Experience God’s Gifts to Us: Joy, Dec. 13-29

Message Outline

Step away from what kills Joy

Wrong goals: for gifts not the Giver
7 You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. Psalm 4:7 (Luke 12:18-21)

Wrong focus: on circumstances not Christ

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4

Wrong actions: sin not obedience
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Psalm 51:12 (John 15:10-11)

 

Step into what creates Joy

Delight in salvation

20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20 (Isaiah 61:10; Acts 16:34); Luke 15 (sheep, coin, son); Philippians 1:18

Engage with God personally

you will fill me with joy in your presence, Psalm 16:11; 19:8; 119:11

Impact others for Christ

3 It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:3-4 (2 John 1:4; Philippians 1:4-5; 2:2; 2 Corinthians 7:4)

 

Group Discussion Questions

  1. Do you think a Christian should engage in making New Year’s Resolutions or any type of self-evaluation and life-change strategy? Why or why not?
  2. What are some of the potential benefits to making self-improvement goals? What are some of the potential problems?
  3. How does what you know about God and the gospel impact your thinking on making resolutions or goals?
  4. What would it look like to make resolutions understanding that we are grounded in grace? How does grace work to both remove our sin and push us towards godly living?
  5. Are you a planner? How far in advance do you plan your life out? What would it look like if we planned with more of an eternal calendar in mind? Why don’t we do this more?
  6. What do you think are the biggest motivators for how people live their lives? What are the things they are driven by – in other words, what are they possessed by? What about you? What might it look like if you and I were not possessed by the same drives of the world but live in the freedom of being possessed by and belonging to Jesus?
  7. Knowing that Christians are grounded in grace, expecting eternity and are a people possessed by Jesus, how could we make resolutions that come from our identity in Jesus? What are yours (that you feel comfortable sharing)?
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