The Joy of the Lord Talk from Sun 24th Nov 2013


Sunday 24th Nov 2013

Nehemiah 8.1-10

Mark 1.14-20

Themes

  • The calling of new disciples into the Kingdom of God
  • The importance to all of us of hearing the Word of the Lord as his people.
  • The joy that we enter into, as new believers, as all who hear his Word and obey it – the Joy of the Lord, which is our strength.

Slide                What makes you happy or fills you with Joy?

Joy at being given a gift

The gift of Gods love and His Spirit should bring us Joy

A bride has joy for being with the Groom her beloved

They like being together and think of each other even when apart

They end up thinking like each other and enjoying the same things

WE looked a few weeks ago at us being the Bride of Christ

That when we become disciples of Jesus we are taking on the role of the bride we are attaching ourselves to Christ for the long term.

Not just a quickie relationship but a permanent one, one that lasts forever.

This relationship brings Joy to the Bride, us, and the groom, Christ, and we draw strength from that Joy.

Slide                Nehemiah says that ‘the joy of the Lord is your strength’

What is the joy of the Lord?

I think that the Joy of the Lord is seeing His people come to faith and follow His Son Jesus.

He called them at once, and they also followed him [Mark reading]

 

[THERE IS A JOY OF DIVINE ORIGIN—”The joy of the Lord.” Springing from the Lord as its source, it will necessarily be of a very elevated character.

“The joy of the Lord.” It springs from God, and has God for its object. The believer who is in a spiritually healthy state rejoices mainly in God himself; he is happy because there is a God, and because God is in his person and character what he is. All the attributes of God become well-springs of joy to the thoughtful, contemplative believer; for such a man says within his soul, “All these attributes of my God are mine: his power, my protection; his wisdom, my guidance; his faithfulness, my foundation; his grace, my salvation.” He is a God who cannot lie, faithful and true to his promise; he is all love, and at the same time infinitely just, supremely holy.]

Slide                This brought these passages to mind    John 4 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

Ps 16  11         In your presence there is fullness of Joy.

I think that when we come to faith that Gods Joy becomes part of Us through His Spirit and fills us with the Joy of the Lord.  We delight in his presence.

  • I was talking with Joan about this talk and she gave me this

Slide

Joy is lasting and eternal an inner peace

Happiness is fleeting

You can have Joy even while unhappy.

God is wonderful in using others as well as His word to guide us to help us be His disciples.

This is one of the gifts of the Spirit an inner peace an inner Joy

This peace/joy comes from being reconciled to God our maker.

2 Corinthians 5

At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin,[e] so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

I found this on the net

Slides   

1/2 Joy and gladness are what God expects from us as a direct consequence of the way He treats us. Not having served God with joy in spite of all the blessings, leaded Israel to a place of destruction.

2/2    God does not love sin, but God loves us humans and wants to show us a better way, the way of righteousness, the pathway of life which is not a bunch of rules and regulations but a Person, a real Person namely His Son, Jesus Christ.]

It is because of this Joy this Spirit of God within us that we want to tell others and bring them to a place where they can chose to become disciples of Jesus and receive His Spirit and the Joy of Knowing the Lord God.

 

When our life changes for the better, which it does when the Spirit of Jesus enters us, we have a joy around us something others notice about us.

 

Slide

So Ezra the priest brought the Book of the Law before the assembly, which included the men and women and all the children old enough to understand. He faced the square just inside the Water Gate from early morning until noon and read aloud to everyone who could understand. All the people listened closely to the Book of the Law.

It is through hearing Gods word in many ways that people can see the need they have for a relationship with God, there need to repent and be reborn in Christ and filled with His Spirit.

This is what the Alpha course is set up to do, allow people to hear and explore Gods message and ask questions of themselves and others as they do so.

  • Five of the people who have been on Alpha recently have confirmed there faith in Jesus and given there lives to him.

This brings Joy to God and fills those of us who where part of there journey with Joy as well.

Talk with them about the joy that being a disciple of Jesus brings.

This is not just for a few it is for all, if you want this Joy then as it says in

Slide

Psalm 34

14 Turn away from evil and do good.     Search for peace, and work to maintain it.

 

Or 1 Peter

15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.

Becoming a disciple means turning from going our own way and following Gods way and once we have be prepared to tell others why we have joy in our lives.

Slide

10 And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

Slide

Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” How often are you to rejoice? You know the answer, Always! You are to rejoice always, because “joy” is the easiest fruit to lose. You can’t live off of the joy you had yesterday. Joy can give you strength only when you possess it.

Celebrating is spending time with God worshiping Him; we need to do it day by day.

Being here this morning worshiping and celebrating Gods love for us is part of this

Just like the early church and the disciples who were in the temple blessing God with Joy.

Do you get joy from being here today or would you rather be at home?

Slide

So to finish

Are you helping others become disciples of Jesus?

Do you want to?

Are you full of the Joy of the Lord which is our strength?

Do you wish to be filled with that Joy?

Then let us pray together for the filling of the Spirit

Father God we turn to you in Jesus name, we turn from trying to things our own way

We ask forgiveness for not following you and living your way

We thank you for the gift of new life thanks to Jesus death on the cross

We ask for you to send the Spirit to fill us to make us anew and fill us with the Joy of knowing you

We say Come Holy Spirit come

In the name of Jesus Amen

Nehemiah 8:1-10 (abridged)

All the people assembled with a unified purpose at the square just inside the Water Gate. They asked Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had given for Israel to obey.

So Ezra the priest brought the Book of the Law before the assembly, which included the men and women and all the children old enough to understand. He faced the square just inside the Water Gate from early morning until noon and read aloud to everyone who could understand. All the people listened closely to the Book of the Law.

Ezra the scribe stood on a high wooden platform that had been made for the occasion. And others stood to his right and his left. Ezra stood on the platform in full view of all the people. When they saw him open the book, they all rose to their feet.

Then Ezra praised the Lord, the great God, and all the people chanted, “Amen! Amen!” as they lifted their hands. Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

The Levites then instructed the people in the Law while everyone remained in their places. They read from the Book of the Law of God and clearly explained the meaning of what was being read, helping the people understand each passage.

Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were interpreting for the people said to them, “Don’t mourn or weep on such a day as this! For today is a sacred day before the Lord your God.” For the people had all been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.

10 And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

Mark 1:14-20

14 After John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News. 15 “The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”

16 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 17 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 18 And they left their nets at once and followed him.

19 A little farther up the shore Jesus saw Zebedee’s sons, James and John, in a boat repairing their nets. 20 He called them at once, and they also followed him, leaving their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired men.

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