“The JOYFUL, CELEBRATIVE CHURCH 2″
Praise God for the GOOD NEWS that Jesus came to bring to this world, in the midst of traumatic world conditions in the news these days that reveal a lot of sorrow, sadness, and bad news! The gospel is like light shining into the darkness. Jesus is the light of the world! (John 8:12).
We are not to be conformed to this world, but to be renewed in our mind and thoughts, as our lives are transformed. (Romans 12:1,2) We are not just seeking worldly, temporal joy like the world, but true JOY is eternal. Jesus, for the JOY that was before Him, endured the cross… (Hebrews 12:2).
Moses chose to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt… (Hebrews 11:24,25).
GOD’S HOUSE IS A PLACE OF JOY
Isaiah 56:7 – “…I will… make them JOYFUL in My house of prayer… For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
Special note: PRAYER is important in a JOYFUL CHURCH!
Why aren’t GOD’S people experiencing more JOY?
Here is a checklist to help us evaluate things that produce JOY:
Are they spending time in God’s Word?
Are they dwelling in His presence?
Are they praying?
Are they seeking to be filled with His Spirit? (The fruit of His Spirit is JOY!)
Are they REJOICING IN JESUS (or seeking to find their joy in other worldly and temporary things)?
A REJOICING CHURCH
The kind of church that Jesus is building is a JOYFUL CHURCH!
Romans 14:17 – …the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and JOY IN THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Special note: The spiritual kingdom of our Lord Jesus is one that is marked by JOY!
REJOICING IN JESUS
Philippians 3:3 – For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, REJOICE IN CHRIST JESUS, and have no confidence in the flesh…
Special note: JESUS is our source of true JOY!
To REJOICE IS A CHOICE! (It is not just based on circumstances – it is based on truth, regardless of circumstances!)
Song: I’D RATHER HAVE JESUS
- I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold, I’d rather be His than have riches untold; I’d rather have Jesus than houses or land, Yes, I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand.
Chorus: Than to be the king of a vast domain and be held in sin’s dread sway… I’d rather have Jesus than anything This world affords today.
2. I’d rather have Jesus than worldly applause, I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause; I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame,
I’d rather be true to His holy name.
Philippians 4:4 – REJOICE in the Lord always: and again I say, REJOICE.
Rejoicing in the Lord means knowing Jesus Christ as our Lord, Savior, and Treasure. It means He gives us deeper, purer, sweeter, more lasting pleasure and gladness than anything this world has to offer. A JOY that neither alcohol, drugs, nor money can buy! JESUS is the chief object of our joy. Let’s focus on Him alone – let’s magnify Him, not our troubles and difficulties! When we focus on our trials they get bigger – when we focus on Jesus, He gets magnified. He gives us sustainable, enduring JOY! It is not based on things that will pass away, but things that are eternal. Jesus is always and forever worthy of JOYFUL CELEBRATION!
The book of Philippians has a lot to say about JOY. The JOY OF THE LORD is different from the joy of this world. Even when we are experiencing difficulties, trials, and persecutions we can still be happy and joyful in the Lord, because He always is doing good things that we can rejoice and find joy in, no matter what. He is always good, and we can be thankful for all of His blessings, which bring JOY.
Habakkuk 3:17-19 – Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:18 Yet I WILL REJOICE IN THE LORD, I WILL JOY in the God of my salvation.
JESUS IS BUILDING HIS CHURCH
JESUS SAID, “I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH!”
Matthew 16:19-20 – “…I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH, and the gates of hell (Hades) shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Special note: It is interesting to notice Jesus authority, and the reference to keys. In Revelation 1:17-18 (Jesus says that he was dead, but he is alive today and forever, and has the keys of hell and death). Through the power of Jesus death, burial, and resurrection now we (the church) have also been given authority over death and hell! Hallelujah!
IMPORTANCE OF THE CHURCH
As noted – when we understand the importance of the church; come to know its value, and understand better its role and purposes… it makes a big difference in how we live!
PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH
We exist to glorify the Lord! (I Corinthians 10: 31)We are to do all things for His glory! Jesus is coming for a GLORIOUS CHURCH (Ephesians 5:27!
Special note: Whatever we do, let’s do it ALL to the GLORY OF GOD!
What kind of a church is Jesus building? (How is it described in the Bible?)
A JOYFUL, TRIUMPHANT CHURCH!
The marriage supper of the Lamb is a time of gladness and joy. We can anticipate eternal JOY AND HAPPINESS! What a glorious, LIVING HOPE! (I Peter 1:3)
Revelation 19:7 – “Let us BE GLAD AND REJOICE and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”
SECRETS OF JOY
There are Scriptural SECRETS TO JOY, as noted in the Scriptures we are considering in this post!
A STRONG AND JOYFUL CHURCH
JOY OF THE LORD OUR STRENGTH
Nehemiah 8:10 – …for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be you sorry; for the JOY OF THE LORD is your strength.
Special note: If we feel like quitting or giving up, and our faith is weak – remember, the JOY OF THE LORD GIVES US STRENGTH!
