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August 4, 2015, 9:12 AM

What's Stealing Your Joy?


Have you ever lost your joy?  Ever felt like someone had stolen it away?  Did it just slip away one day while you weren't looking?  

In our church's journey through Philippians - Paul's "joy-filled" letter, we find 5 things that Pauls says can steal or prevent our joy if we aren't careful.  And it is all in who and what we trust. 

A. You begin to trust in RITUALS – Paul could:   “I was circumcised when I was eight days old.” Philippians 3:5
            Today’s rituals?   Baptism, communion, catechism, baby dedication, church attendance.

            Fact is none of these will save a person. Trust these for your salvation – you're in trouble!

B. You begin to trust in your RACE   Paul could:   “I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real   Hebrew if there ever was one!” Philippians 3:5  

            Don't trust in your ethnic background – it will not save you.

C. You begin to trust in your RELIGION – Paul could:  “A Hebrew of the Hebrews” Philippians 3:5
            Paul was a religious person – but a personal relationship with Jesus is more important than             your religion.

            Religion is man's attempt to get to God. God’s attempt to get to man is through Jesus Christ.

            There is a big difference between being “religious” and having a relationship with Jesus.   

            Are you religious or are you in relationship with Jesus?


D. You begin to trust in RULES   Paul Did:   “I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law.” Philippians 3:5 (NLT)

Paul tried to keep all the rules. We think of the Pharisees as hypocrites – but there were some that were genuine – sincere ones. They took the Ten Commandments and expanded them into 600 plus other commandments – they were legalists!     Are you more about the rules or the relationship?

E. You begin to trust your REPUTATION  Paul did:  "I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.” Philippians 3:6 (NLT)

Today people say, "I read the Bible, I witness, I go to church, I tithe..." – they are depending on their reputations – their works - that's legalism. Now don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with these things – but the problem lies in the fact that some people think they that get “points with God” for doing all that stuff. They think that God owes them something for all the stuff they have been doing. 

So is there something stealing your joy?  Could you find it on the list.  It's usually being stolen from right inside our hearts - When we trust in something other than Christ!

Be Blessed,

PD


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