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Celebrate the Joy of Jesus

First Baptist Church https://fbcbartow.org

“Celebrate the Joy of Jesus”

Series: Celebrate the Joy of Jesus [on screen]

Rev. Matthew C. McCraw, EdD

First Baptist Church, Bartow, Florida

December 29, 2019

Kids Kingdom Truths:

Ask kids, “Who can tell me what joy is?” (allow time for kids to answer) Joy is a feeling of great pleasure or happiness in something. Joy is a stronger feeling than regular happiness. 

Ask kids, “What’s something that gives you joy?” (allow time for kids to answer) 

I got a new belt buckle for Christmas. My new belt buckle makes me happy, but it doesn’t really bring me joy. It’s just a belt buckle. Some things that bring me joy are when I get home from work and I get to see my wife, or when my children do kind things for others, or when I see people in our church loving others. Those things bring me joy. 

Do you know what (or who) brings me the greatest joy? Jesus! That’s right, Jesus brings me the greatest joy. Today, in our sermon we’re going to learn about the greatest joy in all the world: Jesus! 

We’re going to celebrate the joy of Jesus!

Go find your seats now and take good notes as I preach the sermon to you. 

Introductory Comments:

We are continuing and concluding our series today called “Celebrate the Joy of Jesus.” This morning’s sermon is a summary sermon on the entire series. Everything we’ve learned thus far has led to this moment of celebration. 

Let’s pray together as we prepare to learn and celebrate. 


At Christmas, we celebrate that Jesus came to the world. We sang earlier in the service, “Joy to the world, the Lord has come!”

In our series, we’ve celebrated the deity of Jesus, we’ve celebrated the coming of Jesus, and we’ve celebrated the sacrifice of Jesus. Today, we’ll conclude this series by celebrating all of the joy that Jesus brings us. 

As we celebrate, we will celebrate three applications of the joy of Jesus in this world and in our lives. 

To begin, let’s . . .

I. Celebrate the incarnate joy. [on screen]

Do you remember what the word incarnation refers to? It refers to the coming of Jesus into the world. It refers to the fact that God became man and came to the world. 

God incarnate came to the world as Jesus Christ and He brought with Him great joy! We can experience and celebrate joy incarnate!

We’re very familiar with this passage by now, as it’s one of the most popular Christmas passages, but it’s worth looking at again. Luke 2:8-12 says: 8 In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: 11 Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger.” [on screen]

Jesus’ coming to the world brought great joy for all people! Joy incarnate came to the world!

Jesus brought joy with Him and He considered it a joy to come to the earth and fulfill His mission. Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us, “1 Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, 2 keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” [on screen]

Jesus is the very source and perfecter of our faith and our joy. Not only that, He considered it a joy to be obedient to the Father to lay His life down on the cross. 

Jesus brought joy and He did so with joy. 

Joy came to the world through Jesus. Celebrate the incarnate joy. 

Second, . . .

II. Celebrate the inestimable joy. [on screen]

Since joy came into the world, we can now experience a new joy that was not first available. 

Incarnate joy leads to inestimable joy. 

Of course, to estimate means to guess at the value or cost of something. 

Inestimable means that one is not able to estimate the value of something. It is too great to calculate. The joy that Jesus offers us is inestimable. 

Listen to these very familiar passages regarding this fact:

Matthew 13:44-46 says, “44 The kingdom of heaven is like treasure, buried in a field, that a man found and reburied. Then in his joy he goes and sells everything he has and buys that field. 45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. 46 When he found one priceless pearl, he went and sold everything he had and bought it.” [on screen]

When we understand the inestimable value of the kingdom of heaven brought by Jesus we will forsake everything else and pursue it with joy!

Illustration: Children, have you ever wanted a gift so bad that you told your parents or your grandparents that you would give up all of your other toys if you could simply have that one gift? Imagine that, but so much greater with the kingdom of Jesus!

There’s no way to even calculate how valuable Jesus and His ways are. They are inestimable! When we understand that, we will pursue Jesus with joy!

In speaking of the woman who lost a coin and searched diligently for it, Jesus says in Luke 15:9-10, “9 When she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found the silver coin I lost!’ 10 I tell you, in the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents.” [on screen]

Jesus said even the angels in heaven experience joy at the salvation of sinners brought about by Jesus. The work of Jesus to save sinners has such great value that even supernatural beings in heaven take great joy in witnessing the work of Jesus. That’s valuable joy. That’s inestimable joy!

Celebrate the inestimable joy!

Third, . . .

III. Celebrate the inexpressible joy. [on screen]

When I started the preparatory work for this sermon, this passage immediately came to mind for me. I love how the apostle Peter describes the joy that comes with our salvation. 

Listen to what Peter says in 1 Peter 1:8-9: 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; though not seeing him now, you believe in him, and you rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. [on screen]

Peter is speaking to the believers in the early church and pointing out how they are filled with joy: inexpressible and glorious joy because they are experiencing the work of Jesus in their lives. They are living as changed people. They have new lives and a new hope to look forward to!

