True joy eludes many people, even long-time Christians. But a simple change in perspective can be the key to unlock more joy in your life. Join me for this message if you want to find out more about the Joy of the Lord. (Recorded February 28, 1999)
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Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up.
Ezra praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.
The Levites– Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan and Pelaiah– instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there. They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read.
Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is sacred to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a sacred day. Do not grieve.” Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.
1. The key to joy: Look from God’s perspective
Nehemiah 8:5-12, Zephaniah 3:17
2. A practical step: Trust in the Lord
Psalm 86:1-4, Psalm 28:7
3. Christ’s path to joy: Obey the Father
Hebrews 12:2, John 15:5-13
Closing and Prayer
Steps to Joy:
Come to Jesus: Ephesians 3:14-21
Be filled with the Spirit: Galatians 5:22-23
Receive God’s blessings: Romans 15:13