~* REJOICE--THE LORD IS KING! *~
Charles Wesley, 1707-1788

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high.
Hebrews 1:3

This text by Charles Wesley is another of the more than 6,500 hymns written by the "Sweet Bard of Methodism". Wesley wrote on the hundreds of scriptural passages as well as on every conceivable phase of Christian experience and doctrine. This text was developed by Wesley to encourage his followers to have a more spontaneous joy in their lives as they became aware that Christ reigns victorious in Heaven. It was based on the apostle Paul's instruction to the Christians at Philippi:

Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)

It is important to remember that this instruction was written while Paul was a prisoner of Emperor Nero in Rome. The teaching of the entire Philippian letter is that it is possible to be a victor in life--regardless of the circumstances--when our faith is in an ascended, reigning Lord. There are twelve references to rejoicing in this one short book.

"Rejoice--the Lord is King!" first appeared in John Wesley's Moral and Sacred Poems in 1744, and two years later in Charles Wesley's collection, Hymns for our Lord's Resurrection.



Rejoice, the Lord is King! Your Lord and King adore;
Rejoice, give thanks and sing and triumph evermore;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

Jesus the Savior reigns, the God of truth and love;
When He had purged our stains He took His seat above;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

His kingdom cannot fail, He rules o’er earth and Heav'n,
The keys of death and Hell are to our Jesus given;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

He sits at God’s right hand till all His foes submit,
And bow to His command, and fall beneath His feet:
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

He all His foes shall quell, shall all our sins destroy,
And every bosom swell with pure seraphic joy;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice,
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

Rejoice in glorious hope! Jesus the Judge shall come,
And take His servants up to their eternal Home.
We soon shall hear th’ archangel’s voice;
The trump of God shall sound, rejoice!



*For Today*: Philippians 4:4-9; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 2:9

"Rejoice in the Lord always" is easy to quote but difficult to practice. Yet we must remember that this attitude of joy is not an option for the Christian, but a scriptural command--the result of an intimate relationship with our reigning Lord!

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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