Patience

May 28th, 2009

Juciy Fruit Patience Believers Statesboro 5-31-09

There are some things I’m just not good at, well maybe many things. I like things to happen quickly, without delay.

If I need something, I want it now. I hate to wait for something. I like things to be instamatic. You can’t make a computer that’s fast enough for me. Fast Food is never fast enough. Traffic jams make me ill. I despise lines at Wal-Mart. I hate to feel like I’m wasting my time. I’m not very patient at all.

This is a problem for me. Because I serve a very patient God and I’m supposed to be displaying the characteristics of God. The Juicy Fruit, to a dry and bland world.

So I have been on a life long journey of learning to be patient and allow the Holy Spirit to produce the Juicy Fruit of Patience within me.

As it’s true for me, it is true for all of us as well. As we stay full of the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, and are led by the Spirit, the characteristics of the Holy Spirit will be evident in our lives.

Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (NIV)

Patience

I know I have to keep surrendering to the Holy Spirit in this area of my life. We are called to patience and this is especially true of Preachers and Pastors.

2 Tim 4:2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage– with great patience and careful instruction. (NIV)

Patience Defined

The Opposite of Patience – Anxiousness Phil 4:6-7

Patience – Patience is a calm resolve that comes with the firm belief that God has everything under control and being fully persuaded that God has power to do what he has promised. (2 Pet 1:4)

I don’t have to rush it. I don’t have to push it. I don’t have to make it happen. God is in control.

As a matter of fact the word of God is full of great and precious promises for you and me, but we have to understand that it’s with patience that we are to inherit the promises of God.

Heb 6:11-12 “… imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (NIV)

Faith and Patience has been referred to as the power twins! When faith gets weary, patience comes along beside her and encourages faith on. I can be full of faith, but without the fruit of patience in my life, I may give up to quickly. Throw in the towel and never receive what God had intended for me.

Heb 10:35-39

35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

37 For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay.

38 But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.”

39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. (NIV)

Very seldom do we face defeat. Most of the time, we just get impatient and give up.

Who are we to imitate? (Hebrew 11 has many examples)

Abraham – Abraham is a great example of a patient man. Abraham had his moments of impatience as well and it caused him a great deal of heartaches and trouble. But for the most part he endured. He was patient until he inherited the promise of God even when it looked like there was no hope. (Rom 4:18-21)

This promise took 25 years to come about.

Joseph dreamed a dream and then learned a lesson on patience.

Moses felt God calling him to deliver his people, but that took 40 years of patience.

After being chosen to be the King of Israel, David lived in caves for years, waiting for the promise of God.

Patience is a very big part of prayer and faith.

1. The Believing Phase, 2. The Waiting Phase, and 3. The Receiving Phase

What happens in “The Waiting Phase?”

Our Strength is Renewed

Isa 40:31 But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; (NKJ)

God May Be Changing the Hearts of People

He may be working out the details. He may be lining things up for our good. Nehemiah 1:11

Spiritual Warfare May Be Taking Place

Eph 6:12; Dan 10:1-6; Dan 10:12-14 “Since the first day…” (NIV)

The Double Minded Are Weeded Out

Double-Mindedness – Some say they have faith for something, but in reality their heart is set on something entirely different. (James 1:6-7)

God May Want to Deal With Your Hidden Sins

Proverbs 28:13

God May Be Trying to Work Some Reconciliation into your Life

Matt 5:23-25; 1 Pet 3:7-9

Why Do We Need to have Patience

1. God’s timing is always perfect! Romans 5:6 You see, at just the right time,. (NIV)

I don’t want it any other way other than God’s perfect timing. God put it in my heart to plant a church when I was 18 years old. 23 years later we began Believers Church, and we have caught an awesome wave of God.

Gal 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (NIV) Be patient, the harvest is coming.

Sowing and Reaping the Harvest, these are all Kingdom Principles.

Mark 4:26-29 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground.

Mark 4:26 …This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground.

What happens after a man scatters seed on the ground? He waits. He learns patience.

2. Secret Things

There are secret things that you and I will never understand, or may never be revealed to us. So we just have to be patient.

Deut 29:29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law. (NIV)

3. Because We Are Family

Some may say, “Ok, Scott we are family, so we should all be getting along. Why would we need patience with one another?” Because we are family, and family doesn’t always get alone. Therefore we seriously need patience to get along with each other.

Col 3:12-14

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (NIV)

1Thes 5:14 And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. (NIV)

clip_image0025-28-09

5th Sunday Offering this Sunday May 31st, 2009. All tithes and offerings will go directly into the E-Plan to eliminate the debt in 2009!

