The Power of Repetition
1Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. 2Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. 3For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—4though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more. —Philippians 3:1-4
Philippians 3:1 begins, “Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord.” That’s really a main theme in Philippians—joy. Not a lightweight happiness that comes and goes, but a deep delight and contentment that we all long for in life. We look for it in a lot of places. Paul says the right place to find it is “in the Lord.”
And then Paul says this: “To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.” Repetition is a good teacher. Review is a good protection.
Most of us have seen pictures of that cruise ship in Greece that sank and tipped over because the water wasn’t deep enough. But hitting those rocks was just one of a series of problems that turned that cruise into a catastrophe. One warning that things were off happened (or didn’t happen) right away. When the passengers first embarked, the crew didn’t even do that drill thing. Anyone who has been on a cruise ship knows you have to do a disaster drill. “Welcome aboard folks! And now, the drill!” They drag you out of your cabin five minutes after you arrive. You go stand on the deck dressed in that a stupid orange thing called a life jacket! It’s crazy! Who wants to do all that? I do not! But it’s safe. To do something you’ve done over and over again. It’s just part of safety.
And that’s what he’s saying here. He’s like, “I’ve already told you most of this. I don’t mind writing it down again.” It’s safe! Some of the things I’m going to put in this devotional I’ve said before. But it’s okay. Because it’s safe! It’s a good protection to be reminded that God has joy in store for us. It’s wise to repeat the warnings of Scripture. We are handling gold when we memorize and repeat God’s Word. And to go back to where we started, the power and delight of repetition can be seen in the next chapter of Philippians, where Paul writes, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). —James MacDonald
· What phrase or verse from Scripture will I be willing to repeat throughout this day as I rejoice in the Lord?
· Why did I choose that one?
Prayer - Father, Your Word is a lamp to my feet this day and a light for my path. The sun may be shining, but I know I can’t see what I really need to see without the vision that comes only from what You say. I’m eager to give Your Spirit permission to bring to my mind throughout today those precious words from You that will give me the direction I need in the moments I face. And I will praise You in Jesus’ name, Amen.