Pioneer Girls Sunday
Message: ‘You bring us Joy!’ Text: Exodus 15:2
Question: What makes you happy?
Question: What happens when the thing that makes you happy, goes away, or doesn’t happen?
Do you know what makes me happy?
- It’s when I can take a nap on the sofa in the living room and not have my dog, Teddy, wake me up by barking every time someone walks across the front of our house.
And you know what? When I take naps, I’m not usually very happy, because Teddy likes to bark… a lot!
Did you know that the word happy isn’t used much in the Bible. More often than not, it uses the words blessed and joy. Probably because blessed and joy are very similar words in the Bible.
And in the Bible, being happy and being joyful are two different things. And here’s why:
Happiness comes from us. It’s when things that are going on around us, make us feel good.
- That means happiness can go away when the things that are going on around us aren’t good, not what we want, or we don’t like.
Joy comes from God. And because joy comes from God, it doesn’t end when the things that are going on around us aren’t good, or not what we want, or what we like.
But, Pastor Bob, how do you know that joy comes from God? Well, the Bible tells me so!
- May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, (Romans 15:13a)
Joy comes from God, to those who believe in His Son, Jesus. And that joy is not just a tasting, not just a sip… it’s a
- fill your whole cup, no your whole bucket, no, your whole swimming pool kind of joy!
That’s the kind of joy the Apostle Paul had, who wrote your PG theme verse for this year. And to show you he had joy and not happiness, let me tell you where he was when he wrote Philippians 1:6
- He was in prison, chained to a guard, every day.
For Paul; the things going on around him couldn’t take away his joy. Because his joy was given to him by Jesus… even while he was in prison.
- Philippians 1:1-2 Joy for who we are
Read: Philippians 1:1-2
Notice that Paul calls himself a servant of Jesus Christ.
- What this means to me is that Paul is not writing this letter as a boss to people beneath him. He’s writing it, from one friend to another.
Notice Paul’s writing to the saints in Christ Jesus who go the church in the town of Philippi.
- The word saints here just means people who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior.
- So, Paul is writing to Christians who love Jesus.
Paul also mentions two other groups, overseers and deacons. These are two groups in all churches even today.
- Overseers are the Christians who serve God in the church in a leadership position… like pastors and elders.
- Pastors and elders need people to lead, so that’s the next group, deacons. Deacon is best and most often translated servant.
So, Paul is writing to the Christians who lead and Christian who serve in the church at Philippi.
Then Paul gives a blessing of grace and peace to the Christians at that church. But don’t miss this… grace and peace come from God, not from Paul. So what Paul is really saying is this:
- May God grant all of you His grace and peace as you serve Jesus together in your church. Pretty cool.
- Philippians 1:3-4 Joy for knowing you
Read: Philippians 1:3-4
- Paul was sent by God to go to the town of Philippi and tell people about Jesus.
- Some of the people believed in Jesus, had their sins forgiven and their home in heaven secured.
- Paul staying with the new Christians and taught them the wonderful things of God.
- And in the process, they became friends.
Paul remembered all of that. He thought about it often. And when he did…
- He was thankful to God for being sent there
- and his memories of his friends at the church in Philippi brought him joy!
Paul even said that his joy was increased every time he prayed for them, which was very often.
Close, friendships with other Christians brought Paul joy. And listen… Paul hadn’t seen them in about 10 years. You would think not being around them would make his joy go away.
- But it didn’t.
God poured into his heart, a joy for them, that time and distance couldn’t take away.
- That’s pretty cool.
- Philippians 1:5 Joy for seeking Jesus
Read: Philippians 1:5
Here we find that God filled Paul’s heart with joy because his Christian friends at Philippi were still walking with Jesus every day.
- They were seeking to know Jesus in a deeper way.
- And they were helping others to know Jesus.
That’s what Paul meant when he said he had joy because of their partnership in the Gospel.
There’s another reason God filled Paul’s heart with joy, the word partnership in the Greek is the word koinonia which means fellowship.
- So Paul was full of joy because they had fellowship with him,
- they were involved in his life,
- they helped him as he told others about Jesus.
You see, fellowship is more than just sitting around in a group; drinking coffee, eating snacks and having warm conversations. Although we do need that. (And our ‘Sister 2 Sister’ group meets for just that reason)
But, koinonia, fellowship
- is joining together for a common purpose,
- it’s doing something together for Jesus.
Pioneer Girls, you do that, you understand what true fellowship is. How do I know? By the times you get together to do something for Jesus.
- You go to the nursing home to sing Christmas carols that talk about Jesus to people who are often very lonely.
- You fill shoeboxes with little items to show the love of Jesus to children all over the world who perhaps that will be the only gift they get at Christmas.
Girls, when you get together at Pioneer Girls, you are participating in the Gospel of Jesus. How cool is that?
- Philippians 1:6 Joy for your journey
Read: Philippians 1:6
ILL: Have you ever walked along the beach and seen what’s left of partially built sand castles? Perhaps the sculptors got distracted or bored and left their castles unfinished.
- There’s something sad about unfinished sandcastles, that remind us that people tend to leave things undone. (Our Daily Bread)
You moms and dads know something about how things on the ‘To Do’ often go unfinished.
People often leave things undone. But not God!
- He never leaves anything or anyone… undone, unfinished, incomplete.
That’s what brings Paul joy here in verse 6.
- God always finishes what He starts.
And Paul knew that God started the work of salvation in the Christians at Philippi and it brought him joy to know that God will continue to work with and through them till they’re complete.
And when will God complete the work He started in us?
- When Jesus comes back to the earth to take all the Christians home to heaven.
How do I know God will keep that promise? We read this 1 Thessalonians 5:24
- He (God) who calls you is faithful; He (God) will surely do it.
So what that means is that when you believe in Jesus, when you are a Christian, your life is like a construction zone, where God is working every day, to make you more like Jesus. Now that’s VERY cool.
Conclusion: I’m going to end. And I will make this brief. But, just because it’s short doesn’t mean it’s not important. It’s very important! Here it is.
- Pioneer Girls… this text is about you.
- Because; you, bring, us, joy!
I know I’m speaking for all your Pioneer Girl leaders and helpers when I say, each and every one of you bring us great joy!
- Every time we remember you, and that’s a lot; you bring us joy!
- Every time we pray for you, and that a lot, you bring us joy!
- Every time you join together as a club and participate in sharing Jesus in some way with others, you bring us joy!
- Every time you come to a club meeting, and you listen to God’s Word being taught, and we see God doing a work in your life, you bring us joy!
So I have a job for you.
- Every time you’re driving or walking by a construction zone, look at it and remember
- that your Pioneer Girl leaders and helpers, the leaders and servants here at Calvary Baptist Church,
- we want you to know that you bring us joy!