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The Light of the World // Joy // Pastor Josh Evans

Union Grove Baptist Church / Pastor Josh Evans
The Truth Network Radio
January 5, 2023 9:39 pm

The Light of the World // Joy // Pastor Josh Evans

Union Grove Baptist Church / Pastor Josh Evans

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January 5, 2023 9:39 pm

Pastor Josh concludes his series entitled "The Light of the World" as he reminds us that Jesus came to give us joy.

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Amen.

Amen. Thank you, Hannah and Mark. I appreciate him being with us here today and such a good reminder and such a wonderful, wonderful song. Well, listen, I tell you, you guys kind of blew me away, man. It's Merry Christmas and you guys are here on Christmas Day.

And what a good crowd. And in fact, turn to your neighbor right now and tell them Merry Christmas. And I tell you, like, where are the kids at? If you're a kid in here, can you wave at me?

There we go. I want to know you're there. Thank you, Jeff Beverly. It's good to see you. And I tell you, I'm so excited that the kids and so parents, you're looking forward to a nap.

If many of you were up and Adam early this morning, possibly. And but I'm so glad that your family is here on Christmas. And I tell you, it's good to have our family here. We got some from from Florida, and they've never seen cold the way they've experienced cold the last couple of days. And they go out and they are just bundled up. I'm thinking are you guys going snowing now? We're just going to the grocery store.

And so and but no, it's good. I'm glad they're here. And I'm glad you have your family here. And I'm so glad the Dixons are here. I just saw you guys it has been so long since I've seen y'all. And I love days like this. And so we can connect and just see people. And it's so good to see everybody here.

If you have your Bible, you can go to first john chapter one. And before we jump in, I just wanted to say if you missed Wednesday night, we had just a great family Christmas service. And just tremendous, I would encourage if you get a chance to maybe go back, watch it online. It's not the same as being here in the room.

But if you weren't able to be here this past week, it is an opportunity for you to go back and tune in. I love doing things like that. I love bringing families together as much as possible to celebrate the real meaning of the season this time of year. And so we did candlelight.

We didn't burn the place down. Praise God for that. And, and we just had a good time had communion together saying Christmas carols, the kids sang, which is always I feel like a highlight in our family services. Pastor Grady was able to read the Christmas story to the children, which was just a special time and just a good good time. I appreciate you being here. We had great attendance Wednesday. I mean, we really packed this place out on Wednesday night, and which was so exciting.

And so just a fun time. And I appreciate everybody who had their hand in that day to make it to make it a successful, successful day. And and I know like, listen, I mean this when I say this, you guys have plans today, many of you are getting together at lunch with family. Some of you might be even driving somewhere today to see family. And I really can't tell you enough how grateful I am that you are here.

And and how faithful you guys are. And I just greatly greatly appreciate that. We have a lot to be thankful for, don't we? And I tell you this time of year is a time I know it's not Thanksgiving, it's Christmas. But still, each and every day, this season is an opportunity to remember back that Jesus came to earth to be born, so that he could one day die to take away the sins of the world. And that means we have a lot to be thankful for.

And so I encourage you to spend some time as a family just remembering that, read the Christmas story together, and and just remember everything that Jesus has done for you. I also wanted to mention one thing that we can give God praise for today, that I really want you to know, I don't want to steal Pastor Bailey stunned, or he might mention this at the end. But you all know in here, our church people, if you're visiting with us today, Pastor Bailey's wife, Michelle, who is here today, which we're so excited that she's here and Joseph's here. And she actually has, you know, had some health concerns recently that we have been praying for. And she had a risk, she's been on medication with her heart over the last several weeks. And so this past Thursday, just a couple of days ago, she went to check everything out, see how things are progressing, get an idea if the medication is working.

And when she went on Thursday afternoon, she went in and the doctor told her her heart is functioning like normal. And that is a major, major, major miracle. And we have been praying for that. And I just want you to know we're celebrating with them.

And I know Pastor Bailey is so excited about that as family as Michelle is. And we wanted you guys to be able to know that so that we could celebrate with them. And I want you to know that God still answers prayer. And so whatever you've been praying for, don't stop, he can still answer whatever prayer that is, however big it is, he can still answer that. And so we are grateful for that. And we rejoice with them. With that good news. She is still having to take some medication just to continue that but but definitely God is answering prayer.

