The Ten Commandments of Joy
I. Worship brings joy.
A. How we enter God’s presence:
1. “Shout” means a joyful cheer.
2. “Worship” with gladness.
3. “Joyful” songs.
B. Joy is a decision.
Abraham Lincoln – “People are just about as happy as they make up their mind to be.”
1. There is exuberance in the words of Psalm 100.
2. There is reason in these words.
II. Desire to obey brings joy.
A. What commands are part of the new covenant? [from Mike Mason]
1. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” [John 14:1] Trust God, be at peace.
a. Context of Jesus death, a disturbing idea.
b. Context of our eternal destiny, heaven or hell.
c. Salvation, and giving peace, is Jesus’ work.
2. “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” [Ephesians 4:1]
a. [Ephesians 4:2] Humble and gentle means less energy and focus on yourself and more on others.
b. [Ephesians 4:3] Unity through peace means trusting and loving enough to not take differences personally.
3. “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.” [1 Peter 4:7]
a. The context is the realization of the end.
b. “Clear minded” = alert, “self-controlled” means sober minded. These facilitate prayer.
c. On the peg of prayer hangs love [v 8], hospitality [v 9], and the correct use of spiritual gifts [vv 10 – 11].
4. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” [Philippians 4:4]
a. Joy is a distinguishing characteristic of the Christian.
b. Joy is foundational to gentleness [v 5], and peace [v 6].
c. Then there is a promise: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” [v 7]
B. Joy is a choice.
1. Mike Mason – “intentional time set aside”
2. Why? Because the “dreary pragmatism of existence” will grind us down if we do not deliberately take the time to be joyful.
(Ill.) Oil change.
III. Relationship with God brings joy.
A. Psalm 100:1 – 2 Worship is a means of expressing and receiving joy.
1. Mason – “Unhappy people withhold worship, which is the very reason for their unhappiness.”
2. Worship = the presence of God.
a. The presence of God causes worship.
b. Worship brings a realization of the presence of God.
B. Psalm 100:3 Worship puts God and us in context.
1. “Know.” Spurgeon – “Our worship is intelligent.”
a. Knowledge leads to understanding leads to choice leads to behavior.
b. Not just an emotional ecstasy that overpowers reason.
2. What do we know?
a. The Lord is God. (There is no other.)
b. He made us. (Rights of ownership.)
c. We are His people. (Nobody else.)
C. Psalm 100:4 Worship is joy expressed in thanksgiving.
1. A cheerful spirit is appropriate.
2. We sing “count your many blessings... and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” We are surprised because we have deliberately shut joy out of our lives.
3. Where there is joy there is thanksgiving.
IV. God brings joy.
A. Consider this: (Psalm 100:5)
1. “The Lord is good.”
a. This is not part time, it is God’s character.
b. Our response is hope born in trust.
2. “His love endures forever.”
a. Nothing can separate us from God’s love.
b. Our response is love natured in relationship.
3. “His faithfulness...” (Never ends)
a. Sometimes a generation (or two) will miss out, but God does not give up.
b. Our response is faith unshaken by time.
B. No child of God has an excuse...
1. What about circumstances?
a. Remember they are temporary (even life long ones are temporary).
b. God is not temporary.
2. What about heart-ache and pain?
a. Life can hurt. Jesus crucifixion hurt.
b. Perspective: eternal.
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