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January 13, 2021 7:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. Yes, the king of the tried every said when I got done trying all I can vanity vanity. It's all in it will not produce joy is one of the great disillusioning things about his lifestyle joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana going faster than ever now is once again he shows us how God's word are Laurel was a wedding sure joy.
You see, graduation the moment we share joy the holidays sure joy events share joy. I can still remember as a very young man, which he knew Armstrong step down service of the moon. One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind and boy you know what I felt the same thing you did.
If you were fortunate enough to be alive.
Joy. I wasn't alive then, but I've seen. I've seen the old news clips for newsreels VE day and V-J Day victory in Europe between Japan and you see the people in the streets only doing celebrating you. I made a great share 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.
That 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 and 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 at least 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. You know that's an amazing thing because of how positive it is for them that's that's a surprise 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. It not only reminds us of God's goodness is the status of adversity. It honors the source of joy it connects is with other people and it's good for us. Why don't we have it easy.
Why don't we have.
Why are so many of us discouraged way down Guam Psalm how we miss out.
I think there may be more but there are at least three reasons why we miss out the first one is found in Luke 1515 is a chapter of these great parables, blotchy lost coin lost son lost son parable was called the prodigal son, the very famous story and another go through the whole parable.
I just want to show you something that happens beginning in verse 20 of Luke 15 this is the prodigal who went away, took his father's inheritance at a given. I'm squandered it and then eventually came back so verse 20 says so he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him and he ran and he embraced him and kissed him the nature of the father.
I remember when I preach this parable many years ago, something that I've never known a tort prepared for was Jewish men never run in public. It was not dignified but this father sees this wayward son pulls up his garment and runs to embracing him and kissing him. Of course, the father represents God and then we go one he says in the sunset him. Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your site. I am no longer worthy to be called a son, and we all gone.
There, but the father said to the slaves. Go quickly now and bring out the best robe and put it on him and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet and bring the fatted calf and kill it and let us eat and celebrate for this son of mine was dead as come to life again.
He was locked and is been found in they began to celebrate what God say let's have a party let's have a party and by the way, what happened when they found the lots going to the lost sheep. They had a party and what happens when every person who converts the Jesus Christ converts and what happens in heaven.
There's a party you know why it's for joy so there's this tremendous joy. Now his older son who was in the field when he came in and approached the house he heard the music and the dancing and a summon one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be any said to him, your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received them back safe and sound. He became angry was not going to go when and his father came out and began imploring him, but he answered and he said to his father look for so many years I've been serving you and I have never neglected the command of yours and yet you have never given me a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who is the founder wealth with prostitutes.
You killed the fatted calf ran the father said to his other son son. You've always been with me and all that is mine is yours. Why don't we enjoy the great moments of life. Sometimes when we share in common with the older brother distorted view of God.
He had a distorted view of his father. You see what he thought it was.
He thought the relationship was based on duty, but it wasn't space the love he did not understand the unconditional love and the unmerited favor of grace. He did not see it so I was miserable. Maybe that's how you see life. Maybe you're jealous and you see other people, other believers, blessed maybe that bothers you, and you think somehow you're more worthwhile.
Maybe you live under this distorted idea that you earn the love of God. Listen nothing you could ever do.
From this day forward will ever make God love you more than he does. Right now nothing and nothing that you have ever done in your past will make God love you less. You see, don't have that you he is a loving, forgiving, gracious, merciful God. If you miss that in your life you miss the joy because of that distorted view, there is another thing that cost us the joy look at second Timothy chapter 3 with me for a moment. Paul says realizes that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, narcissist, and they will be lovers of money, materialist and then in verse four he says they will be lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. They will be hedonists.
You see, one of the reasons a lot of Christians are joyful, you have a warped view of pleasure, you actually believe that pleasure is something that inherently is wall and it's not it's not all you see, hedonism is wrong. Hedonism is this idea that through either my sexual appetite or addictions or acquiring fame or money or power. That'll make me important. Give me meaning in life. It will not, by the way, don't take my word for it that Solomons the book of Ecclesiastes to be the king of the hedonist. He tried everything he said when I got done trying all I came to this conclusion. Vanity vanity.
It's all vanity and will not produce joy. That's one of the great disillusioning things about a hedonistic lifestyle.
In fact, it's a sad thing when you see hedonist because of what happens. The person was a hedonistic lifestyle is if I really enjoyed five beers this Friday. I need tenders next Friday via gorgeous drug I need another drug is the law of diminishing returns with hedonism is the same thing with addictions. The pornography etc. etc. etc. hedonism never produces the joy that you think that it promises hedonism is a very bad taskmaster but it's a very good fringe benefit to the Christian life. This know what CS Lewis says the problem with Christians is not that we enjoy too much pleasure, but we enjoy too little weed equated pleasure with sin, and that makes it hard to have fun and relax without feeling guilty about it. We even referred to many of our enjoyments as guilty pleasures. We have reacted to the false association by throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
God designed you to have pleasure and he knows exactly the way you should have it not as an end in itself is a fringe benefit of your relationship with God. God loves the sea you have pleasure, you know, as I was thing about the Old Testament, they are more holidays in the Old Testament than we do them more parties, more celebrations than we do the kind of things that they get all excited about. They have a big celebration of our party if there's a birth.
We understand that right now about this. They used to have a party, a celebration when they had a weenie, a weenie, the baby is now weaned.
Let's have a party.
