that's a problem for future Homer man. I don't envy that guy.
In that clip Marge has just reminded Homer of the importance of relationships and giving them a priority in their life and he as you just heard it is great wisdom says ass, that's not my problem. That's a problem for future Homer. Well, I sure don't envy that guy and then for whatever reasons he makes his mayonnaise and vodka and drinks it and collapses now, we will eventually understand the connection to that. So just hang on to that illustration of stupidity as we talked about these verses in Philippians. Paul says in Philippians chapter 4 there for my brothers and sisters you whom I love and long for my joy and Crown stand firm in the Lord in this way dear friends. I plead with Yoda and I plead with Zindagi to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I asked you my own True Companion help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the Gospel. Clement and the rest of my co-workers whose names are in the Book of Life rejoice in the lord always I will say it again Rejoice let your gentleness be evident to all the Lord is near do not be anxious about anything but in every situation by prayer and petition with Thanksgiving present your requests to God and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Now, I kind of want to walk through this passage this morning as we continue our series through the book of Philippians and just sort of teach through it. So it's it's kind of a group bible study this morning as we walked verse by verse and and look at notes on this passage and try to understand a little better. I think when you look at these verses as a whole Paul is teaching a big and a bigger picture. He's reminding them of two levels of thought that they need to have in mind in terms of the conflict in the church and in turn Being obedient to God in their own life and in their city as a witness to the gospel. The big picture is his relationship with the Philippians and their common relationships that each of them have with God. That's the first layer that he continually kind of brings to the mind of the Philippians as he writes to them. Look at verse 1 for example there for my brothers and sisters you whom I love and long for my joy and Crown stand firm in the Lord in this way dear friends. So he's empathizing their relationship that they have with each other that they're his brothers and sisters that he loves them. And I long for them that there is Joy that's a big part of his emphasis. But he's also a besides things our relationship with the Lord stand firm. And that's the thing that he already brought forward in chapter 1 verse 27 really the the dominant theme of the letter that they would stand firm as witnesses to Christ in their city in their situation and it's the same. We saw in one of the premier of verses and chapter one where he says look he who began a good work in you to those in Philippians will be faithful to complete it and we talked about that the first week in this series that he's referring to acts 16 to the fact that they all shared this common experience of the birth of the church in Philippi where God did miraculous things and he saying hey just the way he began in our life just waiting began in our church in our community. He's going to be faithful to complete it until he's reminding them of those things. We have a relationship with each other. I love you I care for you. You are my joy and we have a relationship with God. He began to work in our lives. We all have that in common and he's continuing to work in our lives verse to us. As I plead with you you odia and plead with Cindy key to be of the same mind in the Lord against he's reaching back the things he's already covered some might argue that a lot of what he's discussed in the book of Philippians leads up to this moment of addressing some conflict in the church. And so he sang Remember When I said this in Chapter 2 that if there's any comfort in Christ, if there's any encouragement in Christ, if there's any compassion in your life as a result of Christ's presence, then make my joy complete. He says them Philippians 2 and be of the same mind with one another and used to this exact same language in chapter 4 where he's saying I plead with yodea and send a key to be of the same mind in the Lord. And then reversed three he continues. Yes, and I asked you my True Companion probably a reference to other leaders in the church or the one who was the intended recipient of this letter that would go and read it to the congregation as a whole. Yes, and I asked you my True Companion help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the Gospel along with Clement. And the rest of my co-workers whose names are in the book of life. It's interesting in this culture. Paul does not hesitate to affirm women at the same level with men in terms of being his cult leaders and advancing the gospel. That would have been unusual in the Jewish wedding and extremely unusual in the Roman setting but for Paul its usual just to bring their names up and complimented not separate them and say their co-workers along with Clement and their name just like the other co-laborers in the gospel is in the Book of Life Paul's plea for others to help these women again is more of the consider others needs from chapter 2, so not The women is he saying hey Bill the same mind he sang the other leaders hate. You need to help these women. You did help you need to help resolve this just