This is post #21 of a 26-session blog series entitled Two Joyful Pastors – One Great Work of Christ: A Journey with Paul, Timothy, and the Philippian Church. It was Eugene Peterson who said that Philippians is Paul’s happiest letter. Join us as we explore this joyful work of Christ as it manifest itself amongst Paul and Timothy, and the early church of Christ-followers in Philippi. Just maybe, we might learn a few secrets to finding true joy in the midst of our lives as well. Here’s the homepage for the entire series.
Today’s Lectio Divina: Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in Him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute! Philippians 4: 4-5 (MsgB)
Life is hard. Right?
Life has its disappointments and failures. Right?
Life can actually hurt. Right?
And, for those of us who are Christ-followers, sharing in the sufferings and death of our Master, it’s easy, at times, to fall into a mindset that says, “When it comes to living in this fallen world, the glass is certainly half-empty!”
But, despite the circumstances that surround us, or might I say, because of the circumstances around us, it’s vitally important for us to remind ourselves, on a regular basis, that these dark and dreary days will not last forever.
In truth, if you and I are to live out the fullness of the Gospel, we need to embrace not just the sufferings of Christ, but also the over-whelming, bubbling-over, bouncy-boldness of celebration found in the Good News message of Jesus.
You see, here’s the truth:
God is good. God has everything in control. God is smiling. God is redeeming. God is loving. God, through the work of His Son Jesus, is celebrating the fact that all things work together for our good. And that same Jesus who did all that good stuff two thousand years ago is coming back soon. Not to scold us or shame us, but to return us back to our truest self. Our redeemed self. Our rescued self. Our wildest dream of being loved, protected and accepted self. All these things are coming true in Him!
It’s in this truth that Paul and his friends in Rome (even while imprisoned for the sake of Christ) can say with boldness…
Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in Him!
Webster’s dictionary defines celebration this way:
To acknowledge a significant or happy day or event with a social gathering or enjoyable activity.
Yahoo! This is your celebration!
Celebrate good times, come on! (Let’s celebrate!)
There’s a party goin’ on right here,
A celebration to last throughout the years.
So bring your good times, and your laughter too,
We gonna celebrate your party with you!
Let’s all celebrate and have a good time!
We gonna celebrate and have a good time!
It’s time to come together,
It’s up to you, what’s your pleasure?
Everyone around the world,
Come on and celebrate, tonight!
(Celebrate good times, come on!)
‘Cause everything’s gonna be all right!
(Celebrate good times, come on!)
As I see it, we Christians should be the happiest, the most joyful, the most loving, and the most hospitable people to be around.
Because, despite all the ugliness, pain, and hardship this world can offer, you and I have been given, through Christ, everything we need to make through this world and into the next.
Indeed, folks, everything’s gonna be all right.
Let’s celebrate good times. Come on!
Today’s Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, that for us earth-dwellers, there is, indeed, a reason to celebrate! A reason to party! You have come. You have overcome. And You will come again. Holy Spirit, gift me with an inner joy that washes over the pain and suffering. Give me moments of true celebration. And allow that joy to bubble over to others. For Your Name’s sake and for Your Glory. Amen.
Today’s Questions to Ponder: in Hebrews 12: 2 (Berean Study Bible) it says:
Let us fix our eyes on 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.
So, am I drinking from the cup of celebrative joy found in Christ alone? Have I allowed myself to let go and let God, becoming childlike in the spontaneous joy of the Good News of Jesus? If not, what might it look like for me to walk into that joy set before us today?
So, how are you experiencing Jesus as we ponder together on this journey into the Book of Philippians?
Two Joyful Pastors – One Great Work of Christ: A Journey with Paul, Timothy, and the Philippian Church. We hope you’ll enjoy this series of 26 blogs. Here’s the homepage for the entire series.
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