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Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 2 PART 4 – Joy (Psalm 33:3)

LESSON: JOY – How do we express our joy?

Memory Verse:

Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.” – Psalm 33:3

Lesson Presentation:

There is a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is something we experience for a moment and is often short lived. Joy is eternal. It comes only as a result of living a life of praise. Praise comes as a result of a heart that is overflowing with joy — it teaches us to be joyful and thankful regardless of our circumstances. It prepares us for God’s service and helps us to see beyond our present circumstances to the immense possibilities that are ours through faith in Jesus Christ.[i]

The Bible teaches 7 types of praise. This praise can happen at home, work, in the car or during the worship service. Praise is a very important part of our relationship with God.  God inhabits our praise and we should not be shy in our praise, for our praise glorifies God.[ii]

  1. Yadah (yaw-daw’) – This is the demonstration of our love and submission to the Lord by the raising of our hands.  Lifting your hands to the Lord in total submission and devotion. It’s like a child extending his hands high above their heads with a desire to be held.[iii]
  2. Towdah (to-daw’) – This is the sacrifice of praise.  Praising the Lord, even if you don’t feel like praising the Lord.  Praising the Lord even though you are going through many trials in your life.  Lifting up your hand as an offering of praise.
  3. Barak (baw-rak’) This means to bow or kneel down humbly before the Lord.  To be completely overwhelmed by His majesty and bow at His feet in submission and honor to the Lord.
  4. Tehillah (tel-hil-law’) – This one is the best.  It is the combination of singing, shouting, dancing, clapping and rejoicing before the Lord. It’s spontaneous singing straight from our hearts to God.
  5. Zamar (zaw-mar’) – It’s celebrating in song and music, playing any instrument for the glory of God.
  6. Halal (haw-lal’) – This means to be so full of enthusiasm of the wonders of the Lord that you express it in dancing and laughing and twirling before the Lord without caring what other people say.
  7. Shabach (Shaw-bakh’) – This means to shout.  Praise to the Lord given in the form of a shout. Lifting your voice unto the Lord, giving praise for what He has done and what He is going to do.

Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 1 PART 3 – Joy (Nehemiah 8:10b)

LESSON: JOY

Memory Verse:

“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”– Nehemiah 8:10b

 Bible Background: Nehemiah 8:5-12

  1. Nehemiah lived at a time when Israel was slowly returning from exile, and he was a cupbearer for King Artaxerxes. He received news that even after the temple was fixed, the walls of Jerusalem still lay in ruins, and this made him very sad. In his heart he felt that God called him to do something about it, so he prayed. After that, he got permission from the King to rebuild the walls and the King even sent him with a letter to get wood from the king’s forest to be used to repair the gates.
  2. Nehemiah repaired the walls with the help of the Jews who willingly gave their time and effort to this task. There were those who tried to stop them and even threatened to attack them, and it even came to a point when only half of the men worked on the walls because the other half guarded the area, and the builders had a sword on their belts, always ready to defend themselves. It was a big job, seemingly impossible, but they finished it in a record-breaking 52 days because the people worked with all their heart and they had the blessing of the Lord.
  3. From start to finish, Nehemiah proved to be a man of prayer, and he always asked for the Lord’s guidance, wisdom and protection for completing the work. When the job was finished, Nehemiah gathered the people to celebrate. They asked Ezra, the priest, to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, because the people who came from exile have not had a chance to hear these words for a very, very long time. Ezra – a teacher of the law, and the Levites who were servants in the temple, read the Words of God and explained them in simple language so that all who were present could understand its meaning.
  4. As the people heard the Law of Moses, the lifted their hands and responded, “Amen!” and bowed and worshipped the Lord. They realized how sinful they had become because of they failed to obey God’s laws, and they cried and were very sorry for what they had done. But Nehemiah and the Levites calmed the people and told them that this was a day of celebration; a time to share to those in need; a day holy unto the Lord, and that they must not be sad, “for the joy of the Lord is their strength.”

Reflection Points:

Truly, “the joy of the Lord is our strength.” God was pleased that the people realized their sins and were sorry, and Nehemiah assured them that it was actually a time for rejoicing, because where there is repentance, then forgiveness and restoration can begin. Through the reading of the Word, the people realized they had a big problem – sin – but there was something bigger that the bible reveals – that the love of God can wash away our sins! Indeed, there is a reason to have joy because God is willing and able to cleanse our hearts, save us from our sins and give us a chance to start a new life that is victorious in Christ Jesus! Now that is a wonderful reason to have joy!

WORD STUDY:

  1. exile – forced to leave their home country
  2. cupbearer – a high official in the king’s court; serves wine to the king
  3. temple – the equivalent of  a church building in bible times
  4. Jerusalem – central city of Jewish worship
  5. Book of the Law of Moses – most likely the “Torah” or “Pentateuch”;” the first five books in the bible, namely Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
  6. Levites – a member of the Hebrew tribe from the family of Levi, son of Jacob, and they served as priests in the temple.

 Nehemiah 8:5-12

5 Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. 6 Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

7 The Levites—Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan and Pelaiah—instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there. 8 They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear[a] and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.

9 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.

10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

11 The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a holy day. Do not grieve.”

12 Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.

