NO. LIVERMORE — At the Nov. 26, North Livermore Baptist Church service, the congregation was welcomed by Pastor Bonnie Higgins at 9:30 a.m. to begin the service. The Invocation/Lord’s Prayer were recited. The hymns that were sung were “Since Jesus Came Into My Heart”, “Love Lifted Me” and “A New Name in Glory”. The service ended with “Go Now in Peace”. Linda Lyman is the organist and Janet Diaz is the pianist each week. Lew Lyman leads the music for the congregation each week.

The sermon, titled “Joy vs. Happiness” scripture from John 15:9-11. Pastor Bonnie began by asking “what does it mean to be happy?” We all have different answers for that question, and that is because it takes something different to make each of us happy.

The question is really, does God want you happy or does He want you to be joyful? Joy and happiness come from two different sources. Joy only comes from God above and happiness comes from our circumstances in this world. You find happiness in finding money you forgot about in a coat pocket, or a new home or new car, or even finding a new love in your life, or even that job you been wanting. If you look at this list, all are temporary, nothing will last forever into eternity.

Joy on the other hand, is given by God as a gift and will always be with you. One key point that God promises His children is joy, but He never promised us happiness. Happiness is determined by your circumstances and can change at a moment notice; it is an emotion that can come and go. Joy, God says to us “these things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” Joy is lasting and it is found in His presence.

If God wants us to have joy, where do we find it and keep it? We find joy in the trusting relationship we have with His Son, Jesus. Joy is found in the Bible about 430 times, in the words joy, rejoice, and joyful. The word happy or happiness only appears 10 times. That is because having joy is more important than being happy to God.

Joy comes from knowing that God is always with you, that He will always love you, never leave you and will always forgive you. Knowing that nothing will ever separate you from God, should bring joy to your life. Joy brings peace and contentment in your life, knowing that God will never desert you. The joy that He gives us, should bring a smile to our faces even in the trying times of our lives because He is with us.


Satan will do anything to steal our joy from us. Satan will try and have us take our focus off God and onto him and this world. Remember Adam and Eve? Satan made Adam and Eve focus on what they couldn’t have, instead of what they did have. Satan had them searching for happiness in the fruit (what was pleasing to their eyes) instead of the joy of everything else God had given them.

Joy is so much greater than happiness. Our circumstances change all the time, changing our views on this world and worldly things and changing our happiness each time. But joy brings us contentment, peace, hope, love, and life from having Jesus in our lives. The Scripture says, to rejoice always, we are not told to always be happy, but to be joyful. Joy is built on Jesus and only Him.

The announcements listed in the bulletin are that the congregation will be collecting crackers for the Food Pantry in December. Bible Study on Tuesday at 1 p.m.

You can email the church at Pastor Bonnie’s office hours are Tuesday’s from 9 a.m. to noon.

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