like he's commanded in chapter to consider others needs better than your own needs. So get involved. Don't just watch something like a car wreck and just got the boy. I hate them. I hate that that's happening. But I'm not getting involved. He's commanding and Commander these leaders to get involved and help Unity come about now the context of the big picture that first level that Paul is teaching In. This passage is are the big picture is our relationship with each other and our common relationship with God that fits within the bigger picture. He places the context of our relationship with each other and a relationship of God inside the the frame of a bigger picture which is what God is doing in and through us he refers to this as the gospel. Will you test that talk to him about the talks about it as the coming of the kingdom of God. That's the bigger picture God is doing something in and through us and so our relationships with one another and a relationship with God they fit in that larger context of what God is doing in and through the church to display his character his goodness to advance his kingdom until when he talks about helping these co-laborers in the gospel. Look at what it with the way he built his case for that. He says HealthEast co-laborers in the gospel because their names are in the book of life. Now the way that you were sleeping would have heard this they would have immediately thought about what he said just a few moments earlier in chapter 3 where he talks about our citizenship is in heaven. They would have had that come to their mind because in the city Philippine citizenship was a big deal. It was a Roman Colony there would have been a list there would have been a book of citizens and it would have been a big deal to say my name is in that book. I am a citizen of Phillipi there would have been expectations and responsibilities because it's a Roman Colony. So your name is in that book of citizenship and you're expected to behave a certain way in our city among other things to honor Caesars on her wrong and kind of live up to that citizenship got a standard and Paul says early earlier in chapter 3. He says our citizenship is in heaven just a little bit earlier in the reading of this this letter out loud. And now he says our names are in the Book of Life. And so we're on that role if we follow Christ as citizens of Heaven are name is in that book and because of that we should realize that are it it were called for something that's larger than our own lives our own will our own Kingdoms. We said this a couple of weeks ago. If we're not careful. We'll use the illustration of being on a trip and seeing all those signs that say see Rock City I've ever seen those signs when you're traveling somewhere in the South and it you know, there's so many of them and you just come over and over and before you know it you think will honey. Let's just get off and then if you could almost kind of, you know, forget where you were going to begin with you just get lost and all those pecan logs, you know and stuff that you can buy and eating. Hey, let's get it. Let's get a Smokey Bear and take that back to the kids. It's hey, look here's a mod. So, you know and you can kind of slip off that originally intended journey and we can do that in our walk with Christ where we accept salvation and say, that's awesome. But then we just get back and go along with their own life the way we envisioned them and we plan them and our lives become about us. And our Kingdom's to use that language and our our our egos and our pride and so there can be conflict in the church and people can say well I'm not apologizing let him apologize. He's the one that said that I can't believe they did that. You don't know how many years I've gone to that church given to that church over the years. I'm not no. No, they can figure it out. They can they can do it. Because why would I have that Spirit? Why would I have that attitude? Because my life is about me and my kingdom and Robbie's pride has been hurt and I'll be doggone if I'll be the one that apologizes because it's all about me and my kingdom and I've got this conflict in the church evidently. It's risen to such a level that there's Division and evidently it is fair that you can assume. There's not a clear answer because Paul would have been certain if it was, dr. If you read the let the rest of Paul's letters in the New Testament, he never hesitated ever to say, okay. Here's the issue then thinks this Robbie thinks that okay. Robbie's wrong Bend right? Here's the here's the correct Doctrine on that issue. He never hesitated to give a firm clear answer. He doesn't give an answer here at all or take sides at all. So it seems like it's more of a conflict with there's not a clear answer and somebody's got to Value something higher than their own Pride are there on desired be right or how it's going to look or I'm not going to be the one and he's a peeling peeling them to thing. About those two levels of big and bigger picture you need to think about the big picture of your relationships with each other and the fact that you've all share this commitment of going on your knees before Christ and saying you're my Lord and you're my savior and even bigger than that that God is using the church. He's using all of us in a relationship with him to be a witness in this world. If your citizens not of this world your citizens of heaven and your name is in the Book of Life and the way we behave