- Bible Trivia
- Ancient Of Days
- All Creatures Of Our God And King
- Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)
- Rejoice Always
According to Paul, the purpose of the church is that we, God’s people, should grow spiritually so that we increasingly attain to Christlike holiness and maturity. This principle is perhaps most clearly expressed in the fourth chapter of Ephesians, a letter that is widely regarded as the most full and developed expression of Paul’s pastoral philosophy. There, he writes that we are to attain “to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.… Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Eph. 4:13–15).
This definition challenges the kind of Christianity that is common today. For many church members, Christian faith resides in the background of their lives. They think little about the Bible or God or their own spiritual condition, and they draw from very little of the power for godliness that is available to them in Christ.Towards the ends of Paul’s benediction we find another place in this letter where he clearly states the will of God for us.REJOICE - joy, feeling joy, fruit of the Spirit, state of being rather than emotionOT associates joy or rejoicing with victory over enemies (David)Why rejoice?2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.1&2 John - John understands he is writing these things so that our joy may be completeREJOICE ALWAYS?10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.4 I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.BRIDGE12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.Pray without CeasingLuke 18:1-8 Parable of the Persistent WidowWho is Paul addressing in this letter? All the brothers and sisters…Therefore, praying together, without ceasing, matters as it leads to what is called for next in v.1811 You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.The prayer meeting, as a medium to facilitate corporate unceasing prayer is important because we come together to pray for needs, help, forgiveness, etc., and then can rejoice and give thanks together in response to the answer that comes from God.5 So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.11 When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.” 12 When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying.Judges chapter 1 shows the Israelites continuing the conquest of Canaan after the death of Joshua. They inquire of the Lord first thing. By v.18 they encounter a challenge and do not inquire of the Lord and let the inhabitants remain. The results are devastating5 So the people of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 6 And their daughters they took to themselves for wives, and their own daughters they gave to their sons, and they served their gods.Jesus in the garden - “Can you not watch for one hour? Pray that you would not enter into temptation.Armour of God in Eph. 6, after outfitted what do you do? Pray at all times.Give Thanks in ALL Circumstancesas a result of the Gospel and answers to our prayers2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.Eph. 5:14-21 see refGiving thanks in all circumstances orients our hearts and minds to the reality that all things are for your good and directed towards that end by the Sovereign God.28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.MacArthur wreck storyCONCLUSION8 I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.
Thinking on this truth caused the Scottish preacher George Matheson to grow in spiritual maturity. Matheson had often trusted God to help him manage the near-blindness that he had suffered since childhood, but he could not remember ever thanking God for this dreadful affliction. Then he prayed: “My God, I have never thanked you for my ‘thorn’. I have thanked you a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my ‘thorn’.… Teach me the glory of my cross; teach me the value of my pain. Show me that my tears have made my rainbows.”A heart and mind, focused on Christ and the knowledge of God, is delighted, dependent, and directed towards Him who brings the fullness of all these graces into our lives.
- Jesus Paid It All
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