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01. Joy "To Stay"

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Communion especially causes us to REMEMBER and REFOCUS!
We are beginning a new series in the book of Philippians! A series I believe will cause a REFOCUS in our daily lives that should impact every area!
As we read through this letter it is one that oozes with REJOICING, PEACE, GRACE, and THANKSGIVING! (so much fun!)
Paul write to these people but there is no correction or disciple involved
There is rejoicing and thanksgiving rather
It is a missionary writing to his church family
It is by far one of the more quoted books of the bible
In preparation of this study I have read this letter over a dozen times… as I read it a song came to my mind: “I’ve got the joy joy joy joy”!
This song dates back to my earliest childhood
I thought about the song and I said… That song needs Philippians!
I mean a song that says to have joy only on Tuesday???? WEIRD
I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy
Down in my heart (where?)
Down in my heart (where?)
Down in my heart
I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy
Down in my heart (where?)
Down in my heart to stay (Tuesday) why not every day???
“Growing up I had heard it wrong, understood it wrong… what a danger if we come to the scriptures given in this book of Philippians and do the same!”
To better understand today we are going to look at:
The Place
The People
The Purpose

The Place

THE CULTURE
The time is between 60-62 AD
Trust of the government is dwindling as there have been brutal takeovers
Political promises are not kept, violence floods society… morals are decaying
Other people’s lives are toyed with
Agony and hurts are entertainment for the people
The value of life is diminished
Reality shows/events shape entertainment at high cost to the ones viewed
Terrorism is the means by which battles are fought
It is the vice by which people and government are manipulated
There is an underlying fear among the people
Though there is no war… peace is not felt or known
Nero sits on the throne of the Roman Empire
Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles (writer of this letter) is sitting in prison under house arrest in Rome chained to a guard 24 hours a day,
Dependent on his needs being met by those outside, having to pay to be prisoner
The letter goes to a group of believers in the city of Philippi
PHILIPPI (Show Map)
A prosperous city, gold in hills nearby… it was settled at the heart of the EGNATIAN WAY with a great deal of commercial activity
The artery of Rome connecting the capital of Italy to the east where it stretched into Asia!
This was the primary route of travel and Philippi was at the heart
Named after the father of Alexander the Great, it was the original Capital city of Macedonia!
This was a roman colony which meant that those who were Philippians were Roman citizens
This would be the first church planted in Europe, the first church planted after Paul had the Macedonian vision
In order to better know these dear saints Paul writes to, I want us to look at Acts 16 as we look closer at these people...

The People

ACTS CHAPTER 16… Paul’s Second Missionary Journey
Acts 16:1–3 how Timothy joins Paul ,Luke, and Silas
Acts 16:1–3 NASB95
Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. And a disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek, and he was well spoken of by the brethren who were in Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted this man to go with him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
Acts 16:6-14 explains how the church was started...
Acts 16:6–14 NASB95
They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. So putting out to sea from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and on the day following to Neapolis; and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia, a Roman colony; and we were staying in this city for some days. And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to a riverside, where we were supposing that there would be a place of prayer; and we sat down and began speaking to the women who had assembled. A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.
Paul and Silas later cast a demon out of a young woman and the people throw Paul and Silas in jail with out a trial… but not before beating them with RODS!!!
Their response is to REJOICEActs 16:25
Acts 16:25 NASB95
But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them;
God does an amazing work of freeing them to give a testimony of HIMSELF!!!! Acts 16:30-32
Acts 16:30–32 NASB95
and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house.
Paul, Silas, and Timothy leave to continue sharing the gospel and planting churches! Acts 16:38-40
Acts 16:38–40 NASB95
The policemen reported these words to the chief magistrates. They were afraid when they heard that they were Romans, and they came and appealed to them, and when they had brought them out, they kept begging them to leave the city. They went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia, and when they saw the brethren, they encouraged them and departed.
Lydia, the jailer, his household, and many others are the founding individuals of this wonderful church… founded with rejoicing!
Luke stays on with these dear folks but the rest press on.
It is to these people Paul writes to… near and dear to his heart Philippians 1:1-2
Philippians 1:1–2 NASB95
Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul and Timothy have a place in their hearts for these people
Greeting them with both peace and grace!
From God and Christ!!!
What a great reminder… WHAT IF??? you and I reminded each other about the grace and peace we have daily through the Father and Jesus Christ! WOW!
I love the way Paul brings the deacons and elders into the fold… fellow sheep leading
This is a genuine letter to a people that bring JOY to the heart of Paul and Timothy … and Paul has a magnificent purpose for writing…

The Purpose

Essentially this is a thank you letter from a missionary that has recieved blessing and support from a beloved church family.
As Paul writes he is in one of the harder times of his life, YET… this letter gushes forth with REJOICING!!!
The chapter divisions are well placed in this letter…
Ch 1 - Rejoicing in Serving
He is a prisoner suffering for his evangelism and others!
Yet he prays for and rejoices thinking of the people in Philippi
Ch 2 - Rejoicing Selflessly
A look at why we live steadfast in humility
The example of our Savior
Ch 3 - Rejoicing in Sufferings
A warning of Joy stealers
A charge to press on!
Ch 4 - Rejoicing for Sufficiency
God is enough!
Mission update
Ending with Peace and Grace

The “Tuesday” Mindset

I’ve titled this series “Joyful Living for This Earthly Life” I almost thought of saying “crappy life”!
We look at the life we live and see:
Destruction from hurricanes, loss, suffering
Divorce ripping homes apart, marriages hurting families
Those who are struggling with feelings of loneliness or being forgotten
Loved ones suffering with illness and disease
Children wandering from God seeking the world
A world that values not the life within the womb
Confusion and outright denial of how God has created beautifully male and female
Concern about the political scene and divisions in our state and country
The uncertainty of the economic system and the concerns and struggles over inflation
Greater and greater we see a clearer antagonism towards followers of Jesus Christ… not just globally, but in our own nation.
Hardships come in every shape and form!!!
There is no doubt good reasons to look at this life and feel it it “crappy” most days
We long for a Tuesday so to speak… one good day to rejoice in the mix of many hard days
BUT GOD… has intervened!!!
HE gives reason to LIVE this life and recognize that this is just the earthly life we live… life is so much greater than just this earthly one we live
The letter to the Philippian Church is just as needed today as it was when Paul first wrote it! This letter is the ANTIDOTE for the TUESDAY mindset believers out there!
I look forward to going through this letter as we learn to “JOYFULLY LIVE IN THIS EARTHLY LIFE” … the JOY is in you and me TO STAY!!!
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