and the way we treat one another and away we resolve conflict not just in the church, but I never said in the workplace and in our home the way we live our lives is a witness to something so much bigger than our self listen to reference to the names written in the Book of Life. They would have understood that I understand what you're saying just like this city. There's a citizenship that were responsible for our names are there and it's so much bigger than just our own wheel or our own way or our own little kingdom and he caused them to think larger about what's going on in the life of the church. I really believe in in beginning of verse for he kind of applies what he's challenging them to do even more and more focus and so he says rejoice in the lord always I will say it again Rejoice let your gentleness be evident to all the Lord is near he continues do not be anxious about anything but in every situation by prayer and petition with Thanksgiving present your requests to God And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Now, we talked last week a little bit about rejoicing in the Lord and what do you means there is put your your focus on the Lord celebrate him don't don't put all your eggs in the basket of your career or your reputation or your pride or your ego or how you look to others put all your eggs in the baskets rejoice in the Lord who he is. We talked about remembering what he's done for us and in renewing our commitment to him and reimagining the rest of our lives in the sense of trusting in the Lord rejoicing in the Lord. What if the Lord was everything
What if I could trust him? What if I didn't have to get an ulcer as I watched the news? What if I didn't have to worry worry worry, how am I going to pay for my kids college? What am I going to do? If the doctor gives me the bad news the long face at the doctor's office. How am I going to get this done? How am I going to get that done? What if We trusted the Lord with those things. What if we could lean on him? That's the challenge we talked about rejoicing the Lord he moves right into what I was saying instead of trying to succeed via worry, which is really a way to succeed in your own self in it. I mean, it doesn't make sense logically, but it's really what we're doing. That's that's how we're trying to solve a problem by dwelling on it and worrying about it over and over. Do you see the logic of that even though we still use that? That's how I deal with it. How what are you doing about? What's bothering you and I was worried about it. I wake up early and I stay up late and I worry about it. I worry about it. I worry about it and if we were about a long enough then we might decide what he's got to take matters into our own hands, right? So I'm going to go talk to a few of the people because I've got that conflict the church between been and I think I apologize, and I think if I talked to a few more people I can help them understand how I'm right and been drawn and maybe I can get a little gossip going because I know little bitty on that I could tell it wasn't really true, but I can put a spin on in such a way. That makes me look bad so I can share This is how we do that week we worry and then we take matters into our own hands as if there is no God. We live like 80s sometimes our own little kingdom not a kingdom with God above but our own little thing of Jesus teaches this the New Testament when he says look who of You by worrying can add a single hour to your life. That's a great question in it. Jesus teaching a group and he says who of You by worrying can add a single hour to your life. So I ask that this morning. Who have you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?
Matter fact if we ask the physicians in the room, they might even tell us that you might be subtracting from the length of your life by worrying relentlessly by putting it all on your own Shoulders by thinking that this life is all there is so I had better get it right. I better make enough money. I better protect my ego. I better never be seen is bowing down to somebody else or being wrong or humiliated. I'm going to do whatever it takes to come out on top including develop an ulcer and end my life earlier than it would have been. Unless of course, I hate this wisdom that we're being given from Paul and from scripture see the hinge of Paul's teaching resolve conflict be United help others is our common relationship with God through Christ which includes citizenship in heaven, which is the Forgiveness. We've received the righteousness. We've been it's been imported to us through the work of Christ. We don't have to fret over our Salvation. Paul just said that end in chapter 3, I'm no longer under the law. He says in Galatians. I'm no longer under the law. It's not I that lives. I'm not living. I'm not living a life of think. I've got to figure out how to be good enough to save myself to earn salvation. It is Christ who's living in the end of his life his righteousness that prevents me before God and I'm declared righteous forgiving there's no condemnation. He says in Romans 8:1 and Paul says that he was this wife that were citizens. Our citizenship is not in this world. Our citizenship is in heaven. And our name is what it's in the book of life. We're saved. We've been given this salvation. That's that's what Paul is talking about here when he talked about their for resolve conflict be United help others. It hinges on that relationship as matter fact