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Choose Joy

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
December 31, 2022 7:00 pm

Choose Joy

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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December 31, 2022 7:00 pm

Keith was feeling down as he trudged through the produce aisle. His hands trembled from the first signs of Parkinson’s disease. How long before his quality of life began to slide? What would this mean for his wife and children? Keith’s gloom was shattered by laughter. Over by the potatoes, a man pushed a giggling boy in a wheelchair. The man leaned over and whispered to his son, who couldn’t stop grinning. He was noticeably worse off than Keith, yet he and his dad were finding joy where they could.

Writing from prison or under house arrest as he awaited the outcome of his trial, the apostle Paul seemingly had no right to be joyful (Philippians 1:12–13). The emperor was Nero, a wicked man who would soon paint Christians with tar and set them on fire, so Paul had reason to be concerned. He also knew there were preachers who were taking advantage of his absence to gain glory for themselves. They thought they could “stir up trouble” for the apostle while he was imprisoned (v. 17).

Yet Paul chose to rejoice (vv. 18–21), and he told the Philippians to follow his example. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (4:4). Our situation might seem bleak, yet Jesus is with us now, and He’s guaranteed our glorious future. The Lord who walked out of His tomb will return to raise His followers to live with Him. As we begin this new year, may we rejoice!

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Happy New Year, and welcome to this January 1st edition of Our Daily Bread. I'm Mike Whitmer, and I title today's reading, Choose Joy.

I'm Mike Whitmer, and I title today's book, Choose Joy. The emperor was Nero, a wicked man who had a growing reputation for violence and cruelty, so Paul had reason to be concerned. He also knew there were preachers who were taking advantage of his absence to gain glory for themselves.

They thought they could stir up trouble for the apostle while he was imprisoned. Yet Paul chose to rejoice, and he told the Philippians to follow his example, declaring, Rejoice in the Lord always, I'll say it again, rejoice. Our situation might seem bleak, yet Jesus is with us now, and He's guaranteed our glorious future. Christ, who walked out of His tomb, will return to raise His followers to live with Him.

As we begin this new year, may we rejoice. Now join me as I read from Philippians chapter 1, verses 12 through 21. Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear. It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of good will. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.

But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this, I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and God's provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now, as always, Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Let's pray. Father, raise our eyes above our circumstances. We look to you alone for our joy. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. Today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-31 20:12:54 / 2022-12-31 20:14:25 / 2

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