Mat 7:7 - Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

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THAT YOUR JOY MAY BE FULL

  1. INTRODUCTION:
  1. Read Text: 1 John 1:1-4
  1. John 15:11 - "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full".
  2. John 16:24 - "Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full".
  3. John 17:13 - "But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves".

Jesus and John both speak of full or complete Joy. 

  1. Survey which asked people why they had quit going to church.

The majority answered:

  1. The "joy" of worshipping God was gone. 
    1. They were going through the motions without emotion and their religion became dry and empty.
  1. Ask HollywoodWhat do you derive your greatest Joys from?
    1. Environment, stardom, weather, freedom of expression…
    2. Variety of responses..
  1. Among ourselves askWhat gives you the greatest joy?
    1. Variety of answers –
    2. We may have a smile on our face being in the Lord… but are we experiencing fullness of Joy?
  1. John 15:11 said… Jesus Desire is for His joy to remain in us.
    1. We want to study this perspective…. Fullness of Joy.
    1. Some may have.. fraction of joy, half full of joy, emptiness.. no joy whatsoever..

Important to study to understand what Jesus meant! So we can rejoice in that way. 

  1. Joy is not happiness
  1. Jesus did not say that we would always be "happy" in our walk with Him,
  1. Happiness is concerned with what "happens to us," –
    1. Good health, compliments, nice hair day, On time, sunshine, obedient children, etc.
    1. Happiness comes and goes – cloudy, ill, late, criticism, cranky child, etc.
  1. Joy is connected to what is "going on within us."
    1. Joy is spiritual – Gal. 5:22
    1. Jesus wants this joy to be a constant in our lives.

So why are so many people bouncing from church to church looking for something new to happen? 

Why are so many people spiritually dry and empty inside?  They have confused Joy and Happiness.

We once were baptized and rejoicing!… Has happiness replaced our joy? 

  1. In seeking out Happiness, we often stumble into sin.
    1. Sin is like a drainplug.  If you utilize it, you are slowly drained of Joy. 
    1. The joys experienced in Christ, slowly disappear down the drain.
  1. Our Joy is not Separate from Our Salvation
  1. John wrote to instruct us on how to live in a state of "fullness of joy."
  1. Without joy: 
    1. church becomes another thing to do in busy week.
    1. prayer becomes a ritual.
    2. praise becomes noise.
    3. Without joy our worship loses its light.
    4. Songs sound hollow.
    5. Our service to God becomes a weariness.
  1. Joy and salvation are united.
  1. David prayed in Psalm 51:12, "Restore unto me the joy of they salvation. . . "
  2. Isaiah 12:2-3 – Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for Jehovah, even Jehovah, is my strength and song; and he is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. – Our Joy comes from God.  If our focus is not Him, no joy.
  3. Phil. 4:4 - "Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say Rejoice" – Rejoice where?
  1. Do We Recognize our Salvation? And Rejoice in God’s presence?

Many People:

  1. Leave church mad or sad.
  2. Sit through the Wonder of Worship and miss the joy of being in the presence of God. 
  3. Ps. 16:11 - ". . .in thy presence there is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore"
  4. Go through Life as an empty pitcher.  Empty and dry.  This results in:
    1. Not being a witness because they feel like a hypocrite. 
    1. Not worshipping because there is no melody in their hearts. 
    2. Not ministering because they are on a quest for joy in their own life and simply live in hope that somehow someone or something will fill the empty pitcher of their life with joy.
  1. How Do We Become Filled with Joy?  If we have never been filled or we have been drained?

I John shows us that we fill the pitcher of joy by pouring out our lives in four areas.   

