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Let The Church Rejoice!

"20 Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen. 21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household. 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit."
Good Morning My Beloved,
Welcome to worship this Lord's Day.
Welcome to all of our brothers and sisters from all around the world, we're so glad you're all here with us today.

There are many people today that have the notion that Christ is here to serve me, rather than that I am to serve Christ. They think the church is here to meet their needs, and if it doesn’t they drop out of church or try to find one that better meets their needs. I believe that we, as Christians, need to get back to the biblical truth, that we have been saved, in order to serve Jesus Christ.
The idea that you finally reach a point where you don’t have to work, you’re free to live for self and pleasure is contrary to the Scriptures. Any time on this earth, that the Lord gives us, we are to manage for Him, seeking first His kingdom and righteousness. As long as He gives us health and strength, we should be asking ourselves, "How can I serve Him?"
As Christians, we need honestly to evaluate our lives in light of this aim. It’s easy to fall into living for good things, but not for the best. God graciously blesses us with our families, friends, homes, possessions, work, leisure enjoyments. But if we’re not careful, these good things become the things for which we’re living. If we are truly living our life in Christ, we will be able to come through any circumstance, any tragedy without despair. Therefore, we must continually ask ourselves, "Is Christ the center of it all?"
Let us bow our heads.
Heavenly Father,
Thank You for Your Word for us today, for these wonderful reminders that we need to be content, in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. Help us to rise above our circumstances, to trust You, Your provision, Your promises of blessing for those who love You and are obedient to Your Word. Lord, thank You for this clear Word, reminding all of us of who we are in Christ. May we always be reminded of that tremendous truth, may we live our lives for Your glory.
In Christ's precious name

Today's Message: Let The Church Rejoice!

In these final four verses, there is a word that Paul repeats twice. The word "saints." It is the word which will provide for us the substance of the message, it is the word in which we will hang the truths of these four verses.

As we have studied this marvelous epistle to the Philippian church, it quickly becomes evident that they are very dear to Paul's heart. They were his crown of rejoicing, and he longed to come to them once again, if the Lord allowed. Having shared much with them, in an effort to increase their joy, and further equip them in the faith, Paul offers to them some gracious parting words. While he had done all he could while serving among them, he desired the church to remain vibrant and strong, even in his absence. 
Open with me your Bibles to the book of Philippians chapter 4. As we conclude our time in this wonderful epistle from Paul to the church in Philippi, we come to the final four verses, 20 through 23. I hope you feel as I do, that God has taken us through many marvelous truths through this portion of Scripture. It is my prayer, that though I will cease to preach from this great book, it will not cease to impact your lives.
I would like to encourage you to follow along with me as I read to set our text in our minds. 
"Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit."  
Here in these verses, Paul does not offer a deep, theological discussion, but he does offer words that were beneficial to the church in Philippi, and I believe that they remain most relevant for us, even today. We have all heard the phrase "You can't see the forest for the trees." While we must focus on those deep, theological truths at times, the simple truths offer profound hope and courage as well. We must not allow the familiar to become so common, that we lose the wonder of it all. 
Paul says in verse 20, "Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen."
Paul has just spoken of the gracious provision of the Lord on our behalf, and he urged the church to give the Lord the honor and praise He deserved. Paul has spoken much about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He will have more to say about Him in the concluding thought, but he didn’t want the church to forget or overlook God the Father. Paul was well aware of the gracious provision of the Father as well. He too loved humanity and the church. He was willing to send His only begotten Son as the sacrifice for our sin. Paul knew every blessing they enjoyed had come from the good hand of God. 
I often stand in amazement, at the grace and provision of God. He is the Sovereign of the Ages, Creator of the universe, and yet He is mindful of you and me. His love for us is without question. He continually provides for our needs, and was willing to give His only Son for our salvation. Surely then, He is worthy of our recognition, adoration, and praise!

I am certain Paul realized that God’s glory and deity were not dependent upon man’s recognition of Him or praise. God's very nature reveals His glory. He is glorious because He is God. His glory is so radiant and overwhelming, that is impossible for mankind to gaze upon it and live. Do you remember the encounter Moses had with God in the cleft of the rock? God only allowed Moses to see the backside of His glory, this passing, in turn, causes Moses face to glow so, that after the encounter that he had to wear a veil as he spoke to the people. God is radiant in His glory.

However, it is clear that Paul encouraged the church to offer the Father praise and worship. While we cannot add to His glory, we can offer the praise He is due. Within the context of this verse, it speaks of honor, praise, and worship. Paul encouraged the church to offer praise unto God the Father. He was worthy of their praise for His mighty works among them. They had received much to prompt their praise. 

Paul knew this generation was not the first to receive God’s blessing, and they would certainly not be the last. He is God, and He never changes. He was worthy of praise from former generations, and He remains worthy of praise today. He will be worthy of praise forever, throughout eternity. 

