Friday, December 23, 2011

Transcending joy

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Philippians 4:4-5

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Paul wrote the book of Philippians from prison and the permeating message is that joy comes from Christ alone. In fact, the subheadings of each chapter in my Bible are: joy in suffering, joy in serving, joy in believing, and joy in giving.


Because the Lord is near (5). Not "near" as in: we're in the end times and Jesus is going to come back...      near as in here. With us now.

Let me repeat...Paul wrote this letter from prison and encouraged people to rejoice even though their circumstances weren't ideal.

I looked up several key words from this passage in a Greek Lexicon in order to get a better meaning of them. Three of them stood out:  Peace - Transcends - Guard.

Peace describes the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthy lot of whatever sort that is.

Transcends means to rise above and be superior.

Guard is not like a mall security guard or even a prison guard, but... to protect by a military guard, either to prevent hostile invasion, or to keep the inhabitants of a besieged city from flight.

How do we receive this peace? By presenting our requests to God by prayer and petition (asking) with thanksgiving.

 God has placed a military guard around our hearts and minds. Praise Him for that!

We're protected by the One superior to all in Heaven and on earth, and for that we can truly rejoice!

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