So do not stop if you if you would. Well, we've been in a series and I know many of you are probably visiting with family and different things. We've been in a series through the month of December, our Christmas series called the light of the world, the light of the world. And we've been looking each week at a different word that we use around this time of year, just to prove that Jesus is indeed the light of the world. And in fact, he can light up your world and he has lit up my world.

So we have looked at these different words, we've looked at the word hope. And Jesus lit up the world because he provided hope and brought hope to a lost world to a hopeless world. He also brought peace. He brought peace he can he can not only just give you peace that passeth all understanding here on this earth, but he did something that nothing else could do he could actually give you peace with the Father and make your relationship at peace with the God of the universe. Then also we look last week at the word love that Jesus came and he loved us.

That's the reason that he he came is because he loved you that much. Well today we're going to look at this word we're going to look at the word joy. Let's all say that word together. Joy. We'll look at the word joy. I want you to think about what brings you joy. What brings you joy. Many of you probably I mean you walk in today you got family with you right that's joyful that brings you joy and and I hope that I hope it does I'm sure it does I know for us we have family in town at our house that brings us great great joy. You know Christmas morning is a time that you know we we have joy you know you're opening up gifts and and things like that whether you did that yesterday or you're doing that today or you did that this morning you get get excited you get get joyful I know my kids this morning when they're opening up their gifts you know they're so excited right Christmas morning is an exciting thing a lot of things can bring us bring us joy the different festivities of this season all of those things are really really really good but but the scripture says that Jesus came to bring us joy in fact in Luke 2 verse 10 the Christmas story we know this many of you have read this Pastor Grady read it to the kids on on Wednesday in Luke 2 verse 10 it says in the angels said unto them fear not for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people the angel said that to the shepherds and so when Jesus came he brought them he brought them joy now all those things that we think about here on this earth that bring us bring us joy family being together gifts the festivities Christmas music all these different things let me tell you this that all of those things go away right so if our joy is placed in just those things or in anything it eventually changes and sometimes our joy can can change right when those things go away when you're not getting gifts when the family goes back home when you have to go back to work and different things like that right if our joy is placed in all those things our joy is going to constantly be up and down because things like that change all the time well Jesus came to this earth as the light of the world at Christmas time and it says that the angel said to the shepherds he's going to bring a great joy which shall be to all people let me tell you this that when Jesus came into the world the world was a dark place it wasn't the exciting Christmas time that you guys look forward to it wasn't that way when Jesus came to be born there was there was hostility in the world the word of God had also been been silenced for 400 years that that God had not spoken his voice had not been been heard and and he was silent during this time there was hostility toward the people of God and the world was spiritually dark during that time you see that even in in Luke when Jesus was born and Herod wanted to wanted to kill Jesus baby Jesus you see there was all this this hostility happening in the world it wasn't a a real bright happy joyful place but yet the angels told the shepherds that Jesus coming would bring them great joy which would be to all people you me the entire world here's what biblical joy is if you want to know what biblical joy is let me say this it's not in gifts it's not in the festivities it's not in the lights it's not in any of those things it's found in in Jesus you see he's the one that provides joy in your life and my life and you can have joy no matter what happens in life here's what biblical joy is joy is a gift from God it is an inner confidence I want you to get this here's what biblical when we talk about joy this morning here's what I want you to understand it is an inner confidence that all is well despite difficulties that so when the scripture talks about joy when when the shepherds say that to the or to the angels saying to the shepherds that that great joy is going to come to all people this is what he means that you can have joy despite your circumstances you can know that all is well despite whatever circumstances that you are going through Billy Sunday the great evangelist said this if you have no joy there must be a leak in your Christianity somewhere let me tell you this if you if you are in here today and you do not have joy nothing is wrong if you're a child of God the scripture says we can have joy no matter what now don't you think that our world could use a little bit more joy you look around everything's negative right everything is is doom and gloom it's just not a not a very happy kind of world that we live in it's not a very joyful world that we live in don't believe me just look on Facebook I have to scroll through a lot of things to find something that is joyful right that that is filled with the joy of the Lord you see