7-3-16 – “En’JOY’ the Ride!”

En‘JOY’ the Ride! 

As a Follower of Christ, our life should be a life of Joy!  A “JOY” RIDE!  Followers of Christ should be the happiest, most excited, enthusiastic, content, loving, peaceful, fun to be around… people on the planet.  So FULL of Joy than whenever we’re bumped guess what comes out!?  (JESUS!)

Joy = Jesus On You! 

Mark 10:13-16 NLT – 13 One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.

14 When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 15 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” 16 Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.

Characteristics of Children…  Honest, no Hypocrisy…  Trusting, Have tons of Faith, Humility, Submissive, Teachable… Content…  Show Affection, want your Attention,  love to share their Abilities with you.  They are full of Joy, Excitement, Happiness and FUN to be around!

No matter what’s going on they KNOW that Dad’s got this and they’re just “Enjoying the Ride!”  

Can we honestly say, “Dad’s got this, I’m enjoying the Ride!”

  • IF Jesus Christ has saved us from satan, sin, ourselves and the world…
  • IF we once were lost but now we’re found… blind but now we see…
  • IF we’ve tasted the Grace, Mercy and Forgiveness of Almighty God…
  • IF we’re a “child” of the KING and understand that no matter what happens to me in this life, I’m going to be with HIM forever in the NEXT…

DAD’S GOT THIS…  WE SHOULD WE BE FILLED WITH AND LIVING WITH ABSOLUTE JOY! 

 

How can there be any “joyless” followers of Christ!    

Philippians 4:4 NASB – Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!   

IF there’s no joy, excitement, happiness in your life as a Follower of Jesus Christ, you need to re-evaluate your relationship with Him?!  

Are we Joy-FULL or Joy-LESS!   Depends on how our relationship is with Christ!

The Bible is filled with Scriptures about Joy!  

John 10:10 NLT – The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

 

John 15:11 NLT – 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!

 

John 16:24 NASB – Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.

 

John 17:13 NCV (Jesus praying to the Father) – I am coming to you now. But I pray these things while I am still in the world so that these followers can have all of my joy in them.

 

Galatians 5:22-23 NASB – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

 

Romans 14:17 NCV – 17 In the kingdom of God, eating and drinking are not important. The important things are living right with God, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

 

Acts 13:52 NIV – And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

 

Psalm 16:8-11 NCV – I keep the Lord before me always. Because he is close by my side, I will not be hurt.  So I rejoice and am glad. Even my body has hope, 10 because you will not leave me in the grave. You will not let your holy one rot. 11 You will teach me how to live a holy life. Being with you will fill me with joy; at your right hand I will find pleasure forever.

Obedience to God’s word brings JOY! 

Psalm 19:8 NLT – The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living.

 

Psalm 119:111 NCV – I will follow your rules forever, because they make me happy.

You can’t have JOY without FAITH & TRUST! 

1 Peter 1:8 – “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.

 

Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

NO sorrow, pain, heartache, hardship, tragedy can take our JOY! 

Romans 5:3-5 NLT – We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

 

James 1:2-4 NLT – Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

 

Psalm 94:19 NIV – When anxiety (doubts, worry) was great within me, your consolation (comfort) brought me joy.

 

Psalm 118:24 NLT – This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Our Strength, Provision, Satisfaction and Fulfillment is in the JOY of our relationship with Christ!  

Proverbs 17:22 NCV – A happy heart is like good medicine, but a broken spirit drains your strength.

 

Proverbs 15:15 NCV – Every day is hard for those who suffer, but a happy heart is like a continual feast.

 

Psalm 126:2 ESV – Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”

 

Psalm 32:11 ESV – Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.

There’s a time and a place for excitement, rejoicing… There’s also a time and place for mourning, weeping and sadness.   

Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 NLT – For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.

Life Happens to all of us and sometimes it’s tragic.  There is mourning, weeping and sadness HOWEVER, it does NOT take away my JOY, my HOPE and my VICTORY!

NOTHING can take my JOY!  I have to give my Joy away! 

CONCLUSION: 

Everybody wants to be Happy… we strive to be Happy… the Pharmaceutical & Alcoholic Beverage industries make a fortune on people who just want to be Happy! 

How are we (Followers of Christ) going to turn people on to Jesus if we’re miserable and unhappy in obeying, serving and following Him?

Again, there SHOULD be no “Joyless” followers of Christ!  If you aren’t excited about Christ, your relationship with Him…  If you have no JOY, there’s something wrong with your relationship and it’s not JESUS!

Satan has done an excellent job of convincing the world that God is some big “killjoy” who wants nobody to have fun, nobody to be happy, it’s all about what you can’t do, what you give up and what you lose.

That’s one of the biggest lies satan uses!   It kept me away from giving my life to Christ for 25 years!  That and the fact that I saw “miserable” Christians and I didn’t want what they had!

If you are a follower of Christ and serious about your relationship with Him…  BE FILLED WITH JOY!  Live every day with excitement, and JOY…  Laugh, Smile, be happy, stop taking yourself and life so serious that you miss out on the journey God has for you!  

En‘JOY’ the Ride!  

Philippians 4:4 NASB – Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!  

6-26-16 “Idols That Hold Me Back…”

Idols!

Last week, Sam Childer’s mentioned one thing that limits us from joining God, and doing GOD THINGS!    FEAR!

We’re scared of the UNKNOWN! (Who, What, When, Where, Why… HOW?)

We’re also scared of the KNOWN! (That doesn’t make sense?!) We’re scared to let go of what we know!

There IS a degree of fear involved, but I believe it’s a combination of fear and something else that prevents us from becoming the person that God wants us to become or doing the thing that God wants us to do!

