Sermon for Saturday

That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again. Philippians 1:26

When you arrive, do people smile at you because they are well mannered or because they are actually delighted to see you? We all know people whose arrival is always a special event, and others whose arrival is always met by inward groans. Most of us fall somewhere in between. The apostle Paul speaks of rejoicing in Philippi when he shows up. The best example of how to make sure our appearance is a welcome sight is given us by the Lord Jesus, during His life.

Not everyone was glad to see the Lord Jesus, of course. When He was born, Herod was bent on killing him, but the shepherds rejoiced. When He began His ministry, the scribes and Pharisees were miffed but the common people thronged to see Him and hear Him preach. When He entered Jerusalem, the priests and Sanhedrin ignored Him but the children danced and sang. When He was hanging on the cross, one of the malefactors cursed but the other blessed Him. But if we dwell on those who recognized the Lord Jesus for Who He is, we can see that His arrival on any scene was cause for pleasure, joy, and blessing. It was all because His life was lived to fulfill His Father’s will. That’s what you and I can do if we want others to rejoice when we arrive.

Jesus devoted His life to serving others. He helped everyone He could, had kind words and gentle comfort to many, and showed compassion to all who were hurting, grieving, and troubled. The needs of others were more important to Him than His own comfort. That’s how we should be. I heard of a man who was disappointed when he arrived home and found his children paid no attention to him. So he decided to do something about it. He began bringing home little treats and toys, promises of interesting trips and events, and soon he found his children eagerly awaiting him at the door when he arrived. Yes, he bribed them, but he thought of what they wanted, and what would interest them. and he was rewarded.

Not everybody will always rejoice to see us coming, but those who matter will rejoice, if we treat them as Jesus would. -Jim MacIntosh

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