Summary: Pentecost 21(A) - Believers are able to rejoice in the Lord always for a number of reasons. God's peace guards our hearts and minds. God's word guides our lives into truth. God's strength gives us eternal life.
“REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS” (Outline)
October 17, 2010 -
Pentecost 21 -
INTRO: Are you happy all of the time? Today’s text says: “Rejoice always!” God would have all be-lievers be happy all of the time. In this sinful world there are times of sadness. We face daily difficulties, troubled times, and tempting trials. Still the Lord God Almighty gives the believer joy. "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance" (JAMES 1:2,3). Yes, even in trials “consider it pure joy”.
Our theme today is “REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS”.
I. God’s peace guards our hearts and minds.
II. God’s word guides our lives into truth.
III. God’s strength gives us eternal life.
I. GOD’S PEACE GUARDS OUR HEARTS AND MINDS.
A. Philippians is a letter of joy even though the apostle Paul is in prison. Paul is still God’s dear child.
1. Verse 5. The believers’ joy would be seen in their humility, their gentle spirit to and for all.
2. Verse 6. Joyful always? Yes, by prayer. Not just prayer but thankful prayers praising God.
B. Verse 7. God’s peace would guard the hearts and minds of these believers. They would have joy.
1. God’s peace is not peace as the world understands peace. God’s peace is forgiveness.
2. Forgiveness for sins. Forgiveness for undeserving sinners. Such peace goes beyond reason.
C. Our world is always in the midst of wars and rumors of wars. There is never any peace among men. It is important for believers to understand that peace of God that goes far beyond human understanding. We sin daily. We sin much. Our sins slap God in the face. Our natural desire from birth makes us God’s enemies. By grace (God’s undeserved love) God forgives our sins. Our souls are at peace with God. "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed" (ISAIAH 53:5). God’s peace guards our hearts.
D. All too often all too many do not think that they need God. Many reject God’s peace because they do not want to hear anything about their own shortcomings. All of us need God. All of us oppose God’s perfect will. On our own and by ourselves we are lost and condemned creatures forever doomed to eternal punishment. "The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so" (ROMANS 8:6,7).
“REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS”.
We are forgiven. God’s peace guards our hearts and minds.
II. GOD’S WORD GUIDES OUR LIVES INTO TRUTH.
A. Paul is in prison. The believers in Philippi are not happy that Paul is kept from being with them.
1. Paul wants these believers to trust in the word of God. God’s word is to guide them in truth.
2. Verse 8. Rather than revenge against authority think of everything excellent, praiseworthy.
3. Believers occupied with this list of good things will be able to chase away wicked thoughts.
B. Verse 9. See God’s goodness in the lives of faithful believers. Follow good Christian examples.
C. God’s word is truth. This is the simple and trustworthy basis of our Christian faith. This is also one of the great challenges every believer faces in today’s society. We live during a time of “relative truth”. Each one determines what is truth relative to his or her personal feeling at the moment. We proclaim: “God’s word is truth”. Many will counter by saying, “That is your truth. It is not my truth!” How do we then overcome the challenge of this evil absurdity of “relative truth”? Not only do we declare the truth of God’s word we also need to live lives filled with the truth of God’s word. "When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light…." (PROVERBS 6:22,23a). God’s truth guides us.
D. The temptation in our lives today is to think that there is no one more important than us. This is the philosophy of our society that can easily creep into the fabric of our lives. “Look out for number one” is the mantra of our selfish, sinful nature. The followers of Christ do not live that way. We are concerned about the lives of others. We rejoice in the blessings that God has given us. We want others to have that same joy in today’s wicked world. "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself" (GALATIANS 6:2,3). We love God above all things. We love our neighbor as ourselves. God’s word guides us into all truth.