Monday, November 14, 2011

Sermon Summary

The Choice to Rejoice

Be joyful always; pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoicing is a matter of choice. You are the only one who decides if and when you will rejoice. Below are 3 Biblical guidelines to help us  rejoice in all circumstances.

To be joyful is the same as to rejoice.

1. Devote ourselves to prayer. (pray continually)
The bible commands us to do things we can't do ... apart from Him. 
The word "continually" means without ceasing. We are to never stop. Similar to a pilot and control power relationship we are to be constantly open and receptive to communication from God. He is always available to us.

2. Train ourselves to  give thanks. (give thanks in all circumstances)
Giving thanks doesn't happen naturally - it takes training. Just as children must be taught to say please and thank-you, we need to learn to develop the habit of thanking God in all circumstances.
In Acts 16 Paul and Silas were accused, attacked, stripped, beaten and flogged. After all that they were thrown into prison and place in stocks. Yet they prayed and sang hymns. 
Video clip of Helen Behrane - 
We need to quit whining and give thanks to God - we have so much for which to be grateful.

3. Keep your eyes on the prize. (for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus)
Let us fix our eyes on the Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

Jesus kept his eyes on the prize. We also need to focus on what matters most. Jesus came to do God's will as shown in Heberews 10:7. We too can rejoice when we know we're right where God wants us to be. 

Ps 16:11 says will fill me with joy in your presence...

There are only three places where we are told directly what the will of God is - 
I Thessalonians 4:3 - It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality.
I Peter 2:15 - For it is by God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.
I Thessalonians 5: 18 - give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

If you wish you could do God's will - this is it.

We need to remember that these verses are commands not suggestions or options.

Such a lot of content for such a little passage.

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