5 Slaves, obey your human masters with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as you would Christ. 6 Don’t work only while being watched, as people-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, do God’s will from your heart. 7 Serve with a good attitude, as to the Lord and not to people, 8 knowing that whatever good each one does, slave or free, he will receive this back from the Lord. 9 And masters, treat your slaves the same way, without threatening them, because you know that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him (Ephesians 6.5-9, CSB).
Memory Verse – Serve with a good attitude, as to the Lord and not to people – Ephesians 6.7
We have been discussing how to be a good church member, how this starts with the right attitude. This attitude is made up of four components, being a Unifying Church Member, being a Sacrificial Church Member, being a Praying Church Member and being a Joyous Church Member.
So far, we have discussed Unity, Sacrifice and Prayer, today we are going to look at what it takes to be a Joyous Church Member. It has been said many times we should be the happiest people alive, but many times we seem far from it. It is amazing as Christians how many of us walk around with frowns on our faces, and sadness in our hearts.
Paul encouraged the Philippian church to rejoice, to have an attitude of thanksgiving in everything always to God.
Rejoice in the Lord always: again I will say, Rejoice. Let your forbearance be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4.4-7, ASV).
Why must we be joyful? What purpose will it serve us or others? Paul gives us few reasons in this passage; first, he says, “Let your forbearance…” or patience, “be known to all men.” We are to be known as people who can take punishment or evil without losing our tempers, without becoming irate or angry.
How is this possible, there are so many things going on around us today which will cause us to lose our cool. We have the power and ability to stay cool under pressure when we are rejoicing in the Lord, when we are singing praises to the Lord Almighty, when we are Joyous.
Remember Paul and Silas in prison, they were beaten, chained and thrown into the inner most cell. If anyone had a right to be angry it would be them, unjustly in prison; they should have been shouting and screaming their innocence, but who would have listened?
No, there they were in the inner most cell, and “about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns unto God, and the prisoners were listening to them (Acts 16.25, CSB). They were not angry, not screaming, not shouting injustice, but Praying and Singing, they were Rejoicing (Acts 16.16-34).
We have to imagine this experience is what drove Paul to write, “Rejoice in the Lord always: again I will say, Rejoice” (vs. 4). It is hard to rejoice when people treat us poorly and especially hard when they treat us very badly. But if we remember our rejoicing is in the Lord, then we can “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power” (Ephesians 6.10, NRSV) and through Him we can and will be able to conquer anything.
People are watching, us seeing how we will respond to all kinds of situations. So, along with our forbearance, the second thing Paul reminds us about is how near the Lord is, therefore, do not be anxious for anything.
Being anxious will never cause anything to get done faster. It is like standing over a pot of water watching it to see if it will boil. We cannot make it boil any faster, so why watch; it is because we are in a hurry, we are anxious.
Paul says in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving or rejoicing tell God about everything. In other words, take all of our problems to the Lord. Yep, we must pray to our Heavenly Father, take our concerns, wants and desires to Him. This will ease our soul, lighten our hearts and revive our minds to be able to rejoice in the Lord.
Finally, Paul says, “the peace of God…” (vs.7), “which passes all understanding…” must be in our lives. This is the peace Jesus Christ spoke about to the disciples, when He said, “I leave you peace; my peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world does. So don’t let your hearts be troubled or afraid (John 14.27, NCV).
This peace will keep us on the right track, in the right groove, singing the right tune, having the right melody in our hearts, rejoicing all the day long. God’s peace will never lead us down the wrong road or cause us to feel insecure. He will always be right beside us, guiding us and allowing us to remain joyful in all things.
Just as James writes, “count it all joy when crazy and testy things happen to us, for they test our faith and this testing leads to patience” (James 1.2-3, emphasis added). One final thought from Paul, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thessalonians 5.16-18).
A Joyful Church Member is one who prays, gives thanks, has patience even in the face of evil, learns to rely on God and allows God’s peace to work throughout their entire life. It might seem impossible except we serve the God of impossible things and we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us. Be a Joyful Church Member.
Application - Read Acts 16.16-34 before you answer these questions
Lord I look to You for strength and guidance, but I do not always follow You. Help me to hold Your peace in my life. To give You all my cares and anxieties. So, I might live a life full of joy and happiness. When I allow those things to be in my life, part of my life, then they are stealing the joy, peace, and happiness Your Son died to give me. Help me to trust You more, to show this to others as I walk in Your ways and share Your gospel with others today and every day until Christ returns. I pray all this in Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen.
 Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Eph 6:5–9). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
 American Standard Version. (1995). (Php 4:4–7). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
 American Standard Version. (1995). (Ac 16:25). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Eph 6:10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
 The Everyday Bible: New Century Version. (2005). (Jn 14:27). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.
 The New International Version. (2011). (1 Th 5:16–18). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
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