Philippians 4:4-5 (NIV) Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
What can the Apostle Paul teach us about rejoicing? Apparently, A LOT! Here's a man that has been wrongfully accused and imprisoned for 4 years, and yet he still finds a reason for joy. What's his secret?
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Hey, welcome to The Simple Truth. I’m Julie Carruth.
As Paul begins winding down his letter to the Philippians, he writes some of the most popular and most memorized verses in the Bible. Today’s is no exception as Paul writes in Philippians 4 verse 4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
Now, I think even I can memorize that one. Lol. Paul says, “Rejoice.” In who? The Lord! When? Always. And that word “always” is stressed in the original Greek language. Meaning not just some of the time, but ALL the time.
Now Paul thinks this is so important, he writes it again just in case you didn’t hear it the first time, “Hey people in the back there that got distracted. Yes, you. Rejoice.”
Paul’s point is that joy doesn’t come from your circumstances. It doesn’t come from what you own. In fact, I think we can all say we’ve known people who should be the bah humbug of Christmas because of their situation right now, and yet, they ooze joy in their lives. And then there’s the opposite. Someone who’s living in the lap of luxury that should be smiling from ear to ear but instead lives with a scowl on their face and hatred in their heart.
What separates these two people? Their focus. One sees God. The other does not.
In verse five, Paul gives us another great characteristic of a Christian when he writes, “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
William Barclay writes in his commentary that the Greek word for “gentleness” is one of the most untranslatable words in the Greek language. According to the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, gentleness describes someone extending kindness when a normal response would be retaliation.
Barclay says a man displays gentleness when quote “he knows when not to apply the strict letter of the law, when to relax justice and introduce mercy.”
When the woman caught in adultery is thrown at Jesus’ feet by the legalistic Pharisees, the Jewish law required that she be stoned to death. But what does Jesus do? He has mercy on her. That would be the gentleness Paul’s talking about here.
So, your Simple Truth for today: Two incredible qualities of a Christian life are rejoicing because you know what’s most important and this is a life lived for Christ and gentleness.
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