June 25
Rejoicing in Christ
Philippians 4:4-18

Key Verse: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4

What brings great joy to you? There are some things that do, and some that don't.

I enjoy watching Auburn University play football, especially when they win. I even like basketball, baseball, and track.

I like high school sports, especially football. It is great fun to serve as the chaplain for the Opelika High School football team.

I enjoy good food, especially steak, fish, fruit, ice cream, anything chocolate. I like to eat with people at church. After all, Jesus ate with sinners.

It is fun to relax at the beach and watch the waves roll in from the Gulf. But I like the mountains even more, especially the fall of the year when the colors of the leaves are changing.

I like to travel. My wife and I have been around the world. We have walked where Jesus walked in the Holy Land. We have flown by the Alps, ridden a dog sled in Alaska, admired the colorful birds and flora in Costa Rica, and visited the magnificent Taj Mahal.

We have enjoyed sight-seeing in England, France, Germany, Austria, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Switzerland, Nepal, India, and Argentina. And I must admit that I was thrilled to have the privilege of seeing so much of this incredible world of ours.

I invite you to notice that in all of the above I did not once use the word "love." I am trying to reserve the use of that word for one purpose only -- to describe the way I feel about our Lord Jesus Christ, my family, and my Christian friends.

While it is all right to like football, a dog, a truck, or any of these other things that bring me happiness, I want to save the word "love" for the One who has brought joy, deep, abiding joy, into my life. When I have been crushed by defeat, embarrassed by my sins, perplexed by tragedy, it was Jesus alone who restored by joy and renewed my hope for tomorrow.

So, because that joy is so precious to me, and I trust to you also, I say with Paul: Rejoice