We don’t go up the Mountain to experience God so we create, worship, serve and obey our own gods (little g)… our “golden calves.” Those idols along with our fear, keeps us from becoming the person that God wants us to become or doing what God wants us to do!

Idol definition:  (Tim Keller – “Counterfeit Gods” gives these characteristics of an “idol.”

  • Anything that’s more important to us than God… more important than my relationship with Him.
  • Anything that absorbs our heart, mind, emotions and imagination more than God…
  • Anything that we seek out to give us the things that really only God can give us…
  • Anything so essential to your life that if you lost it… life would no longer feel worth living.

 

What does God say about “idols or other ‘gods’ (little g) in our life?

1st 3  of the TEN Commandments!  Exodus 20

  1. You must not have any other God but me.
  2. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the LORD you God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.
  3. You must not misuse the name of the LORD you God.  (When we call ourselves “Christians” (Little Christs) but give our attention, affection and abilities (worship, serve, obey) other gods aren’t we “misusing” the name of the one True God!

Exodus 31:14 NLT – You must worship no other gods, for the LORD, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you.

 

Deut. 4:23-24 NLT – 23 Be careful not to forget the covenant of the LORD your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the LORD your God has forbidden. 24 For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

 

Isaiah 44:6-11 NLT – This is what the Lord says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies: “I am the First and the Last; there is no other God. Who is like me? Let him step forward and prove to you his power. Let him do as I have done since ancient times when I established a people and explained its future. Do not tremble; do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim my purposes for you long ago? You are my witnesses—is there any other God? No! There is no other Rock—not one!” How foolish are those who manufacture idols. These prized objects are really worthless. The people who worship idols don’t know this, so they are all put to shame. 10 Who but a fool would make his own god— an idol that cannot help him one bit? 11 All who worship idols will be disgraced along with all these craftsmen—mere humans— who claim they can make a god. They may all stand together, but they will stand in terror and shame.

Psalm 135:15-18 NIV – The idols of the nations are silver and gold, made by human hands. 16 They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. 17 They have ears, but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths. 18 Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.

Idolatry is anything (ANYTHING) in our life (Spiritually, Mentally, Emotionally or Physically) that commands and consumes our affection, attention, and our abilities “toward, and for” the one True Living God!

Areas where Idols (gods, little “g”) can exist in our life…

The most obvious…  The “god” or “idol” of Materialism:  Money…   Stuff…   Things…

Mark 10:17-22 NLT – 17 As Jesus was starting out on his way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  18 “Why do you call me good? ”Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good. 19 But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.’” 20 “Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”

21 Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,”he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

The issue wasn’t that the man had money… the issue was his money had him!   Money, Material things were his “god.”

Is there a Material thing we can’t give up in order to serve & obey God…  IF so, it’s become an idol in your life and you need to get rid of it!

The “god” or “idol” of Pride and Ego:  (This “god” isn’t easily detected as we all have that sin nature about us.)

This is the “god” or “idol” of making a name for ourselves…  of getting ahead…  of living for self rather than dying to self.

It’s the “god” and “idol” of Pride and Ego because it’s where we get our “Self-worth” and “Self-Esteem.”

Luke 9:25 NLT – And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?

1st thing most men say to one another in conversation?  “What do you do for a living?”   It’s how we “define” ourselves, where we find our acceptance and significance.   (Not just Men… Women more than ever are following the Men down this same path of idolatry.)

Even Ministry, God things can become an “idol” if we’re not careful.

Revelation 2:2-5 NLT – “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. You have patiently suffered for me without quitting.

“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! (You have lost your first love.) Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand (influence/impact) from its place among the churches.

The “god” or “idol” of Creation:  We “idolize” the Creation (Mankind) over the Creator!

We have put ourselves on the Throne to be worshipped instead of worshipping God. We’ve rejected God and His word… and made up our own ideas of what the Truth is and is not.

We worship creation rather than the Creator!

Romans 1:16-25 NLT  VS. 16-17 Paul is sharing the Good News of Salvation in Christ… 16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. 17 This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”

Vs. 18 – 25 – God’s Anger at Sin…  18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. 19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. 21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.

The “god” or “idol” of Self -indulgence:  (Probably the most significant or destructive!)

Self-indulgence… unrestrained or excessive gratification of one’s own appetites, desires, or whims.

Self-indulgence =  Satisfying my lust and my greed.  It’s the new “god” (little g) of America.

The only thing the “god” of self- indulgence does is make me want more… I have to have more of that (whatever) to be satisfied… but we never are.  We actually feel empty inside rather than being fulfilled!

1 John 2:16 – For all that is in the world – the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride possessions – is not from the Father but from the world!

CONCLUSION:

The void we have inside was created because we lost the relationship and intimacy with God the Father.  The only way to satisfy the void, the emptiness is to be restored to the thing we lost…

A RELATIONSHIP and intimacy with the FATHER!  (But God, God the Father, the one true living God, made a way through Jesus Christ so we could be restored to Him!)

These “golden calves” and these “idols” will never meet our spiritual need…  That emptiness, the void in your life can’t be satisfied by a “created” thing!   There’s only one thing that can fill it!

How do I know if I have “idols” or a “golden calf” in my life?

  • What commands/consumes your Attention, Affection and your Abilities?
  • What keeps you from giving yourself completely, absolutely to Jesus Christ?
  • What keeps you from serving Him?

 

  • What keeps you from obeying Him?
  • What thing is so essential to you that if you lost it you would feel as if life isn’t worth living?

Ask God to reveal anything in your life that has become an idol to you. Ask Him to help you destroy it!

God doesn’t want to be # 1, he wants to be the ONLY ONE!   With God on the throne in your heart, mind, soul, body… what else do we need?!

Philippians 3:19 NCV – 19 My God will use his wonderful riches in Christ Jesus to give you everything you need.