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Philippians 1:3-11 - Thank God always-Jjoy

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Introduction

Have you ever wondered if you are really growing and becoming a mature Christian?  What does it mean to become a mature Christian?  Do you ever wonder how come some people seem to grow faster than others in their spiritual life?  These and other questions will be answered. 

—    What are the marks of a mature Christian believer?

—    What are the marks of a dynamic, mature Christian church?

1.      THE MARK OF A THANKFULL HEART (V.3)

2.      THE MARK OF PRAYER (V.4)

3.      THE MARK OF JOY (V.4)

4.      THE MARK OF FELLOWSHIP (V.5)

5.      THE MARK OF CONFIDENCE IN GOD’S SALVATION (V.6)

6.      THE MARK OF PARTNERSHIP (V.7-8)

7.      THE MARK OF A GROWING AND DISCERNING LOVE (V. 9-10)

8.      THE MARK OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (V.11)

Verse 3 – Brotherhood – Fellowship – Church

#1 The Mark of a Thankful Heart

A.   PAUL DID NOT STAND ALONE IN THE WORLD

1.     Paul belonged to a great family, a family of believers who constituted the family of God of which you and I belong to!  Do not ever think you are the only one who goes through hard times.

 

1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

Ephesians 3:14-15 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

 

2.     They to were living for God and sharing Christ with a lost and needful world in which we to need to do ROMANS 10:14-15.

 

B.   AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE \ I HAVE YOU IN MY MIND 1:3-6

1.     Paul is thinking of others and not himself (Phil 2:3, 4; Mark 8:34). I would have been complaining the whole time. 

2.     By the way, if you think of yourself you will not have true joy

3.     Remember, in ACTS 16 Paul was illegally arrested and beaten, placed in the stocks, and  humiliated before the people.

4.     These memories brought joy to Paul because it was through this suffering that the jailer was saved (Acts 16:25-34)!

Joy does not depend on outward circumstances, but real joy depends upon the inward condition of the individual.

a.       Remember Paul was in prison in Rome

b.      A great distance from the Philippian believers.

c.       He did not have their presence, only his memory of them

d.      When he thought of them, his heart swelled up with thanksgiving

1.      Paul was a thankful man -- Romans 1:8, 9; Romans 6:17; 1 Corinthians 1:4

2.      Literal translation would be, “All my remembrance of you causes me to thank God.” Every time somebody would mention Philippi, Paul would just thank God for the believers there, not sometimes but always.

5.     Thankfulness is an attitude of gratitude.

It is described as:

a.       Psalm 116:17 – “Spiritual Sacrifice”

b.      2 Thessalonians 2:13 – “Duty”

c.       Ephesians 1:16 – “Unceasing”

d.      Philippians 1:3 – “Spontaneous”

e.       Ephesians 5:20 – “In Christ’s name”

f.       1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “God’s Will”

g.      Revelation 7:12 – “Heavens Theme”

6.     The praise was addressed to “my God” 139 times in the Bible cf. Ruth 1:16;John 20:17;Ps. 42:11; 63:1

a.       God is personal: Jesus said in John 17:3, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You (a personal relationship), the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

b.      God is not some cosmic being who set the universe into motion and then stepped back and said, “OK, you guys have fun”

c.       God is concerned and cares about everything in your life

d.      Jesus said in Matthew 6:26, “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

e.       God’s thoughts of you are more numerous than the sand on the beach (Ps. 139:17)

f.       To say He is my God is to say you have a personal relationship with Him.

—    IS HE YOUR GOD?

—    HE CAN BE TODAY!

—    DO YOU HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM?

—    JESUS SAID IN JOHN 6:37, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.

—    IF YOU COME TO JESUS, HE WELCOMES YOU WITH OPEN ARMS

—    REVELATION 22:17 SAYS, And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who Hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

—    JOHN 4:7-14 -- ARE YOU THIRSTY? COME AND DRINK – NO WORLDY JOY GIVES LASTING SATISFACTION ONLY JESUS WHO IS THE BREAD AND WATER OF LIFE JOHN 6:35.   

What A Lesson For Us!

1.     Do you thank God for all believers everyday?  Remember, we are not alone in the world. 

—    Colossians 3:15 says, And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

2.     If Paul thanked God for believers who were so far away from him, how much more should we thank God for each other?