that hinge is what are obedience swings on I think about this in terms of The Logical implications of what Paul talks about again and again through scripture it is what Christ has done for us and our faith in Christ This Is The Gospel, right? We hear the story of Jesus Christ. He came he was a sinless man. He preach the truth. He healed he did good. He laid down his life for others were those others he laid down his life for us that any that would believe in him that would hear the story of Christ would hear the truth about Christ what he did what he said what he talked to me was that anybody who would believe in him would not perish right in this the gospel would not perish but would have ever lasting life would be given that gift. That's the hinge of r a b is understanding who Christ is placing our faith in him that that is very thing that turns all of our relationships. Our daily activities are discipleship. Cuz look at what he says again again scripture be kind and compassionate to one another forgiving each other what? just as Christ God forgave you just as in Christ God forgave you our faith in the reality of Christ and what he did that's the hens that Paul says again because of what Christ did because of what he did on the cross because of the Forgiveness you've received because of the righteousness in part of you because your citizenship is not in this world, but in heaven itself because of that than your behavior should be impacted it should be different and so when someone hurts you When they need your forgiveness, you don't say well I got to pull up push up my sleeves and take matters into my own hands and make sure I come out smelling like a rose or make sure poor Benny sitting right here. He's become my constant illustration. Make sure make sure been paid the price because he hurt me and I'm going to make sure somehow he looks bad and I look good. You see how that kind of sets got on the shelf and almost ignores the gospel itself. And Paul says no. No, you're not citizens of this world. Will you take matters into your own hands your citizens of Heaven? You've been forgiven. By God through Christ and just as you've been forgiven by Christ forgive one another. That's real world stuff in it. What am I supposed to do when somebody hurts my feelings? Especially when I'm clearly right and they are clearly wrong. Literally, there is a rare occasion when I am clearly, right and someone else is clearly wrong and I get wrong to buy that person or I get hurt by that person that has happened. Does that make it any different for you? And I clearly wrong and Christ was clearly, right?
Was it while we were yet sinners? That Christ died for us VD look down upon those yelling crucify him and say father. forgive them and just as God has forgiven us and Christ Our response to conflict the disunity the hardship not just in the church and our home and our families and I work place in the culture Robbie. Cultured us something that marginalize is Christianity or takes away our power or authority. We're going to rally and get a petition and collect money.
the world does things
that what Jesus did
when they brought him in to crucifying He said look I could call down Angels couldn't but guess what he didn't cuz that's not the way a citizen of Heaven. That's not the way the kingdom of God works any model for that that for us again to get look at Colossians same theme and I could I could I could put 30 scriptures on the screen with these that repeat this thing bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone forgive as the Lord forgave you constantly throughout scripture. The way God has treated us in Christ is the model for the way we treat one another and others both in the church and our homes and communities in the city in the world. We are to be Christ. Two others to treat them that way I talk to a friend of mine who is a gifted evangelist and a pastor and he works full-time as a pastor, but he he took a second job to make ends meet and he's been working evenings 3 or 4 days a week at Home Depot for about six months and he's told me that he's LED 30 people to Christ in those six months because he's convinced in his heart that his responsibility is to be God to those people to be Christ of those people. So one young man came to him cuz he knew he was a pastor. This gentleman is 60 Peter was a pass when he came to him and explained all this mess. He's made in his life and his his there's there's a pregnancy and a girlfriend and now she's Depart of him and he's never going to get to be with his child and his he's he's like I've ruined my life and she won't let me and I can't figure out how to fix it and I am just a big screw-up and just overwhelmed by his own failure and his own guilt and he said you probably don't want anything to do with me cuz you knew this guy was a pastor and this My friend said to him and this is a holy spirit moment where he said this is exactly what the Holy Spirit told me to say. He said I looked him straight in the eye and said I've already made my mind up about you. He said I love you. Let's never going to stop. Hear this 60 year old man in Home Depot. That is 25 year old man at Home Depot and a 25 year old just starts crying like a baby and they hug. Because in that what God the father that was Jesus revealed God the Father to be like for the Prodigal Son before he even gets home the father Springs from the porch and runs houses on him like Tigger and Pooh starts kissing his neck.
