Living Hope

This past weekend at Eastbrook, I concluded our series on 1 Thessalonians entitled “Hope Rising: 1 Thessalonians for Today.” This fifth and final week of the series I preached from 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28 on joining the melody of God’s hope in Jesus Christ with the variations of living response.

You can find the message outline and video below. You can access the entire series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Living as the Good Community of God (1 Thessalonians 5:12-15)

Acknowledge those who serve

Warn those who are idle

Encourage those who are worn down

Turn from grudges

Strive to do good to one another and everyone

Living in Joy, Prayer, and Thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Learning the Imperatives of hope

Learning the will of God

Living in the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22)

Not quenching the Spirit

Living with discernment

Living into the Blessing of God (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)

Yielding to the sanctifying work of God

Relying upon the faithfulness of God

Continuing as the Community of God (1 Thessalonians 5:25-28)

Mutual prayer

Mutual affection

Mutual edification

Mutual grace


Dig Deeper

This week dig deeper in one or more of the following ways:

  • Memorize 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 or 5:23-24
  • Make a joy or thankfulness inventory this week. Take time to write down at least 25 things you are thankful for or joyful about. Share this with friends or family sometime this week.
  • Choose a portion of this passage to draw, ink, or paint out in a way that expresses worship and prayer.
  • Consider reading:

Living with Joy

This past weekend at Eastbrook, we continued our preaching series entitled “Joy Appears,” which continues our celebration of Christmas and the joy that has appeared in Jesus our Messiah and Savior. In this second and final week of the series I take us through speedy exploration of themes of joy in Paul’s epistle to the Philippians. There is so much here!

You can find the message video and outline below. You can also view the entire series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)

What is Joy?

A definition of joy

The difference between happiness and joy

Living with Joy in Prayer (Philippians 1:3-8)

Cultivating joy through prayer

Cultivating joy through gratitude for others 

Living with Joy Because of the Gospel (Philippians 1:12-18; 2:19-30)

Experiencing joy in the Gospel we have received

Experiencing joy as the Gospel is proclaimed (even through wrong motives)

Experiencing the joy of the Gospel in us and through others 

Living with Joy in Relation to Others (Philippians 2:1-4)

Cultivating joy in the imperfect Christian community

Cultivating joy as God makes us more like Jesus

Living with Joy Beyond Circumstances (Philippians 4:4, 10-13)

Choosing joy 

Choosing joy amidst trials 


Dig Deeper:

This week dig deeper in one or more of the following ways:

  • Memorize a verse from Philippians that stood out to you from this study. Write it on a notecard or make it your smartphone or computer background so you see it regularly.
  • Set aside some time in prayer this week where you will specifically express gratitude to God. You may want to write things down as you pray so you remember what you’re thankful for afterwards.
  • Express your appreciation or gratitude verbally or in written form to someone this week, whether a family member, a friend, a roommate, a classmate, or a work colleague. 

Jesus the Joy-Bringer

This past weekend at Eastbrook, we began a new preaching series entitled “Joy Appears,” which continues our celebration of Christmas and the joy that has appeared in Jesus our Messiah and Savior. In this first week of the series, Pastor Nic Fridenmaker explores how Jesus brings joy in His birth and ministry. What is joy? How does Jesus really bring joy? How is this different from manufactured joy? How can we experience joy in Jesus?

You can find the message video and outline below. You can also view the entire series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


“An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people..”  (Luke 2:9-10)

A Little History Lesson

Christmas

Epiphany

A Little Language Lesson

Happiness

Joy

A Big Announcement

Matthew 2:1-12

Luke 2:1-15

Joy then, and joy now.

Fear

Joy

Community


Dig Deeper:

This week dig deeper into Joy:

  • Watch this video again, and as we celebrate the Christmas Season, find ways to share Joy with those around you: https://bibleproject.com/explore/video/chara-joy/
  • Memorize on Isaiah 51:11.
  • The Gospel brings “great joy to all people.” Share the gospel this week in a tangible way. 
  • Merry Christmas!

Joy is a Decision

There are two imperative verbs which frame Philippians 4:4-9. The first is found in verse 4 and the second is found in verse 8. Look at that first imperative verb with me: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”

Paul is telling us something important: joy is a decision. Joy is not a circumstance, and neither is it a certain situation. No, joy is a decision.

Many times we say that joy is a gift from God. Reflecting upon this, you may wonder, how is joy both a decision and a gift? Let me put it in this way:

Joy is a decision we make that leads to the gift God will give.

In her book Fight Back with Joy, Margaret Feinberg relates how after being diagnosed with cancer, she made a decision to fight the difficulty by choosing joy. She writes:

Practicing defiant joy is the declaration that the darkness does not and will not win. When we fight back with joy, we embrace a reality that is more real than what we’re enduring and we awaken to the deepest reality of our identity as beloved, joyful children of God.[1]

We need to stop waiting for the perfect day in which we can rejoice. We need to stop waiting for the perfect circumstances – at work, in our relationships, in our financial situation – thinking that will enable us to rejoice. No, the perfect circumstances will not give us joy. Otherwise the wildly wealthy or superbly successful would automatically have joy. But we know that is not the case.

No, something different is true. Joy is a choice. Will you decide with me for you right now?


[1] Margaret Feinberg, Fight Back with Joy (Brentwood, TN: Worthy Media, 2015), 15.

||40days|| week six: live joyful

In the midst of our pursuit of God, we can sometimes focus so much on the seriousness of discipleship that we miss out on the joy of our life with God. Of course, there are good reasons for that.

First of all, Jesus called us to take up our cross, deny ourselves and follow Him. That is a serious call. Second, in this world we at times encounter suffering or difficulty, neither of which are light or easy. Thirdly, our discipleship is serious because, as Paul points out in his letter to the Ephesians, we are in the midst of a spiritual conflict.

Yet for all the seriousness of the pursuit of God, it is also true that God is the creator of joy. The ||40days|| journey reminds us that for all of the seriousness of following Jesus, it was Jesus Himself who said that following Him brings complete joy:Read More »