Title: Surprised by Joy
Text: John 7:37-39 (NLT)
37 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! 38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”39 (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)
- Thesis/Premise: Nothing or no one is able to truly satisfy the thirsts (needs) of our lives. Only God can do that—He designed us that way. The good news is that He is willing to set up residence in our lives—like a permanent well-spring of living water and so fill our lives with abundant joy so that we are not only satisfied completely in Him but His presence and joy will overflow from our lives to refresh and revive a thirsty world.
- Mission Statement: The goal of this message is to point you to Jesus—the giver of “living water” (The Holy Spirit) and away from the “stuff” of this world. Or put another way, I want you to be so satisfied in Jesus that your cares and concerned will be drowned in Him so that you can be a blessing not just always seeking to be blessed.
- Vision Statement: I see you getting “out of the boat” of your sorrows, problems, and pain and being free to live an exciting, dynamic and beneficial Holy Spirit-filled life (A “Christian supernatural” life).
- Pastor Larry’s blessing that resulted because he was a blessing, i.e. being willing to baptize everyone—including giving an additional invitation and as a result he had the privilege of baptizing his sister (Candy) who was rededicating her life to God.
- You can’t plan for those sort of things; they’re dynamic, unpredictable, satisfying and memorable.
- Thank about the difference between “surprised-by-joy” events compared to “planned” events…
- Vacations – by the time you get over the stress of planning, preparing and paying for your vacation it’s time to go home.
- Personal example: Sonja’s surprise for me—our “I-Love-You-Heart” in my wallet when I was showing my ID at the bank.
- That’s what God wants for you—Surprised by Joy Moments, but it will require you living a dynamic (moving changing like a river flowing) and often unpredictable “Christian” supernatural life.
- The blessing and benediction I pray over this message and over your lives as you leave here in a few moments…
At journey’s end…Jude 1:24-25 (NKJV) Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, 25 To God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.
TRANSITION: So to do that…
On a Need to Know Basis
1) Your dealings with Jesus will eventually involve the Holy Spirit.
- Read/listen to last week’s message to learn more; for today I want to highlight just two important issues here:
- FIRST: Please do not forget that being a Christian is a supernatural life.
- “Super” – beyond normal and natural // outside of the bounds of ordinary expectation. Christians don’t stand on “dry” ground—they stand in the river!
- IOW, don’t invite GOD (!) to come into your life and expect Him to be something else.
- It would be like purchasing a grown lion as a house pet and expecting him to be “safe”.
- SECOND: Please understand that all supernatural living is not “Christian” supernaturalism.
2 Corinthians 10:4 (NASB) for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.
James 1:2 (NKJV) My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
2) The answers to our “thirst” is not more “stuff” but rather more of the “Spirit”
- It is important to notice what Jesus says—and does not say—in this passage. He does not say, “If anyone comes to me and drinks, I will satisfy his wants.” That is what many people today think Christianity is all about. (Ironically, this is what the devil promises, but never delivers.)
- When Jesus invited people to Himself he always pointed them to the spiritual…
- Nicodemus – must be born again
- Women at the well – water that you know not of
- Feeding the five thousand – I am the bread of life (eat my flesh and drink my blood)
- This doesn’t mean Jesus does not care about your physical needs (Matthew 6:33)
- However, “Stuff” is dead // “Spirit” is alive
- It’s the difference in a little girl playing with a baby doll and a woman long deprived of conception holding her “real” live baby in her arms.
- BRIANA—has finally gotten through to Sonja and me about “dead water” (chemically treated) // all the world has to offer is “dead water” // Jesus has so much more!
3) A sign that you are “Spirit-filled” is that His presence will be flowing “from” you not just into you.
38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”
- Whatever our Lord does, He does in superabundance. When He made the heavens, He did not count out half a dozen stars as their portion, but made the stars “a great multitude, which no man could number”.
- So it is not enough for Him merely to quench our thirst. He must put within us springs that will overflow the channels of our own personality and bring blessings to others.
Your To-do list
1. First: Believe in Jesus and receive from Jesus.
- It was D.L. Moody that said: “Give me a man who says ‘This one thing I do’ and not ‘These fifty things I dabble in.’”. That is a powerful statement about focus. However, there is a danger here…
- For example, Moody didn’t do just one thing. On the surface, he could have been called a “dabbler”. He started many Sunday Schools, Bible Colleges, orphanages, conferences, founded and pastored a church and was a world-renowned evangelist while also a major force in starting and strengthening YMCAs around the world.
- So how could Moody make a statement like the quotation above with integrity?
- The answer is there was one overarching theme that weaved them all together. That one overarching them was his passion for and dependence on Jesus Christ—especially have his being “Baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
2. Second: Step out of the boat.
- Larry Jackson’s recent “bad day” (He has blessed me sharing this story)
- Larry admonished the C&P—let’s get out of the boat and look for opportunities to be a blessing.
- APPLICATION: Become so full of the Holy Spirit (supernatural living) that you are not only blessed but a blessing.
- Furthermore, take it to another level: Don’t just be a blessing to someone, “find” someone to bless.
In other words, a sign that you are Spirit-filled is that your focus is not on you and your problems but on being a blessing wherever you go—Rivers of living water flowing from your life.
- RE: The rest of the story concerning Candy’s baptism. :)! (Permission to give this story also)
- Larry Jackson had to have help getting into the restaurant // sitting at the C&P table, etc. // IOW, if he is going to get out of the boat someone is going to have to help him…
- The same is true for you and me—if we are going to make it // if we are going to be a blessing we need a constant supernatural in-filling of the Holy Spirit from Jesus Christ.