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~

Please – No Condemnation – OK? (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

It is unfortunate and ironic that after some Christians become saved they begin to condemn themselves for either a sin committed 20 years ago or the one they committed this morning before breakfast. This propensity towards self-condemnation is within our nature, hence the difficult time accepting continual forgiveness in Christ. In I John 1:9 we read, “If we confess our sins, he {our loving Heavenly Father} is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Forgiveness is as close to us as simply asking our Heavenly Father for it and then accepting that we are cleansed from all unrighteousness.

In Romans chapter 7, we have an interesting verse of Scripture that sheds light on this subject:

Romans 7:19:
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

Wow, does this verse sound familiar to you at all? Often the state of affairs of many Christian men and women who desire to do good for the Lord is unsuccessful ― they try, they fail, and they try and fail to be good again and again. The average Christian panics and tries to find and then practice works of repentance to cover up for their sins and shortcomings in order to feel good enough to walk again with God. Nevertheless, he or she keeps on Romans 7:19-ing, and so a cycle begins that appears will never end with continual condemnation. Sometimes entire lifetimes can be consumed in this endless dilemma that all too often then becomes a way of life.

All this confusion and mental anguish over condemnation and sin comes about by not realizing that God not only forgives but that He also totally forgets; it is only we that choose to remember what God has forgiven, forgotten, and cleansed.

John 3:18a:
He that believeth on him {on Jesus Christ} is not condemned. . .

And, if we are not condemned, then, the truth is ― we are not condemned. By the way, this is why we have a Savior!

Jesus took our sins, our condemnations, our shortcomings, and our faults to his cross and buried them there at Calvary (John 1:20 and I Peter 2:24), yet man feels so inadequate at times, that he tries to dig them up and cloak himself with his old nature (see Romans 6:4 and Colossians 1:20–22). But by doing so, he denies to himself his new life and nature in Christ, which is given to shine forth from his inner heart (see Romans 8:1–18, II Corinthians 5:17, and Colossians 1:27; 3:1–2).

John 3:18a (The Amplified Bible):*
He who believes in Him {Jesus Christ} [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him {the believer} there is no rejection, no condemnation ― he incurs no damnation].” Well, praise the Lord!

Too many Christians do not believe what Jesus came to do for them (or have never seen this section of Scripture above) and imagine that God is angry or, at the very least, upset with them, and fear John 3:18b is written to them, though it is specifically addressed to unbelievers:

John 3:18b (The Amplified Bible):*
. . . But he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him {Christ}) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence] because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ’s name.]

Many Christians become indoctrinated with relentless teachings of hellfire, brimstone, and condemnation and begin accepting the second half of John 3:18 as their lot in life, all the while refuting the freedom from condemnation received through Christ’s redeeming work. This relief from condemnation should reign supreme in the foundation of our soul, as we believe on the completed work of Jesus Christ.

Psalms 32:1:
BLESSED is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Psalms 103:12:
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Well since God has forgiven us and cast our sins far away, then this should be our outlook as well. So what can be done that will help us remember that we are in the graces of our loving Heavenly Father? Thank God, for the Epistle and doctrine of Romans, for Romans covers this inner conflict of utter, self-inflicted condemnation in detail, giving believers an out, a refreshing way to break this tedious and often endless cycle of life-draining condemnation.

Romans 8:1a:
THERE is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. . .

This verse does not say, “There is therefore now condemnation,” but, “NO CONDEMNATION” and this is the will of God. Condemnation also means judgment, for there is therefore now NO judgment, and thus no fear of judgment to anticipate either now or in our future from our loving heavenly Father (see Romans 5:9, and I Thessalonians 1:9–10, 5:9). Believing this places us with them which are in Christ Jesus and permits Christ Jesus to genuinely be our Savior from condemnation and judgment. Knowing this and this alone can help make our lives free. By no means was God wasting His time having Romans 8:1 written to us because it cost Him everything, including enduring the death of His Son, Jesus Christ, to free our lives from condemnation and to redeem our lives back into the loving and forgiving arms of our Heavenly Father. Rather than thinking on condemnation, on the sin nature, and on our inadequacies, let us ponder on a wonderful section of Scripture that is spiritually awe-inspiring from the Amplified Bible:

Philippians 4:6–9 (The Amplified Bible):*
-6: Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
-7: And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
-8: For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think and weigh and take account of these things [fix your mind on them].
-9: Practice what you have learned {from the above} and received and heard and seen in me {for the above is what the Apostle Paul thought on in his mind}, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.