3.     What kind of impression are you leaving in other people’s mind?

4.     Are you the kind of person who, when people think of you, they want to “thank God for you”?  

5.     Or do they complain about you?

EVERY TIME PAUL REMEMBERED THE WORK OF GOD IN PHILIPPI, HE THANKED GOD FOR THEM

1.      John in writing his epistle said I have no greater joy than to know that my children are walking in truth 1 John 3:4.  I think that that can be said of the heart of every minister.

2.      The greatest joy that can come to any minister is to know that those who are really the children in the faith as the result of their ministry continue to walk in the truth. 

3.      This is my hope is to see all of you walk in the truth, to walk as Jesus walked

Being in the ministry has tremendous rewards and it is just thrilling to see the work that God does in various areas.  This morning as I was at the back door greeting the people, as they were departing there was a lady with her husband there, and their daughter, and her husband and as they approached me I could see tears just welling up in their eyes and as they shook my hand they said we are from New York and we listen to your radio program and we have started a bible study in our home and we listen to your tapes and God is just blessing tremendously.  We have so many people that are coming and being blessed through the word of God and what a thrill for us to meet you and to be here today, as tears just began to stream down their face.  And I tell you you don't think thats not rewarding, to just see the fruit of the ministry.  How you thank God for the work that he is doing.  How you thank God for the priviledge of being His instrument through which He might work.  And so Paul, Gods instrument is now giving thanks unto God for the report that comes from Philippi of their continuance in the walk and in the faith.

Verse 4 – Prayer

#2 The Mark of Prayer

A.   THEY WERE CONSTANTLY ON HIS MIND AND IN HIS PRAYERS

1.     The idea is that he prayed all throughout the day for them “always” not sometimes but always

2.     The phrase “for you all” is for all the saints so that one group could not say to the other, “He is writing to us and not to you.”  Because there was a little bit of discord in the church (Phil 4:1-3).

a.       1 Thessalonians 5:17 cf. Eph. 1:16; Rom. 1:9 – “pray without ceasing”

b.      Luke 18:1 – “men always ought to pray and not lose heart”

c.       John 17:20 – “Jesus prays for all who will believe in Him”

d.      Ephesians 3:14 – “Paul bows his knees to the Father”

e.       Colossians 1:3 – “Paul gives thanks to God & prays always for the church”

f.       Colossians 4:12 – “Epaphras always labors fervently in prayer”

3.     There are times throughout the day when certain people come to my mind, and I believe this is the Holy Spirit prompting me to pray for them.

4.     It might only be a 15 second prayer but I prayed for them

ARE YOU BEING SENSITIVE TO THE SPIRIT OF GOD IN YOUR LIFE?

WHEN PEOPLE COME TO YOUR MIMD, DO YOU PRAY FOR THEM?

TELL ABOUT HOW I WAS AT WORK AND GOD PROMPTED MY HEART TO PRAY FOR DILLAN

Verse 4 – JOY

#2 The Mark of Joy

A.   REAL JOY IN THE LIFE OF THE BELIEVER

1.     Keynote of the Epistle.

2.     Paul is a happy prisoner, as in Philippi, when he and Silas sang praises at midnight though in prison (Acts 16:25).

 

a.       Joy appear nineteen times

b.      Jesus Christ over 40 times.

c.       Therefore He is the center of the epistle.

d.      He is the source of joy.

e.       The emphasis should be put on Him rather than upon the joy. 

 

—    The philosophy of Christian living has to do with Him

—    The pattern of Christian living has to do with Him

—    The price of Christian living has to do with Him

—    The power has to do with Him

—    Actually it is a personal relationship with Christ that brings joy to a believers life.

 

3.     As I said earlier, “Joy does not depend on outward circumstances, but real joy depends upon the inward condition of the individual.”

 

a.       It is a depth of insurance and confidence that ignites a cheerful and rejoicing heart.

  1. It is a cheerful heart that leads to cheerful and rejoicing behavior as Paul and Silas had in prison.

4.     The joy of the Lord is not the same as the joy of the world.

5.     The joy of the world is more of a temporary pleasure than joy.

6.     The world’s joy is always:

a.       Nagged by some incompleteness

b.      Some lack of some kind

c.       Some unfulfilling thing

d.      Some missing ingredient

e.       Some need still existing

1.      There is not a completeness

2.      Not a compete sense of assurance, confidence, and satisfaction

3.      REMEMBER THE ROLLING STONES SONG “I CANT GET NO SATISFACTION?”

4.      YOU WANTS WILL NEVER BE SATISFIED, YOU WILL ALWAYS WANT MORE

5.      JOHN 4:7-14 JESUS SAID, “WHOEVER DRINKS OF THIS WATER WILL THIRST AGAIN”

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