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What We Need In 2023!

what we need in 2023  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  54:22
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Phil. 4:1-9.
There has been a lot of talk going around the internet about ol Nostradamus. I dont know a lot about this guy other than he was some astrologer that lived back in the 1500’s. Many have said that his predictions of certain world events have been fulfilled and that he has predicted that the year 2023 is going to be the year of the antichrist. I think he predicted this in 2020,2021 and 2022 so I wouldnt put to much wait or thought into this prediction
Can I just say one thing, no man knows the hour nor the day.
But what if he is right and this is the year? What if this is the last year we celebrate the new year on earth? What if our Lord was to return this very year?
Will he say well done or you should have done?
with 2023 getting up to full speed I want us to see from Pauls letter to the church at Philippi, that there are some things that we need to do in 2023 if we are going to have a successful year in the Lord.
If our Lord does come back this year, I want Him to be able to say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
So what are some things we Need in 2023?

I. We Need To Stand Strong

v.1 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
“Stand fast” is translated from one Greek word with a number of applications.

1. Stand Faithfully.

“Stand fast” means to be “steadfast” (Zodhiates) which is to be loyal and faithful.
Dont be unstable like a double minded man. make up your mind this very morning, that you are going to stand faithfully regardless the cost.

2. Stand Firmly.

“Stand fast” also means to “stand firm” (Thayer).
This standing involves a firmness of position. As a strong tree, it is not easily blown over. It is the firmness that keeps you from being “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14).

3. Stand Fearlessly.

“Stand fast” means to “stand erect” (Thayer).
This means you do not cower or bow down to the enemy. This standing involves courage. It is not easy to stand in some places—you may be the only one standing, but you are to stand erect for Christ anyway.
Paul not only tells them to stand strong, but he tells them how they are to do this “Stand fast in the Lord” (Philippians 4:1).
“In the Lord” defines where this standing is to occur.
It is standing for and in Jesus Christ. It is not standing for some political figure or for some other earthly personality or earthly philosophy.

II. We Need Unhindered Unity

vs.2-3 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.
It is obvious from verse 2 that the church was having some problems that had made its way back to Paul. I do not think it had gotten to the point of causing division because Paul waits until the end of his letter to address it. I think Paul knew that it could explode into a bigger issue if he did not handle it. He gave a little insight into it earlier in Phil.2:1-11
so he sets out in in these two verses purposefully calling the church back to unity.
The two women spoken of were labours with Paul but what the disagreement is, we do not know. All we do know is they did not get along.
There was disunity among the church and Paul is not about to let a disagreement split the church.
He tells them to be of the same mind. Get on the same page.
Its not wrong to have different opinions about something as long as you ultimately have the same goal in mind, to glorify God.
I think that is what Paul was trying to convey to them.
Paul continues in verse 3, decribing how they are to become unitifed once again.
He tells them there needs to be

A Cooperation among believers

Yokefellow … labored with … fellowlaborersPhilippians 4:3 “Yokefellow” and “fellowlaborers” indicate a person could work together with others.
They could be yoked together with others in labor and pull well together.
When farmers back before the invention of the gas powered engine, wanted to plow a large field, they would yoke up a team of horses. Not horses and mules or horses and steers, They would yoke up a team of horses that they knew could work together to accomplish the task at hand. Mules were good work animals but they were very stubborn. If they got it in their thick skulls that they did not want to plow, there was nothing you could do to make them. And try getting two or more mules to plow together and you have a real fight on your hands. Sounds a lot like most Baptist churches today. A bunch of mules that are so head strong they wont move unless it is on their own terms.
God give us more horses and fewer mules!
This kind is greatly needed in our churches.
Paul continues in verse 3, describing how they are to become unitifed once again.

A Composition of Believers

“Women … with Clement … other my fellowlaborers” (Philippians 4:3).
Paul lists some of the workers in the church which teaches some good lessons.

1. The multitude of tasks.

The number of workers mentioned means there are enough tasks to be done in the church that all the members need to be involved.

2. the manner of the service.

Only naming one person here suggests that most tasks in the church are obscure tasks not attracting much attention.
These are the hard tasks to perform, for they do not receive many accolades. But such tasks need to be done.
To serve the Lord frequently requires much humility.

