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  • Pastor Ryan 10:30 pm on May 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , love, 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 9:15 pm on April 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bible, , , love   

    Reflections on Philippians 2… 

    Jesus Served Others

    Philippians 2 is likely my favorite chapter of the Bible.  The core teaching is in the first 4 verses and the remainder of the chapter is full of beautiful illustrations of how others lived this teaching.

    The core teaching is this:  love your neighbor as yourself.

    You do this by considering others as better than you.  You do this by looking out for the interests of others over your own.

    Jesus is the supreme example of one who lived this teaching.  Verses 5-11 tell us how he humbled himself and gave his life to save us from our sins.  Because of his finished work on the cross, all who trust in Jesus will have their sins forgiven and have everlasting life.

    The Son of God laid aside His glory, became a baby, lived a sinless life, laid down His life and died the death we deserve for our sins.  No one can top that as a demonstration of living verses 1-4.

    Next we see that the Apostle Paul was poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith (vs. 17).  Paul was the “Super Apostle” who poured out his life in service to our Lord and the churches he planted.  Now I’m not Jesus, and I’m certainly not anywhere near the Apostle Paul in my walk with the Lord.  Paul saw the Lord himself and heard the gospel straight from His mouth (Acts 9). You may ask: “Can I possibly live out the teaching in vss. 1-4?  The bar is set so high.”

    So in case you think you can’t, we’re given another example in Timothy, Paul’s faithful disciple and spiritual son in the Lord.  Timothy proved over-and-again to be faithful in his walk with the Lord and his service to Christ.  But Timothy was discipled by Paul himself.  I haven’t had anyone disciple me like that.

    Then there is good ole’ Epaphroditus.  Now here’s a guy I can identify with.  A Gentile with no “Super Apostle” discipleship.  Just a man who loved Jesus and was devoted to loving God and loving his neighbor.  By faith he considered others better than himself, and nearly died in his service to Paul and our Lord Jesus.  I am so thankful that God’s word meets each of us right where we are.  And that by His grace through faith we can obey it.

    It is my prayer that you and I and the congregation of Living Hope Community Church will live the words of Philippians 2:1-4 and that by doing so the world will see and give glory to our Lord Jesus Christ.  Let’s look for ways we can reach out to others ( family members, neighbors, co-workers, etc….) and help them with their needs.  Let’s serve others from a motivation of love and worship to our Lord.

    Blessings in Christ,

    Pastor Ryan

     
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