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REJOICE! (Captioned)

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Text from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION from 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. This is the Word of our Lord; let us pray: This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Amen. Pastor Dave motions to the congregation to be seated before delivering the sermon for this third Sunday of Advent: December 13, 2009 Dear Followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This week I read an interesting article. An interesting article about letters to Santa. And our letters to Santa in the last couple of years, have changed drastically. Probably doesn't surprise us, that people making lists, of things that they want, have become much more demanding ... much more specific. Some of them even said at the end: There will be at least one more list to follow of things that I really have to have, before the list of things that you can just give me if you have them. (A moment passes ... giving time to consider.) Kind of interesting, isn't it, where we've come as a society? And how easy it is to let that society rub off on us as Christians. How easy it can be for us to get caught up in the things of this world and become so fixated and obsessed and anxious about what we're going to give to people this year and what we're going to get from people and will it they be happy and will it be enough and does it look cheap and I can't afford to do this. We get caught up in such turmoil! The Apostle Paul comes to us this morning and he says: Rejoice! Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Be happy! Realize the blessings that you have and the wonderful opportunity to be able to give, the wonderful opportunity to be gracious in receiving. To be able to share as one of those hearts as John the Baptist said, of a heart that is truly devoted to God. If you have two coats, give to one who doesn't have any. If you have food ... share it. Simple acts of faith. And the Apostle Paul says it's going to help us in this time of rejoicing in our life. It's realizing that our Lord is near. He is ALWAYS with us. The time of His Day of Judgment is closer today than it was yesterday, but we're happy about that! We're one day closer to our own death from this world and being with God forever! And we can rejoice in that because we know what God has done. This morning we celebrated baptism once again. And the same fact that applied to me and to you, apply to Brendon as well. He is one day closer to his death today than he was yesterday. But by the power of God and His Word today he has been given faith, the forgiveness of sins, eternal life with God. What a reason we have to rejoice. What a reason we have to take our prayer requests to God with hearts that are filled with joy. With a reminder that we can come rejoicing ... not with a list of demands. Not that we come to God only when we need Him, and only when we're sad and only when we're sick or when there's something horrible going on. But we go to Him with every single thing that excites us about our life. That has thrilled us about our faith, that we have seen Him working, not only in our life, but in the lives of others because He is here. He is with us. Today we have a person to pray for in Brendon. We also can ask God that He would inspire us to carry on our ministry. To fulfill those words that we all spoke this morning ... about how, with the help of God, you and I are going to carry out a ministry that shares the blessing of God with children. And we carry that prayer request with rejoicing to God. That we have Sunday School teachers who can teach that Word. That we have parents who are dedicated to sharing God's Word with their children. Who bring them to our school so that each and every day they have a Christ-centered education. That we have parents who will take as much time with their children about writing a letter to Santa yet every day they sit down with them and teach them how to pray. Teach them about their heavenly Father and the comfort that we have received. If we're focused on the joy that we have, the Apostle Paul reminds us that we're not going to be anxious about anything. And what good does it do us? What good does it do us to worry about what's going to happen this afternoon? Or tomorrow? Or what we're going to wear? Or what we're going to be like in five years? Being anxious about those things does NOTHING to help the situation. But we go with God with thanksgiving, with thanksgiving because we know that He is near us. That He's going to be the One who is WITH us. Even through the valley of the shadow of death ... I ... will ... not ... fear ... because God is with me. He is there with ... protecting us with His angels each and every day. But there is something today that I can be thankful for. There is something each and every day that I can look at in my heart and say: Dear God, Thank You! That this day I realize, once again, Your love. Your grace. Your compassion. That I have seen You working in this world. Spreading that Gospel out to the ends of the earth. And what joy that brings to me. And my prayers are filled with that thanksgiving. Not just with the anxieties of life and the worries that are there. Just get rid of them! The problem is we go to God with them and then we pick them up and take them back to our house. And we sit there surrounded by them all the time and they're there, every minute of every day. And we worry about them and we worry about them. I don't think we honestly feel that we'd be comfortable if we didn't have them with us. But we like to talk about how we'd like to get rid of them. Maybe some day. Today's the day. Today's the day we rejoice in what God has done for us. And how thankful we are that He is going to take care of us. And He is going to bless us. He has given to us a peace that goes beyond our understanding. That peace of God that comes into our life with the knowledge that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. That He has washed our lives free from our own sins. and the filth of that sin and the punishment of eternal death. We have a peace, and a calm in knowing that we live as the forgiven children of God ... safe in His care. Protected by His love. That that peace gives us a calm in the midst of all of the stresses and the anxieties and the troubles of this world. And anyone who is not a Christian will never understand that. They CAN'T understand it ... because they don't believe that there is a God who loves them so much that He would send His Son to die for them. That He would call them to be His own. That by the power of His Holy Spirit, He would work in them, each and every day to keep them faithful. To keep them on the path to eternal life. To be with them ALL the time. And there is our calm! There is our peace! There is the joy that we have in our salvation. And we know that some day we are going to be rid of all of this chaos and there will only be the blessings of heaven. We pray that the Lord come quickly and take us out of this world. This world with all of its sin and its corruption and its decay. to the place where He will wipe the tears from our eyes. Where we will be there and live in holiness and blessedness forever. Where there is just the joy of being with God and praising Him for all that He has done. We are so blessed by our heavenly Father. The danger is ... for us to become accustomed to it. To take it for granted. We become spoiled little children who only want more and more and more. And that's why we remind ourselves today with Paul's words, that we have a blessed privilege in taking our requests to God. Why in our prayer life, we should be active. That we should be rejoicing! And thankful. And that we should be at peace. And then we will hear those words of Paul, not only in our mind, but they will be coming out of our lips as well. We WILL REJOICE! We will REJOICE in our salvation. We will REJOICE in the gift of God's son. We will REJOICE in eternal life. 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: 12 minutes and 18 seconds
Year: 2009
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: R & M
Director: Jesus
Views: 70
Posted by: hischild on Dec 19, 2009

The Apostle Paul in Philippians, Chapter 4, reminds us that we can ALWAYS rejoice, even in the midst of turmoil, when we claim that peace the Lord alone gives us. To contact Pastor Dave: www.ziontorrance.info

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