Ephesians 6:10 – Finally, my brethren, BE STRONG in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
JESUS IS LORD OF THE CHURCH
Philippians 2:9-11 – God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, to the glory of God the Father.
Ephesians 1:21-22 – And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him (JESUS) to be head over all things to the CHURCH, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
I Timothy 6:15 – …which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and LORD OF LORDS…
Revelation 17:14 – These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is LORD OF LORDS and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”
Revelation 19:16 – He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
LORDSHIP BRINGS HAPPINESS
Psalm 144:15 – …happy is the people whose God is the LORD!
JOY IN HIS PRESENCE
Psalm 16:11 – You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is FULLNESS OF JOY; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Special note: Sometimes peoples emotion of joy gets over-stimulated and glutted with so many things so that they can’t appreciate real, true joy in the simple pleasures of life. According to research, there is a condition called “anhedonia”. It’s a word that describes a reduced interest in activities an individual used to enjoy, as well as a decreased ability to feel pleasure. Let’s be careful not to allow our lives to be over-stimulated with gadgets, social media, and other things that can easily fill our lives and interests that we lose desire for things of the Lord! It would be dreadful to lose our sense of JOY, DELIGHT, AND PLEASURE in His presence!
THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE
Psalm 100:1-4 – Make a JOYFUL shout to the Lord, all you lands! 2 Serve the Lord with GLADNESS; Come before His presence with singing.
3 Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.4 Enter into His gates with THANKSGIVING, and into His courts with PRAISE.
The Lord dwells in the PRAISES of His people, and in His presence is fulness of JOY! His presence in our lives produces JOY!
Psalm 22:3– But you are holy, O you that INHABIT THE PRAISES of Israel.
REJOICE IN GOD OUR CREATOR AND KING
Psalm 149:2 – Let Israel REJOICE in their Maker;Let the children of Zion be JOYFUL in their King.
Psalm 100:1-4 – Make a JOYFUL shout to the Lord, …2 Serve the Lord with GLADNESS;
3 Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people…
HIS CREATIVE BEAUTY BRINGS JOY
Psalm 42:1-2 – Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised… 2 Beautiful for situation (in elevation),The JOY of the whole earth,Is Mount Zion on the sides of the north, The city of the great King.
Psalm 145:3-6 – Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable…5 I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, And on Your wondrous works. 6 Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, And I will declare Your greatness.
Psalm 8 – O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth… When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, 4 What is man that You are mindful of him…?
Note: Louie Giglio has several great youtube videos “Indescribable”; “Symphony; “How Great is Our God”; If the Earth were a Golfball” that are powerful! If you just have 3 minutes – check out “Indescribable by Louie Giglio and Matt Redman” See the links below. (1)
It’s good to be reminded of the Lord’s glorious creation. Let’s not take it for granted. It is majestic and miraculous! The Lord is pleased when we take note of its beauty and give Him JOYFUL thanksgiving and praise!
Isaiah 65:18 – …be glad and REJOICE forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, And her people a JOY.
Special note: We are created to be beautiful and glorious, for HIs pleasure – which also brings pleasure to us and others…!
CONVERSION BRINGS JOY
Psalm 51:12–13 – Restore to me the JOY of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You.
Luke 15:7,10 – I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance… Likewise, I say to you, there is JOY in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Jesus was sent to this earth so we can be saved, and experience true conversion – (John 3:17; 2 Corinthians 5:17). God is not willing that any perish, but that all come to repentance, and are translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light – (2 Peter 3:9; I Peter 2:9,10).
Parable of the Prodigal Son
Luke 15:32 – “…It was right that we should make merry (we have to celebrate) and BE GLAD, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.“
THE JOY OF HARVEST
John 4:36 – …he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may REJOICE together.
Isaiah 9:3 – You have multiplied the nation And increased its JOY; They REJOICE before You According to the JOY OF HARVEST, As men REJOICE when they divide the spoil.
LET’S RESCUE SOULS!
Souls are valuable!
Matthew 16:26 – what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
BLESSINGS enrich our lives
THE BLESSINGS OF GOD UPON US ARE THE TRUE TREASURES!
The greatest blessings are eternal! Jesus said “lay up treasure in heaven” (Matthew 6:20) Let’s be rich in faith!
Ephesians 1:17,18 – In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the RICHES of His grace…know what is the hope of His calling, what are the RICHES of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,…
Special note: There are eternal rewards waiting for us! Hallelujah!
Isaiah 35:10 – And THE RANSOMED (REDEEMED) OF THE LORD shall return, And come to Zion with singing, With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain JOY AND GLADNESS, And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Special note: Pain and sorrow is only temporary here on this earth. There is coming a time when there will be no more sorrow, no more death, no more pain, or tears and crying – all of these things shall pass away, and things will become new (Revelation 21:4,5).
Ephesians 1:3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places IN CHRIST,
Ephesians 2:4,7 – But God, who is RICH in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,…that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding RICHES of His grace in His kindness toward us IN CHRIST JESUS.
