Updates from May, 2009 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Pastor Ryan 4:40 pm on May 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , contentment, generosity, giving, , need, want   

    The Secret of Contentment – Philippians 4:10-23 

    Be ContentWhat is the secret of contentment?

    How can someone find true satisfaction and contentment in life?

    Do you have everything you need?

    Is there anything that you think you lack?

    What is the difference between a “need” and a “want”?

    The central teaching of our text today in Philippians 4 addresses contentment.  I’m warning you now, this text cuts deep into the heart of our materialistic idolatry, but will show us how to be truly content and satisfied in the Christian life.

    Be Content (4:10-14)

    In Philippians 4:10-14 the Apostle Paul explains how thankful he is to the Lord for the generosity of the Philippian church.  They gave to him generously on multiple occasions and would have given more if they had the opportunity.  He tells of how all of his needs were met and that he knew that Christ would always provide exactly what he needed to fulfill his ministry calling.  Then he says what I find truly astounding.  Paul tells them that he “learned” to be content in all circumstances.  Whether full or hungry, rich or poor he was content in Christ.  He is content in his current situation, which happens to be a Roman prison!
    Paul lived in poverty and suffering for most of his life after his conversion to Christianity, so how is it that h can say he is “content” in this lifestyle?  Paul understood that his “needs” consisted of nothing more than food and clothing.  1 Timothy 1:8 says “And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.”  He learned this from our Lord Jesus who taught us in Matthew 6:25-34 to not worry, but trust in God to provide these things.  Paul learned through suffering and loss that Christ was all he needed.
    He understood that “to live is Christ and to die is gain.”  He said in 2 Corinthians 12:10 “Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”  Paul understood that contentment comes from faith through humility.  He was a living example of the humility taught in Philippians 2:1-4.  Contentment begins by understanding that others are better than you and that you are to look out for their interests and not your own.  Contentment can be grasped through faith in Christ by understanding that all we “need” is food and clothing.
    This teaching wages war with our ego and sin nature.  I pray the Holy Spirit will fill us and strengthen our faith so that we will also learn to be content in all circumstances.  I pray we will learn to be satisfied in Christ alone and will stop chasing the materialistic idols and vain philosophies of this world.
    Give Generously (4:15-20)
    When we are content in Christ we will likely give more generously.  The church at Philippi was known for this generosity.  When you give to the ministry of the gospel you make a deposit to your spiritual bank account.  The Lord Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:19-21 to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven, not treasures on earth that moth and rust can destroy.  “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
    So then, how should we give and how much?  From a heart of worship, as the Lord purposes us to, and with joy.  2 Corinthians 9:6-7 says “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”
    So let us turn from our selfishness and greed to Jesus and find true contentment and satisfaction in Christ.  Let us give generously with joy as an act of worship to our Lord Jesus for His glory.
    Blessings in Christ,
    Pastor Ryan
    Advertisements
     
  • Pastor Ryan 10:30 pm on May 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , peace, Unity   

    Philippians 4:2-9 – Unity Through Humility – Part 2 

    Unity Through HumilityLast time we were taught in vs. 2 to stop fighting and “live in harmony” in the Lord.  Now let’s walk through verses 4-9 to see how we can specifically live this harmonious life in Christ.

    First, let us “Rejoice in the Lord always.” The Apostle Paul repeats his command in verse 4 to rejoice in the Lord often because he knows that if we are rejoicing in the Lord, we will have no spirit to complain or grumble about our brothers or sisters in Christ.  What about you?  Do you rejoice in the Lord?  Pray for the Lord to fill you with His spirit and give you the joy of the Spirit.

    Second, we must be gentle. Verse 5 says you must “let your gentleness be known to all men.  The Lord is at hand.”  The commentator Lightfoot writes “To have a gentle spirit is the opposite of a spirit of contention and self-seeking.  This is a spirit of each individual being satisfied with less than his due.”  Many people are not gentle because they think they are better than others. By nature we are critical of others because deep within we think everyone else is stupid compared to us. We often think we deserve something someone else has.  We must reverse that thinking to live Philippians 2:3-4.

    Third, we are to have peace through prayer. We are told in verse 6-7 “to be anxious for nothing….”  As followers of Christ we must trust our cares fully to Him.  When we trust Christ and through faith offer our prayers and requests to Him then we will know His peace.  What about you?  What are you anxious about?  Don’t be held captive to anxiety, rather cry out to Jesus and tell Him about your cares.  Confess your sins to Him and ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit and give you peace.

    Fourth, we must think right thoughts. As followers of Christ we are to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4).  In verse 8 we are told to think right thoughts that are:  True; Noble – Honorable; Just – Right; Pure; Lovely; Good Report – Attractive; Virtuous – Excellent; Praiseworthy – Worthy of Praise.  We are not only think about these things, but dwell on them.  How many of these do you find in our prime-time TV programs?  What controls your thought life?  What are you feeding your thought life?  God’s Word, or this world?
    Oh church, let us be people of God who truly humble ourselves, consider others better than ourselves, and look out for the interests of others.
    That can only be done by the grace of God through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.  Surrender your life to Him today and trust Him fully for salvation and the faith to live moment-by-moment, step-by-step with the Spirit for His glory!
    Blessings in Christ,
    Pastor Ryan

     
  • Pastor Ryan 11:04 pm on May 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , fighting, , , , , strife   

    Philippians 4:2-9 – Unity Through Humility – Part 1 

    Unity Through Humility“Stop fighting!”  These words basically sum up what the Apostle Paul is saying to two specific ladies in the church at Philippi.  His theme of teaching throughout the book of Philippians has been for the church to have unity through humility for the sake of the gospel.

    A divided and strife filled church is fertile territory for Satan to sow seeds of discord and reap a harvest of sin and destruction.  Therefore we must guard our hearts against selfish ambition and diligently strive to live the words of Philippians 2:1-4.  Let us consider others better than ourselves.  Let us look out for the interests of others above our own.  In doing so we will fulfill the greatest commandment which is “to love your neighbor as yourself” (Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8).

    This is a hard teaching with is counter to our natural selfishness.  We must pray for a continual filling of the Holy Spirit to practice this type of neighbor love through humility.  When we do, Christ is glorified and doors are opened to share the gospel.

    So what about you?  Are you ticked’ at someone for something?  Repent of your anger and be reconciled.  Humble yourself and consider that person better than you.  Start looking out for their interests above your own.  Seek help from other members of your church to pray for you and help you.

    “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:10).

    Part 2 to come later this week….

    Blessings in Christ,

    Pastor Ryan

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel
%d bloggers like this: