I meant so I want us to think about Joy this morning.
Joy, and generosity go hand-in-hand. They are a fruit a byproduct of the gospels work within a last week. We talked about greed and we looked at the interaction between Jesus and this young man would call the Rich Young Ruler. He's Jesus man that on the surface had everything together. It looked like he was the kind of guy that God approved of Emma. God bless. He had great power great influence a great reputation and he had great resources. This dude was loaded. It comes to Jesus with a question what must I do to make sure that I'm on the right side of History what must I do to make sure that I'm the the day of the Lord the day of judgement things go well for me and Jesus got into this conversation with him. If you weren't here last week jump on the web and listen to it. But this conversation doesn't directly answer his question because it's really in many ways the wrong question in Jesus wants to ask him the question. Really. What is your greatest? Good. What is it that you're hoping for? What is it that you are trying to achieve or accomplish or possess? What is it that your heart is ultimately longing for and that the story ends tragically. Because the young man because of his great possessions chooses to walk away from Jesus. He chooses the created over the Creator. He chooses the gifts over The Giver. He would rather have that would keep you control. He can see that gives him a sense of significance that which provides him security according to the wealth. He would rather have that than what Jesus was offering and Jesus was offering it him. Everything. Jesus was offering himself.
And so tragically he he turns him down and he goes away in great sorrow. Jesus turns to his disciples when he blows their mind a little bit. He says it is really really hard. For somebody that is wealthy someone that has a lot in this world to get into the kingdom of heaven and they're like what it what are you talkin about? You says, let me tell you what I'm talking about. It's easier for a camel.
The fit through the eye of a sewing needle than it is for somebody that's wealthy to get into the kingdom and his disciples asked the question me, like will then who can be saved as like you're catching on? No one actually. The way salvation works is not how the world thinks it works. That was the problem with the young man that came to Jesus what must I do to be saved. The answer actually there's nothing you can do. You can't save yourself. You can't work it or on it. There's not it's not about keeping a list of rules or duties that's going to transform you from the inside. You may transform the outside. You may fool everyone else around you but God sees the heart.
When Jesus Says with man this is impossible, but
with God all things are possible. I want to pick up right after that. Jesus says it is impossible With God all things are possible. It's always Peter right? He's the guy that I love this dude just says what song is mine. Peter look to Jesus and began to say to him. Well, we left everything and followed you. What's he asking here? Right is it worth it? You came and said come and follow me. I left my dad. I left the business. My dad probably was counting on me and my brother to be there with him weekly left. We walked away. I left my house. I left my family. I left everything to follow you Jesus is is it worth it? Are we going to be okay.
What I love about this question is that it exposes another of the foes to generosity? Greed the desire for something other than God to give us satisfaction and security is an absolute anathema to generosity and equally the other side of the coin is fear. Fear holds us back. What if I am generous If I sacrifice in anytime you're generous anytime you give that is an act of sacrifices and not if I choose to invest in the Kingdom that money that I'm giving to the kingdom. I can't use to buy something else. It's always a choice and there's always a sacrifice. You cannot be generous without sacrifice. What are the reasons that keeps many if not all of us from being radical? Joyfully generous is that were afraid?
What's right if I give it here? Who's going to take care of me? If I invest in the kingdom, is it going to be a worthwhile investment? Am I going to is it going to be noticed who's going to take care of me?
DC how greed and fear work together. Green and fear say you got to get you got to take care of yourself. You got to get enough money. You got to get your research. You got to get your ducks in a row. You can be generous after you have enough right not the way the world thinks you can be generous after you have enough. But as I said last week the problem with that is everything because you will never have enough.
never you'll never get to that generosity.
fear holds us back Peters like Jesus like we we left everything is is that are you going to take care of us?
Jesus said truly I say.
There's no one who's left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the gospel? You're an underlined or in your Bible. That's that's the last raise the underlined. That Abomination that's called the Prosperity Gospel says if you give this to give you back something for yourself. That's not what Jesus says. Jim says if you give up if you sacrifice for my sake and for the gospel.
Whatever you sacrifice, whatever you give up, whatever you lose because the spirit leads you to lose it. Because you're choosing to invest in Jesus and his work. Says you'll receive a hundredfold now in this time houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and Lance. Is another phrase to underline with persecutions? That's a perk. I didn't want to throw in the flan. But it's there.
