Thursday, August 21, 2014

Together in Joy, Together in Christ

Then our mouth was filled with laughter And our tongue with joyful shouting; Then they said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them." The LORD has done great things for us; We are glad.  Psalm 126:2-3

One of the greatest and most attractive qualities both a church and a Christian can have is joy.  How sad it is to see a believer in Christ living under a cloud of gloom and doom instead of hope and peace because of who God is.  The trying circumstances of our world today become the telling circumstances of how big your God is and how great your faith is in that God.  Christianity is to be nothing less than a festival of joy. Jesus spoke of feasts and parties…celebrations of life!

The words “joy” and “joyful” are used 250 times in the Bible. The word “rejoice” is used 200 times in the Bible. Over 450 times we are told to be joyful and rejoice.

Real joy is a gift from Jesus.
The Greek word for 'joy' is chara, derived from the word charis, which is the Greek word for 'grace.'  This is important to note, for it tells us categorically that chara is produced by charis of God.  This means 'joy' isn't a human-based happiness that comes and goes...Rather, true 'joy' is divine in is a Spirit-given expression that flourishes best in hard times.  Do you know why Jesus said all that he said, and why Jesus taught all that he taught? He said in John 15:11, "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full."   You see, when you get Jesus you get joy, joy inexpressible and full of glory.  You see, when you get Jesus you get joy, joy inexpressible and full of glory.  If you get around God at all, you're going to be full of joy, because "In His presence is fullness of joy."

Our Joy Together in Fellowship 
In my standard marriage ceremony there is a statement I make that well applies here… “When two share a sorrow the sorrow is halved and when two share a joy, the joy is doubled.”  This principle is multiplied in the fellowship of the church.  As we share our burdens, there are many who gather around us to support, encourage and uplift.  When we celebrate our victories, there is the multiplication of joy as we retell the story

Only those who have been born again by the spirit of God and stand redeemed can relate to one another in the joy of our salvation.  We are saved!

In worship WE celebrate the greatness of OUR God with the FAMILY of God!  It is a fellowship of joy that dances before Him and claps their hands in joyful praise!  It is all about fellowship and all about JOY

Every celebration of God’s blessing is a testimony of who God is and a reminder of His past, present and promised provision.  CELEBRATE!  You can tell quickly whether or not you find joy in the fellowship…just miss a few weeks of contact.  The number one thing I hear from those who cannot attend is the pain of not being TOGETHER. 

My heart, as yours, is immediately lifted when we enter the doors of the church and see our brothers and sisters in Christ!  We are at once not alone!

Scripture to Claim:
Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He, who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.  Psalm 126: 5-6

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