In Philippians 4:4 we are commanded to “Rejoice in the Lord always!” That is quite a remarkable command given that we had already been warned by Christ that life won’t always feel good (cf. Jn.16:33). But the directive is given and our response is expected just the same. Perhaps at some point in your Christian life you have humbly sought to implement this instruction, even when life was painful. If you have, you may have discovered that it is not only possible, it is often the catalyst of a whole new and energizing perspective. Consider the person God used to write this command. The Apostle Paul was unjustly imprisoned and robbed of his “freedom” when he was moved by God to pen these words. First century incarceration is probably not the backdrop we would imagine for a broad and direct call to rejoice in God. However, it’s true. As Paul sat in prison he was able to find strength and hope as he recounted God’s goodness and oft-overlooked reasons to be thankful (cf. Phil.1:12-30). So, no matter what is going on in your life this week, remember these words and put them into practice. It would do us well to “rejoice in the Lord always!”
-- Pastor Mike
There are no stupid questions. Teachers in the classroom often use this didactic phrase to remind us that if we have a question about something, we shouldn’t be afraid to ask. And when it comes to the most important subject of all, the same rule applies.
As Christians, we can be timid in regards to our questions and doubts about God, the Bible, and living the Christian life. But asking hard questions actually prepares us for our task as followers of Jesus to always be “prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). At Focal Point, we aren’t afraid to ask tough questions. And we are firmly committed to studying and searching God’s Word, the authority on truth, for answers.
As a thank you for your gift this month, I would like to send you a copy of an excellent book called The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask. Author Mark Mittelberg provides answers to tough questions like “How can I trust in Christianity when so many Christians are hypocrites?” and “Why should I think that heaven really exists—and that God sends people to hell?” You will also find helpful tips for how we can respond to these challenges with truth and grace. The book even includes a chapter on the questions our friends need us to ask them.
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