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Rejoice in the Lord (CC)

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Sermon Text: Philippians 4:4-13 Sermon Text: Philippians 4:4-13 The Sermon Text recorded for us by the Apostle Paul in his Letter to the Philippians where we read from Chapter 4, beginning with Verse 4: REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS. I WILL SAY IT AGAIN: REJOICE! LET YOUR GENTLENESS BE EVIDENT TO ALL. THE LORD IS NEAR. DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING, BUT IN EVERYTHING BY PRAYER AND PETITION, WITH THANKSGIVING, PRESENT YOUR REQUESTS TO GOD. AND THE PEACE OF GOD, WHICH TRANSCENDS ALL UNDERSTANDING, WILL GUARD YOUR HEARTS AND YOUR MINDS IN CHRIST JESUS. FINALLY, BROTHERS, WHATEVER IS TRUE, WHATEVER IS NOBLE, WHATEVER IS RIGHT, WHATEVER IS PURE, WHATEVER IS LOVELY, WHATEVER IS ADMIRABLE -- IF ANYTHING IS EXCELLENT OR PRAISEWORTHY -- THINK ABOUT SUCH THINGS. WHATEVER YOU HAVE LEARNED OR RECEIVED OR HEARD FROM ME, OR SEEN IN ME -- PUT IT INTO PRACTICE. AND THE GOD OF PEACE WILL BE WITH YOU. I REJOICE GREATLY IN THE LORD THAT AT LAST YOU HAVE RENEWED YOUR CONCERN FOR ME. INDEED, YOU HAVE BEEN CONCERNED, BUT YOU HAD NO OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW IT. I AM NOT SAYING THIS BECAUSE I AM IN NEED, FOR I HAVE LEARNED TO BE CONTENT WHATEVER THE CIRCUMSTANCES. I KNOW WHAT IT IS TO BE IN NEED, AND I KNOW WHAT IT IS TO HAVE PLENTY. I HAVE LEARNED THE SECRET OF BEING CONTENT IN ANY AND EVERY SITUATION, WHETHER WELL FED OR HUNGRY, WHETHER LIVING IN PLENTY OR IN WANT. I CAN DO EVERYTHING THROUGH HIM WHO GIVES ME STRENGTH. This is the Word of our Lord. Let us pray: Glorious and gracious God, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of each of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, our only source of hope and comfort. Amen. [Text taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, 1973, 1978, 1984, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers] Dear Followers of our Lord and Savior, Dear Followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Michelle Bachmann's shoes. I hadn't given much thought to those. But it's interesting I saw the other day an entire webpage devoted to the shoes that that presidential candidate wears. That there's actually someone who takes pictures of her shoes, and posts them online. Kind of was a reminder to me of how silly the modern conveniences that we have are at our beck and call. Because we all know how easy it is to capture an image and to post it for the world to see it. I don't think I would ever want to put myself through the scrutiny of running for the presidency today because everyone has a cell phone, everyone has a camera, everyone is following those people around all of the time; snapping pictures of them and using them for their own agenda. Hoping to catch them doing something unpresidential or undemocratic or un-republican, so that it can be posted there for everyone to see. Who could live up to such a standard? Who could live up to that kind of scrutiny? But then I come back and think of us as Christians. And if people followed us around, video-taping what we do, taking pictures of the activities that we're engaged in, and posted them up there ... as examples of behavior of God's children. of behavior of God's children. Gives us pause, doesn't it? Because the first thing that comes into our mind are all of the things that we don't want people to see that we do that break God's Law. The ways that we don't act as children of God. That we don't put God first in our lives; that we don't live as if He has saved us from the eternal fires of hell by His grace. That He has called us to be His own. To live with Him. To live in His kingdom and to serve Him. And it is a reminder to us this morning, the importance of what the Apostle [Paul] has to say to us: To rejoice in the Lord always! He repeated it. He said: I will say it again; Rejoice! As children of God, we have so many reasons to be rejoicing! To realize that we are content in the life that God has given to us; that we can take all of our needs to our heavenly Father and address them there in prayer. That we have a God who has loved us beyond what we were capable of imagining. That He has prepared for us eternal blessings where we will be with Him ... to worship Him, to sing His praises in a place that is free from sin. As Isaiah reminded us: Where all of the tears of this life of sin and sorrow will be washed away. Because we will be in the presence of the God who created us. Who sent His Son to redeem us; to buy us back from the hold of Satan and the grip of death and decay. To be His loving children. That He has sent to us the Holy Spirit to keep us in that faith day after day living in the knowledge of the grace that is ours: That our sins have been forgiven. And our God loves us. And for that reason, we rejoice! We rejoice in what God has done and we sing His praises, 'cuz we are mindful of that need in our life each and every day. That there is not a moment that goes by that I am not thankful for what God has done for me. And for that reason I can rejoice! Because I am content. Here it is that the Apostle says that the Lord is near. The Lord is near to us. Yes! But He is also near in coming to call us to our eternal home. We are closer to that last and great Day of Judgment today than we were yesterday. And sometimes in our lives we feel anxious and we aren't content because we deal with the sin that we do every day. But how mindful we need to be that Jesus Christ took each and every one of our sins and bore that guilt ... that burden, that punishment of eternal damnation on the cross of Calvary. That He washed away our sins. That He rose victorious showing us that we, too, will rise. We will be the victors over death. The victors over Satan because we have Christ, the Victor, as our Savior. And we rejoice in that news that bolsters us up each and every day