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Summary: This is a New Years sermon encouraging us to have joy in our hearts for the new year.

How to Have Joy All Year Long

Philippians 4:1-9

[1] Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.

[2] I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.

[3] And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.

[4] Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

[5] Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

[6] Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

[7] and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

[8] Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things.

[9] The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Well, here we are on the first Sunday of a new year.

The title of my sermon today is “How to Have Joy All Year Long”.

Recently some friends asked me why I didn’t seem to be happy.

You need to understand that people who have lost a spouse

usually have a difficult time being happy at Christmas time.

During the Christmas season we sing “Joy to the world,”

but many unhappy people struggle to get through Christmas.

It’s impossible to know what those people are going through.

In verses 1 and 4 of today’s Bible passage

Paul uses the words “joy” and “rejoice”.

The first 9 verses of chapter 4 deal with 6 topics

that might be called “Christian attitudes.”

As we begin the year 2020, these inspired words

can make this year a truly good year.

Point #1. To Have A Happy 2020, Stand Firm.

[1] Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.

The words “stand firm” are translated from a Greek word

that refers to a soldier staying faithfully at his post

no matter what happens around him.

Let the enemy attack as he will,

the soldier’s orders are clear: Stand firm!

That command was often repeated by the Apostle Paul:

1 Corinthians 15:58, “Stand firm. Let nothing move you.”

1 Corinthians 16:13, “Stand firm in the faith.”

Galatians 5:1, “Stand firm … and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Ephesians 6:11, “Take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

Ephesians 6:13, “Having done everything, to stand.”

Ephesians 6:14, “Stand firm … with the belt of truth buckled around your waist.”

Philippians 1:27, “Stand firm in one spirit.”

Colossians 4:12, “Stand firm in all the will of God.”

2 Thessalonians 2:15, “Stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you.”

Why this repeated emphasis on standing firm?

Paul had experienced the devil’s attempts

to discourage and distract the children of God.

He knew that we would be often tempted to leave our post

when Satan comes against us.

So he repeats it again and again: Stand firm!

This is where a happy new year begins.

In 2020, if you don’t do anything else, do this: Stand firm!

Point #2. To Have A Happy 2020, Settle Your Differences.

[2] I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. [3] And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.

Paul deals with a difficult problem inside the Philippian church.

Two leading women couldn’t get along with each other.

One was named “Euodia” and the other was named “Syntyche”.

We don’t know much about these women.

Paul doesn’t describe the reason for their dispute.

They were evidently well-known leaders in the church.

For whatever reason, they weren’t very friendly to each other.

We can’t tell from his words

who was right and who was wrong.

Instead of taking sides, he simply urges these two Christian women

to settle their differences.

That’s a useful principle to remember because in most disputes

it usually doesn’t matter who started it.

We do know this much.

Paul regards these women as genuine Christians

Because he says their names are written in the Book of Life.

He clearly states they had helped him spread the Gospel.

Instead of focusing on the causes,

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