12.16.2018 | “When God Said Yes | Wk 3 | Yes To Joy”
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Have you ever known anyone in your life that was perpetually, inexplicably, joyful?
How did it affect you?
Were you ever able to observe the source of their joy? Put another way, was there anything about the way they lived their life that seemed to make joy more possible?
A very important passage of scripture can be found in Paul’s letter to the church at Galatia. In chapter 5, verses 16-25, he talks about what our lives should look like if we are following—and living our lives according to—the Spirit of God. Paul also contrasts this life with a life lived according to our false self, “selfish desires”, “flesh” or “sinful nature” (depending on your particular translation of the Bible).
By the way, most interpreters would point out something very distinctive about the fruit of the Spirit. That is, when Paul references the phrase in Galatians 5:22, the word “fruit” is in the singular: that is, there is ONE FRUIT. However, Paul then proceeds to list multiple expressions of that fruit.
What this means is that the list of the fruit of the Spirit we see in Galatians 5:22-25 are really inseparable: basically you can’t say, “Hey I’m doing okay love, peace, and patience, and I know I stink at joy, but it’s okay because I have these others.”
As spiritual people, we are told here that a life of faith with God should result in all of the fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (and then don’t forget humility in v25).
Why do you think joy is a fruit of the Spirit?
Do you think God is joyful?
How do you think you can live this verse out (meaning, how does one actually live by the Spirit of God)?
What activities can you do to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit, and, in particular, joy?
Getting Out of the Hole
Believe it or not, joy can be learned and cultivated, mostly through the discipline and practice of celebration.
While the holidays can be a challenging, even cynical, time, they can also be an occasion of deep celebration.
This week, stretch yourself in the area of joy by finding something to celebrate, and then celebrate it: sing some songs, wear that ugly Christmas sweater. Laugh. Rejoice with others.
“When God Said Yes to Peace” (regular, morning gatherings).
Christmas Eve Gatherings: When God Said Yes to Us
Sunday, December 23 at 5PM
Monday, December 24 at 3 and 5PM
Childcare for 4 and under.