Rejoice Always


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Rejoice Always by Mark Copeland

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Rejoice Always

  1. 1. “ REJOICE ALWAYS!&quot; <ul><li>Mark Copeland </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>1 Thessalonians 5:16 </li></ul><ul><li>Rejoice always; (ASV) </li></ul><ul><li>Always rejoice, (NET) </li></ul><ul><li>Rejoice evermore. (KJV) </li></ul><ul><li>Always be joyful. (GW) </li></ul><ul><li>Be joyful always; (NIV) </li></ul><ul><li>You should be joyful at all times. (AUV) </li></ul><ul><li>Be cheerful no matter what; (MSG) </li></ul>
  2. 2. <ul><li>In 1 Thessalonians 5:16 , we have a command which is just as binding upon Christians as any you can find in the Word of God: </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Rejoice always&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Many Christians fall short in carrying out this command in their lives...It is often apparent as we go about our daily living. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>It frequently carries over </li></ul><ul><li>into our worship </li></ul><ul><li>(lack of enthusiasm in singing, </li></ul><ul><li>boredom in singing and listening to preaching) </li></ul><ul><li>Why is it that many Christians don't seem to have joy in their lives? </li></ul><ul><li>There may be many different reasons. </li></ul><ul><li>In this lesson, </li></ul><ul><li>we will touch on several. </li></ul>
  4. 4. DEFINING AND UNDERSTANDING “JOY&quot; <ul><li>As we begin, let me make sure that we understand what “joy” really is. </li></ul><ul><li>In the Greek, the most common word for joy is “CHARA” ( khar-ah') </li></ul><ul><li>It means &quot;joy, delight, gladness&quot; (Vines) </li></ul><ul><li>It is closely related to </li></ul><ul><li>charis ( khar'-ece) (grace) </li></ul><ul><li>and charisma ( char'-is-mah) (gift) </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>&quot;We might like to think of charis and charisma as that which produces joy; and chara as the response to a gift which is given.&quot; (Denny Diehl) </li></ul><ul><li>This is in agreement with the definition found in the Zondervan Topical Bible for joy: </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;the emotion excited by expectation or acquisition of good&quot; </li></ul>
  6. 6. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN JOY AND GIFT <ul><li>Understanding the close relationship between joy and gift allows us to appreciate a very important principle. We have or show joy in direct response to the value of the gift received! The greater the value we place on some gift, the greater our joy when received. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>To illustrate, imagine your reaction </li></ul><ul><li>to three different gifts: </li></ul><ul><li>The gift of a penny (ho hum,) </li></ul><ul><li>The gift of a hundred dollars </li></ul><ul><li>(now that's really nice,) </li></ul><ul><li>The gift of a new house </li></ul><ul><li>(wow! that's fantastic!) </li></ul><ul><li>Can you see how the response or emotion of joy is in direct proportion to our evaluation of the gift received? </li></ul>
  8. 8. APPLY THIS PRINCIPLE TO THE JOY CHRISTIANS SHOULD HAVE <ul><li>What has God given to us? </li></ul><ul><li>It may be easier to list those things </li></ul><ul><li>God HASN'T given us! </li></ul><ul><li>For everything good in this life </li></ul><ul><li>is from God. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>James 1:17 (NIV) Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. </li></ul><ul><li>The most valuable gift God has given us </li></ul><ul><li>is eternal life! </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Rom 6:23 (NIV) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. </li></ul><ul><li>This involves freedom from </li></ul><ul><li>the condemnation for sin, </li></ul><ul><li>through Jesus' blood! </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Also, fellowship with God </li></ul><ul><li>as we go through this life! </li></ul><ul><li>With the hope of everlasting life </li></ul><ul><li>with God after this life! </li></ul><ul><li>Should not the great value </li></ul><ul><li>of this gift produce great joy? </li></ul><ul><li>It did for the Ethiopian eunuch! </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Acts 8:38 (NIV) And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>But as mentioned in the introduction, many Christians who possess this great gift are not as joyful as they should be. </li></ul><ul><li>Again I ask, why? </li></ul><ul><li>Perhaps one reason is this... </li></ul>
