By Garry Knighton
Church of Christ/North - Shreveport, La.
WHY WE CAN BE GLAD TO BE A CHRISTIAN
"Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say rejoice." Philippians 4:4.
Happiness is referred to some 13 times in Philippians.
The Philippian church was Paul's sweetheart church.
Acts 16 - background.
First church on European soil - established about AD 51-53.
Roman colony - cruel to "trouble makers."
Paul suffered much for the cause of these people, perhaps that is one reason that he loved them so much.
I Thessalonians 2:1-2.
Paul was glad to be a Christian and he wanted the Philippian brethren to be glad as well.
Are you glad to be a Christian? Why? Why would you want someone else to be?
Today let's look at four reasons, out of many, that we can be glad we are Christians.
IT MAKES EVERYDAY LIFE A CHALLENGE.
One can easily attain to the expectations of the world.
Society has its levels.
We must accept the challenges of the Christian life.
Paul did - Phil. 3:12-16.
How can we meet our challenges?
"Forgetting the things which are behind" - v. 3.
Failure to forget has killed many good plans.
"We tried that one time" - don't forget that things change.
"Someone else tried that once" - people and places are different.
"Tradition" - we have never done that before.
Forget the way it was before.
"Stretching forward for the things which are before" - v. 13.
We need something to reach for.
Illustration: Boy that tied corn on the end of a stick for a mule to follow.
We have trained ourselves to lose.
"Press on toward the goal" - v. 14.
Personal goals are important.
Congregational goals are important.
Set a goal for your life this week for the Lord's work and press on to it.
By being "perfect" - mature - v. 15.
II Peter 3:18 - "grow in grace and knowledge...".
By "walking by these rules" - v. 16.
We need to see and meet these challenges.
IT MAKES LIFE WORTH LIVING.
Philosophy of our day takes away a person's reason for living.
"God is dead" - man has nothing to hold on to.
"Everything is right" - warped lives, no one will listen to my problems.
Paul said that life is worth living.
Jesus came to make life worth living - John 10:10.
IT MAKES DYING BEARABLE.
Most people fear death.
A man will pay all he has for a few more days, hours or even minutes of life.
Hezekiah - II Kings 20.
Death is our enemy.
It takes our loved ones.
It will knock our bodies over one day.
Great news! - God has given us the victory over death.
I Cor. 15:54-57.
Death is our ticket home -- we are only sojourners here.
IT GIVES HOPE A MEANING.
To the world - hope is nothing definite.
To the Christian - something to hold on to.
Jesus is our hope - anchor of our soul - Heb. 6.
Treasures that never fade - I Peter 1:4.
There is a joy in being a Christian.
Paul had reason to be happy when he conversed with the Philippian church.
Have you met your challenges with the determination to accomplish them?
Have you let others know about Jesus to make their life worth living?
How do you view death? Are you prepared?
Do you have the hope that Jesus promised?
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