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StayingPositiveUnderPressure

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ƒ üœ! ÝÔ USUS., ÔÝ ÝÔ_ ÔSTAYING€POSITIVE€UNDER€PRESSUREÐ ° ÐTHROUGH€CHRISTIAN€UNITY€AND€LOVEÐ œ ì ÐÌDr.€Rick€E.€FergusonÐ t Ä Ð€ÌPhilippians€2:1-2Ð L œ ÐÌTonight€we€come€to€Chapter€2€of€this€wonderful€bookÐ $ t Ðof€Philippians.€Philippians€was€written€by€Paul,€duringÐ ` Ða€time€of€tremendous€stress€and€pressure€in€his€life.€PaulÐ ü L Ðwas€in€prison,€awaiting€trial€before€Nero€the€Roman€emperor.Ð è

8

ÐÌPaul€had€been€illegally€arrested€in€Jerusalem€(whereÐ À Ða€mob€nearly€beat€him€to€death),€shipped€to€Caesarea€to€stand€Ð ¬ ü

Ðtrail€before€Felix,€shipped€to€Rome€from€Caesarea€andÐ ˜ è Ðon€the€way€he€was€shipwrecked.€Now€he€is€finally€in€Rome€as€a€Ð „ Ô

Ðpolitical€prisoner€of€the€empire.Ð p À ÐÌMost€preachers€would€have€long€since€thrown€up€theirÐ H ˜ Ðhands€in€disgust€and€discouragement;€but€Paul€was€experiencingÐ 4 „ Ðone€of€the€spiritual€peaks€of€his€life.€How€could€he€stayÐ p Ðso€strong€when€everything€(humanly€speaking)€was€goingÐ \ Ðso€wrong?Ð ø H ÐÌOne€of€the€keys€to€Paul's€strength€is€found€in€theÐ Ð Ðfirst€two€verses€of€Chapter€2,€where€Paul€appeals€toÐ ¼ Ðthe€Philippian€Christians€to€love€each€other.€One€of€Paul'sÐ ¨ ø Ðkeys€to€victory€was€his€tremendous€spirit€of€love€and€ChristianÐ ” ä Ðunity.€His€love€for€people€sustained€him€through€momentsÐ € Ð Ðof€adversity.€People's€love€for€him€supported€him€throughÐ l ¼ Ðmoments€of€adversity.Ð X ¨ ÐÌIf€you€want€to€stay€positive€under€pressure,€learnÐ 0"€ Ðto€practice€Christian€love€and€unity.Ð #l ! ÐÌTEXT-Philippians€2:1-2Ð ô$D # ÐÌà àCopyright€(c)€1995€by€Dr.€Rick€E.€Ferguson.Ð Ì& "% Ðà àAll€rights€reserved.€No€portion€of€thisÐ ¸' #& Ðà àdocument€may€be€using€any€form€withoutÐ ¤(ô#' Ðà àthe€written€permission€of€the€author.€BibleÐ )à$( Ðà àquotations€are€from€the€New€InternationalÐ |*Ì%) Ðà àVersion€unless€otherwise€indicated.Ð h+¸&* ÐÌOne€of€the€thieves€that€robs€folks€of€real€ChristianÐ @-(, Ðjoy€and€victory€is€selfishness.€A€self-centered€personÐ ° Ð(who€is€always€looking€out€for€his€or€her€own€best€interest)Ð œ ì Ðis€usually€a€miserable€person.€The€fellow€that€says--IÐ ˆ Ø Ðdon't€care€about€anyone€except€good€ole€€#1€is€usuallyÐ t Ä Ða€miserable€man.Ð ` ° ÐÌThe€Word€of€God€would€have€us€to€know€that€genuineÐ 8

ˆ ÐChristian€love€and€Christian€harmony€are€tremendous€sourcesÐ $ t Ðof€strength€and€power€for€every€believer.€You€see,€theÐ ` ÐChristian€life€is€a€paradox--at€least€in€the€world's€eye.Ð ü L ÐÌEx:€The€world€says€the€way€to€receive€is€to€horde€and€grab€for€the€gusto.Ð Ô $

ÐÌThe€world€says€the€way€to€be€strong€is€to€be€demanding€and€aggressive.Ð ¬ ü

ÐÌThe€world€says€the€way€to€be€fulfilled€is€to€satisfy€every€craving€of€your€flesh.Ð „ Ô