  14. 14. WE DON'T APPRECIATE THE MAGNITUDE OF OUR SIN <ul><li>WE DON'T APPRECIATE WHAT SIN DOES... </li></ul><ul><li>How it separates us from God. </li></ul><ul><li>Isaiah 59:1 (NIV) Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. </li></ul><ul><li>2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden </li></ul><ul><li>his face from you, so that he will not hear. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>How it can condemn us to spiritual death and hell. Romans 6:23 (NIV) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rev 21:8 (NIV) But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars-- their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.&quot; </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>WHY MIGHT THIS BE THE CASE? </li></ul><ul><li>Perhaps we look at sin from the world's point of view: &quot;Sin is not all that bad&quot; &quot;It is only a violation of human relationships, which we can easily correct by saying 'I'm sorry'&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Instead, we should be looking at it from God's point of view: Just one sin makes a person guilty of all! </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>James 2:10 (NIV) For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, &quot;Do not commit adultery,&quot; also said, &quot;Do not murder.&quot; If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. </li></ul><ul><li>Sin has affected everyone! </li></ul><ul><li>Rom 3:23 (NIV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Sin is so terrible, God had to send His Only Begotten Son to die for our sins! Until we realize the terribleness of sin, we won't appreciate the salvation from sin which God offers. And that leads us to perhaps the main reason why most Christians lack joy... </li></ul>
  19. 19. WE DON'T APPRECIATE THE MAGNITUDE OF OUR GIFT! <ul><li>WE DON'T APPRECIATE WHAT JESUS HAS DONE! How He has reconciled us back to a loving fellowship with God! </li></ul><ul><li>2 Cor 5:18 (NIV) All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>How in Christ, </li></ul><ul><li>all things have become new! </li></ul><ul><li>2 Cor 5:17 (NIV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>WHY MIGHT THIS BE THE CASE? </li></ul><ul><li>Here are some hints: </li></ul><ul><li>John 15:11 (NIV) I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. </li></ul><ul><li>1 John 1:4 (NIV) We write this to make our joy complete. </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>John wrote, and Jesus spoke, concerning things designed to give us fullness of joy! </li></ul><ul><li>Many Christians never take the time to contemplate and understand... </li></ul><ul><li>What Jesus taught. </li></ul><ul><li>What His apostles wrote. </li></ul><ul><li>If we did, I believe we would appreciate... </li></ul><ul><li>The terribleness of our sin. </li></ul><ul><li>The magnitude of the gift </li></ul><ul><li>of salvation in Christ! </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>Instead, we allow ourselves to more influenced by the world and its standards. </li></ul><ul><li>Such that we value material things over spiritual things. Such that we have and show more joy over receiving things like... </li></ul><ul><li>A new job, promotion, raise, A new house, car. A husband, wife, or children...than we do over receiving the gift of salvation from sin! </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>Does that seem harsh saying family members should not be our source of joy? </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s review what Jesus said in </li></ul><ul><li>Luke 14:26 (NET) &quot;If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother, and wife and children, and brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>Of course we should not despise our family members, but should make sure they are not higher in our minds than Christ. We have the chance to Rejoice with them in God’s gift. </li></ul><ul><li>I am not suggesting that we should not rejoice over material gifts; indeed, we should be thankful. But if we are not as joyful over our spiritual gifts, we need to retrain our thinking through the Word of God! </li></ul><ul><li>There may be another reason why some Christians are not joyful... </li></ul>
  26. 26. OVERREACTING TO EMOTIONALISM <ul><li>THERE IS CERTAINLY A </li></ul><ul><li>DANGER IN EMOTIONALISM... </li></ul><ul><li>Emotionalism is where emotions rule </li></ul><ul><li>instead of the Word of God. </li></ul><ul><li>It is often a &quot;better felt than told&quot; kind of religion. Where people depend more on what they feel in their heart. Rather than basing their beliefs and actions on what the Bible says. </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>Such emotionalism often manifests itself in worship that is characterized by disorderly outbreaks of emotion. Contrary to what is ordained in </li></ul><ul><li>1 Co 14:40 (NIV) But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. </li></ul><ul><li>Where such displays are often totally unrelated to what is being said </li></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>BUT THERE IS ALSO A DANGER IN THE OTHER EXTREME... </li></ul><ul><li>Of resorting to &quot;dead formalism&quot; in which little or no emotion is shown. Whether in our singing, or in offering an &quot;amen&quot; to our prayers. </li></ul><ul><li>Worship which does not involve the heart </li></ul><ul><li>is just as wrong! </li></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>These following verses stem from the Pharisees condemning Jesus disciples for not washing their hands before eating. </li></ul><ul><li>Matt 15:7 (NIV) You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 8 &quot;`These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'&quot; </li></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>They are going about worshipping God through man made rules & traditions. </li></ul><ul><li>Words flow from their mouths by rote. </li></ul><ul><li>Rote: Properly, a round of words; frequent repetition of words, without attending to the signification, or to principles and rules (Websters) </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, &quot;Listen and understand. 11 What goes into a man's mouth does not make him `unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him `unclean.'&quot; 12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, &quot;Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?&quot; </li></ul>
