THE JOY OF SPIRITUAL MINISTRYOUTLINE FROM SUNDAY NIGHTS MESSAGE:
"Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, So that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear. Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death."
The Ministerial Life: It’s aim, pursuit, and success ought to be: transparent in duty, desire and privileges.
THE SPREAD OF THE GOSPEL THROUGH THE APOSTLES IMPRISONMENT.
The Christian’s attitude toward the restrictions of life will determine largely the depth of spiritual experience.
- My responsibility to Jesus Christ as a believer is to decide to live my personal life in faith. I trust and leave it to the sovereignty of Christ and not to whine and wince under life’s circumstances.
- To remain consistent above my surroundings and life’s situations.
THE KEY TO THE PROBLEMS OF LIFE’S ADVERSITIES
- It’s the attitude of my heart. It’s not God giving me what I desire, but accepting what God sends.
THE CHRISTIAN JOY IS TO REMAIN CONSTANT
- 1 Thess. 5:16, “Rejoice evermore.”
When a believer stops rejoicing in the Lord, it is _SIN
KEY VERSE IN THIS SECTION OF VERSES:
- 1:18 “I will rejoice,” in imprisonment if necessary.
The measure of a person’s spiritual character, integrity, the measure of one’s spiritual strength, maturity, is what it takes to steal their joy.
Christian living is not an escape from trouble and suffering. It is the basic component
of the Christian experience
How you respond to reverses in life will show the level of spiritual maturity?
JOY IS THE PRODUCT OF A SPIRIT-CONTROLLED LIFE.
We ought to expect trouble John 16:33
- 33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
- SOME PROFOUND BLESSINGS AND REASONS FOR DIFFICULTIES
- Stimulates public interest.
- Authenticates one’s witness.
- Stimulates other believers to new zeal.
THE KEY IS LEARNING TO YIELD TO THE CONTROL OF THE SPIRIT AND NOT BE OVERTAKEN IN THE DIFFICULTY.
Do we read in Paul’s life’s account, that he was despondent? But rather determined to show forth more joy.
Let’s take a view of Paul’s circumstances
Acts 21:27-28, 33
Acts 28: 30-31
Footnote: No, I did not teach this lesson at the putt putt course, but Charity took this photo on one of my birthday outing.