  1. First, We Must Pour Out “Self” (Pour the glass labeled "self" into the pitcher.) 1/4
  1. I John. 1:8-9 - "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleans us from all unrighteousness."
    1. We must pour our "self" out before God and one another.
    2. We need to be Real and Honest
    • Admit we don’t know it all.  Admit we need help.  Admit we aren’t perfect.
  • Mat 5:3 - Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    • 1Pe 5:6 - Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time; casting all your anxiety upon him, because he careth for you.
    1. Joy comes with the understanding we cannot go it alone in life.
    • Ex. Homeless teenagers.  – Tough act – They can handle it all.  Yet, they cannot.
  1. Second, We Must Pour In Fellowship With God (Pour the glass labeled "God" into the pitcher.) 1/2
  1. There is no real joy without a real relationship with God.
    1. How much of a relationship do I have with my wife if I only speak to her a few minutes a day?
    2. How much of a relationship do I have with my wife if I only spend a couple hrs. w/her 1da/wk.
    3. There is will be little joy in that relationship.
    4. We must fill our life with fellowship with God.
    • Prayer, worship, study, song, and a godly life –
    • A relationship with God is a communion of heart and soul.
  1. Religion cannot bring you the joy of God.
    1. There are many religions
    1. There is only one God
    2. God’s will, is the only will, that will, bring you joy.
  1. Rituals and Traditions cannot bring you the Joy of God.
    1. Being a child of God is much more than being one in name.
    1. Being a child of God requires us to be a loving sacrifice.
    2. We must be trying to build a relationship with God through His Traditions..
    • "fullness of joy" comes from God’s presence - I Jn. 1:3 "truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ."
    • This is in sickness and health, richer or poorer, pain or pleasure…

It's not enough to seek "quality time" with God.  Wemust walk in the light as He is in the light. 

  1. Next, We Must Pour in Service

(Pour the glass labeled "service" into the pitcher.) – 3/4

    1. I John 2:3-4 - "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.  He who says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His commandment, is a liar, and the truth is not in him."

Ex. John Hicks – 73 - doing the Lord's will, obedient to His call has joy. You cannot be winning souls into the Kingdom of God and be lacking joy at the same time. 

    1. Salvation is not by our works, but when we are in love with God we will want to serve Him.
    1. There is something wrong with our relationship with God if:
    • We do not want to serve God in some capacity,
    • We do not keep His command to share the gospel,
    • We do not minister His love to those around us.
    1. To have joy filled to the brim of your soul, you are going to have to get busy for God. 
    1. You may be a:
    • prayer warrior, teacher, an encourager, a helper, something nobody else has done!
    • If it reaches people with the love of God it will fill your soul with wonderful Joy!
  1. Finally, We must pour into others.   (Pour in the glass labeled "others.") – FULL!
  1. Some folks have the attitude "me and Jesus, we got our own thing goin',"
    1. That attitude is in direct opposition to what the Word has to say.
    2. "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another" - John 13:34.
    3. "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you" - John 15:12.
    4. "These things I command you, that ye love one another" - John 15:17.

    2. When we focus on our "self" we do not find joy.

    3. When we focus on God, on serving Him by touching the lives of others, we will have joy.

Ex. Going to Prison, Nursing Homes – People who have nothing to give me in return, but whose lives are brightened through the hope of salvation. 

  1. Summarize being filled with Joy in one concept:
  1. If you want joy, Seek the Will of God.
  1. Get your eyes off yourself and get them on God
  2. Develop a Relationship with God.
  3. Serve God
  4. Serve Others.
    1. This is how you find Joy!
    1. Neh. 8:10 - "the joy of the Lord is your strength"
  1. The Joy of the Lord is a never ending well.
  1. If this is the case, how do we lose Joy by sin?
  1. We make decision to not follow the will of God.
  2. Jesus has given us something no one can ever take away.  Yet, people give it away!
  3. Someone might make you unhappy, sorrowful, upset...  Yet, they cannot take your Joy away!
  4. If you lose it, it is because you responded or acted in an ungodly way.
  5. Jesus said if you want His Joy… It must remain in you!  Hold on to His will! I Pet. 4:12-13
  1. Many have gone through Sorrow following the will of God
  1. Job
  2. Joseph
  3. Jesus
  4. Apostles
  • They all rejoiced in doing the will of God.
  • James 1:2 - Count it all joy, my brethren, when ye fall into manifold temptations; Knowing that the proving of your faith worketh patience.
  1. Conclusion
  1. How about you today?
  1. Is your Joy Full?  Are you half full?  Empty?
  1. What are you going to do about it?
  1. The will of God for all mankind is that they come to Him.
  1. Do you believe he will pour out His joy on you?
    • 1Jo 5:13  These things have I written unto you, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, even unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God.
  1. Are you ready to experience True Joy His way?
    • Mat 3:2  Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
  1. Do You Know the only way to experience true Joy is through Christ?
    • Acts 4:12 - And in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved.
  1. All who desire salvation in Christ are baptized.
    • 1Co 12:13  For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all made to drink of one Spirit.

By pouring ourselves out according to the Will of God, We will be filled with joy thru an endless age. 

If you seek Joy today at the feet of God, please let it be made known as we stand and sing, 

Will you come?