Today the pastor’s main passage was from Philippians 1:1-4 (I’ve added verse 5 and 6 onto it) which says:
“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons[a]:
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
The pastor’s main point was that we have Joy living for Jesus. First he introduced a “joyometer” and then gave 4 joy-killers that often suck the joy out of us.
1. Circumstances. Many times if our circumstances are not what we would want them to be, we can have the joy sucked out of us.
2. People. The pastor said that sometimes we might be walking along happily and then a certain person comes along and we, again, get the joy sucked out of us.
3. Things. The pastor said that sometimes we might think that we will only be happy if we get a certain thing. Maybe a car, certain clothes, a pair of shoes. It can be anything, but if we buy those things then we might have joy for a while, however it doesn’t last very long.
4. Worries. Sometimes we worry about too many things too much. Those worries can take away our joy because we spend too much time worrying about them!
Then the pastor talked about Paul and Silas, bringing up the passage in Acts where Paul and Silas are:
1. Stalked by a demon-possessed girl. The stalking continued until Paul cast the demon out of the girl.
2. Mobbed by the town. This mobbing was started by the owners of the demon-possessed girl because they were gaining money by telling others that she could predict the future. However, now that she didn’t have the demon in her, she was useless.
3. Flogged by the magistrates or there servants. The owners of the demon-possessed girl falsely accused Paul and Silas, and the magistrates didn’t even give them a trial! They just flogged them and threw them into the prison.
4. Kicked-out by the angry town because Paul and Silas were making too much commotion in the town. This all happened after Paul and Silas were freed from prison by and earthquake, and after the jailer and his family became Christians.
In Acts it tells us that Paul and Silas pray and sing praises to God… in prison with stocks on their feet. Paul and Silas were joyful even in prison! And their singing made the other prisoners very interested. Just because Paul and Silas were joyful they gave a testimony to the other prisoners, and to the jailer.
I want to edit the pastors main point, however, because our joy comes mainly from a different source. The Gospel that Jesus died for us on the cross! That is why Paul and Silas were able to sing, they had the joy that comes from the Gospel. The pastors main point, with the Gospel incorporated, is “we have Joy because of the Gospel”.
If you look in verse 4-6 of Philippians 1:
“4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
In verse 5 it says “because of your partnership in the Gospel”. The Gospel is the main point; the Gospel brings us joy unspeakable!
Grace and truth, Charity Cleveland