ÐÌThe€world€says€the€way€to€be€happy€is€to€do€your€own€thing.Ð \ ¬ ÐÌBut€€Christ€taught€us€that€the€way€to€be€strong€is€to€be€weak,Ð 4 „ Ðbe€fulfilled€is€to€be€emptied,€have€is€to€give,Ð p Ðbe€in€control€is€to€be€sold€out,Ð \ Ðbe€happy€and€full€of€joy€is€to€love€one€another!Ð ø H ÐÌYou€see,€we€often€allow€people€to€rob€us€of€our€joyÐ Ð Ðand€victory€in€Christ.€For€instance,€what€happens€whenÐ ¼ Ðthe€boss€at€work€puts€unreasonable€demands€on€us,Ð ¨ ø Ðthe€neighborhood€busybody€spreads€untrue€rumors€about€us,Ð ” ä Ðthe€next-door€neighbor€won't€keep€his€or€her€dog€in€theirÐ € Ð Ðyard€or€their€lawn€cut,Ð l ¼ ÐÌsomeone€at€church€makes€a€catty€remark€to€us,Ð D!” Ðone€of€your€clients€or€customers€wants€you€to€work€a€miracleÐ 0"€ Ðfor€them,Ð #l ! ÐÌyour€spouse€gets€grouchy€and€unreasonable,Ð ô$D # Ðthe€people€you€see€at€church€on€Sunday€don't€live€up€to€theirÐ à%0!$ Ðcommitment€to€Christ€on€Monday?Ð Ì& "% ÐÌFor€many€of€us€these€type€of€circumstances€become€sourcesÐ ¤(ô#' Ðof€defeat.€We€lose€our€joy€and€victory,€and€we€blameÐ )à$( Ðit€on€other€people.Ð |*Ì%) ÐÌEx:€€How€many€of€you€men€have€ever€gone€homeÐ T,¤'+ Ðin€a€grouchy€mood,€yell€at€the€kids,€argue€withÐ @-(, Ðthe€wife€and€kick€the€dog?Ð ° ÐÌFinally,€in€frustration,€your€wife€says--WhatÐ ˆ Ø Ðin€the€world€is€wrong€with€you?€And€you€say--Ð t Ä Ð1.€The€boss€chewed€me€out.Ð ` ° Ð2.€So-n-so€really€made€me€mad.Ð L œ Ð3.€I€had€a€hard€day€at€the€office.Ð 8

ˆ Ð4.€€My€helper€at€work€is€lazy€and€won't€carryÐ $ t Ðhis€fair€share.Ð ` ÐÌLet€me€tell€you€something.€€The€real€problem€isÐ è

8

Ðnot€what€other€people€have€done€or€not€doneÐ Ô $

Ðto€you:€Your€real€problem€is€your€inability€toÐ À Ðrespond€and€react€in€love,€real€biblical€love!Ð ¬ ü

ÐÌYou're€not€in€a€bad€mood€because€of€your€bossÐ „ Ô

Ðbut€because€you€failed€to€love€your€boss€withÐ p À Ða€godly€love!Ð \ ¬ ÐÌ_Ex.€A€comic€strip€read€"I€love€mankind.€It'sÐ 4 „ Ðpeople€I€can't€stand!"Ð p ÐÌBy€the€way,€the€world's€answer€to€this€problem€ofÐ ø H Ðinterpersonal€conflicts€(which€is€common€to€ever€last€oneÐ ä 4 Ðof€us),€is€absolutely€the€wrong€answer.Ð Ð ÐÌEx.€The€world€says€when€people€frustrate€you,€youÐ ¨ ø Ðshould€blow€off€some€steam,€let€out€your€feelingsÐ ” ä Ðand€tell€folks€exactly€what€you€think.Ð € Ð ÐÌNOTE:€The€Bible€says€"A€fool€uttereth€his€whole€mind....'Ð X ¨ Ð(Proverbs€29:11)Ð D!” ÐÌSo€you€1.€€€go€tell€off€your€boss€(results--you€getÐ #l ! Ðfired.€Then€don't€you€feel€good€aboutÐ $X " Ðyourself€?).Ð ô$D # ÐÌ2.€€Tell€a€customer€to€get€lost€(you€loseÐ Ì& "% Ðtheir€business.€Then€don't€you€feelÐ ¸' #& Ðgood€about€yourself?).Ð ¤(ô#' ÐÌ3.€€Tell€a€Christian€brother€or€sister€they'reÐ |*Ì%) Ða€two-faced€hypocrit€(you€lose€a€friend.Ð h+¸&* ÐDon't€you€feel€good€about€yourself?).Ð T,¤'+ ÐÐ @-(, Ð4.€€.Yell€at€the€kids,€argue€with€your€wifeÐ ° Ðand€kick€the€dog€(doesn't€that€makeÐ œ ì Ðyou€feel€good€about€yourself?).Ð ˆ Ø ÐÌOf€course€not!€Ð ` ° ÐÌThen€what€is€the€answer?€The€answer€is€LOVE,€ChristianÐ 8

