25 But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. 26 For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. 29 So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, 30 because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me. 3 Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.
Have you ever become tired of hearing the same thing over and over again? Or thought to yourself that you have heard it all before? Have you wished that the Pastor would say something new, something you have not heard before? Or tried to find some teaching from another church, searching for some fresh revelation?
Paul says here in ch3v1 “Whatever happens, rejoice in the Lord”. It has a familiar ring to it, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t you like Paul to say something else, something new and different?
Paul says to them and us, that he never gets tired of telling you these things. Perhaps, we should not get tired of hearing these things. Paul repeats things, important things, because it is a safeguard to our faith.
The safeguard of our faith is not chasing new teaching or new insights. Those things are encouraging, and refreshing, but what keeps us safe, is hearing again and again, the foundational truths such as, “Whatever happens – rejoice in the Lord!”
I may not WANT to hear that again, but the truth is I NEED to hear it again.
The key factor that separates amateurs from professionals is repetition. Doing the same thing over and over again until it is second nature, until it is perfected.
There are a few things that need perfecting in my life, like rejoicing in the Lord, WHATEVER happens. So, even when I don’t feel like hearing it again, I need to stop listening to my feelings and listen to the truth again.
Holy Spirit, open my ears to hear, and my heart to receive again.
Written by Andrew Martin