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Regain rejoicing


Nowadays TV programs focus on "Star Search" a program where aspiring actors and musicians perform before a live audience, hoping for stardom. Biblically, in Philippians 2, the apostle Paul tells us how we can become stars. It has nothing to do with musical ability or acting skills but everything to do with how we live. According to verse 15, God wants us to be lights in the world, or how we live. According to verse 15, God wants us to be lights in
the world, or, as in some translations, "stars in the universe."

The word "lights" refers to heavenly luminaries. How then do we shine as stars? Philippians 2:14 reads: "Do everything without complaining and arguing." Most of us has been around fellow Christians long enough to know that telling us not to complain is like telling us not to breathe. It is so common place to grumble. Yet, we're commanded to do all things without grumbling, to do everything without complaining. How can we do that?

A. Recognize complaining as a sin. Grumbling/murmuring was one of the fundamental sins that kept the Israelites out of the Promised Land. It is a variety of rebellion against God, a
questioning of His wisdom in running the universe, a doubting of His care. (Take note of 1 Corinthians 10:10-11).

B. Conquer Complaining. Acknowledge that complaining is a problem for us. In the words of the hymn, "It's not my brother, nor my sister, but it's me, 0 Lord, standing in the need of prayer."

C. Recognize that God uses difficulties to change us. We don't always change when we see the light, but we usually do when we feel the heat. We tend to grumble when things get difficult, but we should recognize that God uses difficulties in life to mature us (James 1:2-4).

D. Work on your heart attitude. Whatever is in your heart determines what you say. The words we say will either acquit or condemn us. And Jesus tells us that we must give an account on judgment day for every idle word we speak (Matthew 12:34-36)..

In whatever situation we should recover rejoicing. In Phil. 2:17-18 observe Paul's response to suffering. He is writing from a prison cell, yet refuses to let his circumstances dictates his attitude. Joy and rejoicing ring through his book.

How do we have the perspective and power to do all this? Verse 16 tells us to focus on the Word! It reads: Hold firmly to the Word of Life. "We should learn to memorize verses on problem areas. If you struggle with complaining, learn Philippians 2:14. When you begin to complain, the Holy Spirit will use that verse to help you.

Rejoicing Christians and joyful churches are powerful witnesses. Jesus said they are like a city on a hill which cannot be hidden - it can be seen from great distances. Are you seeking to let your light shine to others around you? Take note then that the word "disputing" implies a questioning mind. It suggests an arrogant attitude by those who assume they are always right.

With God's help (Phil. 2:13), it is possible to conquer complaining and avoid arguing, that we prove blameless and innocent, above reproach, in a fallen world. As Christians we are... "in but not of the world." Regain Rejoicing.

(Take note: Philippians 4:4-5 reads: "Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again - Rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.)

Bro. Paeng Santos

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