, joy, honors God is the source of joy and joy connects us with other people, you know the story, the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is the Christmas story. I only want to drop in verse 13 because you get some of the magnitude of the joy of the moment it says and suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased when the Angels are gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying one another. Let's go straight to Bethlehem then to see what is happening with the Lord is made known to us and so they came in a hurry and they find their way to Mary and Joseph and the baby as he lay in the manger.
And when they had seen this then may know the statement what's out Angels he said was I told them about the child and all who heard it wondered at the things that were told to them by the shepherds but Mary treasured all these things pondering them in her heart. Notice what the shepherds do they share their joy with Joseph and Mary. Mary then thinks about this and treasures. It ponders it even eight days later after the circumcision notice verse 33 and his father and mother were amazed at the things which are being said about him. You see, I think one of the great things that happened in Bethlehem is that Mary shared her joy with Joseph. Joseph shared his joy with Mary in the shepherds.
They share their joy with Joseph and Mary to see how this works.
Joy is contagious. It connects you to other people. The birth of your child share joy the birth of a child you don't say connect was a wedding sure joy. You see, graduation some moment we share joy the holidays sure joy events share joy. I still remember as a very young man, which Neil Armstrong stepped out surface of the moon. One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind and for you know what I felt the same thing you did. If you were fortunate enough to be alive and joy. I wasn't alive then, but I've seen. I've seen the old news clips. The newsreels VE day and V-J Day victory in Europe Victory in Japan. You see the people in the streets only doing celebrating humor made a great sure joy. It shared joy. That's one of the great things about joy joy connection with other people in such a positive way.
That's why by the way other people love to be connected to joyful people.
One last thing. The joy does it's very important is found in Proverbs chapter 17.
Joy renews us joy is good for you. Joy renews us. Proverbs chapter 17 in verse 22, a joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones a joyful heart is good medicine. What does that imply implies a lease this I need medicine.
You see, I suffer from a terrible disease. It's called life. You're probably a carrier self you see, I need something. He says here that a joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones for science is proving this many talk over and over again that people who laugh often have stronger immune systems. That's an amazing thing because of how positive it is for them. That's not so surprised to God at all, a joyful heart is good medicine and something else you might not thought of.
But you should hear no side effects. No dizziness, no nausea, no irritability, and yes you can operate heavy equipment.
See joy is good medicine. It's good for you.
It's available to you.
It's there for you. Not only reminds us of God's goodness is the same as in adversity honors the source of joy connects us with other people and it's good for us. Why don't we have a bathroom if you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you just like a listen to the message one more time. Remember the great website called in one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen the fellowship and the word online that website you will find on today's broadcast but also many of her previous audio program, had Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible. Yes, all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help with radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting us monthly with just a one-time gift support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word.
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