And my friend said, you know, I know that God wants me to be. Talk to him to be Christ to him to react to him the way Christ would react to him. Paul brings that standard into the church and reminds us that's how we should be treating one another forgiving one another reconciling to one another. The context of this form of your prayer and I think about this week. I don't know about you but I've seen this prayer, you know on needlepoint and postcards all my life, but it's always been taken completely out of context and prayer becomes this isolated thing that I do if I do it, right? I hope I will get my answer and you realize now that the context of this from your prayer verse is therefore seeing ourselves from God's perspective in Christ citizens of heaven and trusting him with our relationship conflict our needs our Joys excetera with our entire lives to serve the gospel in advance the kingdom and so instead of me trying to figure out how can I get prayer to work and buying the million books that get published every year that if I read this book I can learn how to have effective prayers are answered sometimes not every time but sometimes I fear that the Assumption behind all of that energy is prayer. Is this tool how to separate from God at his kingdom and his purpose it's really something I use to get God to do my will I think we slip into that sort of mistake. And we just saw a preacher get a we just want to learn teach you some pictures about prayer. I Want to Be an Effective prayer person but we really mean is I'd like to live my life. I like to have my own kingdom my own little agenda. I like to do things the way I want to do them and then every now and then I like a Sprinkle a little magic on it by saying dear God. Please make this happen. Please let this happen. Please answer this prayer, but really a prayer is not about getting God to do our will prayer is about conforming us to God's will. And so the context of this prayer is Paul saying you've got conflict. You've got division think about the bigger picture you all share a relationship of love with one another because of Christ you share this common relationship with Christ you submitted to him God is using Christians and the church to be his witness in the world. Think about that bigger picture and so don't be filled with anxiety. I got to figure out some way to solve this problem. I got to make myself look good and somebody else look bad. I got to make sure I resolve this arouse all that don't fill yourself with worry or anxiety taking matters into your own hands instead instead go to God and give him your concerns. Give him your concern don't tell him about him. And then if he doesn't strike that person down 24 hours you take matters into your own hands and start sabotaging their their reputation or whatever you feel like you need to do you give them to him trusting him and what if he doesn't resolve it what if you leave the Situation with a black eye. That's okay. You think Paul suffered for the gospel? You think he could have said to the Philippians? Hey, I pray lots of prayers and so far. Some of them haven't been answered at all. I'm still in prison. But I trust God because my life is about something bigger than me, or the way, I Envision it unfolding or turning out 1 Princeton pillows instead of this way as Christians. We must prepare to add one's own contribution to the Supreme Reformation project, which is God's restoration of all things that have been corrupted by evil. The Old Testament word for this restoration of Peace Justice is Shalom the New Testament phrase for it is the coming of the Kingdom. See we've been called in to be citizens of heaven and we serve Heavens purpose in our life. And so there's times when we bow down before God and we submit our own desire for Revenge our own sense of feeling Justified holding a grudge, whatever it is even when we're right. Was Jesus right? Still look up down from the cross and sit father forgive them. We commit to something larger than ourselves. We eat we get a vision of more than just a moment. We're standing in Okay, we come full circle here a little bit, right? Sometimes we think of self-interest meaning or self-interest means I do what I want right then right in this moment like Homer write. Marge is trying to break into his worldview and say there's more going on here. There's a bigger picture than the moment you're standing in your missing out on relationships and investment and homers are completely oblivious. That's future homework problem. I tried to be that guy and then just does what he wants in the moment and part of the wisdom that scripture brings to us is to realize that self-interest if you want to use that sort of language involves not just me in this moment, but involves me a year from now or 5 years from now or ten years from now. What's the best thing to do in the moment? I may want to hold onto a grudge because it's satisfying in that moment to somehow punish that other person but is that in my best interest to use that language a year from now or two years now or five years now and maybe to use more appropriate language. Is it in the