Let Your Joy be Full
Let Your Joy be Full
· Watch how many times joy is mentioned in this passage
· Read 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13
· My goal as your pastor is that you would be the most joyful people on earth.
· This joy will not be based upon the world,
§ Not based upon the size of your bank account
§ Not based upon how good a preacher you have
§ Not based upon how beautiful you are in the mirror
§ Not based upon what kind of home you do or do not have
§ Not based upon your job, your boss, or the situation at work
§ Not just being happy
· It is joy that is out of this world
· It’s the kind of joy that can look death in the face and see it as sweet victory.
· It is the joy that is found only in Jesus, as he becomes the enduring treasure of our hearts.
· It is the very joy that comes from having such a deep relationship with God, that nothing else in the world matters.
· It is the joy that can only be found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
1. Joy is found in deep, lasting relationships.
- I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God. I’ve been washed in the fountain and cleansed by his blood. Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod, for I’m part of the family, the family of God.
- Paul is like a mother to them
§ Look back at verses 7-8
§ Paul says he is like a mother to them. He shares with them not only the Gospel of God, but his life as well
- Paul is like a father to them
§ Look back at verses 11-12
§ Paul exhorted and encouraged them to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls them into his own kingdom and glory.
- Now Paul had been “torn away from them” The word literally means “become an orphan”. They would realize the significance of this. Paul had become their spiritual leader, and had led them to faith in Christ. Now he was torn away from them, and they had become like orphans, and he desperately wanted to know if they were ok.
- “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”
- This shows us the vital importance of continuing discipleship. If you do not connect to the family of God, are not plugged in, and are not being discipled, you are like and orphan who will not last long apart from a family.
- We were made to be part of the family of God. We should long for this
- Illustration: When I worked at Exxon, and lived in Joliet, Ill, for two months. Worked 7-12’s, and didn’t get to see my family but every other weekend. It was like being torn away from them.
- We should feel like this about the family of God, that we become so dear to each other because of the common commitment we have to Christ.
2. Joy is found in obedience to the Gospel.
- There is double joy: Joy in finding, and joy in helping others to find.
- The Gospel is the foundation of deep and lasting relationships, and this leads us to joy in Jesus
- What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
§ We were created in God’s image to have a relationship with him, which was our purpose, and defined who we really are. This is maximum fulfillment and joy in life.
§ We however, in the hardness of our hearts were not satisfied with God, and we disobeyed him, rejecting his love and went our own way.
· All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.
§ God sent his son Jesus to pay the penalty for our sins, and purchase a place in heaven for us.
· He was born of a virgin.
· He was tempted in every way, yet without sin.
· His life and ministry were example providing, disease healing, truth preaching, and lost seeking.
· His death was cross bearing, sin atoning, grace flowing, and wrath receiving.
· His resurrection was sin overcoming, Satan defeating, victory winning, life producing, and hope giving.
§ According to Jesus, he is calling us to Repent, and believe in the Gospel. It is as simple as that.
§ Out of an overriding sense of thanksgiving, gratefulness, and joy for what he has done for us, we obey him.
- Paul sends Timothy, to be their pastor and to establish and exhort them in their faith.
- Jesus is coming again, and we know that those who are obedient to the Gospel will be joined together with him in the clouds to meet him on that day.
- Joy is give when we realize that our sins are forgiven, and that God has given us the greatest treasure in the entire universe, and that is himself.
3. Joy is to prepare you for suffering and hard times.
- Paul tells us that he was destined for affliction
- But the way he gets through the affliction is that he has joy in the Gospel, and joy in knowing that the people who are so dear to his heart are following the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Hebrews 12:2 “Jesus, because of the joy set before him endured the cross.”
How do you have this kind of joy?
1. Admit you are a sinner.
2. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ
3. Confess your sins
4. Become an integral part of the family of God