And in the age to come eternal life Jesus. And I know what you've given up. I know what you left. But do you realize that you were already getting more in return? Peter back home. How many mothers did you have? How many brothers and sisters did you have how many houses did you have now, you're a part of God's family. Now, you're a part of God's kingdom. You got a hundred spiritual mother you got thousands of spiritual brothers and sisters you had one house. Now, wherever you go houses are open to eat. Listen, you're already receiving the benefits of the Kingdom. It's always better to be a part of God's family than it is to do life on your own. The fear holds us back here says I got to take care of myself. Faith says Jesus is going to take care of me and frankly. He's a lot better at it than we are.
Jesus says this I got you.
As many who are first will be last and the last shall be first.
There's so much hope and comfort in that verse. Not many of us would be considered first in this world, right? There's no rock stars. There's no Paparazzi outside waiting to see what we're wearing today.
We may post on Instagram what we eat, but nobody really cares.
The media hasn't come up with little pet names for any of us work. We're not that important according to the world. In fact, we many of us look foolish to the world. Cuz we're not making ourselves first were radically joyfully generously giving and the world thinks that's stupid and foolish.
Jesus said to Peter and Jesus says to you. Jesus says to me this morning guys. Don't don't get confused by what this world says is up and the world says is down because the kingdom of God for everything upside down. It's an upside down kingdom the first recording this world have more money than they know what to do with the media's attention everybody loves and they have that body that everybody wants to experience is that everybody dreams are they drive the coolest cars? They live in the most amazing houses in what seems to be first in the world in the Kingdom's laugh. And those who are last will actually be.
Just thinking about that this week. It just struck me again. The gospel is actually good news. And that's what it means and that's what it is. It is good news. It says there's something greater. There's something more worthwhile in this world than the fleeting pleasures of sin.
There's something better. There's a new and better alternative than the rat race that hamster wheel of achievement and an accumulation. Ultimately does not satisfy. The gospel is good news, because the gospel addresses are desire problem.
I know if you know this, but you got a desire problem. Maybe problem isn't the right word, but you've got a desire issue.
We desire. security the only we desire significant. I don't know about you, but I want to be happy. I know sometimes I've got that cynic your personality, right? But I'm at my core. I want to be happy. I want to be free. I want to be a part of something amazing. I want to know people and be known I want to love and be loved that. I have an incredible non-stop desire Factory Within Me,
It's in the gospel far too often in the West. We made the gospel simply a mental reality. An object of belief, what do you need to do all units you just believe the truth of the scripture just believe it just intellectually. That's that's what's required. If you would know these things are true. God punches your ticket. You get the get out of hell free card, and you're on your way. The only problem with that is
the demons believe the truth Satan knows the truth better than you and I will ever know it.
The gospel address is our desire issue than the gospel addresses are heart.
And oh how we need it. You see our desire problem.
Is not that our desires are too big. I think I'll turn in the church. That's how it's presented. You got to stop loving. Possessions you got to stop loving this you got to stop loving that just just kill desire. Your tried to kill desire.
Kill your desire it'll go away. No, it won't.
Our desire problem is not that there's letters are too big, but they're too small. Just Lewis in his great essay called the weight of Glory says this it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong. But two week we are half-hearted creatures fooling around with drink and sex and ambition when infinite Joy. is offer Laika ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. What's our problem? We are far too easily pleased. another story of the Rich Young Ruler He chose money. over cheese you chose? Well that robbers can break in and steal. Possessions that rest will destroy and tarnished he chose the temporary over the Eternal he chose the finite over the infinite. He chose the created over the Creator. He married as my wife likes to say a really bad decision.
Like to say she says that to Judah more than to me, but we all know that's not true.
What a ridiculous choice.
Yet it's a choice you and I make every single day.
Not that our desires are too strong. It's that our desires are misdirected. We are too easily pleased. Not the CS Lewis that said it God said it first. Jeremiah chapter 2 verse 13. Speaking through the prophet. He says I got I got some problems with y'all.
Are you committed to evil against me? One you have forsaken me the Fountain of Living Water.
Dodgers versus evil like I think it's the essence of all evil. We walked away from our creator. We've walked away from the Fountain of Living Water. The metaphor said I'm everything you need. I'm everything you hope everything you desire. You can find in me and I will never disappoint. I'll never run dry. You'll never come to me and walk away lacking. I have everything you need on the Fountain of Living Water first evils that you walked away from me for the second evil.
Is just as tragic. He says and you Feud out cisterns for yourselves broken cisterns that can hold no water.
Jesus is offering you Gods offering you the greatest drink you could ever have the living water and instead we go dig a hole fill it up with some nasty water. I don't know about you, but I want to go to the lake and have a drink this morning. Man-made hole. That's all that is. I don't even like to walk to close to it. Let alone drink it.
