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Overcoming the Joy-Snatchers

by Rev. Kirby Williams

Learning to identify and "emancipate" the joy of Christ.

Text: John 17:13
Date: 02/09/2020, the Traditional service.
Series: "John: Encountering Love" Part 165

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After fervently praying that His Father would keep His disciples in His name, Jesus now asks for them to be gifted with His joy. We will first discuss what He means by "my joy" and then explore how it is fulfilled in both the disciples and the church. After reminding ourselves that whatever Jesus prays for will necessarily be granted by the Father, we will wrestle with the fact that joy is either missing or artificially manufactured in so many churches and Christians today. We will realize that the joy Jesus speaks of is given freely to all who truly believe in Him; and therefore, if the church is joyless, it is because the invasive "world" is incessantly working to snatch that joy away. Ultimately we will discuss how we as individual Christians and as the church can "liberate" the joy of Christ and thereby overcome the "joy-snatchers".


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I. Introduction
II. Exposition of the text, John 17:13.
A. Context
1. Confidence
2. The mission of the church.
3. Kept in the Father's name.
4. Prayers that are always granted.
B. Understanding the nature of the Joy of the Lord.
1. Establishing our focus.
a. Focus on the Apostles.
i. The disciples and the church, John 17:20.
ii. The joy of true disciples, Acts. 5:41, 13:52, Phil. 4:4.
b. Defining "joy", John 15:11.
i. What "joy" is not.
ii. What "joy" is.
2. A deep concern for the wellbeing of the disciples.
a. Returning to the Father, John 17:11.
b. Words for "the world", John 17:12.
3. Finding the Joy of Jesus, vs. 13.
a. The joy of Jesus.
i. The joy of Oneness, John 14:9-11, 16:28, 17:5.
ii. The joy of obedience, John 4:34, 14:31 15:10-11, Heb. 12:2.
iii. The joy of reconciliation, Rev. 19:6-8, Rom. 8:29, 1Cor. 15:23.
b. The joy of the church.
i. Establishing some guiding principles.
• Joy is a gift, John 3:16.
• It matters where your heart is, Matt. 6:21.
ii. The joy of being "in Christ".
• Defining the organic relationship, John 15:4.
• Achieving the organic relationship.
• Finding joy even in suffering, James 1:2-4, Phil. 1:21, 4:4.
• Joy in "oneness", John 14:20-21.
iii. The joy of obedience.
• Not "belligerent obedience", Heb. 13:17.
• Joyful obedience, Psa. 1:1-2, 19:8, 119:14.
• Disobedience is a joy-snatcher, Rom. 7:22-25.
iv. The joy of Kingdom-building, Luke 15:7.
III. Application
A. Addressing the problem of the "joyless church".
B. Learning to overcome the "joy-snatchers".
1. Jesus' prayers are always granted, so we should be joyful.
2. But this joy is often obscured in the church.
3. The joy we seek cannot be counterfeit.
4. The paradox of the joyless church.
5. True joy is embedded in our redeemed hearts.
6. How to overcome the joy-snatchers.
IV. Conclusion, Matt. 6:33.

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