TEXT:. 1 Thess 5:16 - ESV – Rejoice evermore.
DATE: July 9, 2019
Here’s the question: “What’s the shortest verse in the Bible?” Most will say it is “Jesus wept” and the real scholars will tell me it is the 35th verse of the 11th chapter of John.
But suppose I asked: “In the Greek Bible what is the shortest verse”, not more than a handful will say it is 1 Thessalonians 5:16:, :”rejoice evermore.” What a wonderful sermon those two short verses might make. Jesus wept so we might rejoice evermore.
It’s true, you know.
When Jesus was born in a Bethlehem stable, He cried. He wept at the suffering caused by sin; He wept when death came to a friend; He cried at the destruction He saw coming to a beloved city and; He cried out upon the cross as He died to remove the sinful spots of disobedience from our souls. Jesus wept, so His people, so we might rejoice evermore.
Which takes me to the next question. Describe your congregation in one word. I can wit. Put it here:
_______________________ Now while you are thinking about it I can tell you quite a number of years ago NEWSWEEK asked, “What should heaven have?”, 74% of the respondents said there should be JOY. Just as many people said LAUGHTER should be in paradise... and only 26% said things should be serious.
So what did you put in the blank? Did you put “My church is A REJOICING church or a JOYFUL church? I know that if I asked you to describe your local Christian churches, “Rejoicing evermore” might not be among the first words you would use to describe them. People NOT in the church are convinced we are SERIOUS and BORING.
So, here’s something to think about, “Look at the Gospels and you’ll see it was usually Jesus’ critics and His opponents who were dead serious. The demons Jesus encountered, challenged, and expelled were downright miserable. But Jesus’ followers: well, they really did rejoice. The church frequently quotes an old church father who said, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” That’s true… but it’s also true the joy of God’s saved people has always been the magnet of the church. Sadly, we hardly ever hear about Christian joy anymore. And that is a great sorrow.
Far better, because of the Savior’s sacrifice and glorious resurrection to “rejoice evermore.”
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks. For Your Love, Your forgiveness, Your blessings, Your strength, Your victory. I always give thanks. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html