In verse 6 above we read, continue to make your wants known to God and only someone who does not harbor condemnation in his heart will have the boldness and confidence to ask God with a believing mind in expectation of truly receiving.

I John 3:21:
Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.

I John 5:14–15:
-14: And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.
-15: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

Once our petitions are offered to God freely without condemnation then we will begin receiving whatsoever we ask! We are currently heaven-bound and have been freed from condemnation to enjoy the eternal graces of our Creator. These things we can relish in the heart of our hearts and don in our minds because this is the truth of the Scriptures and “thus saith the Lord!”

So, Please – No Condemnation – OK!

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

Come One, Come All, and See what Is Available!

“God has called anybody who will simply believe, whether they are of Israel (Jews), or of the Gentiles (unbelievers), and because Jesus gave his life for everyone, anyone can be saved, and walk into the magnificence of all that God in Christ has made available. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance– II Peter 3:9.” ~LMJ~

Rejoice in the Lord (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

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 at times and is conditional upon circumstance. For instance, if someone gave us a Cadillac, 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, and God’s 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. Rejoice is a repeat performance of having the fullness of joy. God’s instruction to us is not only to have rejoicing always, but to rejoice again and again. Amazingly, Paul wrote this 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, even though in his current situation he was incarcerated, yet his life continued to be full of joy and rejoicing (John 15:11).

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 today 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 with “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 in 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 and serenity because 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 all around us. The word “keep” means to watch over and guard us, to spiritually protect our hearts and infuse our minds with tranquil peace. This is the very purpose for why we have the peace of God – to have peace with God. 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.”

The Walk of Love (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Sometimes Christianity can become confusing when external tagalongs fasten themselves to the believer’s walk. There are many things that appear to be a part of the Church of God yet only hinder the believer from walking in the light of God’s Word. For instance: Have you ever been told “the Bible says that you have to do this, or you need to do this?” However, the Epistles never say “thou shalt, or thou shalt not,” regarding laws or commandments, rather the Epistles give the believers almost unimaginable freedom by offering to give us whatever we need to enjoy our eternal lives with God in Christ which has already begun in our lives.

Galatians 5:1:
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Philippians 4:19:
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Anything and everything that the Epistles reveal to the believers is offered by God’s grace, and it is literally God’s love that activates our believing to receive from God. God never made the Christian lifestyle to be burdensome but rather easy to know, to live, and to enjoy. In God’s family, He is the provider for our needs, and gives us His love so that we may walk with Him being well pleasing before Him in His unending love.

Ephesians 1:4:
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.

It is man’s personal baggage, his condemnation, his own inability to be perfect which slows and hinders his personal walk and fellowship with God. But when the believer can recognize the truth that God looks at the heart and blesses our lives for believing in our Savior Jesus Christ, and that God loves us just as we are — then we can begin walking and growing in the spiritual nurturing that emanates out of God’s love for us.

I Thessalonians 3:11:
Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.

The word direct means to guide and show the way. Paul was teaching that it was God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ who guides, directs, and shows the believers the godly way in which to walk before God in His family.

I Thessalonians 3:12;
And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:

Our Lord Jesus Christ, being in us, can inspire the desire within our hearts to walk and conduct our lives within the love of God. The purpose is so we may increase and abound in love toward each other (toward every believer) and for all other people. It is true that most people have the inability to love others outside their sphere of influence, either believers from other Churches or unbelievers in their communities.

This is a great lesson in learning that God’s love transcends all human barriers, for God’s love is spiritual and is for everyone, “for God so love the world” (John 3:16). God has given to us His love and this love can only be spiritually ascertained when manifested by loving believers.

This is not a “thou shalt” walk in love commandment, but rather this is something Christ inspires within our own hearts.

As we look to God and Christ the Lord, we will find their strength in us that increases and abounds in love so that we can apply this spiritual love in never-ending abundance. When we do apply the love of God in Christ in us we will realize how terrific love truly is, for the rewards will always return back to those who apply spiritual love.

I Thessalonians 3:13:
To the end he {Jesus Christ} may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

Jesus Christ is always at work within our hearts to help us recognize and acknowledge our God-given rights of being unblameable in holiness before God our Father. This is how we are viewed (in the sight of God) at this very moment as we stand purely in God’s love, and our heavenly Father will see us this way until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ when he gathers us up to take us home in the eternity of God’s love.