You may also give on line at www.believersstatesboro.com

God has led us to launch out on an exciting adventure with Him in 2009! We are going to pay off our mortgage debt so that we can begin saving for a new building project in the near future. Hence, the E-Plan. “E” is for Elimination, Debt Elimination!

On May 6, 2001, Believers Church was founded in Statesboro, Georgia. Meeting in the County Recreation Department with no budget, no building of our own, and no financial backing, we had a vision to be an authentic representation of the Body of Christ and to reach the unchurched of Statesboro, Bulloch County, and surrounding areas.

God’s blessings have been upon us as we have experienced continued growth, both personally and numerically. As a result, we outgrew our rented facility, and we built our current “multi-purpose building” to provide a place where the ministry could continue to grow. Through your faithfulness and financial support, we built our present facility in 2004. The total cost of the land, building, and parking lot was approximately $660,000. We financed $367,360 for 30 years. The difference was paid in cash by faithful, self-sacrificing people. In 2006, we built the Pavilion addition. The total cost of this addition, including furnishings, was $152,000. This additional building was paid in full by cash contributions designated for this project.

At the start of the E-Plan, the Believers Church buildings and land are worth well over $1,000,000, and we only have a debt of $285,685. If a church of 150 people could contribute $300,000 in cash in 2004, I believe a church of 500 can contribute the funds needed to pay off our mortgage. If we continue with our current monthly mortgage payment for the duration of the loan, we will have paid $671,900. If we pay the loan off now, we will save $382,700 of the Lord’s money that could better be spent on additional ministries and new facilities. That’s good stewardship!

Currently we have taken up 32,000 dollars this year for the E-Plan. That is to be celebrated, but we still need $253,685.

How Can You Be A Part of the E-Plan?

  • Pray and ask the Lord what He would have you give above your regular tithes and offerings.
  • Keep Believers Church in your prayers as we strive to please God in all that He has called us to do.
  • Tithe your resources. You honor God with the material resources He has given you by following the Biblical instructions to bring 10% of your earnings as unto the Lord.
  • Above your tithe, consider bringing an offering of at least $1,000 in 2009 for the E-Plan. That’s only $83.33 a month, $19.23 a week, or $2.74 a day.
  • Join the many families who already give one week’s salary into the building fund each year. You will essentially be working one full week for God and the completion of future projects.
  • Ask God for creative ways to increase your gifts. Involve the whole family in raising a specific amount. Some have said they will give their income tax return. You may want to consider giving the extra take-home pay that will result from the recently enacted payroll tax cut. So pray for God-inspired ideas and be creative!
  • You may also choose to honor a loved one with a monetary gift given in memory of a friend or family member. We have a special plaque in our church lobby for gifts of $1,000 or more given to honor or in memory of a friend or relative. The plaque will have the name of the gift giver and the one being honored or memorialized.
  • We, as a church, will continue using all tithes and offerings given on the 5th Sundays for the E-Plan as well. So let’s kick this E-Plan off with a large offering on the next 5th Sunday, which is May 30th.
  • We are looking for 100% participation from our members. We believe in Equal Sacrifice, not Equal Giving.

I think it is a “God thing” that God is asking us to do this in light of our country’s economic down turn. But, we operate on God’s economic plan. We will boldly move forward rather than shrink back. Our lives and financial blessings will be a living testimony and example to those around us. I am asking you to join us as we eliminate our debt and build for the future. Always remember that our buildings are not just for the present members of Believers Church, but they are also for all those the Lord will send in the future. The buildings are just ministry tools to help us reach our community. God is doing something wonderful among us. We need to continue to move forward with Him.

Honored to Serve You,

Pastor Scott Moore

Juicy Fruit Joy and Peace

May 19th, 2009

Join us this Sunday at Believers Statesboro as we continue with our Juicy Fruit Series. This week we will look at a Joy and Peace that only comes as a byproduct of keeping in step with the Spirit.

We will also be remembering those who have died in Military Service (Memorial Day) and we will honor and pray for our 2009 Graduates.

If you have Graduated in 2009 or if you are bringing a Graduate with you. Please call the church office at 912-681-1440 and let us know that they will be in attendance Sunday and which service they will attend.

Hope to see you Sunday at 9:00 or 11:00 a.m.

clip_image002Joy and Peace Believers Statesboro 5-24-09

A slumping economy, the national debt, foreclosures, bailouts, the unemployment rate, terrorism, homelessness, swine flu, wars, and cancer. How do these words make you feel?

