Summary: Paul urges believers to focus on rejoicing in Christ all throughout their days, and not just during coorporate worship.
Date Written: February 14, 2001
Date Preached: February 14, 2001
Church: BBC (PM) Wed Night
Series: Great Imperatives for the Christian Walk
Title: The Imperative Regarding Rejoicing
Text: Phil 4:1-7
v.4 – “…rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, REJOICE!”
Looking back at some of the imperatives of the Christian walk that we have shared we find that we have covered quite a distance and quite a few subjects. [GO OVER PAST WEEKS – use overheads]
Here in tonight’s passage we find the Apostle Paul writing the church in Philippi from a prison cell. Paul had also spent some time in prison there in Philippi. After being beaten, Paul and Silas were able to experience the joy of worship in the midst of very unfavorable circumstances.
In this chapter Paul is determined to get across the message that with God there is NO circumstance to great to overcome. In this particular imperative Paul reveals to the reader the SOURCE of his and our joy. Paul recommends a positive mental attitude that is characterized by optimism and hope…even when the circumstances of life are unfavorable to you!
The Philippian believers needed this encouragement and exhortation, and we as a congregation and all throughout today’s church we need it! This is because we have something to rejoice about! We have something to be glad in! Jesus desired that his disciples experience a fullness of joy (joy that only comes from God)
This world is in a constant negative and UNJOYFUL state. This world needs a view of God that is joyful! Today there are many people that live defeated lives and are in great despair because they search for joy and happiness in the wrong places and wrong things.
I want us to take notice at just what Paul WAS saying to the Philippians. Paul did NOT say, “Rejoice in your health!” because we know that your health can fail, or it can be taken away from you by disease or accident.
Paul did not say for us to rejoice in our wealth, because you may not have wealth or if you do there may be a time when you can lose it.
Paul was not telling the Christians in Philippi to rejoice because of their friends because friends can come and go, people are fickle and cannot be relied upon.
Paul did not tell them to rejoice in their families because of the same reason…people can and will let you down and disappoint you. In fact family can be a great source of UNHAPPINESS for many people.
What Paul WAS saying here to the Philippians was that they should rejoice in the LORD! Like the Philippian Christians we TOO should rejoice in the Lord.
This message was originally sent to the church in Philippi, but the message is universal to all the church…to all believers! We cannot place our faith in this world, we cannot rejoice in anything this world has to offer because ultimately it will let us down!
We must place our faith and rejoice in the ONE person that will never let us down and that is Jesus Christ our LORD! Rejoice in the Lord, and again I say REJOICE! Paul was excited when he wrote this message to the Philippians.
What Paul was telling them [and us as well] to do was to take an inventory of what give them purpose and meaning in life. He wanted them to value what was really valuable and that is Jesus!
Let us rejoice in the Lord’s PERSON:
The God that we serve is a moral God. HE is a God of integrity who is characterized by righteousness and dependability. He never makes a mistake and is never caught by surprise. He will never conduct Himself in a way as to disappoint us because He is a God of Holiness and Love. We should rejoice that He is the kind of God that He is!
Let us rejoice in the Lord’s PURPOSE:
All of God’s purposes toward us are purposes of love, and He deals with us according to HIS perfect wisdom. He knows our past, our present and our future. No evil is in Him and no selfishness is in his purposes toward us. God’s Will is that NONE of us should perish, but that we ALL would experience salvation and an abundant life here on this world.
Let us rejoice in the Lord’s PROMISES:
The Bible is a book that contains many promises from God to His children. We need to discover these promises and respond to them in faith and obedience. By HIS promises God uplifts us and encourages us in our daily walk with Him.
Let us rejoice in the Lord’s POWER:
Our God is not a weak God. He is the Creator God of the Universe; He is the one who sustains all of creation. He provides good things for us. In His strength we can resist the evil of this world and the evil of the enemy. Through His strength we can become what He wants us to be and we can achieve what He desires us to achieve. We MUST rejoice in God’s in-exhaustible SPIRITUAL power…that is available to all those who serve Him and seek after His guidance.