Jesus birth brings joy Jesus when he came to this earth he brought joy he brought joy and and here's what I want you to understand Jesus being born in Bethlehem isn't enough for you you have to have him born in your heart Abby can I grab the water sorry I've been congested over the last couple days I thought my voice was gonna be good today so I apologize so joy in your life you can have it no matter what kind of circumstances that you are going through and here's why because true joy and this is really the big idea today true joy is found in a who not a what it's found in a relationship with somebody it's found in a person not a what and let me tell you this when you come into a relationship with Jesus Christ and you get to know Jesus the person who came to bring joy in your life you can have lasting joy that does not change with the circumstances that you're going through you can find joy in the worst of situations you can find joy in the best of situations why because it's not found in a circumstance it's not found in a thing it's found in a relationship with Jesus Christ here in first John chapter one hopefully you already made your way over to first John chapter one we see the Apostle John he's writing this and and and really the whole book I wish we could kind of dive in maybe we'll do a book study on first John at some point but the the book is all about assurance it's all about assurance and and it's talking about doubt John is addressing throughout this book this idea about the Christians and making sure that they recognize that they have a genuine faith a real faith how do we not not doubt I know when I was growing up I I had periods of my life where I doubted you know where I doubted am I a Christian am I not a Christian when I was really young I got saved at five years old and so when I made that decision to trust Jesus with my life I really struggled sometimes with with doubt and with really just I would go back and I would try to remember to be like am I saved am I not saved and things like that and and I would just pray the prayer again all the time as a little little kid and and some of you might have that that story and I got it settled later on in life but but that is exactly what the Apostle John's talking about throughout the book of first John he's writing to give them some assurance that their faith in God is genuine that their faith in God is genuine here's what he said verse one that which was from the beginning which we have heard which we have seen with our eyes which we have looked upon and our hands have handled of the word of of life verse two for the life was manifested and we have seen it bear witness and show unto you that eternal life which was with the Father was manifested unto us that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you that ye also may have fellowship with us and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his son Jesus Christ and then look at what he says here verse four and these things write we unto you that your joy may be full that your joy may be full so here he's talking about the incarnation of when Jesus came came to this earth to be born he came from heaven he's always been and he comes to earth to be born and listen I want you to know that John's writing this and and the reason for this the reason that John can write this is because he had a relationship with Jesus he'd had an experience with Jesus and now he's saying because of those things his joy is full and he's writing this to Christians so that their joy can be full in the few moments that we have I want you to understand that joy can be found in a person not a thing and that your joy today can be full regardless of your circumstances regardless what you are having you say how can I have that joy that's the joy all of us want right we want the joy that when something bad happens at work we can still have the joy of the Lord in our life if we get bad you know a bad report at a doctor's office we can still have have joy something happens in our family we can still have have joy you say how in the world can you have joy that does not change based on the situation and circumstance that we find ourself in how can we still have joy it comes from two things that I want you to see in these first in these four verses first is this joy comes from a personal experience with Jesus joy comes from a personal experience with Jesus you see if you look back at verses one and two he says this John says that which was from the beginning so Jesus has always always been now if you're like me we we like things that we can prove right that we can scientifically prove it makes sense that everything listen if you really want your mind to kind of hurt today start dwelling deeply on the idea that Jesus had absolutely no beginning because we look at it like Jesus came to be born well listen he existed long before that in fact what John saying is that he has always been God has always been you see God exists in three persons one God three persons it's called the Trinity God the Father God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and we see them at work throughout the entire entire world long before Jesus came to be to be born but Jesus John saying is remember he was from the very beginning and then look what he said which we have heard John I mean he had literally walked he had seen Jesus he had heard him speak directly to him which we have seen with our eyes John he had seen him he'd been with him he'd walked with Jesus which we have looked upon and our hands have even handled the word of life for the life was manifested and we have seen it in fact we bear witness of it and show unto you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested unto us you see John is saying that listen because we