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Robert Murray McCheyne said, ‘The purest joy in the world is joy in Christ Jesus.’ 
In these posts, I want to share some reflections on joy and where, as Christians, we can find our joy.

The Joy of Sharing the Gospel

8th March 2021

Last week, I reminded us that when we truly appreciate the value of the gospel, we experience great joy. Joy that is found in the wonder of what Christ has done for us. Joy that is found in the truth of who we now are in Christ.

But what is clear from scripture is that this joy is not to be kept to ourselves. We see this going right back to God’s covenant with Abraham when God says that God’s people would be a blessing to the nations. God’s plan of salvation is not an ethnic plan for one group of people that cut themselves off from the world. But instead, Jesus said, the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. What happens to this tiny seed? It grows and grows and grows. Its branches spread wider and higher until this tiny seed has grown into a vast and huge tree.

And we see something incredible in the New Testament – people experiencing joy when they share the gospel. OK, lets be honest: when someone starts speaking about evangelism or sharing your faith, what emotion comes to mind?

Lets take a look at Acts 13 for a moment. Paul and Barnabas are in Pisidian Antioch and,

the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. (v52)

What is going on for them to be filled with such joy? Perhaps they’ve just had a great worship service, or the prayer meeting has been mobbed, or there’s been a really good speaker at a conference. Is this what has brought them so much joy?

No. What has given them such joy is that Paul and Barnabas shared the gospel to the whole town. And Luke tells us,

as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region. (v48-49)

Their joy came from sharing the gospel and witnessing people repent and believe in Jesus. And what is more incredible is that their joy was not diminished by what else was going on at the time. Again, Luke tell us,

the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him. (v45)

the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. (v50)

Imagine for a moment, Paul and Barnabas, sitting in the evening after a busy day preaching; they have just been kicked out of the city, running for their lives having had all kinds of insults, abuse and hatred flung at them. And everyone whose anyone is against them.

And their overwhelming emotion is joy!

Why? Because there is joy in sharing the gospel and witnessing people repent and believe in Jesus. A joy that is so great that even the opposition that comes our way can’t extinguish it.

We see the same thing in Acts 8 – Stephen has just been killed, a great persecution arose against the church and they were all scattered. One of those scattered was Philip who went to Samaria. What does this displaced, refugee Christian experience? Joy! How? Because he went down to Samaria and proclaimed Jesus to them. And the joy was not only Philip’s but was shared with many in the city who believed.

 

We’re not alone in our rejoicing

When we fulfil our call to be great commission people – people who make disciples – we share in the joy of heaven. For Paul, Barnabas, and Philip were not alone in their rejoicing, there was greater rejoicing taking place in heaven.

In telling the parable of the lost sheep, Jesus said,

“Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.”

Jesus told this parable in response to the Pharisees grumbling and complaining that Jesus was hanging out with sinners. The parable shows us that in his compassion and grace, Jesus goes in search of the lost. And what is his response in finding his sheep? Joy. Do we experience the greatest joy when someone repents? No. Jesus does. His joy is greater than ours because he is the one who has found the lost sheep, he is one who has brought about faith. But because God uses us in this work, we are invited to share in this joy as we witness the miracle of salvation before our very eyes.

Jesus doesn’t finish there – he goes on to say that there is great joy in heaven whenever a sinner repents. Someone believing in response to the gospel we share causes great joy in heaven.

Who likes a party?

At the end of the parable of the prodigal son, what does the Father do? He throws a party. Celebrate and be glad is the Father’s order because his son who was dead is now alive.

Sharing our faith and witnessing someone come to faith is no small thing. It is witnessing someone who was dead coming to life. It is cause for a great celebration in heaven. And it ought to be cause for great celebration among God’s people here on earth.

Perhaps instead of thinking of sharing our faith as a fearful chore – maybe we should think of it as party planning!

I’d encourage you to let us know when you’re seeking to share your faith with others so the church can be praying for you and your unbelieving friend.
And when they become a Christian, let us know, so we can celebrate together. And we can share in your joy and the joy of heaven.

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Next week - 'Enduring with Joy'
Previous - 'Finding Joy in the Gospel'
Glenys
Hello and welcome to our church. If you are a new visitor, we have a page for you to get to know us and learn more about planning a visit.
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Planning your Visit

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Welcome! Whether you've just moved to the area, or have lived here all your life, we hope our website helps you to find out everything you want to know about our Church.

 

Some key information about the church...

 

Where & when does the church meet?

Our Church usually meets every Sunday at 10.30am and 7pm for our Sunday Services. Aim to arrive 10 minutes early to ensure you get a parking spot and seat in time for the service to start. You can park in either the car park behind the Church or the Hunter House car park next door to the Church.

We meet at:

Calderwood Baptist Church 
Maxwellton Road 
Calderwood
East Kilbride 
G74 3LW


You can see a map on our contact us page

 

What should I expect when I visit the church?

You will receive a very warm welcome particularly from our Welcome Team who will be able to answer your questions and direct you to where you need to go.

In our morning service, there will be around 45 minutes of worship with the whole Church family when there will be singing, prayer, and a children's message. At this point, the children will leave for their own Sunday Club. The Bible will then be read and one of our Pastors or leaders will preach from God's word. The service usually finishes around 12noon.

In our evening service, we usually spend about 20 minutes singing and praying before the Bible is read and preached. Our evening service usually finishes around 8pm.

Tea, coffee and biscuits are served after all of our services where there is plenty of time to meet new people and ask more questions.
 

What happens to the kids at church?

We have a fantastic programme for the kids at our Church. Children stay with their parents at the start of the service as we worship together for the first part of the morning. Someone will announce when the children need to go to their programme.

We have a very gifted team of Sunday Club teachers who lead a great curriculum for all ages. We have the following Sunday Club classes:

0-3 years:     Creche
3-5 years:     Pre-School Sunday Club 
P1 - P7:        Sunday Club
S1 - S3:        Bible Class
 
For more information about our Sunday Club please visit our Sunday Club page.
 

Is there a dress code?

No! Please just be yourself and come dressed in your 'normal' clothes.
 

Will I have to join in?

Not at all!
You are free to simply observe or participate as much as feels comfortable for you.
 

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I have more questions, how can I get in touch and ask them.

Please feel free to contact us. If you want to know who works in the church office, check out our Staff and Leadership page.



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