best interest of the Lord to whom I have submitted and given my life because he gave his life for me. Is it in his best interest? Can you imagine the power of a Congregation of a city of all the churches in the city? If we are in on it and saying we lay down our lives we lay down our resources. We lay down. Our grudges between churches will unite for the cause of Christ. What about just your Sunday school or your small group? Or your household. or maybe the first Spear of influence that you have control over is you So, what about just you? What if you lay down his guess what you can't reach over and make other people say stuff down, but you can start with you you can start with you. because the bigger picture the future is one in which we want to hear what Jesus talked about in Matthew 25. His master applied to him. Well done thou good and faithful servant don't you want to hear that? In that part of the bigger picture that we need to have in our mind that we long for that day and listen one last thing and I'm about to worship team to come forward. We we long for that day not not in a sense of ego or Pride so that we can Pat ourselves on the back. I think that the truth is hidden at the end of this verse when he says not only did he say the master applied well done good and faithful servant, but at the end he says come and share your Master's happiness. That's why we long for that because we've got a good God who is good and loving and kind and gracious at the heart of the universe. We've discovered that there is self-sacrifice and forgiveness, not judgment and condemnation and God invites us to be part of that Kingdom and the share in that happiness to share in the gospel the good news that our identity and in our journey is to be part of sharing good news that people should say if there's been I love being it is so awesome to see Ben every time he's around me. There's an encouraging word. I felt I feel built up. I think that young man who interacted with my pastoral friend expected him to say I've made my mind up about you. I love you, and that will never change it broke his heart because what he expected from a six-year-old Pastor was son, you need to repent son you've made mistake upon mistake you're wrong and I'm right you're what's wrong with this world you and all these people who are making these kind of decisions in a blah blah blah blah blah and instead he felt like the Holy Spirit told her that moment. This is what you're telling.
How powerful would the church be if all of us could submit to Christ that way and we could become little presence of Christ wherever we go offering his wisdom offering his correction appropriate when it's needed offering his love his grace is forgiveness. But that would be sharing.
In the Master's happiness. I think it might even be
for the Master's happiness be the peace that surpasses understanding.
How much a got a hold of me I'm going to try really hard not to put this out. But but how much have we robbed yourself of that peace that surpasses understanding because we think of it as just our own life being the way we want it. Could that peace that surpasses understanding be something that comes in our life when we give up our own lives and we could be what Jesus says when he says like I'm telling you sound strange, but when you lose your life, you'll find it. When you give up your life. You'll Discover It Could That Be the peace that passes understanding when our lives become about something larger than ourselves and we give them away and the devil has tricked us because we're constantly think about figure it out constantly try to create it's in our own little strengthen world and the adversaries like
Loving to deceive us that way and God is pleading. Trust me. You give your life away. You lose your life. And you find it you have this peace that passes understanding. Could it be that when we give our whole life to God he can redeem them. Holy could it be that our sins are failures. Our successes are missteps are wrong turns. Our Pride Field victories are suffering that all of that can be redeemed. Redeemed that all things God can work all things for good for those who love him. They've given himself over for his purpose. They love him and are called according to his purpose. Could we see even suffering redeemed in our lives? Could it be that life's meaning isn't about trying to slide fat dumb and happy from the Cradle to the Grave could be that's not about avoiding hardship or change or conflict, but it's about giving ourselves to God and his kingdom and accepting even embracing change challenge conflict suffering. If it can be used by God to advance his kingdom. Could that be sharing in the Master's happiness having a life? That's about so much more than just our own kingdoms. Before we say thy kingdom come to God we have to say my kingdom go.
As we sing Our Song of invitation if you've never made that decision I invite you to make that decision this morning to say my kingdom go and thy kingdom come to God To trust him and give your life over to him and know that it'll be a Richard Fuller life and we could ever orchestrate on our on.