III. We Need to Rejoice Regardless

v.4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

The Source of our Rejoicing

“Rejoice in the Lord..”
The Lord is the very source of our rejoicing.
If you are looking to anything other than Jesus Christ alone for your Joy, you are looking in the wrong place.
This qualified the rejoicing. It is not rejoicing in one’s circumstances, which are frequently a cause of anything but joy.
It is not a rejoicing in a sport’s victory or a politician’s election victory.
It is rejoicing “in the Lord.” He is the source of true joy.
How many in here have heard Pharrell Williams’s catchy song titled “Happy”? For months it was the number one song in the land. You could see people sing it on talk shows, at sporting events, in public streets, and in countless other contexts.
It first appeared as a single for the movie Despicable Me 2. Interestingly, the song plays when Lucy gives Gru (the former super-villain) a kiss. When the formerly despicable guy finds love, it makes him happy.
That sounds like the gospel! When formerly despicable characters are seized and changed by the love of Jesus, it should make them happy.
In Philippians the happiest man in Rome is in jail!
What makes him rejoice? The good news of Christ rescuing him makes him rejoice.
When we consider what we deserve because of our despicable sin and what we have because of the redeeming love of God through Christ, that realization should give rise to joy.
When you ponder how the Savior has lifted you out of the miry pit, it should give you “a new song,” as David says (e.g., Ps 40:1–3).
Rejoice in the Lord—in the Savior and Lord, who loves to redeem and forgive despicable people.

The Season of Our Rejoicing

“Alway..”
When are you to rejoice? Always no matter what is happening around or to you.
We’re commanded to rejoice.
Certainly there will be occasions when we’re grieved and filled with sorrow, but even in those times the Christian can say with Paul (2 Cor 6:10
2 Corinthians 6:10 KJV 1900
As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
Paul doesn’t teach that we should always be skipping around, totally detached from the real world.
He teaches that even in hard times the Christian can drink deeply from the well of salvation that produces joy in the midst of struggle.
You should always sing with joy because of the Savior, even in times when you have to sing with tears pouring down your face.
When you realize that your joy comes from Jesus Christ and not from the material or even these fleshly bodies, then and only then can you rejoice always.

The Significance of Our Rejoicing

“Again I say Rejoice”
What would happen if we all started today to live lives of constant rejoicing?
Think of all the sins that are overcome by a heart that rejoices in the Lord always.
Would this practice not conquer sins like envy, gossip, stinginess, arrogance, discontentment, and complaining?
These sins grow out of a heart that’s not finding joy in Christ.
Further, when we rejoice in the Lord while we serve the Lord, we honor Him.
Our attitudes as we serve the Lord matter to Him.
So, let’s regularly reflect on how graciously the Lord has treated us, and may that lead us to live a life of joy.
It is commanded that the saints of God “Rejoice in the Lord regardless!

IV. We Need to be Pleasant People

v.5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
The word “moderation” is difficult to express in one English word. Wuest says it means “not being unduly rigorous, being satisfied with less than one’s due, sweet reasonableness, forbearance.” Luther says “yieldingness.”
Others have explained the word in such terms as “big heartedness, mildness, geniality and gracious.”
It is a disposition that is not contentious, difficult to get along with, selfish, cruel, or cranky. It is a person with a pleasant disposition.
• To Who “Be known unto all men” (Philippians 4:5). Let it show.
Be this way to “all” people. Some are nice to some people but not to all people. It is difficult to be nice to some people, but we should at least try.
Is your graciousness evident to your friends, family, neighbors, and fellow church members?
Maybe a better question is, Do you even desire this character quality?
What do you want to be known for—fame, success, beauty?
May we all aspire to have a reputation, as individuals and as a church, for being gracious and gentle in our dealings with both those inside and those outside the church
• Why “The Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:5).
This refers to the coming of Christ, specifically the rapture.
The nearness of the coming of the Lord should motivate us in all our Christian conduct.
You attract more bees with honey then vinegar

V. We Need Surrendered Supplication

vs.6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Anxiety and worry is a big problem for many folks, even many believers. So much so that it sometimes hinders the work of the ministry. Pastors become anxious and worry quite often. Do you know the two leading causes of death among pastors is heat attack and suicide. Those are the same leading causes for the average layman or lay woman as well.
“Be careful for nothing” (Philippians 4:6).
The Greek order of words here is “Nothing be anxious about.”
One can read some strange attitudes into this English translation.
It can encourage carelessness and irresponsibility.
But the word translated “careful” means “to be anxious; to be troubled with cares” (Thayer).
It is an exhortation to not worry.
“But in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6).
The cure for anxiety was and is prayer.
Paul tells us how our prayers should be structured.

