Responding to Simon’s Birthday Message
On our 21st Birthday Sunday, 27th September, we were delighted to welcome Simon Holley, who leads the Catalyst Network of Churches that we are a part of, as our guest speaker for the day. Simon brought us a powerful message about joy, which you can listen to below:
As we continue to respond to and apply Simon’s message, here are some notes and application questions from the talk for us to consider:
- Proverbs 17:22: A joyful heart is good medicine,
But a broken spirit dries up the bones.
- 1 Chronicles 16:27: Splendour and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place.
- Simon shared encouragement over us as a church for how we have navigated much difficulty over recent years — Oasis church, you have done very well! The Lord wants to impart to us as a church a Spirit of Joy!
Joy is in the very nature of God
- Joy is in the heart of God. The Father, delighting in the Son, by the Spirit.
- In God’s inmost being is joy.
When God creates, He is full of joy… His joy bursts out into creation
- Job 38:5–6
God loves to share His joy, catching us up on it
- Jude 24–25
Joy is coming for you… God pursues us in joy
- Though in life we will know pain and sadness, joy will have the last word
- Psalm 30:5
The church was birthed in joy
- Luke 2:10
We too need to carry a message that brings joy… are we convincingly joyful about the message we have to bring? It is GOOD news! In Matthew 28, as the Women run to tell the disciples of Jesus’ resurrection, they do so full of joy.
Do not lose the joy of Salvation — What God has done for you… and what He has done for others. Get caught up in the joy of people coming to know Jesus — let’s be eager for it (Acts 15:3). God’s action is to draw others into His joy. Let us enter into that action with Him.
In the darkest times we are called to rejoice
- Because of what he has done in the past (Psalm 40:5)
- Because of his unfailing love in the present (Psalm 19:14)
- Because of what he has promised for the future… the hope he has put in our hearts (Prov 10:28)
We fight for joy but we don’t work for it
- Fight for it — meditate on the scriptures, get your roots deep into the truth of the Lord’s joy… and pray. Ask the Spirit of God to apply that truth to your heart. It is the Holy Spirit who produces the fruit within us. (Galatians 5:22–23)
- Trust God to produce in us a surprising joy, noticed by others. A joy that comes not from our constitution or circumstances, but from the Spirit of God! Let’s ask for a joy that reaches our face!
- You don’t work for it. It is not dependent upon you. You don’t drum it up. Receive it by looking to Him and being rooted in Him.
- Is joy something you associated with God?
- How do we see joy in the revelation of God given to us? Think about the creation we experience and the story of the Bible. Which of the biblical references about joy particularly jump out to you?
- How does hearing about a call to joy make you feel?
- Is joy something you find easy or hard? Why might that be?
- How can we fight for joy while still being real about life?
- How might trying to ‘work up joy’ negatively impact us?
- How can we help each other to receive joy?
- Who do you want to see come to faith? Let’s pray for that joyfully!