As we are bombarded with these topics daily, it’s easy for people to lose their happiness and sense of peace. It’s no wonder that Americans feel uneasy and sometimes fearful about the present and the future.

Throughout history, people have had their unique problems and circumstances to deal with. That’s why Paul prayed that the early church would be filled with joy and peace.

Rom 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (NIV)

This overflow of joy and peace gives us hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Joy

Joy comes from being reconciled with and made compatible with a Holy God.

Rom 5:11 Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (NIV)

We are reconciled with God and we are filled with the Holy Spirit of God. A natural by-product or fruit of the infilling of the Holy Spirit is “Joy”.

As we stay full of the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, and are led by the Spirit, the characteristics of the Holy Spirit will be evident in our lives.

Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (NIV)

Display Your Fruit

Spiritual Juicy Fruit is seen in the characteristics of Christ that the Holy Spirit produces in our lives. In a society where being dry and sour is acceptable, we must demonstrate the sweetness of our spiritual fruit and the nutrition it can provide for others around us.

As a matter of fact, Jesus said in Matt 7:15-20 “By their fruit you will recognize them.” (NIV)

A person who is walking in joy and peace will stand out and be noticed by others because this is a joy that isn’t only experienced in good times, but it is a joy that is so deep rooted that it abounds even in hard times. James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (NIV)

Leap for Joy Jesus took it to HNL when he said:

Luke 6:22-23 Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets. (NIV)

Paul and Barnabas experienced joy that was not circumstantial.

Acts 13:50-52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. (NIV)

Their source of joy was from being filled with the Holy Spirit. Joy is a by-product of the Spirit!

Complete Joy

John 15:8-11 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. (NIV)

What commandment? John 15:12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. (NIV)

Joy Begins a Salvation

1 Pet 1:8-9 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (NIV) And as you stay full of the Holy Spirit, you will stay full of glorious joy!

Is your fruit juicy or is it drying up? Maybe you need to what Peter said to do in Acts 3:19. Then your fruit will be abundant, fresh, and juicy!

Peace

Rom 5:1-2 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. (NIV)

A Different Kind of Peace

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (NIV)

This Holy Spirit is also referred to as the Holy Spirit of Comfort. Therefore, being filled and full of this Spirit will naturally produce peace in our lives. Peace is a by-product of the Holy Spirit.

Phil 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV) (Glorious joy and peace that transcends all understanding.)

Spirit-Controlled Minds

Surrender your heart and your mind to the Spirit of God. Rom 8:6: The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;(NIV)

It is the peace of God that ultimately gives us victory! Rom 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. (NIV)

Production or the Lack Thereof

Have you ever had a fruit tree in your yard that just doesn’t produce fruit?

Do you know Christians like that? The lack of joy and peace is caused by a conflict going on inside of them. There is this war going on between the flesh and the Spirit.

Gal 5:16-17 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want…

If you are participating in the acts of the flesh (Gal 5:19-21), you can expect that they will war against and hinder the production of juicy fruit if you live like that… if that is a way of life for you. You will not inherit the kingdom of God. But, what if you are saved by grace and mercy, you are a Christian and you are not living like that, but you do choose to participate in some of those works of the flesh?

What happens? You lose your joy. You lose your peace. You’re not walking in joy during the day. When you lay your head on the pillow at night, you are restless and have no peace.

You are not keeping in step with the Spirit.

Gal 5:25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Gal 5:24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. (NIV)

Stop walking in the works of the flesh, surrender to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life and then the fruit will return. There is hope for your tree!

Juicy Fruit in The Kingdom

Rom 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spir
it,(NIV)

Juicy Fruit

May 14th, 2009

Join us this Sunday 5-17-09, at 9:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. for a new series “Juicy Fruit”. Juciy Fruit PIC

LOVE Believers Statesboro 5-17-09

Everybody loves delicious juicy fruit! Especially on these hot summer days. Fruit is a great source of nutrition for our bodies and it adds sweetness to our diets and vitality to our lives.

But fruit is much more than just a source of physical sustenance.

As Believers we are called to display the vitality and vibrancy that juicy fruit can bring to our spiritual lives.

Spiritual Juicy Fruit is seen in the characteristics of Christ that the Holy Spirit produces in our lives.

In a society where being dry and sour is acceptable, we must demonstrate the sweetness of our spiritual fruit and the nutrition it can provide for others around us.

Identification

Matt 7:15-20 “”By their fruit you will recognize them.” (NIV)

A good tree will produce good fruit. / A bad tree will produce bad fruit.