1. The Broadness of Prayer

“In every thing by prayer.”
Nothing is to be excluded from prayer. Anything that can upset someone or cause one to worry is something that needs to be taken to God in prayer. From the smallest thing to the biggest, needs to go to God in prayer

2. The Devoutness of Prayer

“By prayer.”
Wuest says, “the word ‘prayer’ here is the translation of a Greek word which speaks of prayer addressed to God as an act of worship and devotion.”
We need to see prayer not only as a time to ask for something, but it is a time of worship.

3. The Intenseness of Prayer

“Supplication.”
This word tells us the energy in prayer. Prayer is not to be a casual exercise.
Prayer should not become just something you do. It should have some intenseness behind it. Im not saying everytime you pray you should be calling down fire from heaven, but our prayers do not need to lack emotion or excitement.

4. The Thankfulness of Prayer

“Thanksgiving.”
When we give thanks to God, we are praising God.
Prayer without praise of God is useless praying.
If you cannot thank God for blessings, why should He bless you again?
Do not expect much from God if your praying does not honor Him.

5. The Explicitness of Prayer

“Your Requests” refers to asking for specific things.
Jesus said, “Ask and it shall be given, knock and it shall be opened unto you.”
“The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
This “peace of God” is not to be confused with salvation which brings “peace with God” (Romans 5:1).
When we take our needs to the Lord in prayer, God will give us a peace that is beyond our comprehension, and this peace will take care of our hearts and minds and remove the worry and anxiety that has afflicted them. . The Psalmist tells us in Ps 55:22
Psalm 55:22 KJV 1900
Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
Peter echos this in 1Pet.5:7 when he tells us that we are to cast all our cares upon the Lord because He cares for us.
I liken this to the great game of bowling. Have you ever watched the bowler after he or she releases the ball? It’s often quite humorous. People contort their bodies after they roll a ball down the lane, hoping that a side lean will somehow affect where the ball goes. Some talk to the ball. Others tip toe, leap, or slide to the side, hoping that the ball will land in the pocket.
The fact is, once you let go of the ball, nothing you do will change the course of the ball! Just let the ball go.
Do this with your burdens as well; release them to God. Don’t release a burden and then worry about it. Cast your burden on the Lord; He will sustain you. Let God deal with it.
The psalmist tells us that Ps 127:2
Psalm 127:2 KJV 1900
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows: For so he giveth his beloved sleep.
God never worries. God is in control. God loves His people and tells them to go to sleep at night.
May God grant us grace to enjoy the peace that comes from casting our cares on Him.

VI. We Need Holy Habits

vs.8-9
Before you can do right, you must think right. Paul lays out for us six thoughts we should have

1. Honest thoughts

Whatsoever things are true … honest” (Philippians 4:8).
Keep untruth out of your mind. Gossip, political propaganda, and false religion needs to put in the trash can.

2. Holy Thoughts

Whatsoever things are just … pure” (Philippians 4:8).
“Just” here means righteous. Holy thoughts keep the mind clean. A dirty mind is a sick mind and will defile you.

3. Harmonious Thoughts

“Lovely” ((Philippians 4:8).
The meaning of the word translated “lovely” involves harmony. A person needs to have thoughts that promote harmony instead of unnecessary division and schism.

4. Happy Thoughts

“Whatsoever things are of good report” (Philippians 4:8).
These are not discouraging, depressing thoughts. This does not mean to stick your head into the stand of unreality, but rather to fill your mind with happy thoughts. “Rejoice in the Lord” (Philippians 4:4) will do that.

5. Healthy Thoughts

“If there be any virtue” (Philippians 4:8).
he speaks here of the health of your spiritual life which is more important than the health of your physical body.
Dirty books and magazines—things without virtue—do not stimulate healthy thoughts.

6. Heavenly Thoughts

“If there be any praise” (Philippians 4:8).
This should motivate thoughts of God Who is certainly most worthy of praise. Many things which we praise today are not worthy of praise and will not qualify for the “praise” in this text.
Paul goes on in verse 9 and tells us that if we think right and listen well we will do right.
Listening means you hear what is being said, you receive what is being said, and you learn from it.
So if you think right and listen right you will do right.
John 13:17 KJV 1900
If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
James 1:22 KJV 1900
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Bob Jones Sr. said this, “ Do Right. Do right if all the guns mounted on Hell’s battlements are turned on you. Do right if the stars fall out of their silver sockets. Do right if you have to die. It is better to die for the right than to live for the wrong.”
Conclusion
As we go forward into 2023, may we purpose in our hearts right now that we will
Stand strong
we will have unhindered unity
we will rejoice regardless
we will be pleasent people
we will be surrendered to supplication
and we will live 2023 with Holy Habits.
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