ˆ Ðlove€and€unity.Ð $ t ÐÌBack€to€our€text.€The€church€at€Philippi€was€experiencingÐ ü L Ðsome€internal€division€and€conflict€(an€age-old€tool€ofÐ è

8

ÐSatan€to€destroy€a€church's€ministry€and€effectiveness).Ð Ô $

ÐEuodia€(Frangrance)€was€raising€a€stink€with€SyntycheÐ À Ð(Fortunate),€who€was€running€low€on€luck(Philippians€4:1-3).Ð ¬ ü

ÐThe€church€was€being€divided€by€these€two€ladies.Ð ˜ è ÐÌNow,€in€Chapter€2,€Paul€writes€an€appeal€for€ChristianÐ p À Ðlove€and€unity€in€the€church€at€Philippi.€He€knew€thisÐ \ ¬ Ðwas€the€only€way€they€could€stay€positive€under€pressure.Ð H ˜ ÐPaul€talks€with€them€about:Ð 4 „ ÐÌI.€The€purpose€of€Christian€love€and€unity€(v.€1),Ð \ ÐÌII.€The€product€of€Christian€love€and€unity€(v.€2),Ð ä 4 ÐÌIll.€€€The€process€of€Christian€love€and€unity€(v.€2).Ð ¼ ÐÌÌL€THE€PURPOSE€OF€CHRISTIAN€LOVE€AND€UNITY€(v.€1)Ð € Ð ÐÌ€"If€there€be€therefore€any€consolation€in€Christ,€ifÐ X ¨ Ðany€comfort€of€love,€if€any€fellowship€of€the€Spirit,Ð D!” Ðif€any€tender€mercies€and€compassion,€fulfill€yeÐ 0"€ Ðmy€joy...."Ð #l ! ÐÌNOTE:€The€phrases€"if€there€be"€should€more€preferablyÐ ô$D # Ðbe€translated€since€there€is.Ð à%0!$ ÐÌEx.€Since€there€is€consolation€in€Christ.Ð ¸' #& ÐSince€there€is€comfort€of€love.Ð ¤(ô#' ÐSince€there€is€fellowship€of€the€Spirit.Ð )à$( ÐSince€there€are€tender€mercies€and€compassion.Ð |*Ì%) ÐSince€all€of€this€is€true,€then€we€are€to€loveÐ h+¸&* Ðone€another€and€work€together€in€unity!Ð T,¤'+ ÐSince€all€of€this€does€exist€in€God's€grace,Ð @-(, Ðthis€is€the€reason,€the€purpose€for€our€loveÐ ° Ðand€unity.Ð œ ì ÐÌA.€Paul€lists€four€purposes€for€loving€each€otherÐ t Ä Ðand€living€in€unity.Ð ` ° ÐÌ1.€The€consolation€of€ChristÐ 8

ˆ ÐÌv.€1€"Since€there€be€consolation€in€Christ...."Ð ` ÐÌNOTE:€The€word€"consolation"€€comes€from€two€words:Ð è

8

ÐÌto€come€alongside.Ð À Ðto€call€or€to€encourage.Ð ¬ ü

ÐÌThe€picture€is€this:€Christ€comes€alongside€ofÐ „ Ô

Ðus€to€encourage€us,€console€us€and€support€us.Ð p À ÐHe€comes€alongside€to€give€us€comfort,€assuranceÐ \ ¬ Ðand€solace.Ð H ˜ ÐÌa.€Here€is€the€beauty€of€this€word.€WhenÐ p Ðpeople€are€getting€to€you€and€frustrating"Ð \ Ðor€hurting€you.€JesusÐ ø H ÐÌ(1)€Comes€alongside€of€you.,Ð Ð ÐÌ(2)€Puts€His€strong€arm€around€you,Ð ¨ ø ÐÌ(3)€Gives€words€of€encouragement€to€you,Ð € Ð ÐÌ(4)€Speaks€words€of€solace€and€understanding€to€you.Ð X ¨ ÐÌb.€Aren't€you€glad€to€know€that€when€peopleÐ 0"€ Ðabandon€you,€mistreat€you,€misunderstand€you,€JesusÐ #l ! Ðcomes€alongside€close€to€you,€€understands€you,Ð $X " Ðsympathizes€with€you,€doesn't€give€up€on€you,Ð ô$D # Ðencourages€and€comforts€you!Ð à%0!$ ÐÌc.€So€here€is€the€purpose€of€our€love€forÐ ¸' #& Ðpeople€who€even€threaten€us€or€treatÐ ¤(ô#' Ðus€unjustly:€Jesus€standing€by€us€toÐ )à$( Ðcomfort€us.Ð |*Ì%) ÐÌEx.€A€lot€of€you€men€could€treat€yourÐ T,¤'+ Ðwives€more€lovingly€if€you€reallyÐ @-(, Ðunderstood€the€comforting,€abidingÐ ° Ðpresence€of€Jesus.Ð œ ì ÐÌ2.€A€second€purpose€for€love€and€unity€isÐ t Ä Ðthe€comfort€of€love.Ð ` ° ÐÌv.€1€€"If€(since)€there€be€therefore€any€consolation€in€Christ,Ð 8