Has God not blessed us far beyond anything we deserve? 

Psalm 72:19 says, "And blessed be His glorious name forever; And may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen, and Amen."

Verse 21 "Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you."

Here Paul sends words of greeting and encourages their hospitality to others. Paul encouraged continued fellowship and graciousness among the church. All were to be received and welcomed in Christ. All were to be counted as family, being part of the body of Christ. They shared a common faith, and they needed the love and support of one another. 

I believe this truth needs to be emphasized and practiced in church today as well. If there has ever been a time in our nation’s history that we need the support and love of fellow believers, it is now! Beloved, we are all in this wondrous journey together. We share the same joys and concerns, and the same burdens. We serve the same Lord. We are all within the body of Christ, headed toward the same eternal destination. May we continue to love and support each other in the faith! 

So, in verse 22, Paul tells them "All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household."

Those who are with Paul also sent their greetings and well wishes to the church. Paul wanted Philippi to know they were not alone in their journey. Believers in Rome loved them and were praying for their well-being as well. I just think Paul loved to say that, this is the joy of all the saints.

Let me remind you that in Luke chapter 15, Jesus told the story about a lady who lost a coin, she looked all day, found the coin, called her friends and rejoiced. Then, he told another story about a man who had sheep, he lost a sheep, then found the sheep, he called his friends and rejoiced. He told a story of a man who had a son, lost his son, found his son, he called his friends, they had a feast and they rejoiced. All through the 15th chapter of Luke, Scripture says when a soul is saved there is joy in the heavens.

This reminded me of the importance of a kind word. Is it so terribly difficult to offer a brother or sister in Christ a warm greeting and a smile? We never know what challenges others are facing. Often a kind word of greeting, offered in sincerity, can brighten someone’s day, and even lighten their load. It serves as reminder to them that they are not alone. There are others with like faith, who genuinely care, and who are concerned for them.

This also served as a reminder of the expansion of the church. It would have been easy to have felt overwhelmed at times when they considered the struggles in Philippi. Paul reminded them that there were others who shared their faith in Rome as well. The church was strong, and it was growing. He wanted them to know that even among those in the household of Caesar, people had come to saving faith in Christ and sent their greetings.

I believe that we have been placed here for a purpose. We are expected to labor in our corner of the vineyard, reaching those within our realm of influence. However, it is encouraging to know that the church does not rise and fall based solely on our efforts. We will have seasons of planting, watering, and reaping. There will be seasons of abundance and seasons of drought. In the lean times around Fellowship, it is good to know others are praying for us and continuing for the Lord.

I am personally thankful for the love and grace we have received, for the abundant supply available to us. Our Lord knows where we are, He knows all too well the struggles we face, and the grace we need to endure. We were not saved and left to fend for ourselves. He daily meets our needs, through the kindness and generosity of others and He provides ample grace! 

Paul closes his letter in verse 23, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit."
Paul is again reminding them of their relationship with the Lord, and encouraged them to look to Him for needed grace. The favor and approval of men may have been nice, but it was limited and subject to change. The grace of the Lord was stable and it would endure. They can confidently look to the Lord to meet their needs.
Paul didn’t seek grace for the pastor and deacons alone. He didn’t just pray for those who were strong in the faith, and prosperous for the Lord. He desired grace for each and every believer in Philippi. He knew they all needed grace, and that grace was freely available to them in Christ. The Lord was not begrudging or partial in His offering of grace. He freely gives to those who are His.
In Closing....
I am so glad the Lord is mindful of my needs, the needs of my family, our church family. I rejoice for the relationship I have with Him through His abundant grace. I would be condemned in sin had He not loved me enough to provide for my salvation and extend His saving grace. I rest in His continued grace today. Whatever need I have, He is able and willing to supply them all. I face nothing alone, and there isn't anything that I face, that His grace isn’t sufficient to handle.
I want you all to know, I don’t have a monopoly on grace. Our Lord's amazing grace is also sufficient for your every need, and it is available to all of you. You have the same access to the Lord’s grace and provision as I do. He removed the wall of separation, providing equal access for every believer to the Father, and grace abundant for every need.
In his wonderful letter to the believers in Philippi, Paul concluded with simple instructions for everyday Christian life, but these are also essential for us to live abundantly in Christ. We must be focused and committed to offering praise and worship to the Lord. We need the fellowship and support of one another, and we rest in the grace and provision of Christ. If we continue to engage in these three efforts, our lives will be much richer and fulfilled in the Lord.
I would like to encourage you, that you have a need in your life, especially regarding salvation, I strongly urge you to seek the Lord and respond to His offer of grace. You can trust that He has the solution for whatever need you have! He always has and continues to do so for to this very day, and He will do it for you..
May it be so..
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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