The same is true of us. You cannot tell what is in the heart of a man by looking at him. It is by the fruit produced in his life that you will begin to see a picture of his heart.

We are filled with the Holy Spirit of God, so you would expect that, that powerful living in us will produce some type of byproduct, some type of good fruit.

Those that are living according to their sinful nature and the standards of our society will naturally bring forth something else.

Gal 5:19-21

19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;

20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions

21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

This is what the sinful non-believers naturally do. This is what can be expected. And those that practice such things are sinful by nature.

Walking in the flesh will naturally bring forth the works of the flesh

On the other hand, as we stay full of the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, and are led by the Spirit, the characteristics of the Holy Spirit will be evident in our lives.

Gal 5:22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (NIV)

How Do I Produce Juicy Fruit?

Pray for Fruit Paul’s prayer for the Philippians is that they would be filled with the fruits of righteousness.

Phil 1:9-11 “… filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ” (NIV)

Live By the Spirit

Gal 5:16-25 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature… Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step (or walk) with the Spirit. (NIV)

Hang Out With Jesus

Jesus compares it to a branch growing on a vine (John 15:1-8). If that branch wants to bear fruit it must stay connected to the vine.

John 15:4-5 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (NIV)

John 15:8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. (NIV)

BUT THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS … LOVE

This is Agape love. God’s love that is explained in 1Corintians 13:1-8

God Himself is the Essence of Love

I John 4:16-21 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him…We love because he first loved us. (A Byproduct)

Everything we do must be motivated by love.

We, like Jesus, must be moved with compassion for people. Without love, all of our Spiritual gifts would be worthless. 1 Cor 12:1 Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant.

1 Cor 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 1 Cor 14:1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. (NIV)

Love Two Groups of People (We are to love these people just like the Father loves us.)

· The Lost” Lost People Matter To God. Luke 15.

· “Those Who Are In Christ Jesus”.

Col 3:13-14 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (NIV)

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (NIV)

I Jn 3:16-18 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

A Supernatural Love

Luke 6:27-33 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. …”If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. (NIV)

The Love Test

I John 4:7-8

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

13 We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.

14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.

15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.

20 If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. (NIV)

clip_image002Word and Spirit returns this Wednesday Night at 6:30 p.m., here at Believers Statesboro, featuring the book of “Nehemiah”.

Nehemiah is a great story of a man who saw a need, rose up, captured a vision, laid a plan, and mobilized others to join him in his cause!

PromisedLand, Believing Kids, and Holy Culture will also begin their Summer Session as well this Wednesday Night.

This summer add Wednesday Nights to your schedule and allow yourself to be “Equipped” for every good work.

image When I was in High school I drove a 1968 navy blue Camaro with a stick shift and wide rear tires. It was powerful, cool, fun, and just a joy to drive. I spent many hours driving it around the Golden Isles. Life was good.

Prior to surrendering my life to the Lordship of Christ and beginning an incredible spiritual Joy Ride, the Camaro actually caused a few problems. Transportation and mobility actually allow us to go places where we should not go, expose ourselves to things we should not be involved in, and participate in things that are Road Blocks to our Joy Ride.

We are celebrating Mother’s Day today and I was fortunate enough to have a Godly mother who tried her best to keep me away from the things that would rob my joy.

Proverbs 31:26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness. (NKJ)

Mom, in her wisdom, laid down the law, but it was out of Kindness, it was the law of kindness, because she didn’t want me to lose my joy. I only wish that I would have listened to her. The Camaro had the ability to take me out of ear shot of my Mother’s voice and wise instructions.

Coming from a generation that sang, “Rules and regulations, who needs them,” it was hard for me to understand that laws, rules, and regulations, can actually be a good thing. They set our boundaries and parameters in life and allow us to move in complete freedom within those boundaries and parameters.

You see, mama already knew about the Joy Map. Joy Map / Taking Street / Blessing Street / Breaking Street / Giving Street. She knew. Jesus never gives to people any bread that hasn’t been broken.

You see, mama had already learned that there is a difference between Happiness and Joy. The Pursuit of Happiness is really chasing infinity. Mama didn’t buy into the lie – God Wants Me to Be Happy.

Mama knew JOY IS A PROCESS, NOT A DESTINATION; she had been down that road before.

And she knew JOY IS RELATIONAL, NOT CIRCUMSTANTIAL.

Mom knew about Horsepower before I even thought about getting a car. She modeled for me and showed me that Joy is Maximized in Serving Others and Saving Others.

