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Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

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Text: John 13:1-17

Intro: It is said that as Benjamin Franklin concluded a stirring speech on the guarantees of the Constitution, a heckler shouted, "Aw, them words don't mean nothin' at all. Where's all the happiness you say it guarantees us?" Franklin smiled and replied, "My friend, the Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness; you have to catch it yourself."
What Benjamin Franklin said is the truth. Happiness and true spiritual joy is out there fore every believer, but we have to make the effort to apprehend it for ourselves.

In these verses, Jesus gives us His Formula For True Spiritual Joy. Notice verse 17, "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." According to this verse, the secret to true spiritual joy is to be found in these verses that we have read this evening. In fact, I believe that Jesus has given us 3 principles for living that, if followed, will produce true spiritual joy in your life and mine.

True Spiritual Joy Is The Result Of:

I. LIVING A SERVANT’S LIFE - v. 3-5, 12-16
(In these verses, Jesus teaches some powerful lessons. Lessons that have the ability to permanently change the hearts and lives of those who will learn them and do them. The Lord of Lords teaches us how to become servants.)
A. There Is A Lesson In Humility – (Ill. Foot washing was the work of slaves! In fact, Jewish servants were never required to wash their Master’s feet. However, Gentiles slaves, who were considered dogs, were forced to do this demeaning task. It was the most menial and degrading work possible.) Why did Jesus do this? He did it to teach the Disciples, and us, a lesson in true humility. Notice what Jesus accomplished by doing this task:
1. The Master Became The Servant
2. The Master Used This Lesson To Rebuke The Selfishness Of The Disciples – (Ill. Luke 22:24) They were all concerned over who would be the greatest in Heaven, but Jesus reminded them that true greatness is a great paradox. Men never earn the respect of others by forced obedience, but they earn the respect of others by first being a servant –
3. In This Lesson, Jesus Is Giving Us An Example To Follow –
a. By Helping Another With His Burden – Gal. 6:2
b. By Forgiving Another His Trespasses – Eph. 4:32
c. By Reaching Out To Someone Outside The Church
d. There are many ways to serve, the idea that Jesus is trying to communicate is that He expects us to be about the business of serving!
B. There Is A Lesson In Honor
1. (Can we honestly say this evening that we serve all men alike? Not if we hold grudges. Not if we remember slights. Not if we think ourselves above others.)
C. There Is A Lesson In Honesty

Not only is True Spiritual Joy the Result Of Living A Servant’s Life, But It Is Also The Result Of:

(Ill. In the midst of this lesson on humility, Jesus takes the time to teach a lesson on holiness and submission to the will of God. In these verses, He points out that a submitted and separated life is essential to true spiritual joy.)

This evening, are you secure in your salvation? My friends, it is not a hope so salvation. Until real security is yours in the matter of salvation, you will never be at peace and you will never experience this fullness of joy and happiness that can be yours!
(Ill. I once knew a lady who could never get peace in this area. Hers was not a problem of believing God, but it was a matter of not being able to forgive herself for things she had done before she trusted Christ. Because she could not forgive herself, she could not fully receive the forgiveness that Jesus had already given her through his blood. As a result, she was always defeated, depressed and going through endless attempts at getting saved. She was already saved, but she didn’t know how to enjoy what she had.)

What about you Christian. Are you living the kind of life that guarantees true joy and happiness?


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First Baptist Church of Barberville 137 East Broad St. PO Box 97, Barberville, FL 32112 * 386-749-3928