Rejoice in the Lord (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Epistle to the Philippians was written from Rome, and more specifically from a prison cell. Yet what is most notable throughout this wonderfully written inspiration is the mention of the words joy and rejoicing, used some sixteen times in four short chapters and each one is worthy of notation for our inspiration. In this study, we will be highlighting four verses from Philippians 4, commencing with “Rejoice in the Lord.”

Philippians 4:4:
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

Joy is something God gives as a spiritual inner quality of life, while happiness is something man has and is conditional upon circumstance. For instance, if someone gave us a fancy sports coupe, we would certainly be happy, but over time as the car wore down and rusted out, the happiness would begin to dwindle, especially when it needed servicing. However, joy can continue to bubble over into rejoicing regardless of any circumstance for it is literally a gift of God as His healing Word continues making known to us the complete fullness of His joy.

I John 1:4:
And these things write we unto you {the Scriptures}, that your joy may be full.

The Scriptures are written so that we may know the complete fullness of having joy. We are not half full of joy, and as we come to God’s Word and allow Him to be our guide, He is able to show us with indisputable revelations that we are completely full of His spiritual joy. When Paul said Rejoice in the Lord alway he was referring to an overabundance of joy to the point that it was running over.

John 15:11:
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

Rejoice is a repeat performance of having the fullness of joy. God’s instruction to us is not only to have rejoicing always, but also to rejoice again and again. Amazingly, Paul wrote Philippians 4:4 (above) from prison, yet he himself had this inner joy that was overflowing. He had the practical experience in understanding that God continually blessed his life and even though in his current situation he was incarcerated, his life continued to be full of joy and rejoicing.

Philippians 4:5:
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

Moderation means that we are to let our patience and our self-control over life’s circumstances be known. The reason that we can have patience and self-control is first and foremost that we know the Lord is at hand; He is always with us so that we need not have fear. This indeed can inspire others, believers and unbelievers.

Philippians 4:6:
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Be careful for nothing is old English and means to be anxious for nothing because God indeed will answer our heartfelt prayers. When we give to God our worries, our cares, our concerns, and our fears by supplication with thanksgiving, then we will learn to have complete trust that our care is truly in His hands.

Supplication means a specific need in one’s life, and the Scripture encourages us to make our exact needs known to God with thanksgiving, that is, to be thankful in advance for God giving us the special requests that we ask of Him (Mark 11:24, I John 5:14-15).

Philippians 4:7:
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

The peace of God is another spiritual quality of life that God freely gives to us. This peace far surpasses all human understanding, yet we can know with complete assurance that we indeed have the peace of God in our lives. As we continue in our personal prayer life to God, He continues showing us His peace that not only is in our hearts but also is guaranteed to us through Christ (John 14:27, Romans 5:1). The word keep means to watch over and to guard (us), to spiritually protect our hearts and minds from fears, because we already have the joy and peace of God in our hearts.

The Epistle of Philippians is such an inspiring revelation that it compels us to praise God for His wonderful Word, and so as the Apostle said, Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

Psalms 5:11:
But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

Philippians 4:4 (The Amplified Bible):*
Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice!

* Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

“Joy is but the sign that creative emotion is fulfilling its purpose.” ~Charles Du Bos~

“Joy is not in things; it is in us.” ~Richard Wagner~

“To be simply ensconced in God is true joy.” ~Alfred A. Montapert~

Our Heavenly Calling

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The first three chapters of Ephesians shed much light on what God has given to His Church, and to the individual believer. The last three chapters’ guide God’s Church on how to apply in practical living what God has so freely given to us. In Ephesians 3:19, God’s Word says that we have the love of Christ, and with the love of Christ we can know that we have been “filled with all the fullness of God.” How can believers truly fathom what it means to be filled with all of the fullness of God?  How can we grasp that (collectively) we are the actual habitation of God Himself?  How can we believe that we are quickened together with Christ and can we really understand that we were raised up together with Christ and how can we know that we are seated together with Christ?  How is the Church of God fitly framed together and how are believers built together into the household of God? The last three chapters of Ephesians reveal to us the “how” to know, apply, and enjoy all the spiritual knowledge in what God’s Word says we have.

Ephesians 4:1 – I THEREFORE, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation {calling} wherewith ye are called,

Paul referred to himself as “the prisoner of the Lord” because the love of Christ had captured his heart and Paul with his entire being belonged to Christ. The very first instruction on the practical side of Ephesians is to hear with our hearts God’s calling, to recognize His beseeching, and to desire His imploring of us to walk within the heavenly calling that God called us to walk worthy in:

Ephesians 4:2-3:
-2:  With all lowliness {humbleness} and meekness {to God’s Word} with longsuffering {patience toward others}, forbearing {uplifting} one another in love
-3:  Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

“Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit” is a continuous effort to live with the love of God, especially towards our fellow believers who have also been called into God’s Church.  To walk worthy of our heavenly calling, the Church must endeavor to have a spiritual unity in the bond of peace with one another. “The bond of peace” that believers can experience is literally coming to an understanding of who Jesus Christ is, for he is our peace (Ephesians 2:14), and he is what we all have in common with each other. When we begin walking worthy of God’s calling, then we will begin enjoying and also applying His divinely given spiritual love. God’s love builds up the believer as well as promotes the true spiritual unity that we all have together in and with Christ.

Ephesians 4:15-16 (Amplified*):
-15:  Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, loving truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed one).
-16:  For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various parts {you and I}), closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied {by God}, when each part [with power adapted to its need] is working properly [in all its functions], grows to full maturity, building itself up in love.

* Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.