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Sermon Notes
May 5, 2024

Rev. Dr. Jan Remer-Osborn

Sing a New Song: Proclaiming Joy in Jesus!

Psalm 98John 15:9-17    

This is a serious sermon I am preaching today.  For in truth, this is what I am all about.   What does it mean for us to proclaim joy?  It means we are to assert, avow, emphasize, affirm, and declare our joy in Christ.  I am asking you to participate in God’s command to “Sing to the Lord a new song.”   As believers in Christ, what song are we singing?  What are the words and what spirit does it reflect?

 

Most of us have lived through adversity only to see an unexpected positive outcome.    As children of God we will always ultimately have a positive outcome surrounded by the eternal love of Jesus Christ.  This is the Good news I am preaching today.  Let’s not forget this.

 

Back to singing. To sing a new song, what must change?  It is not only the music, but also the person singing it.  Our viewpoint, our thoughts make the difference.  It’s hard to sing “Joyful, joyful we adore thee” with a frown.  Singing music can change who we are, what we feel.  I know you all know that.  If we sing about joy, we focus on joy.  If we persist in complaining about aches and pains, and latch on to our worries, what happens?  They intensify.

 

Psalm 98 can act as a catalyst to a new perception about the presence and activity of God.  It is even more relevant now, I think, than when it was written. Many are convinced that God is absent, hidden, deceased, or never existed.  The Psalmist says wake up. Wake up to looking at the world as a celebration of living things that God has made.  Be aware of the interdependence of God’s creation and how truly marvelous it is. Once we do this it’s time to shout, burst into song, and make music. “

 

In Philippians 4:4-7 we read Paul’s words while in prison,

4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

Jesus tells us John 15, verse 11: “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you.” This is not a joy that comes and goes - this is a joy that is constant joy. Joy that is manifested, joy that is continuous, joy that flows like a river. There is an inner calm that comes with allowing the peace of God to guard us, our feelings and our thoughts, our hearts and our minds.  It lies deep within our center where God and Jesus reside.  Take a moment and breathe that in, feeling God at the core of your being.  Reach for it.

 

Jesus has given us his joy. His joy is inside us. His joy can fill us up. Remember last week?   Jesus says that we are to be to Him like a branch is to a vine. We are to abide in Him, we are to rest in Him, we are to draw our strength from Him, we are to be totally, totally committed to Jesus Christ — and that is joy. without that joy, our lives are meaningless. And that joy is in Christ: His joy in you.  Thanks be to God.  Amen

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