Fruits of the Holy Spirit – Joy

86/365 days of blogging.

Pt. 2 The Fruit of the Spirit is “Joy”

Introduction: Is life a little bit discouraging? We get up each day and go through the same routine. Then we go to bed. The next day we do it all over again. Sort of like a rat on a treadmill. Would you like a little more joy? Our lesson this week reveals how a Christian can have joy not only in everyday life, but also in difficult times.

  1.             Joy in Conflict?
    1. Read Philippians 4:2-3. What does this suggest is going on between these two women? Are they good people?
    2. Read Philippians 4:4-5. Is there a connection between the dispute and Paul’s next statement about rejoicing?
      1. If you say “yes,” how can a person be in a dispute and still rejoice? If you say, “no,” does this dispute at least illustrate that you cannot “always” rejoice? Is Paul suggesting the impossible?
      2. Last week we studied love and decided that we needed a lot of help to love certain people the way God suggests we should. Is joy or rejoicing all the time just like that – we need a lot of help with it?
      3. What does Paul’s direction to rejoice “in the Lord” mean? What does it suggest for our discussion about rejoicing in difficult circumstances?
  2.          Sheep Joy
    1. Read Luke 15:3-6. Is the shepherd calling for a party?
    2. Read Luke 15:7.The picture is that God and His angels experience joy when we accept Jesus. If you were the lost sheep, how would you feel about being found?
      1. Compare the happiness of the sheep with the happiness of the shepherd? Who should be happier?
      2. How should that thought play into our joy in the Lord?
  3.       Obedience Joy
    1. Read John 15:9-10. If we disobey God, does He stop loving us?
      1. If you say, “God always loves us regardless of our actions,” what did He mean when He says “If” you obey, you will remain in My love? Isn’t that clearly conditional?
    2. Read Matthew 7:21. Is obedience the key not only to God’s love, but the key to the kingdom of heaven?
    3. Read Psalms 19:8. Do God’s precepts (His rules) give joy to us even when we do not obey them?
      1. If not, does that mean that joy, like God’s love, is conditional on obedience?
    4. Let’s go back to John 15. Read John 15:10-11. It seems that God takes joy in our obedience to Him. How do we have complete joy in obedience? What about obedience gives us joy?
    5. What Jesus says about the relationship between obedience and heaven: Read Matthew 7:21-23. When you add the next two verses, it sounds like the people who are lost also had works. If obedience and works are not the key to the kingdom of heaven, what is?
    6. Read Matthew 7:24-27. What relationship do we find between obedience and better living?
  4.       Destination Joy
    1. Read John 16:16-18. Do you understand what Jesus’ disciples did not understand?
    2. Read John 16:19-24. Jesus mentions joy several times in these verses. As you consider the context, what is a source of joy for you today?
    3. Read John 16:33. In the prior section, it was suggested that obedience to God’s Word gives us a better life. Does this text show that to be wrong?
  5.          Spirit Joy
    1. Our series is about the Fruit of the Spirit. We have not said a word about the relationship of the Holy Spirit to joy. Let’s explore that now. Read Galatians 5:22-25. Is the sinful nature opposed to joy? How does the Holy Spirit help us to have joy?
      1. Is that how we experience joy in the Holy Spirit – because we are released from sinful passions and desires?
    2. Read Acts 2:28. We have a reference here to God’s Word, but we also are told that God’s presence brings us joy. How can we come into the presence of God?
    3. Read Acts 8:6-8. By whose power were the people healed? How is this joy connected with the presence of God?
    4. Read Acts 13:49-52. Have you ever been asked to leave? Have you ever been tossed out of a city, church or home?
      1. Would you say that you were happy about it?
      2. The text says the disciples were filled with joy “and” with the Holy Spirit. Why are they joyful about getting booted out? What has that to do with the Holy Spirit?
    5. Would you like more joy in your life? We all would! Why not increase your joy by asking the Holy Spirit to come into your life and lead your thoughts and actions into obedience to God? Only then will you have true and lasting joy in your life as you follow His Word to better living!!
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