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Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 2 PART 2 – Joy (Psalm 37:4)

LESSON: JOY

Memory Verse: “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4

Bible Story: 2 Kings 4:8-17: THE SHUNAMMITE WOMAN AND ELISHA

Lesson Presentation:

What does “Delight yourself in the Lord” mean? This verse tells us that we are to find JOY in pleasing God. It implies putting God first in our lives and living our lives the way he would want us to.

  1. A good example of a person who delighted herself in the Lord is the Shunammite woman. The Shunammite woman was not a member of the chosen people called Israelites, but like the Good Samaritan, she did not hesitate to show compassion for a Jew. She saw Elisha as a man of God and felt in her heart a desire to bless him by providing him with food every time he passed by their village. After some time, she thought it would be good to build a room for Elisha so that he would have a comfortable place to stay in whenever he travelled to Shunem. She acted out of love for her neighbor and this pleased the Lord.
  2. The Shunammite woman did all these good things for Elisha out of the goodness of her heart, without expecting or asking for anything in return. In fact, when Elisha asked her what he could do for her to show his gratitude, the Shunammite woman basically said she didn’t need anything because she was content to have a home with her people. It was Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, who revealed that the Shunammite woman had no child.  And we know by her reaction that it was an innermost desire of her heart to have a child that she did not want to have her hopes raised if she wasn’t going to have one.
  3. Truly, we should not do good things so that others will repay us, but instead GLADLY show kindness to others out of the goodness in our hearts because this delights God. Remember that the 2nd greatest commandment is to love our neighbor. In the case of the Shunammite woman, when she showed genuine love and compassion for Elisha the prophet, the Lord saw her heart. And through Elisha, God blessed the Shunammite woman with the desire of her heart — a son.
  4. In our daily lives, when we show genuine love and compassion for other people, especially when we SERVE GLADLY and GIVE CHEERFULLY, we are delighting ourselves in the Lord. And though we do not do good deeds to be rewarded, we often find ourselves being blessed in one way or another because God is faithful and wants to bless his children who please Him.
  5. When our delight is the Lord, then OUR HEART’S GREATEST DESIRE IS TO BE WITH HIM, and so more than any material possession or earthly gift, it is his loving presence in our lives that is the greatest blessing we do receive.

SCRIPTURE READING:

2 Kings 4:8-17: THE SHUNAMMITE WOMAN AND ELISHA

8 One day Elisha went to Shunem. And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat. 9 She said to her husband, “I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. 10 Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.”

11 One day when Elisha came, he went up to his room and lay down there. 12 He said to his servant Gehazi, “Call the Shunammite.” So he called her, and she stood before him. 13 Elisha said to him, “Tell her, ‘You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? Can we speak on your behalf to the king or the commander of the army?’”

She replied, “I have a home among my own people.”

14 “What can be done for her?” Elisha asked.

Gehazi said, “She has no son, and her husband is old.”

15 Then Elisha said, “Call her.” So he called her, and she stood in the doorway. 16 “About this time next year,” Elisha said, “you will hold a son in your arms.”

“No, my lord!” she objected. “Please, man of God, don’t mislead your servant!”

17 But the woman became pregnant, and the next year about that same time she gave birth to a son, just as Elisha had told her.

Aug 5 2013 - Psalm 37 5 Coloring pageB copy

Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 2 PART 1 – Joy (1 Corinthians 13:6)

LESSON: JOY

Memory Verse:

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” – 1 Corinthians 13:6

Lesson Presentation:

  1. When we say “rejoice,” what other words come into mind? Some might give any one of these:
    1. Laughter
    2. Tickling
    3. Something funny
    4. Jokes
    5. Parties
    6. Having fun
    7. Celebration
    8. happy

2. In this verse which talks mainly about LOVE, it is said that we are to “rejoice with the truth.” As a fruit of the spirit, JOY is directly connected to the main fruit which is GOD’S LOVE. This means loving the truth and standing up for the truth gives us reason to rejoice.  True joy is not merely about laughing and having fun – it is about having God’s love inside you to guide you to believe and stand up for the truth from God’s Word. HONESTY and INTEGRITY are important traits of a believer of Christ.

Do not delight in evil

We should REJOICE with the truth:

We should not find any reason to be joyful when something bad happens to anyone, even when it happens to bad people. (ex. Somebody trips over a rock or toy) When somebody gets hurt, our response would be to offer help, if possible. This is the truth that we should rejoice in: Jesus showed us how to love and not to cause hurt (Luke 6:31). When we show a loving response, we rejoice in this truth.
Jokes that make fun of others and hurt their feelings is not something we should be happy about.  (ex. Jokes about fat people or about disabilities) The truth is that God made everyone special and unique; each person is “wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). When we respect and care for each other’s feelings, we are rejoicing in this truth.
Somebody else gets the blame for something bad that you did you’re your brother gets blamed for breaking a vase which you broke) Even if nobody finds out we made a mistake, when we don’t admit it and ask for forgiveness, we are in fact lying, and we know that the Bible tells us that to lie is a sin. We should rejoice in the truth that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
You found a P1000 bill on the floor and since nobody else was around, you put it in your pocket. You now have money to buy a new toy. When we find something valuable, we should make every effort to find the owner and return it. “Finders keepers; losers weepers” was never God’s way. We should rejoice in the truth that when we respect and care about other people’s things, we are honoring God.

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