ˆ Ðif€any€comfort€of€love...."Ð $ t ÐÌNote;€€comfort€=€to€comfort,€cheer€or€console.Ð ü L ÐÌ"love'€=€Ð Ô $

ÐÌa.€The€purpose€for€Paul's€appeal€for€loveÐ ¬ ü

Ðand€unity€is€the€strength€and€comfortÐ ˜ è Ðthat€comes€only€through€love.Ð „ Ô

ÐÌb.€When€you€are€loved€by€someone€elseÐ \ ¬ Ðyou€are€comforted€and€encouraged.Ð H ˜ ÐÌc.€When€you€are€loving€to€someone€elseÐ p Ðyou€are€comforted€and€encouraged.Ð \ ÐÌd.€The€greatest€emotional€force€on€earthÐ ä 4 Ðis€that€of€Christian€love.Ð Ð ÐÌe.€When€you€are€loved€and€you€are€loving,Ð ¨ ø Ðyou€are€comforted€and€strong.Ð ” ä ÐÌEx:€€Let's€take€an€everyday€exampleÐ l ¼ Ðto€demonstrate€this€truth.€Let'sÐ X ¨ Ðsay€the€boss€gets€very€unreasonableÐ D!” Ðwith€you€and€simply€demands€somethingÐ 0"€ Ðthat€is€impossible.Ð #l ! ÐÌHow€will€you€respond?€Will€youÐ ô$D # Ðfile€a€union€grievance?€Or€willÐ à%0!$ Ðou€say--Sir,€I€will€do€the€veryÐ Ì& "% Ðbest€I€can€do.€I€promise€you€myÐ ¸' #& Ðbest€effort.Ð ¤(ô#' ÐÌI€guarantee€you€that€you€will€feelÐ |*Ì%) Ðmore€comforted€by€the€latter€responseÐ h+¸&* Ðthan€the€former.Ð T,¤'+ ÐÐ @-(, Ð3.€A€third€purpose€for€Paul's€appeal€for€loveÐ ° Ðand€unity€is€the€communion€of€the€HolyÐ œ ì ÐSpirit.Ð ˆ Ø ÐÌ"If€(since)€there€be€therefore€any€consolation€in€Christ,Ð ` ° Ðif€any€comfort€of€love,€if€any€fellowship€of€the€Spirit...."Ð L œ ÐÌNOTE:€"fellowship"€=€sympathy,€to€share€something€in€common,€aid,€reliefÐ $ t Ðor€communion.Ð ` ÐÌa.€The€point€here€is€that€we€can€alwaysÐ è

8

Ðact€and€live€in€love€and€unity,€becauseÐ Ô $

Ðt€he€Holy€Spirit€of€God€lives€inside€ofÐ À Ðus€and€has€constant€communion€andÐ ¬ ü

Ðfellowship€with€us.Ð ˜ è ÐÌb.€Isn't€it€good€to€know€that€the€HolyÐ p À ÐSpirit€is€in€you€at€all€times€and€HeÐ \ ¬ Ðshares€in€all€you€hurts,Ð H ˜ Ðfears,€discouragements,€defeats?Ð 4 „ ÐÌc.€The€Holy€Spirit€knows€exactly€whatÐ \ Ðyou€are€going€through€and€He€is€thereÐ ø H Ðto€be€a€comfort€and€companion€to€you?Ð ä 4 ÐÌd.€Since€the€Holy€Spirit€gently€cares€forÐ ¼ Ðand€comforts€us€we€can€therefore,Ð ¨ ø Ðwe€must€therefore,Ð ” ä Ðact€in€love€toward€all€those€aroundÐ € Ð Ðus.Ð l ¼ ÐÌNOTE:€€€If€you€are€in€fellowship€with€the€Spirit,€youÐ D!” Ðwill€live€in€love€and€unity,€To€be€divisive€andÐ 0"€ Ðunloving€is€to€grieve€the€Holy€Spirit.Ð #l ! ÐÌ4.€The€fourth€purpose€for€Paul's€appeal€forÐ ô$D # Ðlove€and€unity€is€the€care€and€compassionÐ à%0!$ Ðof€God.€€Ð Ì& "% ÐÌv.€1€"If€(since)€there€be€therefore€any€consolation€in€Christ,Ð ¤(ô#' Ðif€any€comfort€of€love,€if€any€fellowship€of€the€Spirit,Ð )à$( Ðif€any€bowels€and€mercies."Ð |*Ì%) ÐÌNOTE:€"bowels"€=€tender€mercies.Ð T,¤'+ ÐÐ @-(, Ð"mercies"€=€compassions.Ð ° ÐÌa.€€In€the€Hebrew€mind,€the€bowels€wereÐ ˆ Ø Ðthe€seat€of€a€person's€emotions.€TheyÐ t Ä Ðoften€spoke€of€one's€bowels€in€the€sameÐ ` ° Ѐway€we€speak€of€the€heart.Ð L œ ÐÌEx.€Whenever€you€experience€someÐ $ t Ðemotional€trauma,€the€physicalÐ ` Ðsigns€of€it€can€be€felt€in€the€stomach.Ð ü L ÐÌb.€Paul€was€simply€referring€to€the€tenderÐ Ô $

