The Joy of The Lord!
1 Peter 1:8-9
Dr. Ray Larry
Senior Pastor Providence Missionary Baptist Church

Sermon Summary
This message gives us three steps to finding the joy of The Lord: Believe, Blessed, Bought! The first step is to believe that Jesus died on the Cross and rose from the dead in order to secure our salvation. Without this first step, an individual cannot discover the joy of The Lord. The second step is to realize that we have been blessed! When a person realizes just how much Christ has done for them, both spiritually and otherwise, they will have taken the second step towards living in the joy of The Lord. The third step,  which leads us to fully experience the joy of The Lord, is taken when we begin understanding the astounding price that was paid by God when He purchased our salvation. He sent His One and Only Son to die a cruel death upon the cross of Calvary so that we could be forgiven of our sin debt and fully experience the joy of The Lord! We must first believe, then realize how blessed we are to be given the opportunity to believe and then understand that grace is free but not cheap. It cost Jesus His life to obtain our salvation.

Community Group Discussion Guide

1. Do you find it sometimes hard to walk in the Joy of The Lord? Why?

2. Happiness depends on external things and is vulnerable to circumstances. However, the joy of The Lord comes from within and is greater than anything this world can throw at you! Discuss some of the differences between happiness and joy, and why joy can be found even in the worst of circumstances.                                                  

Psa 119:49-50  Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.
Psa 28:6-9 Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy. The LORD is    my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.

3. Why is belief the first step to finding Joy and why is it sometimes a difficult step for so many people?

Rom 10:8  But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming:
Rom 10:9  That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Rom 10:10  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
Rom 10:11  As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."
Rom 10:12  For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,
Rom 10:13  for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

4. Once we take the step to believe, we begin seeing just how blessed we really are. And once we begin realizing the price that was paid by God for us, the joy of realizing just how much we are loved begins to bring the joy of The Lord into every area of our life. How has an understanding of the price God paid for your salvation influenced your joy in life?
1 Pet 2:24  He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.
1 Pet 2:25  For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.