The Mathematics Of Joy (4 of 8) by Jerry Vines

This content is part of a series.
The Mathematics of Joy (4 of 8)
Series: Journey Into Joy
Jerry Vines
Philippians 3:1-11
6/23/02

I have talked with you about the way to spell joy. We know the way you spell joy - J O Y - Jesus, first; others second; and yourself last. Today, I’m going to tell you about the mathematics of joy.

Of all of the writings of the Apostle Paul, the book of Philippians is the most intimate and personal in nature. Actually, as we read these words, Paul is sharing from his own life and testimony what Jesus Christ means to him and how Jesus Christ has marvelously changed his life. In the course of following this testimony of Paul, you and I are being taken on a very fascinating journey into joy.

Along the way, as we move through these chapters of the letter, we encounter in the life of Paul some of those factors which can rob us of our joy. In the first chapter he talks about his circumstances and very often circumstances can rob us of our job. Yet, in spite of difficult circumstances, the first chapter is filled with a note of joy because Paul has a single mind. His mind is focused on Jesus Christ.

When you come to the second chapter you have another thief which can rob us of our joy and it is other people. When people do things we do not want them to do or when they do not do the things we would like for them to do, that can rob us of our joy.

In chapter two Paul has a submissive mind. He has learned the way to have joy is to live your life serving other people. When we come to the third chapter he brings up another item that can cause us to lose our joy. He talks about the matter of things.

In verse 7 he says, “But what things. . .” Again in verse 8 he says, “I count all things. . .” He talks about the loss of “all things.” Things can rob us of our joy. Now, there’s nothing wrong with things. In Genesis 1 when God created the world, the Bible says that God looked on every thing which He had made and behold they were very good. The Bible makes it very clear that the heavenly father knows that you and I have need of things. In I Timothy 6, verse 17, it says that God has given us all things to richly enjoy.

But there is a warning in the Bible about things. You may recall that Jesus said in Luke 12, verse 5, “Beware of covetousness, for a man’s life consisteth not in the things which he has.” Things can rob you of your joy. It is not wrong to have things, but it is wrong for things to have you. So, eleven times, in chapter three the apostle Paul is talking about the whole issue of things. He does it in a rather interesting way. When you study the Bible, look for the pictures in the Bible. Look for those pictures which illustrate and graphically set forth truth. For instance, there are three pictures in the third chapter. First of all, in the verses we are going to consider this morning, Paul puts himself in the position of a bookkeeper. He says in verse 8, “I count all things.” Later on in the chapter he puts himself in the po ...


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