Ðmercies€and€compassions€we€have€receivedÐ À Ðfrom€God.Ð ¬ ü

ÐÌc.€Here€is€what€he€is€saying--WheneverÐ „ Ô

Ðyou€want€to€get€revenge€with€someoneÐ p À Ðor€you€want€to€scratch€someone's€eyesÐ \ ¬ Ðout,€whenever€you€want€to€choke€someone,Ð H ˜ Ðjust€remember€the€tender€mercies€andÐ 4 „ Ðcompassions€of€God€toward€you!Ð p ÐÌd.€When€you€remember€how€loving,€forgiving,Ð ø H Ðkind,€patient,€gentle,€€tender,€longsuffering,Ð ä 4 Ðcompassionate€caring,Ð Ð ÐÌGod€is€with€us,€it€will€go€a€long€wayÐ ¨ ø Ðto€help€you€be€loving€and€kind€to€others!Ð ” ä ÐÌConclusion€of€Point:Ð l ¼ ÐÌThe€Lord's€asking€us€to€live€in€love€and€unity€withinÐ D!” Ðthe€body€of€Christ.Ð 0"€ ÐÌShe's€asking€us€to€live€a€life€of€sacrificial€love€towardÐ $X " Ðothers.Ð ô$D # ÐÌHe's€asking€us€to€be€willing€to€sacrifice€our€personalÐ Ì& "% Ðrights€and€desires€to€love€others.Ð ¸' #& ÐÌHe's€asking€us€to€risk€being€taken€advantage€of,€abused,Ð )à$( Ðmistreated€and€misrepresented,€in€order€to€love€others.Ð |*Ì%) ÐÌIsn't€Christ€our€supreme€example?€When:Ð T,¤'+ Ð1.€€accused€falsely€he€spoke€not€a€word€for€His€own€cause;Ð @-(, Ð2.€€beaten€He€raised€not€a€hand€to€His€own€defense;Ð ° Ð3.€€killed€He€asked€God€to€forgive€His€murderers.Ð œ ì ÐÌThis€is€€the€4-fold€purpose€for€our€love:Ð t Ä ÐÌ(1)€The€consolation€of€Christ,Ð L œ Ð(2)€The€comfort€of€love,Ð 8

ˆ Ð(3)€The€communion€of€the€Holy€Spirit,Ð $ t Ð(4)€The€care€and€compassion€of€God.Ð ` ÐÌII.€€€THE€PRODUCT€OF€CHRISTIAN€LOVE€AND€UNITY€(v.€2)Ð è

8

ÐÌv.€2€€€"Fulfill€ye€my€joy,€that€ye€be€like€minded,€havingÐ À Ðthe€same€love,€being€of€one€accord,€of€one€mind."Ð ¬ ü

