Love and laughter go together.
MAY 4, 2021
Love and laughter go together. I’ll explain on Key Life.
That was Steve Brown. He’s an author, seminary professor and our teacher on Key Life, a program, all about God’s radical grace. We’re committed to bringing you Bible teaching, that’s honest, straight-forward, and street-smart. Keep listening to hear truth that’ll make you free.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible, open it to the fifth chapter of Galatians, as we’re looking at the fruit of the Spirit. And we saw that if you are walking in the Spirit, you’re free to love, because the Holy Spirit’s business is to point to Jesus. And Jesus’ job description, his own chosen by himself is to love you. And once you been loved, then you can love. And then we turn to the subject of joy. And it’s interesting that Paul begins the list of the fruit of the Spirit by saying love and joy. I think I’ve told you I’m working on a new book. I’m going to keep doing this until I get it right. And every time I start a new book, the angels get the giggles. And they say, that old guy’s doing it again. The title of this book, by the way. And I may have told you is, Laughter and Lament: The Touchstones of Radical Christian Freedom. And I’ll tell you something, working on a book, even if it doesn’t help us single soul in the body of Christ, has really blessed me. I’ve learned so much. And one of the things that I’ve learned is that out of the lament, there is laughter. You know something, I’ve never been to a Christian funeral, not even once. And I’m old. I’ve never been to a Christian funeral, when there wasn’t laughter. I’ve never visited somebody who was going through a bad, bad time that there wasn’t a smile or some laughter as a part of it. You know where that comes from? That’s the fruit of the Spirit. We make a big deal about the difference between joy and happiness. We like to say joy is something that you have, no matter what the circumstance is, and happiness. is connected to the circumstances. It sounds good. I’ve got joy down at, did you sing that when you were a kid? I got joy down in my heart. Well, let me tell you, when you’re at the dentist and he’s drilling, you don’t have joy down in your heart. And when your wife says she wants a divorce, you don’t have joy down in your heart. And when you’re diagnosed with cancer, joy, kind of fleas. You know, we say, well, it’ll come. Well, maybe it will. Maybe it won’t, but don’t connect, just joy to Jesus, because circumstances are also a part of it. And the circumstance is Jesus. There is a connection between joy and happiness and laughter. And as I’ve worked on this book, I’ve learned to see that in so many places, where I didn’t expect it. Lament, the Bible filled with lament, but the Psalms of lament always end in praise, and they sometimes end in joy. And Paul said that Jesus, for the joy that was set for him, this is in Hebrews. Sorry. He endured the Cross. What’s with that? Where did that come from? Well, if you read my book, I’ll give you some details on it, but for Key Life in the broadcast, it’s good to note that you can tell if Jesus is present in a church, by how much they laugh. Now I’m not talking about laughter of derision or ironic laughter or laughter that looks down on the other people and makes fun of them. I’m talking about free, joyous, childlike laughter. Number of years ago, one of the disc jockeys at a station where they broadcast Key Life, cause I’d said something about laughter sat down and recorded people laughing. Now that was the olden days of cassettes and he filled a cassette with nothing, but just laughter. I mean, laugh, laugh, laugh. And I played it for a lot of people and every time I played it for them, they got the giggles, they started laughing and there wasn’t even a joke. There’s something catching about that. And joy is a gift of the Spirit. No, it’s the fruit of the Spirit, maybe a gift too. And it spreads like wildfire in a church. Now, I’m not into all of that laughing revivals stuff, but you can tell if Jesus is there, there’s laughter. And when there’s no laughter and there’s just sourness and beating people over the head and accountability and legalism and no laughter, you turn, and heels and elbows run as fast as you can. And Jesus will run ahead of you, because joy is a fruit of the Spirit. And when the Spirit is there, you’re free to laugh. Alright, I want to spend more time on that, but I need to keep going. Let’s look at the third in the list of the fruit of the Spirit. You’re free to love and be joyful, but you’re also free to be at peace, Galatians 5:22 again.
The fruit of the Spirit is love and joy and peace.
Now the Greek word used for peace here means a general tranquility of mind. Based on a restored relationship with God, is what Paul means in Philippians 4:7.
And the peace, Shalom of God, which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
thou has touched me and I have been translated into your peace.
What is the source of the Christian’s peace? Let me show you. It is the contentment and it’s not the contentment of the cow, that’s only good for cows. You know, we get this idea that if we can just be still, we’ll be contented and contented, you were never a promised that, peace is something different than that. It means the settling of the mind, around the reality of the Spirit. When a man or a woman realizes that not only is God in Christ, but because of the death of Christ, they are forgiven and covered and protected, then there’s peace, Philippians 4:11-12, Paul said this.
Not that I complain of want, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound, in any and all circumstances, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want.
Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe said something that I thought about and prayed for all of my life he said.
I do not possess anything I do not want. And I do not want anything I do not possess.
Oh man, let me tell you how it works. I don’t have to reach for anything other than what I have. And I don’t have to be anything other than what I am, and I don’t have to worry that I become something different than the way God created me. I’m his, and that means that the things that rob me of peace are his too.
I’m crucified with Christ.
And that by the way, is not a commandment, it’s Galatians 2:20. We’ve already been there and talked about it a lot. It’s not a commandment. It’s a statement of fact. And it’s a reality in the life of every Christian.
I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless, I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me.
And so, try it. Say, Lord, I am so envious of Sally or Jim or Jack or Mary. I want what they have and I don’t want it. Could you fix me and make me content with what I have, because you’ve given it to me and you know me right well, and you have loved me perfectly. In the stillness, give me the peace that comes from your Spirit and being in a relationship with you. I can’t tell you the number of times when things have been really hectic, and I’m a pretty intense person, when things are not going well in my life. And I’m agitated inside. You’ve heard me say, I’m old and old people are already irritated about being old, and it takes very little to tick them off. So, when I’m going through that kind of day and I’m angry and I’m upset and I’m irritated, I’m frustrated. Sometimes the Spirit says shhhhhhh, be still. And when I am, and I ask, I sense a calmness, and a peace that can only come from him, because it certainly didn’t come from me. Hey, you try it, and you’ll like it. The Scripture promises it. It’s yours and you’ll be glad and know it when it comes. You think about that. Amen.
More to explore here in Galatians five, do hope you will join us again tomorrow.
We’ve been taught that God answers our prayers with yes, no or wait. We don’t like the wait. We don’t like the in-between. I don’t wait well, I’m not that patient. I’d almost prefer a no.
That’s an excerpt from a fantastic article written by Robin DeMurga called Living in the In-Between. If you’ve been looking for some hope, amidst these hard times. You really need to read this article and you can find it in the new 2021 edition of Key Life Magazine, along with other great pieces by Chad West, Chris Wachter and of course, Steve. Grab your free copy right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also email Steve@keylife.org and ask for the magazine. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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