Just one you rejected me, but too you're trying to replace me with something that is incredibly inferior.
I get off or you living water you're digging holes with can't even hold the water. You come to me. You're never going to be disappointed. You keep going back to that hole. Sometimes you're going to get something more often than not going to walk away worse off than when you can.
The problem is not that we desire the problem is what we focus our desire on.
And that changes everything.
The Jesus said it this way and I think his shortest Parable one verse Matthew 13:44. The Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which a man found and covered up been in his Joy. He goes and sells all that. He has advised that feel. Decorate simple visual demonstration of what the kingdom is like because this is what this is what God is offering you because Jesus is offer. Was very consistent repent because the kingdom of God is available to you the king of the kings in your pits. You can have the kingdom. The Jesus says here's what the kingdom is like. It's like a treasure. I like treasure. I don't know what to think about when you hear the word treasure. I think Goonies cuz I was raised in the eighties right Chunk in the whole treasure finds something that will give him security and satisfaction that will make his life meaningful. He find something that his heart is longing for In that sense. We all probably have a little bit different understanding of what treasure is. But this man she finds his treasure in this field. And so very set. Why cuz you don't want anybody else to come in and get it when he before he can. and this is where the text becomes so significant it says this then in his Is what? Is Creed in his Theology and his factual a sense of Truth? in his Joy
giddiness sells everything he had. I don't know about you. If I had to do it fire-sale, I'm selling everything. I got I'm not sure Joyce the word that people use to describe it.
How do you have joy? When you're letting go of everything that you've accumulated when you're letting go of all the things that give you security when you're letting go of all the things that the Delight you and give you Joy and satisfaction. How do you have joy in selling and getting rid of that only one way when you found a Greater Joy?
That's not how it works. When you found a Greater Joy Church, Jesus is the Greater Joy. Jesus is not just telling a parable about the Kingdom's telling a parable about himself. He is the treasure. Jesus is the Greater Joy when you find Jesus he is the Living Water. He's the living bread. He's the way he's the truth. He's still alive. He's the king of kings and the Lord. Jesus is better. Then your bank account. Jesus is better. Then your experiences. Jesus is better than anything this world has to offer.
Footwear in your Bibles with me to Philippians chapter 1 I love the book of Philippians. I need the book of Philippians because I've got that your personality. You know, some people are full of people, you know cup half-full. Some people are half empty. I'm not sure there's a cop most days.
I need the book of Philippians cuz the book of Philippians can be summed up in one word Joy. radical uninhibited christ-centered Spirit lead Joy
in chapter 1 starting in verse 12 the Apostle Paul really opens up his heart.
He says that I want you to know brothers that what has happened to me has really serve to advance the gospel. What is it that happened to him while he got thrown in jail again? This time he's on his way to Rome. He's under Imperial Guard and on the surface. We can look at that go. Oh, oh, oh. Falls out of God control this wasn't supposed to happen Paul supposed to be free if possible to be out there church planting and preaching and teaching pulse supposed to be in jail godly people don't go to jail to go to jail. And I want you to know that what happened to me is really serve to advance the gospel. So it's become known throughout the whole Imperial Guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment for
Did you hear what he saying? If I'm free, it's for Christ. And if I'm in jail, it's for Christ. And even if I'm in jail Christ is not Kinder. In fact, I've been able to bring Christ to a group of people the Royal Imperial Guard that I never would have had access to if I was free. God sent me to prison.
So the gospel could be Unleashed. in another place So don't fret don't worry. Because most of the brothers having become pump it in the Lord by my imprisonment are much more bold to speak the word without fear. When you attacked? Church it rarely turns out the way that you hope. most people think okay if we imprison Paul and his followers are going to just scatter. They're going to they're not going to want that. The pulse is actually when I went to prison my disciples became even more bold even more courageous. There's something about the way the spirit works in the midst of persecution our faith actually grow.
The gospel Advance is even farther. Because some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry. but others from Goodwill He said some. The latter do it out of love knowing that I'm put here for the defense of the Gospel the former Proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment so far those that love them and some of them were preaching Christ and they loved him and they're hoping to encourage him. Some of them were preaching Christ trying to make it harder for Fallout.
What's Paul's response? He says this what then I don't care. Only that in every way whether in pretense or in truth Christ it proclaims and in that I Rejoice. Yes, I will rejoice.