throughout whatever muck and mire we find ourselves in. Because while we are in this world, we are going to deal with Satan's attacks. We are going to deal with the world who hates us. And we are even going to deal with that sinful nature inside of each of us that does NOT want us to rejoice! That we'll find reason after reason after reason NOT to be content! Not to let our gentleness be shown to all, but to show the vile rage that can well up within us ... ... and those other people deserve it who drive like idiots. Want that little picture in that image put up there for everyone to see? It is a reminder to us to live as the children of God. The Apostle Paul remember is writing this to the people in Philippi because he is in prison ... and has been in prison for two years at this point. He said, I KNOW what it means to be content. I know what it means to have plenty and be happy. I know what it means to have nothing and be happy. I know what it means to be well fed and be content but I also know what it means to be hungry and to be content. Because he reminded himself that he could do everything through the One who gives him strength. And that is his Lord and his Savior. That Jesus Christ empowers him each and every day to live in the knowledge that his sins have been forgiven. To live in the knowledge that God STILL provides daily bread. That God STILL takes us to green pastures in which to lie down beside quiet waters. God STILL prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies. And He anoints our head with oil. That He causes our cup to overflow. The Apostle Paul knew that and he shared that with the Church in Philippi and he shares it with us. To realize that God has saved us to be His own and that each and every day He supplies what we need abundantly. That we can trust in Him. That we need to STOP thinking of those things that are sinful, that are bad, that are evil. And turn to thinking of those things that are excellent and praiseworthy, and pure. To change our minds and to control them. To get them off all of the difficulties that lie before us each and every day. And I bet if I asked you to take out a pen and take out your bulletin, you could write 10 things down that you know that are bad in your life. Or that are gonna be difficult. Or people that you have to deal with that you don't want to deal with. Those things come to our minds fast and furious. But we need to stop and think about what is good! The abundance of God in our lives. From the total forgiveness of sin. To the gift of the Holy Spirit who is daily present in activities in our life. To remind us to rejoice! And I will say it again: Rejoice in the Lord always! He has blessed us ... tremendously! And we in turn can raise our voices in praise to Him and live and show others that faith that is ours. And God has given us also a tremedous weapon to use in that struggle. That He KNOWS life in this world IS a struggle. He has given to us prayer, and He reminds us to pray in every situation, with all kinds of prayers and requests. There is nothing that is too small that God does not want to hear about from us. All of the requests that come to Him are important because we are bringing them to Him so that He can hear them and send His comfort and aid in whatever the situation may be for whatever the circumstance. There is no prayer that is too great that God will deny it because it's a huge request. He is the almighty, all-powerful God and can do anything. And He reminds us to come to Him with our thoughts and requests in life. To come to Him thanking Him for what He's done. Acknowledging Him for who He is. Come with hearts that are filled with joy and rejoice with Him. But also to bring our cares and concerns and know that He hears them. And that He will answer them in accord with what is best for our eternal will. And to trust Him to know that He knows what is best. For those times that He hears our prayers and answers them with "yes", we realize that He is blessing us. For the times that He hears our prayers and answers them with "no", we know that He is protecting us. And keeping us safe. Maybe He's wanting us to learn the lesson to trust Him more. Or to have patience. But whatever that reason, that "no" is done for our eternal good. That He is not doing things just to play with us, as if He was some kind of sadistic eternal being who enjoys seeing His creation punished and hurt. He loves us! He has chosen us to be His own. Of course we are going to spend time with Him. Active in our prayer life. Talking and discussing the daily needs of our life with Him so that we can live that life to His glory. That we can rejoice in the things that He has done. In the things that He has given to us. That we will rejoice always in the God who has loved us. Who has called us to be His own. And it is a high calling. And sometimes we do just need to be ... ... to have that reminder; that we are the light of Christ. That we are what people see as His representatives ... as His children. When we are mindful of that we will not want to do anything that detracts from the glory of God. Not want to be unloving where God is loving, or unkind where God is kind. We do that out of love and respect for everything that Christ has done for us. Let the gentleness be evident to all. Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again: Rejoice! Amen. Let us rise. Now may the peace of God which goes beyond all of our understanding, keep your hearts and your minds, and especially your lives, in the one true faith unto life everlasting. Amen.

Video Details

Duration: 17 minutes and 23 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: R & M
Director: Jesus
Views: 114
Posted by: hischild on Oct 8, 2011

This sermon, based on Philippians 4:4-13, reminds us that we don't have to be anxious about anything, but to pray with thankful hearts to the God of all peace. www.ziontorrance.info

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