Joy

SERMON NOTES  
Encountering Jesus
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole
John 2:2-11

“Joy”

Jesus, by turning water into wine and rescuing a celebration, is a micro narrative of the larger narrative of redemption. Jesus is saying, “I am rescuing Joy.” Jesus is saying in this miracle at a wedding, “I am the Lord of the Feast; I am the fulfillment of the prophets. This is My first miracle to bring everyone to laughter and joy.”

 The word “Joy” appears 88 times in the Old Testament; 57 times in the New Testament.

 Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation. Rick Warren

 Theme: Joy cannot be manufactured or contrived. Joy is a settled state of contentment, confidence, and hope in Christ.

 Joy in the Present -

 Joy in the Future –

 Anglican Prayer of Joy
Lord this Christmas help us experience real joy in knowing that Jesus loves us and is coming back for us regardless of who we are or what our individual pasts might be, no matter what problems we have, the nature of the storms that plague us or the ways life can zigzag on us. Let us have real joy in the comfort of Your love as we learn to trust You, crown You, and make You part of our day-to-day lives.

 

Join the Living

SERMON NOTES  
Encountering Jesus
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole
John 11:17-27

“Join the Living”

 John 11:17-27 (NSRV)

 When Jesus arrived, He found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days.  18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away,  19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother.  20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met Him, while Mary stayed at home.  21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  22 But even now I know that God will give You whatever you ask of
Him.”  23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”  24 Martha said to Him,
I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”  25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in Me, even though they die, will live,  26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”  27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Messiah, the Son of God, the One coming into the world.”

God is calling us all to come to join the living. Jesus is calling us to trust Him so we can have life abundantly.

 We frequently do not know what we should exactly ask of God, lest we presume, overreach, or under reach. But we can learn from this story that we may be sure that it is always enough, and appropriate, simply to share our deepest need with Him.

 As you encounter Jesus this season, in what part of your life do you need to trust Him more? Fears? Family? Future? or is it that you just need Him to take some of your dead places and give life?

 

What Is Childlike Faith?

SERMON NOTES  

Encountering Jesus
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole
Mark 10:13-16 

“What Is Childlike Faith?”

Mark 10:13-16

13 People were bringing little children to Him in order that He might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. 14 But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. 15 Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” 16 And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them. 

So what is Jesus talking about when He says we need to become like a child? 

This is often interpreted as “Childlike Faith.” This does not mean “childish” faith that is immature that never grows but a “Childlike Faith” means a vulnerable trust and dependent faith. When one is vulnerable there is a tendency to recognize our dependence on God. 

There are three basic things we hope and trust for when we approach God with a “Childlike” faith. 

1. We hope and trust for Protection and Comfort.

Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (NIV) 

2. We hope and trust for Guidance.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth, and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all day long. Psalm 25:4-5 (NIV) 

3. We hope and trust for Affirmation and Blessing. 

This in its simplest form is what Christian faith is all about, that we would grab a hold and encounter Jesus, resting on His power. You can trust Him like a child, knowing you are not only protected but you are adored, God is for you and God will lead you through this life.

 

What is Advent?

SERMON NOTES
Encountering Jesus
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole

John 4:7-14

 What is Advent?

During Advent, we prepare for, and anticipate, the coming of Christ. We remember the longing of Jews for a Messiah and our own longing for, and need of, forgiveness, salvation and a new beginning.

“Encountering Jesus”

John 4:7-14

7A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8(His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) 9The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) 10Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” 13Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”

 Living Water refers to Holy Spirit

…Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as the paraclete from the Greek word parakletos …which translates to helper, guide or comforter.

Theme: God’s love and grace is not only comforting but through the Holy Spirit has power to transform us.

In Titus 3:5,6 - He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.

I believe Jesus is calling us in the same way that Jesus encountered the Women at the Well. Jesus wants us to encounter him. To not only see him for who he is but for us to experience him in our hearts this Advent and Holiday season.