Special note: Only Jesus can bring TRUE JOY! TRUE JOY is found in Jesus!
Ephesians 3:17 – that He would grant you, according to the RICHES of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man…
Philippians 4:19 – And my God shall supply all your need according to His RICHES in glory by Christ Jesus.
Colossians 1:27– To them God willed to make known what are the RICHES of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory.
Special note: We are born again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead! Hallelujah! (I Peter 1:3)
James 2:6 – Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be RICH in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?
Once again… Hebrews 11:26 – (Moses)… esteemed the reproach of Christ GREATER RICHES than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.
THE WORD IS A TREASURE!
Psalm 119:162 – I REJOICE at Your word, as one who finds great treasure.
Colossians 3:17 – Let the word of Christ dwell in you RICHLY in all wisdom…
THE WORD BRINGS JOY
Jeremiah 15:16 – YOUR WORDS were found, and I ate them, and YOUR WORD was to me the JOY and REJOICING of my heart;
Special note: The Bible is God’s love letter to us. Every time we read His love letter from heaven, it can be a source of life and JOY. Jesus is the living WORD. It is living, active, powerful, and life-changing – (Hebrews 4:12).
JOYFULNESS IN TRIBULATION
2 Corinthians 7:4 – I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding JOYFUL in all our tribulation.
Matthew 5:10-12 – Blessed (happy) are they which are PERSECUTED for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.11 Blessed (happy) are you, when men shall revile you, and PERSECUTE you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.12 REJOICE, and BE EXCEEDING GLAD: for great is your reward in heaven:…
Special note: God has wonderful plans for you – to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). Jesus, for the JOY that was set before Him endured the cross (Hebrews 12:1). Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him (I Corinthians 2:9). God has some good things in store for you forever. Now, in the midst of the trials, tests, and persecutions if He is teaching you patience, trust, and dependence – take heart! It is for your good (Romans 8:28). Focus on who He is, and what He will do – not just the circumstances.
Illustration: If you are walking through a tunnel, it’s helpful to keep looking ahead. The light at the end of the tunnel helps give hope that there is an end in sight. Let’s focus on God alone – looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1,2).
GOD’S BLESSINGS BRING JOY
Proverbs 10:22 – The BLESSING of the Lord makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.
Psalm 133:1-3 – Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in UNITY! … For there the Lord commanded the BLESSING— life forevermore.
Unity brings blessing!
Let’s keep united in whole-heartedly serving the Lord! It’s the pathway of great BLESSING and JOY!
THERE IS GREAT JOY AND GLADNESS AS WE GATHER TOGETHER WITH GOD’S FAMILY!
Psalm 122:1 – I was GLAD when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.”
Special note: Let’s gather together with one another as to the Lord with joyful anticipation! The Lord wants us to gather together with JOY AND GLADNESS!
Righteousness brings GREAT JOY!
Psalm 68:3 – …let the righteous be GLAD; Let them REJOICE before God; Yes, let them REJOICE EXCEEDINGLY.
Special note: We are righteous in Christ by faith alone! It’s not a self-righteousness that pleases the Lord. Let’s remember that He took our unrighteousness so we can be righteous, and give Him praise! (The Divine Exchange – 2 Corinthians 5:21).
IF WE DON’T SERVE WITH JOYFULNESS AND THANKFULNESS, WE AREN’T BLESSED!
DEUTERONOMY 28:47-48 -“Moreover all these curses shall come upon you and pursue and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you… 47 “Because you did NOT serve the Lord your God with JOY and GLADNESS of heart, for the abundance of everything, 48THEREFORE you shall serve your enemies…
Special note: If we are struggling with depression and feeling down, let’s throw it off and praise the Lord and give thanks! That brings JOY! He gives the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:3). Our labor is not in vain.
I Corinthians 15:58 – …be steadfast, un-moveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
LET’S PRAY FOR REVIVAL!
Psalm 85:6 – Will You not REVIVE us again, that Your people may REJOICE in You?
Jesus is a restorer of JOY! He can and will renew our JOY, as we seek Him! HALLELUJAH!
Psalm 23:3 – ..He restores my soul!
LET’S REJOICE EACH NEW DAY!
Psalm 118:24 – This (each day) is the day the Lord has made; We will REJOICE and BE GLAD in it.
- Special acknowledgement and thanks to Louie Gigleo and team for the following inspirational videos about the glories of God’s Creative works – “Indescribable by Louie Giglio and Matt Redman” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rDcCeiYxTU&ab_channel=DavidCCook; Indescribable by Pastor Louie Giglio – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh4HcVY2_KE&ab_channel=LouieGiglio; “How Great is Our God” – by Pastor Louie Giglio – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1rPalyUshw&ab_channel=LouieGiglio; “Symphony / I Lift My Hands to you – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFxM6wOk9zU&ab_channel=JonSanoy; “If the Earth were a Golfball” – by Pastor Louie Giglio – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D37UtbViKRw.
- Special acknowledgement and thanks to John Miranda for assistance with some of the preparation and for sharing this message at our online service.