Monday, August 16, 2021
Today I want to talk to you about joy in serving others. You know, a lot of times when we talk about joy we talked about what happens to us. I have joy because I got a raise, or something good came into my life, or I got a new car, a new house, a new set of clubs, etc. It's always about what we get. But I want to talk to you about the joy you can give others because of what they get from you. This comes from Philippians 2:19-22. When writing the letter of Philippians, Paul was in a house arrest in Rome, very likely about 60 A.D. He needed a friend and look at how he speaks so positively of his friend, Timothy. Speaking to the Christians at Philippi, Paul says, "I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. For everyone looks out for his own interest, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel."
How would you like to be the Apostle Paul's friend where he says, "Man, I got nobody like this guy"? Paul really trusts Timothy. He said, 'Timothy cares about me, and that brings joy into my life.' And then he says, 'Timothy cares about you and I know that brings joy in your life.' And the Apostle Paul said, 'It brings joy into my life when you help and serve other people.' You bring joy into their life, into the life of bystanders, like the Apostle Paul. And guess what? The text doesn't say it, but it's implied and it's evident in other scriptures, that when you bring joy into somebody else's life, you get joy back, because you get joy from seeing people joyful, and joy is a contagion. All I want to say is, if you're looking for joy in your life - there's no problem with having joy and getting something. You have to be careful not to get materialistic. There's no problem in getting joy from what God did for you. That's great, God did something for you! That's outstanding. But I'm telling you, there's another source of joy, which you're not going to see on a commercial for some new product. And that's this, you get joy in serving others. You know why? Because we're eternal. You're eternal, I'm eternal, God's eternal. Wen you help another eternal being somehow get closer to God, or deepen their faith, or come closer to crossing the line of faith, you've done something eternal. Nothing can bring more joy than the eternal.
When you get a great shirt, a week later you go, "I don't really like that shirt anymore." You buy something and really like it, but then month later you say, "I need a new set of clubs. These are better." You're never satisfied. When you build into the life of another human being and serve them, man, joy is contagious. Can you imagine that? Serving somebody and seeing a smile on her face, saying thank you. And other people going, Wow, that was cool. You're not doing it for the praise you get. You're doing it because it's right and God brings joy back into your life. I say this all the time and I mean it: The way to receive is by giving. Are you serving somebody today? Today can you serve somebody? Maybe it's somebody at work, maybe it's somebody at the grocery store, just a little compliment, a kind word. "God loves you." If you really want to do something amazing and bring joy to me, give them a Lakeshore invite card and invite them to our church, or to watch online. Serve people and you will have joy in your life. And guess what? One last thing - you know how you get joy? When you serve a lot of people, God sees. Then, you reap what you sow and people start doing things in your life to add value to your life and bring joy. It's like a contagion - the contagion of joy. But it all starts with serving people like Timothy did to Paul and the Christians at Philippi.
Father, I pray that all of us would have a servant attitude so that we can bring joy in other people's lives. These days are depressing. There's always bad news on COVID, there's always bad news on race, always bad news on the economy. Always means non-stop. It's always something, but God you don't ask us to live there, you ask us to live above the level of bad news. Live in joy. Give us a heart to serve more people in our everyday life so that will give them joy, and in return, we will get it ourselves, in Jesus' name. Amen.