This is a sermon that I’m going to be preaching for our Sunday night services. It is from the series I’m preaching, “The art of bearing fruit.”

THE ART OF BEARING FRUIT PART 6

Living the fruit of joy

Galatians 5:22-23

Galatians 5:22-23 NIV – 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.

INTRO: This is part 6 in our PM series, “The art of bearing fruit.” We are now looking at the 9 fruit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. We are looking at this in a devotional, practical way as opposed to doctrinal.

In Verse 22a the AMP says this fruit is, “The work which His Presence within accomplishes.”

In Isaiah 61:3 we have a beautiful prophecy. Isaiah 61:3 – and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. In this prophecy we see the promise of God giving the oil of gladness (joy) instead of mourning. God promises to give His people joy. But quite often joy and happiness has been confused as the same. They are not. They spring from different sources.

Happiness is determined by the world around me. Joy originates directly from the Spirit of God.

We are going to look at joy tonight.

1. The nature of true joy.

A. Whereby happiness is determined by outward circumstances, joy is not.

1. Joy springs from the presence of God in a person’s life.

2. It is not dependent on people, the course of events, or circumstances you find yourself in.

B. Joy is an attribute of God Himself.

1. It is part of His character.

Zephaniah 3:17 HCSB – The LORD your God is among you, a warrior (A) who saves. He will rejoice over you (B) with gladness. He will bring [you] quietness [a] with His love. He will delight in you with shouts of joy.”

C. Because God is joyful over us, He yearns for us, longs for us, searches for us, and desires for us to walk in His joy.

1. We walk in this joy by walking in the Spirit.

2. Remember, the Lord is our Gardener.

A. As a good gardener He cares for us, prunes us, and toils over us so that He might plant seeds of joy.

1. He cultivates and prunes our life, our personality, our character, so that only good fruit remains.

B. Because of this, He is totally reliable.

1. We can learn that no matter how unpredictable people may prove, or how exasperating events maybe, or how crushing circumstances may seem, He is still here, utterly reliable.

3. You can’t have joy without love – they are inseparable.

1 Corinthians 13:6 AMP Love does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

A. Notice here that love rejoices or has joy.

B. How can this be? Here is what God’s love does for us:

1. He is able to do abundantly more than we can ask or think or even imagine.

2. He can bring good out of our hopeless circumstances.

3. He can cause our desert times to suddenly flourish.

4. He is at work in us and we are under His care.

4. Submitting to the Spirit.

Romans 14:17 NIV – For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,

A. Once we submit to the Spirit’s control over our lives there will come times when we are surprised by His joy.

B. Every area of our lives will be touched by His righteousness, peace, and joy.

C. This joy is not that of selfish self-interest and all about getting our way; rather, it is ajoy of knowing God and realizing He knows us and loves us.

D. If Christ Jesus controls us and we let Him have His way in every area of our lives, we will experience joy.

CONCL: Let God cultivate, prune, and plant the seeds of joy in your heart. Allow Him to grow His garden in your heart.

1 Corinthians 3:6 LB – It is God, not we, who made the garden grow in your hearts.

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