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Categorized | From the Pulpit

You want me to do what??

Pastor Kevin Reed

Grace Evangelical Free Church 

“Rejoice in the Lord Always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” – Philippians 4:4

I need to admit something.  I have known this verse for most of my life.  It goes all the way back to my Sunday school days as a little kid when we would sing the song. Do you know the song? We would even sing it in a round! You’re welcome, because if you just sang it in your head like I did, it will be stuck there for the rest of the day, haha! While I may have known this verse for most of my life, it’s still a really tough one for me to live, especially these past couple of weeks. What is there to rejoice in? We’re quarantined to our homes, can’t go to work (most of us), can’t go to school, can’t go to church, can’t, can’t can’t….the list could go on and on.  

At first glance you might think, “surely a verse like this must have been written by someone in the midst of a season of life that was full of blessings, because if they were living through what we’re living through they wouldn’t have written that!” But when you look into it, you will find that this book is written by the Apostle Paul (for a list of the “joys” he experienced in his life you can consult 2 Corinthians 11:23-28) whose life after turning to Jesus was filled with difficulty upon difficulty. It was written to the body of Christ in Philippi and it was written by Paul when He was in jail. Take all that into consideration and read that verse again. Here is a guy who has had his life threatened numerous times and has faced opposition everywhere he went, and as we know from history, he will ultimately give his life because of his work for Jesus. He is in prison for doing nothing more than preaching the good news that Jesus saves. He doesn’t know what tomorrow will bring, and he probably doesn’t even know what the next hour of his life will bring. And he pens these words, “Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!” 

How can he say such a thing? I would dare to say because he knew something we need to be reminded of today. “I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.  I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him…”(Philippians 3:8,9). He knew that Jesus was enough. Knowing Jesus and having a relationship with him was enough to find joy even in the midst of difficulty. Being “in Christ” was enough for Paul to where he could be without everything else. Simply put, he could rejoice because nothing else mattered except knowing Jesus, because Paul knew that if he knew Jesus everything else would be okay. Jesus was enough for Paul; the question I need to ask myself today is, “is he enough for me?”  The answer: “YES HE IS!”  So let’s say it one more time, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice!” 

The choice is yours. What’s it going to be?

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Ray Winnie
Kent County Credit Union


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