I watched her Invest in the lives of people and Invite them to church, often time picking them up herself.

And though it was difficult at times, she raised a son that dreamed for 23 years of starting a church that would be: Fueled by the Holy Spirit and Fueled by Love, Acceptance, and Forgiveness.

The book of Philippians is a book about the Joy Ride. Written by the apostle Paul from prison chained to a Roman soldier. Fourteen times in this little letter Paul said, “Be joyful.” Paul talked about the Joy Ride. And he said that certain things will be road blocks on your Joy Ride. They will kill your happiness immediately and then hinder your Joy Ride. And I’m sure that mama will agree with Paul.

SELFISHNESS

Phil 2:3-5 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves… Uh oh, selfish ambition. Self – FISH – ness. Have you ever smelt a stinky fish?

When we’re selfish, our self will end up smelling like a fish. God can smell the self-fish-ness.

My Mother told me one of the first words I ever learned was the word “mine.” That was one of my first words. “Mine.” And I’m still struggling with that today. “Oh, that’s mine! No, no, that is mine!”

And every time I have that me-istic mentality, and believe me I have it, my joy hits a road block.

PRIDE

What was the first sin? The first sin was pride, and Paul talks about pride here in Philippians 2:3 calling it “vain conceit”. That’s pride. The ride of pride is a bad ride. Satan, when he was Lucifer in Heaven, said, “You know what? I’m going to exalt myself above God.” And pride got him kicked out of heaven. It was all about the stench of being selfish and prideful.

The antidote to that is to be generous. It’s not to be selfish, but to give. We’re to give of ourselves in relationships. We’re not to be selfish. Something that will mess a marriage up is selfishness. Most marriage problems are caused by selfishness. We’re to give in other relationships as well.

James 3:16 “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” Oh my goodness. “Every evil practice…” So, it’s time for us to wake up and smell the fish—selfishness.

2 Corinthians 2:14-15, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.” We’ve got to have a sweet aroma before the Lord. Look at verse 15, “For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” God wants to smell Christ not fish.

Are you giving God a sweet aroma of worship, of being others centered or not?

BITTERNESS

Bitterness is a form of anger—cold anger, or resentment turned inward. That’s bitterness.

Phil 2:14 Do everything without complaining or arguing, (NIV)

· You show me someone who complains and argues with their parents; I’ll show you a student or a child that has some bitterness issues.

· You show me someone who is always negative and arguing and complaining at the office; I’ll show you someone who has anger turned inward, internal resentment.

· You show me a spouse, you show me a teacher, and you show me a pastor, whoever it is. We all deal with bitterness.

· And in marriage, we have to watch out for bitterness. So many marriages are ruined because of bitterness, resentment turned inward.

Heb 12:15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. (NIV) The Living Bible says this, “Watch out….” “Watch out that no bitterness takes root among you, for as it springs up it causes deep trouble, hurting many in their spiritual lives.”

FEAR

Another road block on the Joy Ride is F-E-A-R, False – Evidence – Appearing – Real—fear.

Philippians 1:20-21 “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

So often we allow fear to tyrannize and paralyze us and it causes us to miss the process of joy.

Neh 8:10 “Nehemiah said, “… the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (NIV)

So, joy strengthens us. It enables us to do phenomenal things. But if we’re always weird out by fear, fear can tyrannize and paralyze us. Fear can keep us from really revealing our true selves in relationships. Fear can keep us from doing what God wants us to do. Fear can keep us from living a full abundant, joyful life. So often we have to “just do it” afraid. Just to step out and do it afraid. And when we do it afraid, what’s going to happen? Joy will ambush us. Joy will empower us. And we’ll discover that the fear was really nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Paul was chained to a member of the Praetorian Guard. Church history tells us that the Praetorian Guard was changed every six hours. So, think about it. The Apostle Paul got to share Christ with the entire elite Praetorian Guard. Because Paul was under house arrest, he met the heavy hitters in Rome, people he would have never ever met otherwise. And he got to share Jesus with them. (Phil 4:22)

So, God used Paul’s chains to change the lives of others. You
might be saying, “Scott if things were different for me, then I would have joy. I feel chained to my home. I’ve got these two preschoolers. I feel chained.” You’re chained to change.

We’re all going to face this stuff—selfishness, bitterness, pride, and all the other Road Blocks to Joy. But mama told us not to go there. The Word of God tells us not to go there. We’ve got to follow Gods road map, heed the warning signs and we’ve got to be the people that God wants us to be. That’s when the Joy Ride is really sweet.