Everybody came together. I'm sure were thankful was the net they celebrate manhood bar mitzvah they celebrate womanhood that mitzvah, the celebrated, how about this. They have a party when they have sheep shearing.
That's a celebration we're going to share the sheep. Let's have a party let's enjoy this. You know why because it means God is provided see how this works. The child is born, God is provided. The child is growing. God is providing the sheep are here God is providing the harvest is here, God is providing that's pleasure. And God wants us to have that kind of pleasure don't have a worldview of pleasure have a biblical view of pleasure. There is 1/3 reason and maybe it's the most important when it comes to you. It's fine in the book of acts chapter 7 distorted view of God, a warped view of pleasure and then this one found in one little verse. Stephen is giving this tremendous sermon right before it cost him his life and he speaks to these people and he says something to them. That certainly applies to us.
If you are a joyless Christian verse 39 says our fathers were unwilling to be obedient to him, but repudiated him and in their hearts they turned to Egypt, unwilling to be obedient.
The only thing stopping you from being joyful is your own unwillingness to understand that God is giving you the power the capacity the example, the words the life to be a victorious Christian enjoy the great moments of your life if you don't, it's very likely because you just unwilling you know why because you look back to Egypt. You measure your life the way they world majors their life and you think by having a worldview of life that was what Egypt represented you see life of the weight is that you don't let me show you sort of four kind of outgrowths of that unwilling spirit.
You probably have unwilling spirit. If you have workaholic tendencies you see the manager of the workaholic as I am the job that's blasphemy. You are so much more than a job.
We may live in a culture that says you are the job that we have a God that says you are my son you are my daughter. You are a child of the King. You're an eternal spiritual being you are not the job and the trouble is like take this view like I am the job, then I think all my self work is based on how much effort I give to the job and never get the joy another outgrowth might be. You have perfectionistic tendencies. That is, you take a worldview that it's good to be a perfectionist. The only trouble in your perfectionist as nothing is right. Unless everything is right. Trouble was, nothing's ever right so you're never happy see how do we demand a perfectionism of those around us that we know we don't have in our own hearts and our lives, and it still is the joy workaholic tendencies perfectionistic tendencies of victimization.
Prasanna or that's big in our world. Life is out to get me everybody's conspiring against me. It doesn't matter.
Everything about life's been bad for my parents on siblings, parents, friends, employers, everybody's out to get me oh poor me or that'll suck the joy I've knowing out of you, but everybody around you. Let's think about for you inside of you dwells, God Almighty. As far as I understand it, you can do all things through him who strengthens you. You see that there's no poor you if you know Jesus Christ there's only a rich you spiritually rich. Don't let yourself be victimized and the last one is for the twin sister victimization, a selfish orientation that is still joy and that is pretty much what it's all about me. You are all here for me.
Everybody I need is there for me.
People like that are never joyful. You know why because everybody else knows it's not about them and no one else is going to treat them like it's about them so they're just so disappointed. You see it's not about you it's not about me it's about him.
It's about Jesus Christ.
It's never going to be about me seeing if I have those views it takes. It sucks the joy right out of you distorted view of God. I warped view of pleasure and unwilling spirit close by just trying to help you along this line can I do about this.
If you're not joyful. What can you do about this. I'm sure there's many things that we give you just for the first is this slow down and reflect Psalm 4610. Be still and know that I am God, slow down and reflect what I told the story earlier by Velma yesterday showing me the album in the kitchen we had planned on this. She was just in there and she said hey let's look at this and we were standing about counter and she's opening up, my way through so I'm thinking I don't really want to do this right, but I'm also thinking of the consequences of choices that you may so I stop.
I didn't say anything. I just stopped and said it was looking at and then I thought, for that's pretty thick and she starts turning she starts turning in by the second page I'm hooked. By the fifth page. I'm humbled because I think how great a life God has given me. You see how wonderful. What I need to do to slow down and reflect.
You see slowdown reflect on the life that God has given you start your own photo album. Take some time.
Think about or write it down. Journal whatever it is, but doing secondly simplify your life. So many of you just don't have time to be joyful you gotta make God time you got a big family time.
You gotta make friend time and you gotta make your time you got everything you gotta have that simplify your life.
Thirdly, open your eyes to the beauty and the joy that surround you. Look at joyful people that that the encouragement local God is created just book. Don't miss it know. I do remember I grew up in the mountains and I remember driving all the time.
You know what I never even saw them half the time but I remember going back after living here and I can remember going from the airport to home and just simply fixed look at you see. Take time look around, see the beauty in gives you joy, slowdown, simplify your life. Open your eyes to the beauty and the last one is the one it makes sense to me just the way I think be a pragmatist when it comes the joy.
What does that mean book as far as I understand it when you get to heaven you going to be joyful for ever. You understand that forever so why not start now you see when to be great that someone saw you in heaven, and they recognized you because of the joy you had on earth. I swear there are some Christians that I have known it when I see them in heaven. I probably won't recognize him. I've never seen them with a smile on her face.
I've never seen them joyful.
You see, you're going to be joyful for the rest of eternity.
So why not be joyful, victorious Christians enjoy the great moments of life that father joy is such a paradox to us is something we all want but so few of us have free fathers because we look at all the wrong places that we can have a life of joy and laughing as we have a life that's close to you, which allows us to be close to others. Father, may we each assess her own heart and ask yourself the question, is my heart willing to be filled right past you broke your heart on the radio ministry of fellowship in the if you ever missed one of our broadcast or maybe you just like listening to the message one more time.
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