The joy that Jesus brings is inexpressible: that is, you can’t even fully describe how great it is!

Illustration: Have you ever been somewhere or eaten something and you want to tell someone how great it is, but you can’t? You may end up saying, “You just need to experience it yourself!” It is inexpressibly great, or delicious, or whatever! So also with Jesus! He brings inexpressible joy that you just have to experience!

Jesus wants us to experience this joy. 

He said in John 15:9-11, “9 As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 “I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.”  [on screen]

Jesus said that if we remain in Him, if we live in Him, if we live by His ways and His commands, if we remain in His love, we will experience His joy in us and our joy will be complete. 

I don’t know about you but I’m glad that inexpressible joy is available for me and I want to experience it! I want to remain in Jesus and His commands and have His joy completely in me! Don’t you?

This is joy that can’t be taken away! This is joy to which nothing else compares!

Did you know that even in a moment of difficulty we can still be filled with inexpressible joy? 

Listen to Paul’s words concerning the church in Thessalonica. First Thessalonians 1:4-6 says, “4 For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, in the Holy Spirit, and with full assurance. You know how we lived among you for your benefit, 6 and you yourselves became imitators of us and of the Lord when, in spite of severe persecution, you welcomed the message with joy from the Holy Spirit.” [on screen]

Paul said of the Thessalonians that in spite of severe persecution they welcomed the message of the Gospel with joy from the Holy Spirit. 

There’s no natural reason to explain why we have joy in the midst of trials and difficulties. That’s because our joy comes from the Holy Spirit of God. It is supernatural! It is inexpressible!

Celebrate the inexpressible joy of Jesus!

Concluding Thoughts:

There’s a lot to celebrate when it comes to the joy of Jesus. 

Celebrate the incarnate joy that came to the world, the inestimable joy that changes us, and the inexpressible joy that fills us forever. 

The coming of Jesus to the world changes everything for us!

It brings us great joy to enjoy what is God’s gracious gift to us. 

That takes us to our bottom line for today:

Bottom Line: Enjoy the joy of Jesus.  [on screen]


Jesus brings great joy and it is ours to enjoy. 

Don’t you know how great it is to enjoy something?

My mom knows that I loved deviled eggs and she always has those prepared for me whenever I come over for a holiday meal at her house. Yesterday, she even brought some of the extras over to my house. My mom is happy for me to have them because she wants me to enjoy the eggs. So also, Jesus wants you to find joy in Him and He wants you to enjoy the joy that He brings! He has a tray overflowing with supernatural joy for you to enjoy!

Enjoy the joy of Jesus!

Challenge yourself this week to live out what we’ve learned in this series in the following ways:

Weekly Challenge: [on screen]

  1. Count the joy of Jesus. [on screen]

Do you remember the line from the poem? “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”

Well, count the ways that the joy of Jesus has been given and shown to you. 

Identify all the ways that the joy of Jesus has blessed your life. 

After you do so . . .

  1. Celebrate the joy of Jesus. [on screen]

After you’ve counted the joy of Jesus and all the ways the work of Jesus changes your life, celebrate it!

Have you been set free from your sins? That should bring you joy! Celebrate that joy!

Have you had a home in heaven prepared for you? Celebrate that joy!

Talk about the joys of Jesus as a family and celebrate it!

Sing about Jesus with your family, by yourself, certainly with our church family. 

Wipe that sad or grumpy look off of your face and live your life with joy! You’ve been changed by Jesus and there’s nothing like Jesus!

The joy of Jesus is guaranteed by the work of the Holy Spirit and it’s yours forever! Celebrate it!

  1. Share the joy of Jesus. [on screen]

I really enjoyed the new belt that I got for Christmas and I’ve told other people about it. I’d love to get everyone I know one of these belts, but they’re not cheap. You know what: the joy of Jesus is free! Jesus offers His grace freely to anyone who will take it. 

Share the greatest joy in all the world with others. Share the joy of Jesus with others. 

If we really believe that it’s life-changing joy, share it! If we really believe that joy came to the world through Jesus incarnate, share it! If we really believe that the joy of Jesus is inestimable, share it! If we really believe that the joy of Jesus is inexpressible, share it! 


Church, don’t lose sight of the great joy that Jesus brings. If you only take away one truth from 2019 walk away with this: Jesus brings great joy; look to Jesus!

Look to Jesus and find true joy. 

Enjoy that joy and celebrate that joy!

If you’ve not experienced the joy of Jesus before, today you can. This last Sunday of 2019, let your life be changed forever!

(Gospel presentation)

(closing prayer)


COPYRIGHT DISCLAIMER: The text contained in this sermon is solely owned by its author. The reproduction, or distribution of this message, or any portion of it, should include the author’s name. The author intends to provide free resources in order to inspire believers and to assist preachers and teachers in Kingdom work.