Sunday's sermon was a wonderful reminder on how to maintain our joy. Here are a few notes from the sermon:
1. Live each day by GRACE
Legalism can kill your joy. It can destroy the joy in your life. It can ruin a family, people, and churches. Legalism is substituting rules and regulations for a relationship with Christ. It gets the focus off what God has done for you and gets the focus on what you have to do for God. Living by grace is the key to joy. It is important to realize that everything God does in you and through you is by grace, rather than working for it and earning it. Grace is the secret of joy.
2. Keep your priorities in PERSPECTIVE
A lot of people are looking for joy in all the wrong places. Nothing is as valuable as a relationship with Jesus – there is no comparison. We need to know what is important. Don't lose your joy over things that really don't count. The number one reason people lose their joy is they misplace their priorities. They get too involved in things that really aren't that important. Many people are afraid that they are going to have to give up something in order to become a Christian – and they are right! When you come to Jesus Christ you give up everything you've got. It is a total commitment. But what you find in following Christ is worth much more than you give up. You give up guilt and gain a clear conscious. You give up worry and gain a power for living. You gave up trying to solve all your problems in your own power and gain having the resources of God to help solve your problems.
3. Grow in your RELATIONSHIP with Christ
Lasting joy comes from knowing Christ more and more. Paul says his number one goal in life is to know Christ better and better. How well do you know Jesus Christ? Do you have an intimate relationship with Christ? Do you talk to Him every day? That is what we do when we pray – we talk to Him. Do you consider that He is with you every day? If you are a Christian – He is. His Holy Spirit is dwelling in you. Where you go – He is there also. Never stop growing and developing your relationship with Christ. The moment you stop growing, you're going to lose your joy.