Central Christian Church
Joy: Laboring for the Lord
Joy -- Rising Above My Circumstances. Paul wrote his letter to the church at Philippi from a Roman jail yet the book of Philippians is full of joy. Pastor Nathan leads us through an in-depth study of Philippians to discover Paul’s secret to find joy.
Locations & Times
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  • Central Christian Church
    204 S Broad St, Lampasas, TX 76550, USA
    Sunday 10:00 AM

Series Page

All resources for the series can be found on the series page.

http://www.ccclampasas.org/2017/07/joy/
Announcements for Oct 8
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Today Board Meeting
Oct 9 More Event - 6:30 PM @ Old Middle School
Oct 12 Bean & Cornbread Dinner Benefiting the Mission 5:30 PM @ New Covenant
Oct 18 CWF 9 AM
Oct 21 Men's Breakfast 8 AM @ El Rodeo
Oct 22 Garage Sale at the Mission
Oct 31 Block Party 6-8 PM
Martin Luther King Jr. endured terrible oppression much like Paul did. His strong sense of calling and faith strengthened other Christians.

So many people are afraid of death, but to Paul he saw it as to His advantage. Death is not the end of our lives. It is the beginning of our eternal lives with the Lord.

Death no longer has it’s sting. In verse 25, Paul only wants to stay with them for their progress and joy in the faith. Isn’t it wonderful that our Christian growth and maturity is tied to joy? One aspect of our fellowship with believers and our witness to the lost is our joy.

Pastor Steve Fuller shared an insight on the connection between faith and joy. He wrote, A while back I had an “a-hah!” moment noticing that many Scriptures show a cause-effect relationship between faith and joy.
Here’s some examples —
Faith is the cause. Joy is the result. I can’t turn fear and joy on and off by will-power. But by God’s grace I can turn from happy circumstances as my joy, to trusting Christ as my joy.

As you know, I have had two major infections since May. There have been times during this journey that I have given in to discouragement and fear.
I set my heart prayerfully on the truth of who He is — praising Him, thanking Him, worshiping Him, beholding Him.

Slowly — the fear diminished. Slowly — I felt the Holy Spirit changing my heart so I felt love for Christ, joy in Christ, hope everything
By the time I started worshiping God the fear was gone. I saw and felt that having Jesus was everything.

Some implications of the cause-effect relationship between faith in Christ and joy in Christ —

I must not live based on emotions. But I also must not ignore emotions — because emotions show what I am trusting. Whatever I desire the most, or worry about losing the most, is what I am trusting the most.
I never need to settle for lack of joy in Christ. If I will prayerfully fight the fight of faith, the Holy Spirit will restore the joy of salvation.

I must never settle for lack of joy in Christ — because lack of joy shows there’s a problem with my faith. Remember that joy and happiness are different things. Joy is not based on Circumstances. It either shows I am not trusting Jesus to satisfy me, or I am trusting something else to satisfy me.[1]

Have we thought about how when we fellowship, pray, witness, or worship with other Christians that we should disciple and encourage them? The question is not what should the church do to make me more comfortable and happier. The question should be: how to glorify God and love people in our church, the body of Christ and part of the world-wide church of all true Christians?

In verse 26 Paul says that their boasting should be in Christ. We run into a lot of trouble when we compare ourselves to others and boast in ourselves.


[1]http://livingbyfaithblog.com/2012/01/24/the-faith-joy-connection/
Boasting:

kaúxēma ( – boasting, focusing on the results of exulting/boasting (note the -ma suffix). This boasting (exulting) is always positive when it is in the Lord, and always negative when based on self. See 2744 (kauχaomai).

[2744 (kauxáomai) likely comes from the root, auχēn ("neck"), i.e. what holds the head up high (upright); figuratively, it refers to living with God-given confidence.

Verse 26: so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.

Boasting is foolish because we do not know the full picture. Only God does.
How do we do what Paul spoke about in practical, real-life ways?

Chris Martin, is a millennial Christian, who has three excellent suggestions about to make the church feel like a family.

Perhaps the clearest step local churches can take is to invest time and energy into the community life of the church, and make every effort to make the church feel more like a family than an institution.

1. Do non-churchy things together. Do life together with your church. If the only time you get together with your church family is in the sanctuary on Sunday mornings or in your Sunday school classroom, your church family is probably going to feel less like a family and more like a social club or class at school.

Go bowling together. Eat meals together. Go on vacation together. Have Christmas parties and birthday parties, bridal showers and baby showers.

So many people are lonely. Kagan Mahajan asked “why Americans valued friendliness with commerce so much. Was handing over cash the sacred rite of American capitalism—and of American life? On a day that I don’t spend money in America, I feel oddly depressed. It’s my main form of social interaction—as it is for millions of Americans who live alone or away from their families.”[1]

On the other hand, we also need to respect the space of people who don’t like to socialize. Writer Shirley Jackson had the following to say, “ In my own experience, contacts with the big world outside the typewriter are puzzling and terrifying; I don’t think I like reality very much. Principally, I don’t understand people outside; people in books are sensible and reasonable, but outside there is no predicting what they will do.”

2. Spend time in each others’ homes. This point goes hand-in-glove with the point above. Doing non-churchy things with church friends will often drive you to each others’ homes. Obviously, if you want to have a meal together or schedule a board game night, or something like that, you can be sure to do that in your homes and not in the church.

Tony Merida argued that Jesus embodied Christian hospitality. “Jesus was separated from sin, but never isolated from people. And He definitely wasn't the incarnate killjoy. Sinners loved being with Jesus. The poor and vulnerable found hope in Him. It was the religious pious that got upset with Him.


[1]https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/socializing
3. Care for each other. Perhaps someone just had a baby and you need someone to help make and deliver meals. Maybe somebody just had a major surgery and need some help getting to work for a couple of weeks. Maybe a friend’s house flooded, and they need someone to store some of your stuff for a month or so as you fix up your basement.

Whatever it is, however big or small, the people who make up the local church need to bear the burdens of one another. We must do this not only because Scripture says to do so (Gal 6:2) but because, in doing so, we reflect the love of Jesus and attract outsiders to the loving, sacrificial body of Christ.

Is church for us only a few hours a week? Or is the Body of Christ living celebrating and mourning together?
Prayer:
Lord God, in a universe that seems so immense it is easy to feel insignificant as we stand here today. Yet we know that we are precious in your sight - unique individuals loved and blessed in so many ways. We stand in awe of the one who has created all things and dedicate this time and all our days to your service. Accept this offering we pray, our sacrifice of praise and worship. Amen