ÐÌA.€The€product€of€love€and€unity€is€full€joy.Ð „ Ô

ÐÌEx.€I€don't€think€it€is€by€accident€that€theÐ \ ¬ ÐHoly€Spirit€lists€the€fruits€of€the€SpiritÐ H ˜ Ðin€the€€order€they€are€recorded€inÐ 4 „ ÐGalatians€5:22Ð p ÐÌGalatians€5:22€€"But€the€fruit€of€the€Spirit€is€(1)€love,Ð ø H Ð(2)€joy...."Ð ä 4 ÐÌYou€see,€joy€is€always€a€natural€productÐ ¼ Ðof€love.€Where€there€is€no€love€thereÐ ¨ ø Ðis€no€joy.€Where€there€is€much€love€thereÐ ” ä Ðis€much€joy.€Where€there€is€Christ's€loveÐ € Ð Ðthere€is€Christ's€joy.Ð l ¼ ÐÌRead€John€€15:10-12€"If€ye€keep€my€commandments,€yeÐ D!” Ðshall€abide€in€my€love;€even€as€I€have€kept€my€Father's€commandments,Ð 0"€ Ðand€abide€in€his€love.€These€things€have€I€spoken€unto€you,€that€myÐ #l ! Ðjoy€might€remain€in€you,€and€that€your€joy€might€be€full.€This€is€myÐ $X " Ðcommandment,€That€ye€love€one€another....'Ð ô$D # ÐÌEx.€Go€to€a€home€that€is€filled€with€a€lot€of€Christian€love€and€that€home€will€alsoÐ Ì& "% Ðbe€filled€with€joy€and€happiness.€(A€house€without€love,€filled€with€fighting€andÐ ¸' #& Ðarguing€has€little€joy€or€happiness.)€Go€€to€the€church€that€is€filled€with€aÐ ¤(ô#' Ðlot€of€Christian€love€and€that€church€will€also€be€filled€with€Christian€joy€(itÐ )à$( Ðwill€be€a€happy€place!).€A€church€without€love€will€be€cold,€indifferent€and€solemn.Ð |*Ì%) ÐÌ1.€Love€and€unity€among€the€Philippians€would€bring€joy€to€Paul.Ð T,¤'+ ÐÐ @-(, Ða.€Paul,€no€doubt,€was€already€elated€and€happy€over€the€gift€of€money€the€PhilippiansÐ ° Ðhad€sent€to€him€by€way€of€EuphroditesÐ œ ì ÐÌb.€But€now€he€says€"fulfill€ye€my€joy"€or€make€my€joy€complete€by€livingÐ t Ä Ðin€love€and€unity.Ð ` ° ÐÌc.€You€know€what€he€was€saying?€He€was€saying--I€appreciate€your€generousÐ 8

ˆ Ðgift€of€money,€but€if€you€really€want€to€make€me€happy,€develop€a€fellowshipÐ $ t Ðof€love€and€unity.Ð ` ÐÌEx:€€As€a€pastor€€I€appreciate€the€salary€my€church€pays€me.€It€is€a€generousÐ è

8

Ðsalary.€But€I€can€assure€you€that€what€is€far€more€valuable€to€meÐ Ô $

Ðthan€my€salary€is€that€our€church€be€a€sweet,€loving€fellowship.Ð À ÐÌYou€could€pay€me€$100,000€a€year,€add€I€wouldn't€be€happy€if€theÐ ˜ è Ðchurch€was€in€turmoil.€On€the€other€hand,€I€could€make€a€lotÐ „ Ô

Ðless€than€I'm€making€and€be€very€happy€if€the€church€is€filled€withÐ p À Ðlove€and€unity.Ð \ ¬ ÐÌd.€Paul€was€telling€the€Philippians,€in€a€positive€way,€that€their€division€andÐ 4 „ Ðlack€of€love,€their€personality€clashes€grieved€him!Ð p ÐÌ2.€Love€unity€among€God's€people€brings€€to€God.Ð ø H ÐÌa.€Our€Heavenly€Father€delights€in€the€love€and€unity€of€His€children.Ð Ð ÐÌb.€God€is€never€pleased€with€family€squabbles.€God€is€never€pleased€with€neighborhood€feuds.Ð ¨ ø ÐÌc.€God€is€pleased€only€by€love.Ð € Ð ÐÌd.€God€is€always€blessed€when€we€live€€in€love€and€unity.Ð X ¨ ÐÌ€Ex:€€€I've€seen€church€squabbles€where€two€opposing€sides€both€thoughtÐ 0"€ Ðthey€were€very€right€(usually€over€some€insignificant€issue).€ButÐ #l ! ÐGod€is€never€pleased€when€churches€fight€and€fail€to€demonstrate€trueÐ $X " Ðlove.Ð ô$D # ÐÌConclusion€of€Point--The€Product€of€Love:Ð Ì& "% ÐÌLove€produces€full€joy.€If€you€really€want€joy€in€your€life,€then€you€must€abandon€your€Ð ¤(ô#' Ðlife€of€self-will,€personal€rights,Ð )à$( ÐÌand€take€on€the€life€of€sacrificial€love.Ð h+¸&* ÐÌIf€you€are€not€able€to€love€someone€in€your€family,€at€your€work,€in€your€church,Ð @-(, Їyour€lack€of€love€for€that€person€is€robbing€you€of€full€joy!Ð ° ÐÌIII.€THE€PROCESS€OF€CHRISTIAN€LOVE€AND€UNITY.Ð ˆ Ø ÐÌA.€Paul€gives€us€a€3-step€process€of€achieving€Christian€love€and€unity.Ð ` ° ÐÌNOTE:€Remember€that€this€letter€was€written€to€a€church,€a€body€of€believers.€But€it€should€Ð 8

