We’re in week 2 of our series on the “Fruit of the Spirit” and this week I’ll be talking about joy. “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy. . .” God wants to cultivate joy in your life. However, joy is often misunderstood. We tend to equate happiness with joy, and while there’s definitely some overlap, at the same time, there are some differences because they each spring from a different source. For example, one comes from the world around me, and the other originates directly from the Spirit of the living God.
Happiness is based on happenings. In other words, it’s conditioned by and dependent upon what’s happening to me – my circumstances. If the sun is shining and people are nice and everything is going well in my life, then I am HAPPY! But if my circumstances fluctuate and bottom out, well then I’m unhappy!
Joy, on the other hand, is different. It’s not solely dependent upon what may or may not be happening to me in the moment. In fact, since it originates with the Holy Spirit, it has a divine component that is capable of actually transcending my circumstances. But let me give you a gentle caution. I’m not suggesting that Biblical joy is about denying reality. We live in a jacked-up, fallen world where we’re often confronted with things like pain, disappointment, stress, heartache, loss, anxiety, suffering, and death.
But if joy transcends our earthly circumstances, then hey, if you’re truly filled with it, doesn’t that mean that you’ll just skate right along above all those things? You’re a joyful Christian, right? Well, then surely you don’t ever get sad or fearful or stressed out or down or depressed! Okay if that’s true, let me be the first to say, “Then I am not a Christian!” I’m simply saying that Biblical joy is not about denying reality. In fact, sometimes it’s experienced in the very midst of sadness and hardship and heartache. Regardless of what you’re facing today, your life can be full of joy. Philippians 4:4 (this week’s memory verse) reminds us of this, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” So how do we make this joy a reality in our lives? How do we cultivate the fruit of joy? Come to Coastal this Sunday and discover how! I love you Coastal and I love being your Pastor! See you Sunday!
LIFE & LOVE!
- If you’re fairly new to Coastal, a great next step is our Newcomers Reception. Our next Newcomers Reception is Sunday, October 3rd, in the Welcome Center immediately following the 11:15am service (at approximately 12:30pm). This is a great way to learn more about Coastal, meet staff and key volunteers, as well as meet some other new people. You can respond to this email, sign up on our website, or sign up on your Connect Card on Sunday.
- Coastal’s CARE Team coordinates baskets, meals, and cards for those in our church and community who need additional encouragement. The CARE Team will be hosting an information and training session on Sunday, October 10th at 6pm for anyone who is currently serving or interested in joining the Team. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- UPCOMING OUTREACH PROJECTS:
Lowcountry Orphan Relief – Lowcountry Orphan Relief provides support services and aid to meet the needs of Lowcountry children identified as at-risk or suffering from abandonment, abuse and/or neglect. Coastal will be serving there, TODAY, Friday, September 24th, 9:30am-11:30am. Meet at 1850 Truxton Ave in North Charleston.
Tricounty Family Ministries – We will be assisting with their Emergency Grocery Distribution, Wednesday, September 29th, 9:45am-12:30pm. Meet at: 2105 Cosgrove Ave. North Charleston.
Saturday Serve – The foundation of all of our serving opportunities at Coastal really starts with Saturday Serve – the first Saturday of every month. The next Saturday Serve is Saturday, October 2nd. We meet in the Welcome Center/Cafe at 8:30am, project leaders make a “pitch” for their serving opportunity, and then we serve! Make plans NOW to be there!
PINK House – The PINK House is a community center in the Ardmore subdivision in West Ashley. We are going to be putting on a community Tailgate Party, Clothing Distribution, Saturday, October 9th, 10am-1pm.
If you are interested in serving in any of these projects, you can sign up on your Connect Card this Sunday or sign up now on our website. If you have any questions, please reach out to Pastor Chris Jones at 843-870-4613.
- Coastal is hosting “Celebrate Christmas at Joseph Floyd Manor” on Saturday, December 18th! Are you interested in serving on the Planning Team as we prepare to host a Christmas Party to remember for the residents of Joseph Floyd Manor? Let us know on your Connect Card, and we’ll reach out to you with more details.
- Interested in serving in our Coastal Kidz Children’s Ministry (Birth-5th Grade)? Go to our website, check out all the different volunteer positions, and sign up today! It’s that easy! If you have any questions, please reach out to Janet Rollins at email@example.com or 843-442-8299.
P.S. Have you signed up for a LIFE Group yet? As always, there are multiple ways to sign up for a Group, but you only have to sign up one time/one way. You can sign up online from our website, on your Connect Card (in-person or online), or at the LIFE Group Tables/Sign-up sheets in the Welcome Center. And this semester, we have the most Groups we’ve ever had – 29 different LIFE Groups – online and/or in-person Groups, activity Groups, study Groups, support Groups, and more! There is something for EVERYONE! Most of our Groups just started this week, so it’s not too late to sign up! Make sure you check out our catalog and start signing up today!