have seen it because we have heard it because we have looked upon Jesus now because of those things we can have joy now there's a lot of doctrines in scripture that sometimes like this the doctrine of the incarnation sometimes it's difficult for us to understand because it's hard for us to actually explain it you try to explain that that God has always been but yet God sent Jesus to be born here but Jesus had also always been that's very difficult to explain but what John is saying is that even though it might be difficult for our humanistic minds to explain it is undeniable it's undeniable and listen there's a lot of things in scripture that's why we say that you are saved through faith it takes a lot of faith to believe the Bible it takes a lot of faith to believe that Jesus came to be born so that he would one day die and then rise again you see it takes faith in order to be to be saved and this doctrine of the incarnation it gets kind of dicey in our minds but I want you to understand that this is not something that is hard for us to really realize in fact I read this this week I thought this was really interesting there was a physicist a physicist at Yale his name was Robert Adair he put together this book back in 2002 on baseball it's called the physics of of baseball and so I read a little bit of it this week I thought this was really really interesting and and he kind of dove deep into this so this is going to get into a lot of data and your mind might start to look into this or whatever and it might make your mind hurt by the end of this sermon so I don't want to do that but he said this he dove deep into the idea of baseball and how baseball works and how somebody can hit a fastball going so so fast he said that a 90 miles per hour fastball which is normal in the major leagues a 90 miles per hour fastball gets to the catcher's glove in 400 milliseconds it's just about a half a second all right so in 400 milliseconds the ball gets from the pitcher to the to the glove so it's about 400 milliseconds and and he said it takes the batter's brain 200 milliseconds to actually while he's there to find the ball in the air and actually decide what to do so before the batter is even swing swung he's already down to 200 milliseconds before that ball is down to the glove and then it says this that he found out through his research that it took a hundred milliseconds for the batter to actually decide to swing to make that that decision so that I know that's 300 of the 400 milliseconds in just deciding if he is going to go in and swing the bat at all and then he said when he started to look at the swing itself he found that for the batter to swing it takes him 150 milliseconds to actually swing and and he has to if if I think it was 150 milliseconds to swing and then here's the thing so that equals 450 milliseconds for the batter to decide to actually go with it but it takes 400 milliseconds for the ball to get from the glove or to get from the hand to the glove are you seeing what I'm saying that it actually takes longer for him that was his research for him to hit the ball would have already been there and here is his whole conclusion in the physics of baseball some of you are going to go buy this on Amazon today I believe it came out in 2002 but here's what his conclusion was he said this he said it does not add up the math kind of didn't add up for him when he did all of his research he's like listen I don't understand that you know for the batter's brain it took him a couple hundred milliseconds to kind of decide if he wants to swing then it's all this extra time for him to actually get his swing in there and I found that it takes longer for him to kind of decide and to swing the bat than it does for the ball to get in there so does that math add up at all it doesn't but he said this here's what we can't deny he said I've seen tons of batters hit the ball he said look the the math might not have added up but I've seen tons of batters swing the bat and hit the ball you see the point is what John is saying here is he's saying this he's saying listen some of the math might not always add up listen we can argue tooth and nail about the incarnation and how all of that worked and how that put together that God has never had a beginning and God has always been right we can argue all day long about things like that but let me tell you this John is saying this here's what we cannot deny it might not always make sense and it takes a great deal of faith to actually believe in the gospel but he says this here's what we can't deny we've experienced him we've seen him we've heard him we've done all that and John is saying this that you yourself you might not be able to explain every question that a lost person has about your faith but here's what you better believe you can tell them I can't explain it all but let me tell you this I've experienced him I've touched him I've met him I've talked with him I've heard him speak into my life that's what John is saying you see John says that that is what makes your joy full you want joy that's overflowing you want joy that doesn't change based on your circumstances you want joy where when you walk in to a room you have the joy of the Lord regardless of the news that you might receive you want to know where it comes from a personal experience with Jesus if you're in here today and you say man I I don't have the joy of the Lord let me tell you this something's wrong in your life or you've never met Jesus it's that simple it's that simple because let me tell you this John is saying that once you meet Jesus and once you experience Jesus and once you have a personal relationship with Jesus your joy can be full the second thing is this joy comes from a relationship with God now you say isn't