ˆ Ðalso€be€remembered€that€whatever€is€true€for€the€church€corporately€is€true€for€Christians€Ð $ t Ðindividually.Ð ` ÐÌv.€2€€process€of€love€and€unity--"Fulfill€ye€my€joy,that€ye€be€like-minded,Ð è

8

Ðhaving€the€same€love,€being€of€one€accord,€of€one€mind."Ð Ô $

ÐÌ1.€To€experience€love€and€unity€in€the€church€we€must€have€common€goals.Ð ¬ ü

ÐÌa.€Verse€2€says€be€"like-minded."Ð „ Ô

ÐÌb.€This€simply€means€to€share€the€same€€purposes,€€priorities,€€goals€and€dreams.Ð \ ¬ ÐÌc.€Share€the€same€direction€and€focus.Ð 4 „ ÐÌd.€Be€unified€in€your€direction.Ð \ ÐÌNOTE:€Christian€unity€does€not€imply€uniformity.€We€allÐ ä 4 Ðhave€different€gifts€and€talents,€etc.;€but€ChristianÐ Ð Ðunity€implies€that€we€pool€our€various€gifts€andÐ ¼ Ðtalents€to€accomplish€a€common€goal.Ð ¨ ø ÐÌe.€Let€me€share€with€you€two€common€goals€we€must€all€share.Ð € Ð ÐÌ1.€€To€glorify€Jesus€Christ.Ð X ¨ ÐÌI€Corinthians€10:31€"Whether€therefore€ye€eat,€or€drink,€or€whatsoever€ye€do,€do€all€to€theÐ 0"€ Ðglory€of€God."Ð #l ! ÐÌTo€win€men€to€Jesus.Ð ô$D # ÐÌMatthew€28.19€"Go€ye€therefore,€and€disciple€all€nations,€baptizing€them€in€the€name€of€theÐ Ì& "% ÐFather,Ð ¸' #& Ðand€of€the€Son,€and€of€the€Holy€Spirit."Ð ¤(ô#' ÐÌf.€If€we€can€share€these€common€goals,€then€it€keeps€all€of€us€moving€in€theÐ |*Ì%) Ðsame€direction.Ð h+¸&* ÐÌEx:€€Our€church€recently€went€through€a€building€program.€In€the€wholeÐ @-(, Ðprocess€we€did€not€have€one€dissenting€vote.€Other€churches€are€rippedÐ ° Ðapart€by€controversy€in€building€programs.Ð œ ì ÐÌWhat€made€the€difference€for€us?€We€shared€a€common€goal€to€reachÐ t Ä Ðmore€people€for€Christ,€and€we€all€understood€(we€had€one€mind)Ð ` ° Ðthat€this€building€was€necessary€in€order€to€reach€our€common€goal.Ð L œ ÐÌ2.€To€experience€love€and€unity€we€must€have€common€love.€Ð $ t ÐÌv.€2€€"Fulfill€ye€my€joy,€that€ye€be€like-minded,€having€the€same€love...."Ð ü L ÐÌa.€€Remember,€€Jesus€ordered€our€love€priorities€for€us.Ð Ô $

ÐÌMark€12:30-31€Jesus€said€€€"Thou€shalt€love€the€Lord€thyÐ ¬ ü

ÐGod€with€all€thy€heart,€and€with€all€thy€soul,€and€withÐ ˜ è Ðall€thy€mind,€and€with€all€thy€strength:€this€is€the€first€commandment.Ð „ Ô

