THE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES Session Twelve: Celebration
God is Joy! ~ God delights in His people ~ “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-16
God is Joy! ~ There is rejoicing in Heaven for salvation ~ “… I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 10:15 “… your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.” Matthew 18:14
God is Joy! ~ Jesus’ First Miracle was at a Celebration ~ John 2:1-11 ~ Creation was Pleasing to God ~ “And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first-fruits of all he created.” James 1:17, 18
The Path to Joy “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:11 “If you obeymy commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyedmy Father’s commands and remain in his love.” John 15:10 (emphasis added) • ~~~ Jesus is our example ~~~ • How could Jesus obey?!? • He had been disciplined all along… in the Disciplines
Trust and Obey When we walk with the Lord in the light of his word, What a glory he sheds on our way; While we do his good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey. But we never can prove the delights of his love, Until all on the altar we lay; For the favor he shows, and the joy he bestows, Are for them who will trust and obey. Trust and obey, for there’s no other way To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
The Path to Joy “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:11 “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” John 15:10 (emphasis added) • ~~~ Jesus is our example ~~~ • How could Jesus obey?!? • He had been disciplined all along… in the Disciplines • The joy of the Lord was His strength (Nehemiah 8:10)
Benefits of Celebration • We take ourselves less seriously! • We witness to the fullness of life in Christ. • It is an antidote to times of sadness. • We regain balance or receive new stature. • We are freed from a judgmental spirit. • Celebration produces more celebration!
“Lifestyle Celebration” 6) Celebrate holy days with Christ as guest 7) Find a “Celebration Mentor” 8) Turn off the TV 9) Celebrate at Bible Study 10) Celebrate your officers 1) Be noisy 2) Have a good laugh 3) Rekindle your imagination 4) Make special occasions grand 5) Create special occasions
Conclusion “We engage in celebration when we enjoy ourselves, our life, our world, in conjunction with our faith and confidence in God’s greatness, beauty, and goodness. We concentrate on our life and world as God’s work and as God’s gift to us.” ~ Dallas Willard What gifts has God given you?
Celebrate “The decision to set the mind on the higher things of life is an act of the will. That is why celebration is a Discipline… It is the result of a consciously chosen way of thinking and living. When we choose this way, the healing and redemption in Christ will break into the inner recesses of our lives and relationships, and the inevitable result will be joy.” ~ Richard Foster What are you grateful for? (people, things, situations, blessings) What are you NOT grateful for? What robs you of Celebration?
O Worship the Lord… O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness! Bow down before him, his glory proclaim; With gold of obedience, and incense of lowliness, Kneel and adore him, the Lord is his name. • Low at his feet lay thy burden of carefulness, • High on his heart he will bear it for thee, • Comfort thy sorrows and answer thy prayerfulness, • Guiding they steps as may best for thee be. • Fear not to enter his courts in the slenderness • Of the poor wealth thou wouldst reckon as thine; • Truth in its beauty, and love in its tenderness, • These are the offerings to lay on his shrine.