Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rejoice in the Lord

Philippians is known as Paul's letter of joy. Despite being in prison, he is joyful. He commands the Philippians to rejoice (Phil 3:1, 4:4). If we want to obey God and be more joyful in Jesus, we need to learn from Paul. What gave him joy?

Paul's joy centered around three things: people, the gospel and Jesus.

First, Paul rejoiced in the Philippians. He loved them (Phil 1:7). He rejoiced that they were fellow participants in the gospel (Phil 1:3-4). He was confident that God was at work in their lives and would complete the work He began (Phil 1:6, 2:12-13).

Second, Paul rejoiced because the gospel was advancing. Paul did not care that he was in prison. Imprisonment gave him an opportunity to witness to Caesar's household (Phil 1:12-13, 4:22). It also gave others greater confidence to share the gospel (Phil 1:14). He knew that some people were trying to share the gospel out of wrong motives. But, he could still rejoice because the gospel was advancing (Phil 1:15-18).

Third, Paul's joy was in Jesus. Remember, our call is to rejoice in the Lord (Phil 4:4). This was the example Paul set. He was confident that whether he lived or died, he would be delivered (Phil 1:19). No matter what happened, Paul had Jesus, and Jesus would be glorified in his life or death (Phil 1:20-21).

This is the attitude we need to have if we are going to be joyful. We need to not be focused on our circumstances, but on people, the gospel and Jesus.

In Christ
Pastor Mike

P.S. I apologize if you are getting multiple updates to this post. I'm trying to get the reftagger function to work and the only way to check it is to edit, look at the post and then re-edit.