I try to walk everyday, and I take my dog Jug with me. He hears my voice inside the house, and he stands by the door until I come out. He is visually impaired, yet somehow he knows I am taking him for a walk. He must smell the leash in my hand. Immediately he starts to yelp, bark and run in circles around me. He is so happy. It almost seems that there is a smile on his face when he is barking. He continues to run two feet in front of me and return to me barking and jumping in the air. It is quite evident how happy he is to go walking with me. Eventually he calms down and trots happily out the driveway because he is walking with his master.
As we walked, the verse from Philippians came to mind, “Rejoice in the Lord alway and again I say rejoice.” It is interesting how the Lord used the actions of my dog to teach me about a simple attitude of rejoicing. I decided to do a word study on the phrase, “rejoice in the Lord.” Here are some of the results. It is amazing how these definitions describe my dog’s behavior when he was anticipating my presence with him.
Ps 33:1 Rejoice -i.e. to shout (usually for joy):–aloud for joy, cry out, be joyful (greatly, make to) rejoice, (cause to) shout (for joy), (cause to) sing (aloud, for joy, out), triumph.
Ps 97:1 and Isa 41:16- Rejoice-a primitive root; properly, to spin round (under the influence of any violent emotion), i.e. usually rejoice, or (as cringing) fear:–be glad, joy, be joyful, rejoice.
Isa 61:10 Rejoice- a primitive root; to be bright, i.e. cheerful:–be glad, X greatly, joy, make mirth, rejoice.
Joe 2:23 rejoice- a primitive root; probably to brighten up, i.e. (figuratively) be (causatively, make) blithe or gleesome:–cheer up, be (make) glad, (have, make) joy(-ful), be (make) merry, (cause to, make to) rejoice, X very.
Hab 3:18 rejoice- primitive root; to jump for joy, i.e. exult:–be joyful, rejoice, triumph.
We learned from the sermon series on “Christ is All, Christ is All in All” that Christ is ever present with us. He resides within the believer. He is wholly present, everywhere and all the time. He is our sufficiency. As believers our attitude should be one of “shouting or singing with joy.” Knowing that Christ dwells within us should make us spin around with such happiness. We should have an attitude of victory over sin and allow no opportunity for self defeat. Our countenance should reflect bright cheerfulness. As believers we can rejoice in the fact that our Master is always with us, and He will never leave us or forsake us. He is our All! He is All we need, All we want and All we have.
Ps 46:1,”God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” This verse helps demonstrate the theological truth that “Christ is All and in All”. As discussed in a previous blog we discovered that Christ is the believer’s refuge, and that God had established “cities of refuge” for people who had accidentally killed someone. We also see that Christ is a very “present” help in trouble. He was “present” when David’s life was being threatened by King Saul, his son Absalom and in battle. He was “present” when David as a lad volunteered to fight Goliath, the Philistine giant.
God tells Joshua in Jos 1:9″ Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” What a very comforting and encouraging thought to know that God is with you wherever you are.
Another example would be when God led the Israelites out of Egypt. He went before them in the day with a pillar of cloud and at night with a pillar of fire. They could see his presence.
In John 14: 18-23, Christ promises not to leave us comfortless, but to make his abode with us. We have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. While He can’t be seen, He is there because scripture says so. There is no reason to fear because the Eternal, Holy God indwells the believer. When the trials of the world are overwhelming flee to Christ who is the believer’s refuge. He is a very present help in trouble. There is no need to feel pinned in, overwhelmed or defeated. Christ is always near and always hears the cry of the saint. Scripture testifies of that intimate, personal assurance that Christ is present.
Today’s sermon is a continuation of last week’s “Christ is All”. There were three major points from last week: Christ is all we have, Christ is all we want, and Christ is all we need. Today we will focus on three more important ideas regarding Christ as All in All.
1. Christ is chiefest.
The Song of Solomon is full of symbolism which intimates of one to come , a Redeemer, who is above all. In Song 5:10(“My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand,”), we understand that the word chief presents a picture of a banner elevated above all others. The word white describes His purity, while the word ruddy or red hints at his blood sacrifice for our sins.
In Song 2:1 (” I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.”), the emphasis is on the word “the”. He is “the” ,not ,”a” rose of Sharon. He is “the” ,not ,”a” lily of the valleys. He is above all the others.
In Isa 6:3 (“And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.”) the seraphims describe Christ’s purity above all of creation. Christ is just not white, He is a dazzling white.
2. Christ is the chief cornerstone.
In 1Pe 2:6, (” Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.”) The chief cornerstone holds the building together. Again, the word “the” is of importance because He is not “a” stone, but the chief cornerstone. In this verse, He is also described as precious. Do we as Christians show His preciousness in our manner of living or do we as the little stones exalt ourselves above the chief?
3. Christ is the Christ of God.
In Lu 9:20, (“ He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.”) we have the word “The” again. He is “The” Christ of God, not “A” Christ of God. In Joh 14:6, (” Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”) the word “The” is emphasizing way, truth and life. It is by Jesus or Christ that one can only come to the Father. He is the only way. You cannot come to the Father by way of Islam, Mohammed, Confucius, Buddha or even the Pope. There is only one way, and that way is Christ.
In conclusion, Is “The” Christ sufficient for you? Is He all you have, want or need?
The speaker in this full length video is Pastor Daniel Kaminski of Grace Baptist Church, Kittanning PA.
The title of today’s sermon in the worship service was “Honeymoon to Honeymoan.” It was a description of the relationship with God and Israel and then carried through to a description of Christ and the Church. I want to focus on the relationship with Christ and modern day Christianity. The “Honeymoan” aspect of the relationship is a picture of our own culture. Pastor Kaminski stated that one of the reasons for the “Honeymoan” stage is because Christianity is obsessed with being culturally relevant. It seems we as Christians are more concerned with fitting into society than with being committed to the covenant we have with Christ. As Christians we are to be separate from the world because we are strangers here, we are not of this world. When there is no obvious difference between our behavior and that of the world, then communication has broken down between the groom, Christ, and the bride, the Church or believers. Pastor asked this question, ” Does the Lord seem to be somewhere else?” “If God does not seem close, then who moved?” In Re 2:4 Christ says to the church at Ephesus, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” And then to the church at Laodicea in Re 3:20 Christ says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” It is apparent that the one who has moved out of the relationship is the church or believer. God didn’t move, He is always the same as stated in Heb 13:8,” Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”
Does Christ seem aloof ? Do other things take priority over prayer, Bible study and worship? Is God just along for the ride or is He the driving force in your life? Have you been walking in the flesh more than in the spirit? If so, examine your heart and mind. If Christ is knocking at the door, open the door and renew your relationship with Him.