Freedom Community Church
"Inside Out"-Joy
Locations & Times
  • Freedom Community Church
    12980 Queen Chapel Rd, Woodbridge, VA 22193, USA
    Monday 11:46 AM
Have you ever heard people talk about someone and say something like, “She’s beautiful from the inside out”?

Meaning, she has some really great character traits—like she’s compassionate, has a great personality, and is kind.

No one wants to be around people who are fake, and no one wants to be called fake.That’s because we all know that when someone acts differently on the outside than they really are on the inside, it’s not a good thing.

That’s because most of us would agree that . . .

What someone is like on the inside should match what they’re like are on the outside.

And that’s what this series is about. For the next few weeks, we’re going to talk about what Jesus HAS DONE IS DOING inside of us change the way we live on the outside.

One of the main reasons why people don't want to follow Jesus is because, when Christians say they believe, it oftentimes doesn’t change how they act. You’ve probably heard people use words like “fake” or “hypocrite” to describe Christians. It’s hurtful, but sometimes it’s true, if we're honest, isn’t it?

Maybe you know people that you hope no one associates with Christianity Because you see how they treat other people, and it makes you cringe. “We’re not all like that as Christians! I’m sorry for the way they’re treating you!”

Or maybe you see someone, and it’s not that they treat people poorly; they just seem so bored with Christianity. It’s like they could care less. Nothing about their life draws people to say, “Wow, they have something I want.” Instead, people look at them and think, “If Christianity is anything like that, why would anyone want to be involved with it?”

Which leads to a pretty important question. What makes a Christian contagious? What makes them appealing or inspiring? I think there can be a lot of reasons, but one of which could be that they actually enjoy walking with God and caring for others; their faith seems like an adventure, not a burden!

But what if it was never supposed to be this way when it comes to our faith?

Let's look at a time when Jesus is with His disciples after His death and resurrection. And even though Jesus’ followers didn’t know that this would be their last conversation with Jesus, Jesus did. Which makes me think He was careful to be super-intentional with His message—this was His farewell!

First & Most importantly, Jesus reminds them of who He is. In other words, “Guys, I’ve defeated death. I hold the keys to life & death.

Then Jesus makes a transitional statement. It’s actually just one word:


Here’s a tip for reading the Bible. If you ever come across the word “therefore,” ask yourself, “What is it there for?” In other words, the writer is looking to connect what was just said with what is coming next.

So Jesus says, THEREFORE “I have authority, and because of that authority, what I say next matters.”

"Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations"

When something has impacted us, we want others to know about it.

I can’t tell you how many musical artists I love because one of my friends told me about them. Or how many movies I eventually watched and loved (even though I had no interest in seeing the movie when it released), because one of my friends convinced me that the movie was awesome!

But think about it. We all make disciples in other areas:

* When we love a band or artist, we make our friends listen to a song on Spotify.
*When we see an "INCREDIBLE" movie, we tell people they have to see it.
*When we find websites that have great deals on things like clothes, shoes, or phone cases, we text the link to our friends.

Two things are generally true when it comes to “making disciples” of music, movies, sports, video games, websites, or anything else:

1. It only impacts the people you have a relationship with. I might click on a link to shop for a hat or a phone case if someone I don’t know posts a link. But it’s SO MUCH more effective when I hear from one of my friends who have actually shopped on that site.
2. It only impacts people if you're excited about it. I don’t mean you have to be annoying about it. I just mean that you have to have some genuine passion. If my friend sees a movie and tells me,
So, to sum up Jesus’ final message to His followers . . .

Go and be excited about Me with the people you know.

Now, I know what some of you may be thinking:

How do I do that?
Won't that be weird?
What am I supposed to say?
Am I going to lose all my friends?

These are good questions. And I bet Jesus’ followers had questions like these too. Also, they were asking things like, “Am I going to be persecuted for this?” “Am I going to be murdered for this?” which were real possibilities. That’s why Jesus probably added this last little phrase:

“And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b NLT).

This was Jesus’ way of saying, “I got your back. No need to get all worked up, stressed out, and afraid. I'll be with you. And in case you’ve forgotten, I’ve defeated death. I can defeat anything that threatens you. You’ll be fine as long as I am with you."

...Those Baptized last week: were excited about Jesus with the people they know!

So let’s sum it all up again . . .

Go and be excited about ME around the people you know. And never forget: I have your back.

Let’s look at the first thing Jesus’ disciples did after Jesus said this and then went back to heaven:

The first thing they did was get excited about who Jesus is.

They worshiped Him, which basically means they complimented Him for how good He is and what they knew to be true about Him.
Their response from the inside out started by simply admiring God for His goodness.

In the same way, when Jesus tells you and me to go and make disciples of all nations, it doesn’t start with “witnessing” or evangelism. It starts with you and me showing gratitude, appreciation, and respect for how good God is.
The next thing they did was return home filled with great joy.

Whatever you and I are excited about on the inside will influence the people around us on the outside.

You and I see this all the time. It may the reason why you’re involved in your activities right now!

When you and I make a decision to worship Jesus and allow His joy to fill our lives, THAT'S when we start living out the Great Commission! That’s when we start making disciples. Not because we force them to follow Jesus, but we compel them to want to follow Jesus.

Of course, there’s one little problem with this idea. What if you don’t feel joy in your relationship with Jesus? What if you’re not excited about it? Do you fake being excited?

First of all, you need to know that not feeling joyful is okay. Actually, it’s normal. You need to know that your faith will go through seasons of highs and lows.

...we talked about this last week at our Youth Breakfast Club Bible study this week (studying James)
When you aren't feeling joyful or incredibly excited, pretending isn’t the answer. Because just like joy and excitement draw people, fakeness pushes them away.So don’t be something you’re not. Instead, be honest with yourself about where you are and decide to do your part to not stay stuck there.

If you’re feeling a little bored with your faith, try doing something different to shake things up. For example . . .

*Find something God did in nature that amazes you. Maybe it’s time to spend some time outside.
*Find something God did in people that amazes you. Ask your parents or your Leader at church to share stories of what God has done in their lives. Seeing Him at work is a great way to remember how He is at work in your own life.
*Find a new way to connect with God. So you already pray. Awesome! Try going outside to pray or start journal, Do a youversion plan. Or, make a worship playlist and listen to it before bed, first thing in the morning, or at lunch everyday

If we want to have joy on the outside, we need to experience it on the inside.
It starts by us focusing on Him and enjoying Him!

**Jesus’ last words aren’t about one big gesture of preaching once, or Judging others for every little thing they do. They’re not about having all the answers at any given moment.

It’s more about the way we live.
*When you take a friend or co-worker to get coffee or ice cream.
*When you invest in a relationship.
*When you talk honestly about the joy Jesus has brought you.
*When you serve others ...and are ready to share why you serve them.

THAT'S the Great Commission. In those moments, you’re experiencing what Jesus called us all to do!