  32. 32. <ul><li>13 He replied, &quot;Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.&quot; </li></ul>
  33. 33. <ul><li>15 Peter said, &quot;Explain the parable to us.&quot; 16 &quot;Are you still so dull?&quot; Jesus asked them. 17 &quot;Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man `unclean.' </li></ul>
  34. 34. <ul><li>The extreme to which one can go can be quite absurd, as illustrated in this story: </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;A man walks into a worship assembly. </li></ul><ul><li>The preacher is eloquently expressing God's love for us, and the man says 'Amen!' </li></ul><ul><li>That draws a few stares and whispers of </li></ul><ul><li>'Who is that?' </li></ul>
  35. 35. <ul><li>The preacher goes on to state that Jesus died for our sins so that we can go to heaven and the man says 'Alleluia.' </li></ul><ul><li>Again more stares and questions. Finally, the preacher states that through Jesus we may have eternal life, and the man says </li></ul><ul><li>'Praise the Lord!' </li></ul>
  36. 36. <ul><li>Everyone is looking now, and one fellow goes over to the newcomer to inform him, </li></ul><ul><li>'We don't “praise the Lord” here.'&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>THERE CAN BE BOTH </li></ul><ul><li>JOY AND ORDERLY WORSHIP! </li></ul><ul><li>There is room for &quot;Amens&quot; and &quot;Praise the Lord!&quot; when offered with sincerity and in keeping with what is said. </li></ul>
  37. 37. <ul><li>In reacting to one extreme, let's not go to the other and take away </li></ul><ul><li>the joy of being a Christian! </li></ul><ul><li>Joel 2:23 (NIV) Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given you the autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before. </li></ul>
  38. 38. <ul><li>Ps 122:1 (NIV) I rejoiced with those who said to me, &quot;Let us go to the house of the LORD.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Phil 4:4 (NIV) Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! </li></ul><ul><li>Eph 5:19 (NIV) Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, </li></ul>
  39. 39. <ul><li>Oh, but many Christians enter </li></ul><ul><li>the worship of our Creator and Savior </li></ul><ul><li>with the enthusiasm and vigor </li></ul><ul><li>of those filling their income tax returns </li></ul><ul><li>on April 14th! </li></ul>
  40. 40. <ul><li>Folks, this should not be! And if it is... </li></ul><ul><li>We need to pray the prayer of David: </li></ul><ul><li>Ps 51:12 (NIV) </li></ul><ul><li>Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, </li></ul><ul><li>to sustain me. </li></ul>
  41. 41. <ul><li>We need to allow the Word of God </li></ul><ul><li>to do its work: </li></ul><ul><li>Jeremiah 15:16 (NIV) </li></ul><ul><li>When your words came, </li></ul><ul><li>I ate them; </li></ul><ul><li>they were my joy and my heart's delight, </li></ul><ul><li>for I bear your name, </li></ul><ul><li>O LORD God Almighty. </li></ul>
  42. 42. <ul><li>If we would spend time with the Word of God, we would learn that </li></ul><ul><li>we also have been called of God... </li></ul><ul><li>Called out of sin and its consequences. </li></ul><ul><li>Called into a wonderful relationship </li></ul><ul><li>with God and Jesus Christ, </li></ul><ul><li>where all can be made new! </li></ul>
  43. 43. <ul><li>With such a knowledge of God's great gift, </li></ul><ul><li>joy is a natural reaction and </li></ul><ul><li>also a wonderful blessing: </li></ul><ul><li>Ps 89:15 (NIV) Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD. 16 They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness. </li></ul><ul><li>Don't you want that joy? </li></ul><ul><li>Then understand and accept the gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord! </li></ul>
  44. 44. <ul><li>We all have difficulties in our lives and sometimes find it hard to </li></ul><ul><li>“ REJOICE ALWAYS.” </li></ul><ul><li>Can we look beyond the problems at hand </li></ul><ul><li>and see the BIGGER picture? </li></ul><ul><li>So what if I hurt and don’t feel good! </li></ul><ul><li>I’ve got a promise that Jesus is coming </li></ul><ul><li>to take me to a place that knows no pain. </li></ul>
  45. 45. <ul><li>Revelation 21:3 (NET) And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: &quot;Look! The residence of God is among human beings. He will live among them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them. </li></ul><ul><li>4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any more — or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former things have ceased to exist.&quot; </li></ul>
  46. 46. <ul><li>5 And the one seated </li></ul><ul><li>on the throne said: </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Look! I am making all things new!&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Then he said to me, </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Write it down, because these words </li></ul><ul><li>are reliable and true.“ </li></ul><ul><li>Can we have a better promise than that? </li></ul><ul><li>It is truly a reason to </li></ul><ul><li>“ REJOICE ALWAYS!” </li></ul>