1 Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
In light of my citizenship in Heaven. In light of Christ coming to get me
In light of one day my body being transformed into a new body
In light of Jesus power
My brothers, Christ followers, Church of Philippi
Whom I love and long to be with.
my Joy and crown stand firm thus in the Lord.
Where is Paul when he is writing this letter.
He is in prison in Rome
He has been on trial that could end poorly.
Yet Paul tells the church that my joy and crown stand firm thus in the Lord
Pauls Joy was not based on his current situation.
His Crown or salvataion was not based on his current situation.
His Joy stood firm in the midst of trials and tribulation because it stood firm in the Lord
His crown, hie reward firm because of his salvation in the Lord.
We can remain joyful in the middle of trials if we stand firm in the Lord
2 I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. 3 Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
Paul then begs Euodia and He begs Syntych to agree in the Lord.
Now this is not the first time he has championed unity in the body. If you back to 1:27-2:4 He talks of this.
Also notice Paul’s directness here. In other places Paul calls for unity. But here Paul names, names.
Could you imagine the letter arriving. The Lead elder standing to read this letter from Paul and the ladies are sitting their and their names are called out by Paul and for them to reconcile.
This ladies are having a dispute. This dispute evidently has made its way all the way to Paul in Rome.
This must have been a big disagreement.
So why would Paul beg these ladies to settle this dispute. Why would Paul ask the church to step in and help settle this dispute.
Because their fighting hurt the gospel going forward. There fighting hurt the body of Christ and particularly their fighting hurt the church of Philippi.
Sometimes in the church Christ followers who love Jesus will have a disagreement.
Paul tells us here that both have their names written in the book of Life
Paul tells us here that these ladies have worked together before to advance the gospel.
Sometimes when you have a dispute with someone in the church it leads to you turning the other side into a villain.
Some have even questioned the salvation of someone who didn’t agree with them.
Paul let’s us know here that both of these ladies have labored for the gospel and both are Christ followers.
He calls on the church to help them resolve this matter.
He also did this in 1 Corinthians 6:1-8
I have seen in some churches where it has gotten to the point where the church starts taking sides and before long the whole congregation is in the middle of the fight and it causes division.
So how do we help those who have dispute in the church.
We encourage them to follow the Biblical model laid out.
23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,
If someone has offended you, your job is to sit down with them and have a conversation. To work it out. But many times instead of working it out what we do is go talk to others, we keep it balled up inside and let it effect us.
Scripture is clear on this issue. Their is no grey area. We are to go to that person and have a conversation.
As Tony Merida says at his church. We should encourage ackward conversations.
Paul was following when he tells the church to get involved.
15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
We live in a world where we think the church does not have the right to get into our personal business. The problem with that is, it goes against the model set for us in the New Testament and the first church.
Last if we are fighting amongest each other then their is a chance we will not be happy and have no joy.
Paul in verse 4 instructs us.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
Just this past week I read a sermon by C. H. Spurgeon in a book of his sermons called Joy
In verse 4 Paul calls us to Rejoice twice.
Spurgeon say what Paul is calling us in this text to be is Happy again and again be Happy.
Anytime you add the word Re to something it means to do over
If you reapply something or redo something then you do it over again and again.
So in this text Paul is saying BE Happy, Be Happy, Be Happy.
So many Christ followers miss this. They live there lives and they seem to be the most un-happy people on the face of the planet.
Many Christ followers instead of rejoicing or being Happy. Spend their days complaining about this or that. Un-happy about this or that. Paul here calls the church to be Happy.
Notice who we are are to be happy in The Lord.
Could it be the reason many Christ followers today are not happy is because they are trying to find their happiness in other places.
They are trying to find it maybe even in good things.
They try to find happiness in family. But your family will let you down.
They try to find happiness in work. But your work will fade away one day. It can’t sustain your happiness
They try to find happiness in friends. But at time friends will let you down
They try to find happiness in themselves. But as you look inward you will be even let down by yourself
They try to find Happiness in hobbies. But there comes a day when the hobby will fade and it can’t sustain your happiness.
Paul understood that true happiness is only found in Jesus
It reminds me of a the Christian Song “He has made me Glad”
When life gets hard, when things don’t go your way. When you are in trials you can still have joy because you are leaning and trusting in Jesus.
Jesus will never let you down. Jesus is always their with you. He will never forsake you. He will never let you down.
Paul then tells us when we are to do this. We are to do this always.
We are to rejoice when times are good and great.
We are to rejoice when times are bad and down.
We are to rejoice when we are young and we are to rejoice when we are old.
We are to rejoice at all times.
Paul commands us to be joyful in the Lord at all times.
No matter what is going on in your life.
No matter what has been done to you.
No matter the obstacle you face. You are to rejoice.
So today I want to encourage you to rejoice at all times.
Think through this if you are always rejoicing and nothing can steal your joy. What does that say to a lost world.
What does that say to the lost who live life with you.
I think of a teacher Ginnie has gotten to know this past two weeks. She has fought cancer but Ginnie tells me nothing steals her joy.
We can’t do this by relying on ourselves or just leaving tonight saying I am going to have joy no matter what.
We can only do this as we lean more into Jesus and trust him with everything.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
We can rejoice and be reasonable in all things because the Lord is at hand.
The word reasonable may be translated gracious, gentle.
If you are a Christ follower the Spirit lives within you.
The Lord is with you so don’t be anxious.
Tony Merida says “Worry involves imagining the future in a worst-case scenario and then freaking out about it.” (Christ-Centered Exposition pg.175)
I get anxious sometimes. We all do. The reason why is because we forget that the Lord is at hand.
You anxienty at its root is sin. It is a lack of trust in Jesus.
The church of Philippi was anexious over the threat of persecution, Paul and what was going to happen to him. The missionary they sent to Paul who got sick. The fighting maybe taking place in the church.
We can relate.
We get anxious because we try to handle the situations in our lives by our own flesh rather than relying on the Lord.
We get anxious because we want to be in control. We get anxious because we want to take Gods place and try so hard to do so.
So how do you deal with anexity.
People tell us all kinds of things. Yoga, mediate, drink,
When we rest in the Lord, when we trust the Lord our anxious thoughts go away.
Here Paul tells us how to deal with anxiety.
Martin Luther said “Pray and let God worry.”
Our Job is to pray.
supplication: The idea of lifting up our concerns to God. Telling God what is on our heart. Doesn’t he already know, so why don’t we share it with him.
Didn’t Jesus share what was on his heart with the father.
Second, Thanksgiving: Thanks: Yes thanks, giving thanks to God knowning that he is in control and we can accept whatever come our way.
2 It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.
So in other words give it to God and then go to sleep.
Thankful that we have someone who cares about our problems and what is on our hearts
As we give thanks we focus on Gods goodness and our anexity will become less and less.
As we give thanks we focus on Gods goodness and our anexity will become less and less.
Then God gives us a promise
The peace of God will come upon you will pass all understanding.
You can’t explain it other than God is the one who is sustaining you through the trial
God will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
By God guarding your heart and mind then your anexity will go way.
So tonight I encourage you to cast all your cares upon him who is able to go above and beyond all you have ever deared to beleive.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Paul finally calls us to focus our minds.
Paul finshing addressing our thoughts. What we think.
Paul calls us to think about truth, not false things.
honorable: we should always think upon what is respectable
To think upon what honorable not dis-honorable
To think upon what is just not un-just
What is pure not impure
What is lovely, not hate
What is commendable not wrong
What is excellent, not filthy
The Christ follower should be the optomist not the pestamist
We must take every thought captive
5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,