that what you just said an experience with God he mentions in verse three I want you to see this that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you that ye also may have fellowship with us you see John is writing about this idea of relationship if you're writing your Bible I'd encourage you to underline the word fellowship write relationship next to that word fellowship it's this communion with God it's this communion this relationship that you can have you want to know where joy comes from it comes from a personal experience with Jesus when you trust in Jesus for your life but it also comes from being in the presence of Jesus each and every day you want to know have you ever met somebody that just has the joy of the Lord no matter what they're just happy I tell you one person you know many of you for your church member here you know miss Candace she's over here all of us could use a little bit more of her joy all of us definitely could use a lot of her energy right man I feel like I'm energetic until I spend five minutes talking to Candace and then I realize you know I've not even figured out that at all but but I don't want to embarrass her but you know like she's had a tough last year year and a half I mean her life has changed I remember the day that she called me that Raymond had gone on to be with heaven going on to be in heaven and I remember that and listen you know when I we get a call like that pastor Bailey or myself and you get a call like that you immediately your posture kind of changes and you start to because you know they're hurting and things and was she hurting absolutely absolutely she was but you know what she was also doing in the midst of her hurt she was rejoicing she was rejoicing she had a joy in the midst of that when we went to her house and we went in there you know I'm expecting you know everything else of what you expect no you walk in there it was like the joy of the Lord had filled that room and it was overflowing we were laughing we were talking about the good times and and all of these things you say whoa whoa whoa that that's crazy how can you do that through such a difficult time you want to know how when you have a personal relationship with Jesus and you are in fellowship with him each and every day here's what happens the result of that what John's saying is that a result of that is your joy is overflowing your joy is overflowing you can't even put a lid on it because it's just spilling out I don't know about you but that's what I want I want that type of joy for my life I want that type of joy for for your life and John says you can have it and that that's the best part about it is that this joy it is not for an exclusive group of people it's not for just a few aren't you thankful for that it's not for the people that were born into a Christian family it's not for the ones who who kind of you know were born into this special you know whether it be a religious or a rich family or things like that it's not for any of those things listen John is saying that the joy of the Lord the joy that Jesus came to bring for you and for me that it says would bring joy to all people that joy is available to every single person in this room not only the people in here it's available to everyone out there to the family that's going to be at your house in an hour they really need the joy you really need the joy of the Lord to let them come right that joy is available to everybody first John 1 for these things right we unto you that your joy may be full let me tell you this that that joy in life it's not circumstances it's not things kids if you've tuned me out I get it I want you to hear this there's not a gift that you receive today that can give you lasting joy the way that a relationship with Jesus can there's not there is not there's nothing out there it's not in a box it's not in a gift it's not in a bag it's not in any of those things it's not in any thing on earth the only thing that can give us joy is a relationship with Jesus that's why a joy our joy it's not found in a who or it is found in a who it's not found in a what it's not found in a what it's Christmas give me a little bit of a break I but listen it's found in a relationship with Jesus Jesus birth brought joy I want to remind you Jesus being born in Bethlehem it's not enough for you he has to be born into your heart personally it has to be a decision that you make where you stop trusting in yourself and you start trusting in him so my question is to for you today on Christmas Day are you trusting in him for your joy are you trusting it in something else because if you're trusting it in any anything else here on the surf you're not going to find it your joy is going to change when all of those things change doctors notice gives you bad news your joy is gone you find out something bad your joy is gone if you're trusting in all those things your joy is going to come and go based on the ebb and flow of life but if you're trusting it in Jesus John says you can have overflowing joy regardless of whatever circumstance you're going through have you trusted in Jesus if not you can do that today that's the good news today that's why Jesus came he came to this earth to die to take away the sins of the whole world and we he invites all of us to be a part of the family of God and you can leave here what better day than Christmas Day to trust in Jesus what better day than to give your life to him and to pray and ask Jesus to come into your life and save you so that from this day forward you can have overflowing joy a joy that cannot be messed with would you bow your heads with me.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-26 12:21:33 / 2023-10-26 12:33:10 / 12

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