Rejoice in the Lord

IIntroduction:

   The Apostle Paul, in writing unto the church at Philippi, declared: “Rejoice in the Lord always:  and again I say, Rejoice” (Phil. 4:4). “Rejoice” carries the meaning: to be emotionally excited by the acquisition or expectation of good; pleasurable feelings or emotions caused by success, good fortune, and the like, or by a rational prospect of possessing what we love or desire; gladness; exhilaration of spirits; delight.

 Question:  In what does a Christian have reason to rejoice?

Discussion:

 I.                   YES, IN WHAT DO WE AS CHRISTIANS HAVE REASON TO REJOICE?

A.     Our spiritual salvation is a primary reason for faithful children of God to rejoice.

1.      The Ethiopian eunuch rejoiced after being baptized.

Acts 8:35-39, “Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same Scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.  And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water:  and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?  And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.  And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  And he commanded the chariot to stand still:  and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.  And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more:  and he went on his way rejoicing.”

B.     The honor and blessing of being a child of God.

 1 John 3:1-3, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God:  therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:  but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

C.     The blessing of assembling with fellow Christians.

 Psalm 122:1, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.”

 Hebrews 10:24-25, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:  and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

D.     The privilege to worship our God motivates us to continually rejoice.

1.      Singing is an acceptable means to express our joy unto the Lord.

 James 5:13, “…Is any merry?  Let him sing psalms.”

 Ephesians 5:19-20, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

 Colossians 3:16-17, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

2.      Giving of our means enables us to rejoice in that it provides us an opportunity to financially support the Lord’s work through the local congregation.

 2 Corinthians 9:7, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity:  for God loveth a cheerful giver.

 Acts 20:35, “I have showed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

 3.      Partaking of the Lord’s Supper

a.       While the Lord’s Supper is a solemn remembrance of the death of Jesus, we also rejoice knowing that our own salvation has been made possible by His dieing in our place upon the cross.

 Rom. 5:10-11, “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son; much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ by whom we have now received the atonement.”

4.      The studying of God’s inspired Word should be a joy for the dedicated Christian.

 Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:  for they shall be filled.”

 Psalm 1:1-2, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

5.      To express our inward thoughts and sentiments unto our Heavenly Father through the avenue of prayer should be a means of joy as we thank Him for the manifold blessings in which He has bestowed upon us.

 Philippians 4:6-7, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

 E.      We have reason to rejoice and to be thankful for life, our health, and, as free moral agents, to pursue happiness and contentment.

 Psalm 118:24, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

 Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork.”

 F.      There should be joy in our heart to see a penitent brother or sister in Christ to come forward during the assembly of the saints acknowledging his or her error and requesting that the brethren pray unto the Heavenly Father on their behalf.

 Luke 15:3-7, “And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?  And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.  And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.  I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” 

G.     We rejoice when a penitent believer obeys the gospel of Christ.

1.      Each and every soul was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26).

2.      Each and every soul is worth more than the entire physical universe (Matt. 16:26)

 H.     We even have reason to rejoice when we suffer in the name of Christ.

 1 Peter 4:12-16, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:  but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.  If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you:  on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.  But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.  Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.”

 James 1:2, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”

 Closing:

 Some day, may we hear the Lord say unto us:  “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:” (Matt. 25:34).  This will enable us to rejoice forever more! 

--Dub Mowery


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