“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” – Philippians 4:4
This is one of those great commands that we seem to mess up all the time. People who know me, know I am a pretty happy and upbeat person. The big test is when I am really me. My husband is probably the only living soul who gets every phase of me. And let me tell you, it is not always a rejoiceful person he gets to live with. Did you know that the secular Greek writers did not use the word rejoice (chairo / cairo) in their writings? The meaning of it is not how we look at it today. It does not mean to be glad or happy. It means to have a deep spiritual joy in knowing you have salvation in Christ. That is a bit deeper than happy and glad. My husband has been known to call me Debbie (aka Debbie Downer.) Ha! Of course we are allowed to be sad at times, mourn things, but we need to not be overwhelmed by them. Are you deeply grateful and joyful for your gift of Eternal Life? It brings me to tears some days with excitement and anticipation. One of my favorite sermons on this verse is by Frances Chan. He asks us to ponder why Paul says it twice. Rejoice in the Lord always, I’ll say it again, Rejoice. The Bible does not do this for any other command. Think about it, “Thou shall not commit adultery, I’ll say it again, don’t commit adultery.” God knew this would be hard for us. Listen to Frances’ sermon. It will bless your day! http://www.saddleback.com/mc/m/b0263/
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. – Philippians 3:1
There are so many Truths in the Bible yet as Pastor Mike Fabarez of Compass Bible Church preached this week we must be careful not to base our beliefs on how we feel or what others say or think. We need to trust in the Word of God only. Paul understood this truth by repeating himself over and over again. The safest thing for us to do is read the Word of God over and over again working through the Bible continually until we allow the Bible to work through us continually.
“To live is Christ, to die is gain.” – Philippians 1:21
For years I focused on the latter part of this verse. How could he even consider being hard pressed between the two? Of course I would choose to be with God over being here in this broken world. The choice for me was simple. Sadly I was not saved then and even though I thought I was a Christian, I did not fully understand the weight of what Paul was trying to express. God is far more patient than I am, in regard to sinners, but when I look at people in my family who are not saved and then look beyond to my friends, and even further still to those I do not know, and then go one step more to those I dislike, I find my pause in understanding Paul’s heart just a little more. If I live I get to share Jesus, for Jesus, for his kingdom. If I live I get to experience the joy of seeing hearts of stone turn to hearts of flesh. If I live I might gain the eagerly desired approval of my Father whom I hope will say,”Well done my good and faithful daughter!” For that I am willing to wait just a little while longer. For that I will try to be patient.