ЀAnd€the€second€is€like€unto€it,€Thou€shalt€€love€thy€neighbor€as€thyself."Ð p À ÐÌb.€€We€must€share€the€same€love€priorities,€which€are€these:Ð H ˜ ÐÌ(1)€We€must€all€love€Jesus€supremely.€He€is€our€first€love.Ð p ÐÌNOTE:€Remember€that€Jesus€condemned€the€church€at€Ephesus€because€they€had,€"left€their€firstÐ ø H Ðlove."Ð ä 4 Ð(Revelation€2:4)Ð Ð ÐÌ(2)€When€we€love€Jesus€supremely€we€will€automatically€love€one€another.Ð ¨ ø ÐÌc.€Let€me€tell€you€something€folks--Any__church€that€has€lost€its€love€withinÐ € Ð Ðhas€lost€its€love€for€Jesus.Ð l ¼ ÐÌd.€It's€€easy€to€love€each€other€(in€spite€of€our€differences€and€imperfections)Ð D!” Ðwhen€we€love€Jesus€first€and€foremost.Ð 0"€ ÐÌ3.€To€experience€love€and€unity€we€must€share€a€common€fellowship.Ð $X " ÐÌv.€2€€"Fulfill€ye€my€joy,€that€ye€be€like-minded,€havingÐ à%0!$ Ðthe€same€love,€being€of€one€accord,€of€one€mind."Ð Ì& "% ÐÌNOTE:€"one€accord"€=€Is€two€Greek€words€put€together.Ð ¤(ô#' Ð(sum)€=€with,Ð )à$( Ð(psukol)€=€soul.Ð |*Ì%) ÐIt€means€literally,€with€one€soul.Ð h+¸&* ÐÌa.€Paul€says€your€fellowship€should€be€so€tight,€so€intimate,€so€close,€thatÐ @-(, Ðas€a€church€you€live€and€function€as€one€soul!Ð ° ÐÌb.€Oh€how€we€need€to€nurture€and€protect€the€fellowship€of€our€church.Ð ˆ Ø ÐÌc.€€we€need€to€all€pray--Oh€God,€never€let€me€do€or€say€anything€that€wouldÐ ` ° Ðdisrupt€the€common€fellowship€of€our€church.Ð L œ ÐÌEx.€I€know€some€people€who€feel€compelled€to€always€play€the€devil's€advocateÐ $ t Ðin€committee€meetings€and€business€meetings.€They€are€proud€to€exerciseÐ ` Ðwhat€they€believe€is€their€prerogative€to€disagree€by€expressing€theirÐ ü L Ðopinion.Ð è

8

ÐÌBut€let€me€tell€you€what€is€far€more€important€to€the€kingdomÐ À Ðof€God€than€any€of€us€expressing€our€opinion--it€is€protecting€theÐ ¬ ü

Ðfellowship.Ð ˜ è ÐÌTherefore,€I€will€not€express€my€opinion,€if€that€is€a€threat€to€theÐ p À Ðfellowship€of€Christ's€body.Ð \ ¬ ÐÌConclusion€of€Sermon:Ð 4 „ ÐÌThe€apostle€Paul€says€we€are€to€be€victorious€through€our€love€and€unity.Ð \ ÐÌIn€conclusion,€let€me€say€that€most€church€fightsÐ ä 4 Ðoccur€over€non-essential,€insignificant€matters.€However,Ð Ð Ðthere€is€a€place€for€a€church€to€stand€and€even€experienceÐ ¼ Ðinternal€confrontation--and€that€is€when€the€fundamentalÐ ¨ ø Ðdoctrines€of€the€church€are€being€threatened.Ð ” ä ÐÌEx.€€€A€liberal€pastor€or€Sunday€School€teacher€should€be€confronted.Ð l ¼ ÐÌ1.€€€A€false€teacher€should€be€confronted.Ð D!” ÐÌ€Anyone€who€does€not€believe€in€the€inerrancy€of€Scripture€should€be€confronted.Ð #l ! ÐÌJude€3€says€€€"...€ye€should€earnestly€contend€for€the€faith....Ð ô$D # ÐÌThis€is€why€I€support€the€conservative€cause€in€ourÐ Ì& "% ÐSouthern€Baptist€Convention.€I€will€not€support€men€whoÐ ¸' #& Ðdeny€the€creation€account,€the€stated€authorship€of€Bible€books,Ð ¤(ô#' Ðthe€full,€plenary€inspiration€of€Scripture,€virgin€birth,Ð )à$( ÐDeity,€substitutionary€atonement,€bodily€resurrection€of€Christ,€andÐ |*Ì%) Ðliteral€second€coming.€This€type€of€heresy€is€poison€that€will€kill€any€churchÐ h+¸&* Ðor€denomination€it€contaminates.Ð T,¤'+ ÐÐ @-(, ÐI'm€glad€our€church€is€doctrinally€sound.€We€believeÐ ° Ðthe€Word.€Now€let's€love€each€other€to€pieces€and€conquerÐ œ ì Ðthis€community€for€Christ.Ð ˆ Ø ÐÌPrayer.Ð ` ° ÐInvitation.Ð L œ ÐÌÌÌÌÌCOPYRIGHT€DISCLAIMER:€Ð Ô $

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ÐThe€reproduction,€or€distribution€of€this€product,€or€any€Ð ˜ è Ðportion€of€it,€without€the€expressed€written€authorization€Ð „ Ô

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