Jesus is Joy to the World

Since Congressional approval on July 4, 1776 the Declaration of Independence has guided American life: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Did you catch the difference between the guarantee of our rights, but no guarantee of our happiness? You are free to pursue happiness, but it often feels like a wild goose chase where there is no goose.

As we spend the next several weeks together studying joy in Philippians, here is a preview of what awaits you as you open this book and receive God’s Christmas gift of joy for you:

  • 1:4 – …my prayer with joy
  • 1:18 – Christ is proclaimed…in that I rejoice
  • 1:25 – …joy in the faith
  • 2:2 – …complete my joy by being of the same mind…the same love
  • 2:17-18 – I am glad and rejoice with you all…be glad and rejoice with me
  • 2:28-29 – …rejoice at seeing him again…receive him in the Lord with all joy
  • 3:1 – Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord.
  • 4:1 – …brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm
  • 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
  • 4:10 – I rejoiced in the Lord greatly

One Bible commentary on Philippians says, “One of the key themes in Philippians is joy. “Joy” is mentioned in one way or another 19 times in these four brief chapters. Another emphasis is the mind. As we read Philippians, note how many times Paul talks about remembering and thinking. We can summarize the theme of the book as “the Christlike mind that brings Christian joy.” In each chapter, Paul describes the kind of mind Christians must have if they are to enjoy Christ’s peace and joy.(1) As you navigate the holidays, God wants your mind to be focused on Jesus so that you can enjoy joy as His gift to you.

Which of these Scriptures would be best to share with someone else today?

(1) Warren W. Wiersbe, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1992), 559.

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