Begin by reading three passages from John’s Gospel. John 10.10; 15.11; 17.13. Then 1 John 1.1-4 and answer the following questions:
What does Jesus say about joy? What is His joy? What does it mean to you to know Jesus prays for you to live in His joy?
When you think about the attributes of the Trinity in the heavenly realm, what comes to mind?
C.S. Lewis said, “Joy is the serious business of heaven.” Dallas Willard wrote, “Undoubtedly God is the most joyous being in the universe.” How do these two phrases encourage you? How do they shift your perception of God?
Lewis Smedes said, “To miss out on joy is to miss out on the reason for your existence.” You exist to know joy, to live in joy, to experience the joy of the Trinity. In what ways are you currently experiencing this kind of joy?
Read Galatians 5.22-26. What is the Fruit of the Spirit? What’s the purpose of the fruit? We learned on Sunday “The Fruit of the Spirit is the character of Jesus Christ produced by the Spirit of Christ in the life of every follower of Christ.” What one specific way do you sense the character of Christ being formed in you?
Three questions were asked in the message on Sunday. Share your answer for each.
- Describe the joy filled life of Jesus?
- When are you most joy filled?
- Have you ever had a pervasive season of joylessness?
Read Psalm 133, and Philippians 2.1-4. How important is unity in the heavenly realm? How important is the unity of His Church to you? How are you fostering a spirit of unity in our Faith Family?
Read, reflect and respond to the truth shared by Eugene Peterson. “Joy is not a requirement of Christian discipleship, it is a consequence. It is not what we have to acquire in order to experience life in Christ; it is what comes to us when we are walking in the way of faith and obedience.” Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction
Read Nehemiah 8.1-10 and answer the following questions.
Describe the power of God’s Word on display in this text. Where do you sense the Holy Spirit at work in the text? How did the people respond to the Spirit’s conviction? Is it surprising to you that Nehemiah encouraged the people not to sorrow, but to celebrate? Nehemiah says, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” How have you experienced joy as God’s strength in you? Where do you need His joy to give you strength today?
Read Acts 9. What similarities do you see between the text and what has happened or is happening in your life today?
Describe a season when you felt “scales fall from your eyes.” Read and reflect on the words of Andy Westmoreland, President of Samford University.
Andy Westmoreland President at Samford University said, “Something like scales” are falling from the eyes of millions of Americans as we confront the fact that many of us who are white have done far too little to oppose racism. We have taken comfort in the knowledge that our own views are not typically “racist” and we support the concept of racial equality. If we have learned anything in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent protests and tensions throughout our country, it is that whatever we have done—or believe we have done—to overcome racism, we have not done enough.” How are you relentlessly and redemptively acting on behalf of another?
Joy can be lost. The sin of King David led him into a season of joylessness. Read 2 Samuel 12, and then Psalm 51. Describe a season of joylessness you may have experienced. How did that season conclude? What role did conviction or confession play in you entering into a new season of life.
Joy is the serious business of heaven. How might you take a step in living in His joy today?