READ Matthew 13:44-46
Note: translations vary, but in some, verse 44 says “in his joy, he goes and sells everything he has and buys that field.”
What strikes you about this passage? What questions does it raise for you? Does anything resonate with you personally? Does anything make you uncomfortable or confused?
Consider the relationship between desire and delight. How does the Kingdom of God provide satisfaction of desire in this parable?
REVIEW Galatians 5:22-25 [the sermon theme for this year]
READ all of Matthew 13.
Note that in multiple illustrations to explain the Kingdom of God, this chapter uses imagery of good fruit. What does that ad to your understanding of the Kingdom of God, the Fruit of the Spirit, and in particular, what JOY has to do with these things?
There is a challenging complexity to the ownership involved in the work that brings about the Fruit of the Spirit. As much as might consider ourselves to have a responsibility to garden in such a way as to bring about fruit, passages like Dan has been preaching on [John 15] indicate God as the gardener doing the pruning. Joy too, is such an emotional thing, that it is hard to forcibly manufacture. Has true spiritual joy ever sprung up in your life? What do you think did contribute to that experience? Between your experiences and these passages, what does it look like to participate in God’s purposes and see fruit born in your own life?
READ Philippians 3:7-11
Describe how you see joy being illustrated in these verses. How do these verses illuminate a qualitative difference between that which holds joy and that, which does not?
For more study into this passage and theme, check out John Piper’s series: “Jesus and the Journey to Joy” [part 4 touches on these particular verses]
Apply Yourself to This Message:
Where have you discovered the Kingdom of God? How have you sacrificed to take hold of that treasure? How might you make this discovery or sacrifice?
How deep are your desires? For what do you settle that God wants to more deeply satisfy in another way?