Good Morning Beloved Family!
What a great honor and privilege to be with you today.
Thank you for joining us here.
Thank You, for each and every one who is here today
it's morning, and already we have so many good things to be thankful for
overwhelming joys that have come our way
they joy of the smells of fresh coffee brewing
the joy of clean water, the joy of a shower
Thank you, Lord, for the joy of worshiping You
how blessed are we that You want us as Your own
Oh we need your presence here on earth
Holy Spirit, guide us in our walk with You today
Speak to our hearts, through Your Word
let us boldly share it with others
as we proclaim Your goodness and glory to those we encounter
as we worship You Lord
fill our hearts, with an abundance of joy
Thank You Lord for the joy in the journey
In Your precious name we pray
Today's Message: Joy In The Journey
This morning we embark upon a wonderful new journey,
it is my sincere desire to share a wonderful, wonderful epistle.
I trust that all you have your Bible with you, and if you will open it to the
Philippians chapter 1,
Allow me to read, the first few verses for you, "Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now."
There are four brief chapters, and the theme of these four chapters is joy;
Joy, isn't that a remarkable theme to study?
Paul usually wrote to a church because of a particular problem that they were facing. This is not true of the Philippian letter. And although Paul does take a brief moment to deal with a problem that had arisen between two women of the church, chapter 4:2-3, it is not the bulk of his writing here.
Paul mentions joy and rejoice at least 16 times within these four chapters.
He also mentions Christ 50 times.
And that is because his joy is found in Christ, and so is our joy!
As we approach this epistle, which I’ve entitled "Joy In The Journey," I trust and I pray that God is going to touch our hearts, our lives and our attitudes through this wonderful experience.
Many agree that the key verse for the Book of Philippians is found in chapter 4:4.
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!"
The world we live in, is often rather a sad place...
Filled with anxiety, despair, depression, unfulfillment, dissatisfaction. Many find themselves longing for things that never quite come to pass. It’s kind of a sad reality, if you stop and think about it. And with an even sadder future, because we have a world of unfulfillment and sadness, that has no hope that anything should change for the better.
As the length of years and the decreasing moments of happiness bring about a morbid sadness and lack of satisfaction with life, especially for the elderly. Their long years of life inevitably become long years of sorrow plagued by moments of loneliness, moments of happiness become less and less frequent as aging takes place, as children and family become more and more preoccupied with their lives. That’s probably why the highest percentage rate of suicide is among those who are over 65,
Happiness is that which you really can’t plan and program; it may happen, it may not happen, and it more than not, seems so elusive. It's tied to an occasional happening, a chance circumstance. Thus I would surmise, that's why most people, aren't happy for long. Happiness is fleeting.
That's why today, we're going to talk about "joy." Joy is a deep down confidence that all is well, no matter what the circumstance, no matter what the difficulty, no matter what the problem. Joy is much different from happiness.
Joy, on the other hand, must be understood in a biblical sense, because it is understood to be related to God. It must be understood to be that which becomes yours in Christ. It must be understood to be a permanent possession of every believer, not some whimsical delight that comes and goes as chance may offer it opportunity. Joy in Christ, is lasting. That is why it perplexes unbelievers, They cannot fathom the overwhelming joy we experience. Since our joy comes through Christ, I believe that only Christians really know and understand true and lasting joy.
And so, Paul begins the letter to the Philippians in much the same way he opens his other New Testament letters. He identifies himself as the writer, along with Timothy, who is with Paul at the Roman prison. Paul also quickly let’s the people know his true position of leadership in the Kingdom of God, a servant.
Stop and think for a moment about the man who is writing this letter was:
Educated in the finest of schools
A Pharisee, a strict follower of the law
He had been converted to Christianity while on the road to Damascus, on his way to persecute Christians
He had performed miracles, established churches and wrote the majority of the New Testament but he calls himself "servant" which literally means "slave."
Paul had realized what so many others have not! That no matter how high we go in this world or how much acclaim we are given by men we are, as Christians, called to a life of serving others. An attitude many today, would do well to remember.
Paul, having established his position as servant, then greets "all the saints in Christ Jesus" and then greets the leadership of the church, "overseers and deacons," Reading this greeting in the scriptures doesn’t seem all that interesting but this same thing happens every week in church services all over the world. As the preacher begins his message he usually begins by greeting the congregation and to the other leadership in the church.
Then we have Paul's prayer of joy in his people..
"I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me. For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus."
Paul, in the first 11 verses of Philippians, is giving us a glimpse into his prayer life because these verses record how he prayed for the Philippians. He begins by saying in verse 3: I thank my God every time I remember you.
I can only imagine that as Paul begins this prayer his mind begins to roll back to the great miracles of conversion in Philippi. This church was established with amazing supernatural events. Paul’s mind probably went back to when he was thrown into prison at Philippi.
Joy is a gift from God, it is a gift from God to those who believe in the gospel. Now allow me to just add here, Joy is a gift from God to those who believe in the gospel being produced in them by the Holy Spirit and who also believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
In Romans 14:17-18, Paul further tells us "for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men."
1 Thessalonians 1:6, "You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit,"
Now let's look at 1 Peter 1:8-9, "and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls."
That's sums up the theology of our joy in one sentence.
Throughout my ministry, I have had the occasion to speak with a great many pastors, some really knowledgeable Spirit filled pastors that God was really using. And during the years, I have had the occasion to hear them speak about the people they are called to lead. I have listened to them pour out their heart about some horrific situations that people are going through and how they are trying to help them in this situation. Listening to these men has helped me to see that even in times of trial and testing their joy comes from being able to be a part of these people’s lives.
There have also been a few times, thankfully very few times, that I have listened to pastor’s pour out their bitterness about the people they lead. These pastors had become overwhelmed by the situations their people have faced or how the saints of God had hurt them deeply. There was no joy to be found in their work for the Kingdom.
I can honestly say that you all bring me such great joy. Forgive me for being a bit emotional, but it's like the joy a father feels when he hears the doctor say he has a healthy baby boy or girl. When I recall some of the times we've shared, the tears, the laughs, prayers and concerns, all the times... God has answered prayers, shared in your pain when his answer was different than the desired outcome. You're my family... a term I do not use lightly. I am so blessed
My prayer for you is that as you grow in the knowledge and love of God, as you mature in making Godly decisions and as you strive to live lives of purity that all of this would produce spiritual fruit.
That each of you would discover the JOY that comes in surrendering every part of your life to Jesus Christ to move beyond being just Sunday Christians and truly live the abundant life that Jesus Christ has for you...
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
Now and forever, in Jesus' name
Brian Monzon Ministries