Joy

The Kingdom Style of Living

Isaiah 61: 1-7


Introduction: How’s this for a huge promise: 

And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, 

                                                  and everlasting joy will be yours. 

 

The great struggle in every land, at every time in the ages, has been  

               that we take heavenly promises and over-temporize them. 

In other words we can read And so you will inherit 

                                              a double portion in your land, 

                                                   and everlasting joy will be yours and ask – 

                                 does that mean I’m going to soon own two properties? 

   Does a double portion in your land mean two big houses soon? 

 

The moment you read the words: and everlasting joy will be yours 

                               you should have been thinking heaven already. 

Today we study that part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit that is JOY. 

 

A. Joy is the Victory of Jesus inside you

1. Jesus came to make the spiritually dead come to life.  

    Jesus came to set free the spirits enslaved. 

           Few joys compare to the joy of a heart set free

Come with me to a Synagogue in Nazareth Israel. 

Jesus came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. 

      As was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath. 

          And when He stood up to read, 

                   the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. 

                      Unrolling it, He found the place where it was written:

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because 

   the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.   

      He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, 

          to proclaim freedom for the captives and 

              release from darkness for the prisoners, 

2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor 

        and the day of vengeance of our God, 

              to comfort all who mourn, …

 

Then He rolled up the scroll, 

                       returned it to the attendant, and sat down. 

The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on Him, 

                       and He began by saying, 

                      “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”  

All spoke well of Him 

           and marveled at the gracious words that came from His lips. 

         “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?” they asked.  

                     The right answer would have been – 

                   “No, this isn’t Joseph’s son – THIS is the Son of God.” 

 

Jesus came to bring you good news.  

The chains around your heart can be broken. 

The sorrows of your soul that made you mourn can be comforted.             

              The places where you feel spiritual 

              darkness can receive His great light.  

In short you can be joyful 

because Jesus can bring about spiritual victory deep inside you. 

 

B. Joy is the Virtue of Jesus inside you

1. The heart of God is moved when He sees 

    people bowed down under heavy emotional burdens. 

 

There was a song in the churches in the late 70s that said (sing it)   

“He gave me beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, 

        the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness, 

             that we might … be trees of righteousness, 

                       the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.” 

 

That song came from this verse: 

3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion- 

   to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, 

   the oil of joy instead of mourning, and 

   a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. 

  They will be called oaks of righteousness, 

   a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. 

 

Someone wrote: “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, 

                             it only saps today of its joy.”  

         So we say with the song Gregg taught us: 

         “Don let the Devil steel yer jai. (joy)” 

 Instead let the virtue of Jesus bring you floods of Joy.

2. There are times when you look at someone you knew as a child 

    or a teen and you’ve met them again after 30 years and 

   all you see is the shadows of a ruined set of hopes. 

Illus:  He was the captain of two of our high school sports teams 

          and he went on to a successful career in business.  

I met him again after 40 years and 

          there was bitterness in the lines on his face and 

                    there was clamoring for self-importance on his speech. 

                            The castles of his youth now lay in ruins and 

                                      a lonely retirement stretched ahead of him. 

                    If he just knew about this promise: 

 

4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins 

  and restore the places long devastated; 

  they will renew the ruined cities 

  that have been devastated for generations. 

 

Mother Teresa remarked:      Joy is prayer;            joy is strength: 

joy is love;        joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.

                          Souls who have childhood ruins still in their lives

                          Souls that need restoring of devastated places

                          Souls that need the virtue of Jesus deep inside

 

C. Joy is the Vocation of Jesus inside you

1. Joy is the characteristic of those believers who 

    have discovered that life is an adventure.  It’s a spiritual work in 

    progress. It’s the vocation of Jesus going on inside you

          Some people live to make money and 

          some people make money just to live…. 

          But there is a level of Joy way above both of those. 

                               We get a hint of that in the following verses: 

5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks; 

  foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. 

               6 And you will be called priests of the LORD, 

                  you will be named ministers of our God. 

                                             You will feed on the wealth of nations, 

                                              and in their riches you will boast. 

 

There is a way of reading the New Testament that convinces you  

                       that every believer is called to be a priest. 

 

Martin Luther rightly observed: “The priest is not made. 

                                                       He must be born a priest; 

               I refer to the new birth—the birth of water and the Spirit. 

          Thus all Christians must become priests, 

      children of God and co-heirs with Christ the Most High Priest.”

There is that powerful bible verse where God says: 

“you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”

                6 And you will be called priests of the LORD, 

                   you will be named ministers of our God. 

 

That’s it!  The vocation Jesus calls you to is one of serving

 

2. I like the way Theopedia puts it: 

The priesthood of all believers... 

means that in the community of saints, 

God has constructed his body such that 

              we are all priests to one another. 

 

Priesthood of all believers has 

more to do with the believer's service

than with an individual's position or status.  

So have you discovered the joy of serving others?  

                 

If you think you do it just to be thanked 

                                           you haven’t discovered that joy yet.

 

Conclusion: Are you seeking after the “double portion?” 

Reminder of the request of Elisha that he made of Elijah.  

 

Joy is the Father’s will for those 

                              who have desired all that He has to give them. 

 

7 Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, 

   and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. 

   And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, 

   and everlasting joy will be yours.

 

Freely you have received  - so freely give