Rejoice In The Lord

                          REJOICE IN THE LORD 
                        Philippians 4:4

INTRO: God's people are to be a rejoicing people; a happy people. They
have more to rejoice about than anyone else. To think that Chris­tianity
demands a constant sad and sober counte­nance is a fallacy. Jesus did
not hesitate to take his part in a happy occasion at a wedding feast in
Cana of Galilee. He noted with dis­appointment those who imagined that
to be reli­gious was to be "of a sad countenance" (Matt. 6:16). Such an
attitude as rejoic­ing is imperative in the lives of Christians.

I. THE COMMAND
    A. "Rejoice ..."
        1. Means to "feel great joy or delight" (Webster).
         2. A command; therefore to be obeyed.
    B. Why we should rejoice.
        1. For our own sakes; no virtue in the constant melancholy.
        2. For the sake of others; our gloom will make others miserable; joy
            is a contagious thing.
        3. For the sake of our work; joy is invigorating.
        4. For the sake of Christ; it pleases and honors him.

II. A LIMITED COMMAND
    A. "Rejoice in the Lord ..." (text).
        1. The source of all the Christian's rejoicing.
        2. Not much to rejoice about out of Christ.
    B. Rejoice in the things that pertain to him.
        1. In his body, presence and service.
        2. In his love, receiving it and returning it.
        3. In his service, delighting to do his will.
        4. In his blessings; heavenly citizenship and its inheritance are ours in Christ.
        5. In the salvation that he gives (Acts -39).
        6. In the triumph of his faith (1 Cor. 13:6).
         7. In the fellowship he provides (1 John 1:3, 7).
        8. In the hope he instills (Rom. ; Heb. 3:6).
        9. Because our names are written in heaven (Lk. -20).

III. A PERPETUAL COMMAND
    A. "Rejoice in the Lord always ..." (text).
        1. As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing" (2 Cor. ).
    B. Conditions under which we are to rejoice.
        1. Prosperity and adversity (Hab. -19).
        2. Among friends or behind prison bars.
            i. Philippian letter was written while Paul was a prisoner – yet its nt tone
                is one of joy.
            ii. Paul and Silas had more joy in a dungeon than the ones who put
                them there
there (Acts )!
        3
. In sickness or health (Matt. 9:2; 2 Cor. 12:7-10).
        4. When favored or persecuted by man (Matt. ; Acts ).
        5. In life or ( Rom. 14:7-9).
        6. Even when sin abounds, for where it abounds, "grace doth much
            more abound" (Rom.
).

IV. AN EMPHASIZED COMMAND
    A. "And again I say, rejoice ..." (text).
    B   It's repetition carries two implications:
        1. It is important - worth repeating.
        2. We may sometimes be slow to heed it.
        3
. Too often disposed to whine, fuss, complain and murmur
            (1 Cor.
; Jude 16).

V. THE MARVELOUS RESULTS
    A. Dissension will disappear.
        1. The command given as a remedy for personal strife (Phil. 4:2-4).
    B. Murmurings will cease.
        1. They will be lost in sweeter tones of joy.
        2. A murmurer is never a happy person - he is too busy hunting
            something to complain about.
    C. Personal attraction will be greatly enhanced.
        1. Results - more and better friends.
        2. Hence, our personal influence will be greater.
        3. No one likes to be around a grouch!
    D. The church will radiate a more cheerful influence and atmosphere
         if its members do.
        1. "More flies are caught by a spoonful of honey than by a barrel full
            of vinegar."

CONCLUSION: As God's people, let us remember this command.
We have a multitude of things to be joyful about; let us appreciate
them, and rejoice over them.