“The source of joy” Acts 8.1-8, Malcolm Cox, Watford church of Christ
Do you have a Joy-filled life, or a joy-less life? Joy is vital in a healthy marriage, family and friendship. Why is it so elusive?
We learn in this lesson how to find joy - via courage.
Question: what examples of courage do you see in Acts 8.1-8?
“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” (Luke 2:10 NIV1)
“So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.” (Matthew 28:8 NIV11)
God is joyful; Jesus is full of joy; Holy Spirit provides joy…
“At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said...” (Luke 10:21 NIV11)
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,” (Romans 14:17 NIV11)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,” (Galatians 5:22 NIV11)
“You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 1:6 NIV11)
Therefore makes sense to pursue joy…
Through courageous acts inspired by the love of God.
Jesus provides access to God’s joy.
He designed us for joy.
We need courage.
When we live courageously people notice and listen - then they, too, have access to the joy
Where courage comes from?
Not knowledge Jesus rose from dead; God exists; going to be with God forever when die etc.
Instead, it comes from knowing Jesus is alive, walking with us, accompanying us; keeping his promises; Matt 28 - “I am with you”.
Jesus is with me now, present, involved, immanent, attentive, listening, available for me now, interceding for me now, hearing my prayers now, sustaining me, strengthening me.
This gives us courage.
Joy comes partly from courage expressed, but partly because of knowing I have lived something fundamental to being a Christian - living by faith, trusting in Jesus.
Where do you need more joy?
That’s the same place you need more courage.
Courage first - then joy will follow.
Three steps to faith-fuelled courage and joyful living:
1. Jesus: trust he is with you
2. Open: to new ideas
3. "Yes": say “yes” to new opportunities for courage
People who have joy attract others
Who would you rather be with?
Cannot fix some situations, but can fix courage.
If have courage, will have joy, will not mind situations so much!
A church which filled with joy attracts others.
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