Sunday, December 23, 2018

December 23, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Again I Say, Rejoice | Philippians 4:4-9

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December 23, 2018 | Pastor John Bayles | Again I Say, Rejoice | Philippians 4:4-9

Fourth Sunday of Advent: Again I Say, Rejoice
Philippians 4:4-9

Joy and particularly rejoicing were at the center of everything Paul shared in his letter to the Philippians. In this text, he returns again to this theme. It is amazing really that Paul repeated this exhortation so often, "rejoice!" This is most particularly true, knowing the historical context from where Paul is writing – a prison in Rome. He makes the case, I rejoice in my captivity and chains, but God has given me the opportunity, the unheard of opportunity to be a witness for Christ to all of the palace guard, and “everyone else!” How often have we felt that we can’t do this or that, because we're hindered by something? We become afraid to some degree. At almost any point of loss, discouragement sets in. Whether unfulfilled hopes and desires, pain and suffering of ourselves and others, what is our response? Anger? Rejection of God? Irritation with others? Fear? Ranting? What is Paul’s response to that? We will see in this text that the answer is don’t be anxious about anything, let your gentleness be evident to all, pray, and continue to pray about everything, keep a keen eye out for every evidence of the Lord’s presence in everything, follow the example of others who have walked where you’re walking now, and remember to rejoice, because the Lord is very near. And, just in case you forgot, remember to rejoice and again don’t forget, rejoice!!!!

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