He can even rejoice in his enemies trying to make his life harder because that just becomes the greater opportunity for the gospel. How does that work? He says for I know that's for your prayers in the help of the spirit of Jesus Christ. This will turn out for my Deliverance. It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be ashamed. But that with full coverage now as always Christ will be honored in my body whether by life or by death. This is the Apostle Paul's driving passion. This is what I want. My passion to be this is what I hope your passion would be there no matter what the circumstances of your life are. Whether you've got a lot or you got nothing, what is things are going well, or you are struggling that by life or by death the way that you live your life would honor great Greek word. That means to make grape to magnify to increase to multiply. When people look at your life, they would say Jesus is great. That's what I want for my life. That's what God wants for my life. That's what God wants for our lives that we would be a walking billboard for the greatness of Jesus.
He could send you this incest for to me to live is Christ and to die. is game For me to live is Christ. but the diet I've been picking on that the Prosperity Gospel. Why is this idea if I will if I get a little bit of money than God will give me more money. Invest a little to your God's going to bless me in this world. And really the problem with that is that we're trying to use God. to get wealth Most of us we don't buy into that. But we buy into a similar problem. The most of evangelicalism is actually trying to use God not forget worldly wealth. But to get out of hell and to get into heaven.
We don't actually want Jesus. We just want the Forgiveness that he offer. Were functionally using Jesus to not go to the bad place and get into the good place Jesus. Oh, yeah, Jesus came. He died. He rose again. I believe in Jesus now I get to go to what I really want is to get to go to heaven. You see how it's the same thing. Pop is not safe for to me to live is to not go to how I could get to heaven. That is not the goal. That's not his desire. He says what I want out of life is Christ. I want price tear and now today and I want Christ in eternity forever. What I want is Jesus. I don't want just the gifts. I want The Giver. I don't want just the blessings. I need the blesser. What Jesus for me to live is Christ and to die is gain if I am to live in The Flash? If I'm going to keep living that means fruitful labor for me yet, which I shall choose. I cannot tell. I'm hard-pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ for that is far. better
That's far better. You believe that. Do you believe that Jesus is better than anything else you could hope for or desire in this world whether it's a possession or experience?
I grew up in a good Baptist home and in church and I heard over and over again as a young man don't have sex until you're married. I remember as a teenager praying to God, please don't come back yet.
To be honest, I don't care. I remember pets. Please don't come back yet.
I remember the answer of the story before but I'm a huge Lord of the Rings nerd. And I remember sitting in a theater in Dallas, Texas and I didn't know Peter Jackson was making those movies. I didn't know and I'm sitting there ready to see another movie and this preview comes on and My Heart Lord of the Rings. They're making Lord of the Ring. I know it's so excited.
To my shame. This is what I did Jesus. Please don't come back before this movie comes out. I literally play that I did.
And I say that's a shame because what I'm saying in that prayer is Jesus this movie is better than you.
and it's not I mean, it's a good move.
But it ain't Jesus.
I'm hard-pressed between the two my desires to the part and be with Christ what they say.
I hate my life. Who sang there is something on the other side? It's actually better than anything. I mean, he's got Jesus now, he's got the down payment of the spirit, but there is more The Best Is Yet To Come tasted and seen that the Lord is good wait till you get to drink in full. Set up asking if it gets better because I rather go but how does he feel this if you jumped a chapter 3 in Philippians, he did a little bit more inside. He says I count everything as loss. Everything my agitation. My lineage my religious observance my morality my performance my every I count everything as loss. Because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord for his sake I've suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ the righteousness from God that depends on faith that I may know him and the power of his resurrection and there is nothing that I won't give away in order to grab a hold of Jesus. There's nothing that I'm holding on to that. I won't join and in fact, I will take a good thing and considered as rubbish because it's nothing compared to the glory of Jesus.
That's how we can say that is that how you feel about your possession? Is that how you feel about Jesus?
Your rights here in 2nd Corinthians 4:6 something that we need to hear. If you're hearing me this morning, my guess is that some of your art are going. I don't think I love Jesus that way.
I don't think I desire him that way.
And I say to you again this morning. The gospel is good news with man. It is impossible With God all things are possible. The love Jesus that way is not a work of the will or human ever. It is a work of the spirit. What size of segments for 6 he says for God who said let light shine out of Darkness?
When did God say that?
Thank you. Nobody got that in the first last night service. And when did he say that just blank look? Prince I didn't start that way in the beginning let there be light. Paul wants you to think about that. Okay. So the God who is Creator The God Who created something out of what nothing the power of God's word God speaks and life happens. God speak and life exists. The God Who said let light shine out of Darkness has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. In other words for salvation to occur for your heart to be transformed has to speak in a creative way Light Within you just as he created light in the beginning and a light that she gives the light that she shows God shows us the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. He reveals Jesus in other words, if you want the desires of your heart to be after Christ, you need God to speak to your heart and what God will put within you if he will help you to see the beauty of Jesus. He opens the eyes of our heart that we might perceive and believe and behold and treasure.
Jesus more than we treasure anything else. It is an act of Grey. For those of you that have had that experience your heart is ringing right now. Yes that has happened to me. I'm not saying perfectly. We have those moments where I have these moments. I'm like give me Jesus you can have everything. Just give me Jesus. And like most of you I'm distracted by shiny things. Jesus I love you. All I want is you
That looks pretty.
Play My Heart the spirit dwell in my heart is written in my heart. He's revealed Jesus and end in the squirrels come in the shiny things distract, but at the end of the day the spirit brings me back and all I really want is Jesus.
Let me hear this morning, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Some of you don't you've maybe never felt that way about Jesus. Hear me this morning. That is the work of God. If you don't know what I'm talking about, if you've not experienced, if you don't find Jesus to be beautiful, if you don't find Jesus to be more beautiful than anything this world has to offer the gospel is good news for you because God changes our affection.
Jesus would say to you this morning what he said throughout his whole Ministry repent turn come to me come to me all who are weak and heavy laden come to me. Those of you that can't pull it off come to me those of you that can't change your heart and make your heart desire the right then come to me and I will give you lie.
Parkinson is back in Philippians 1 he says to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. I'd rather go but God's not done with me yet. And as long as I'm here, I'm here to help you. My life's not about what I can get. It's not about me anymore. It's actually about y'all because Jesus is my everything. I don't have to live for myself anymore for me to live is Christ to die is gain. So I'm here brother.
Convinced of this I know that I'll remain and continue with you all for your progress and I love the spray joy in the face. Paul says my life is about Jesus. My life is about you finding Jesus and my life is about when you find Jesus you grow. And what does he want you to grow and he wants you to grow in your job play in the fade finding. Jesus is the best thing that will ever happen to you. I think too many Christians look like they've been baptized in lemon juice.
Which we did not fill the baptismal with lemon juice but a lot of Christians walk around like it was right. They went to a good Baptist Church. They held you under a few seconds just for and you come up sour and Pucker. I see it on Facebook. Hear it body language as much as what's said this world as bad as hard following Jesus listen.
We have Jesus.
What in the world do? We have Jesus. What can they take away that she won't get back? Wake me up Jesus. Why are we walking around upset and bitter and angry and sorrowful. Yeah, I know life is hard we get persecution anyone who wants to follow Jesus must suffer persecution life is hard. But with Jesus life is good.
We can smile in our tear. We have hope in pain and broken us we grieve but we do not grieve as those who have no hope we above all people.
Should be joyous. And I don't think that's the message the church is giving to the world. The message the church gives to the world is give up your Sunday mornings. What's the new Galaxy for 30 minutes? We want your money 200 and all that fun stuff that you like to do. Yeah, you got to stop doing that.
The church. Listen we've been doing it. The church has been presenting a joyless Christ. Price is often presented as the cosmic Killjoy.
Christ is the cosmic Joy give her. There is no joy, like the joy of Christ Christ came to set us free. That nobody said Isaiah 61. I Lord's anointed me Proclaim good news to the poor.
Deliverance to those that are in cap I'ma break the chains. What's the Sabbath take the spirit of morning? Spirit of Sorrow, I'm going to replace it with a spirit. Joy dancing celebrate
We above all people. Should be the most joyous. Not with her head stuck in the sand pretending everything's okay. Now with our eyes wide open to the Brokenness and pain and challenges of this world. It's just we see them differently now because Jesus changes everything.
I can't save this as simply as I can if you want to be generous.
You need Jesus.
Jesus is the only thing that will set you free from the desire and pursuit of things. That won't satisfy you. When you find Jesus you don't need those things the way that you used to need them. You don't have to depend on those things the way that you used to depend on the wife because Jesus is your joy. Jesus is your hope Jesus is your security Jesus is your significant. Jesus is everything to you. And so those things that he gives you simply become tools. You can enjoy them. You can receive them you can use them and you can give them away freely. It's been given to you freely. You can give it away because Jesus
Will be everything that you hope and me.
Church Jesus is the treasure. He is greater than everything. amen