Sermons

Joy's Little Secret - Contentment
Sun, Nov 15, 2020
I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. - Philippians 4:12–13 (ESV) Some verses seem to get memorialized. They end up on plaques and mugs. They become phrases and mottos. Unfortunately, most of them get severed from their context which endangers their true meaning and interrupts their true power. One of those verses is Philippian 4:13. I like to call it the Kool-Aid man verse. Remember him. He was the big, giant picther with a face that would bust through walls to serve kids that red sugary goodness. Many people read Phil 4:13 and think they too can be the Kool-aid man, busting through walls both figuratively and actually with God's empowerment. (OH YEAH!) But is that what it means? As Paul closes out the letter, he pens a brief thank you. He calls on God's strengthening grace for a very specific need. It's a need that very relevant today and one that requires God's strengthening grace. Take a few minutes and read through Philippians 4 to discover it.
Continue in the Way of the Lord
Sun, Nov 08, 2020
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. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. - Philippians 4:8–9 (ESV) Proverbs 14:12 tells us, "There's a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." This proverb is so striking because it shows how deceptive our perceptions of reality can be. Before believing in Christ, our ways of living led to death and we believed they were life. God is gracious to not only give us eternal life, but he shows us how we are to continue living as we wait for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. As we continue in the way of the Lord, there are various ruts along the way that can keep us joyless, ineffective, and lacking peace. What are the ruts that derail you from continuing in the Lord? Rather than do what seems best to us, we can continue in what we've been told and what we've seen modeled. Paul knows that we will face disunity, disagreements, difficulties, temptations, and worries. He also knows God desires to reform our hearts and minds to make us more like his son. He admonishes us to continue walking in the way of the Lord, instructing us how to relate to one another, what sort of disposition to have, and what life of the mind we should cultivate, so that we live in the abundance of joy and peace that Christ provides for us in his glorious gospel. Will you take a few moments to read Philippians 4:2-9?
Living with Joy in Between - Part 2
Sun, Nov 01, 2020
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself - Philippians 3:20–21 (ESV) A few weeks ago we sent out the State of Theology survey. It was helpful to get a snapshot of our congregation's thoughts and understanding about what the Bible teaches. If you didn't see the results, take a look. There were several noteworthy things that we will talk about in time, but one highlighted our current moment in this country. Question 21 stated: Christians should be silent on issues of politics - true or false. A bit to my suprise the scale was tipped toward the 'false' answer. You asked (sort of), so I'm going to answer (sort of). This week we continue to look at Philippians 3. Paul is addressing what it looks like to live in between the cross and eternity. As he does that, he includes their politics. Take a few minutes to read through Philippians 3 to prepare your heart and mind to worship. Then plan to join us at 10AM either in person or online. I'm looking forward to it.
Living with Joy in Between - Part 1
Sun, Oct 25, 2020
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. - Philippians 3:14–15 (ESV) The story of the Bible is the one grand story of our creation, fall, redemption, and glory. It is a story filled with unexpected turns. It reveals the dark depths of humanity and the glorious heights of God's character. It covers from the very beginning to the very end of everything. Often it is hard for us to locate our place in that story. We aren't sure where we are. We aren't sure what part we are to play. We see the grand movements of the past and we hope in the grand conclusions we await. We are left here in what feels at times like the doldrums of the redemptive storyline. This week Paul starts to wrap up the letter to the Philippians. While doing so he gives us instruction on how we should live with joy in the 'in-between'. These are important and relevant encouragements as we seek to run the race ahead. Will you take a few minutes before Sunday to read through Philippians 3. What is Paul pointing us toward? How does this state of 'in-between-ness' both motivate and challenge us to move forward?
The Joy Killer - Self-Righteousness
Sun, Oct 18, 2020
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. - Philippians 3:1 (ESV) When you consider fighting for joy there seems to be multiple things that collude to regularly defeat it. Circumstances collapse on us, squashing joy. Stress and anxiety assault us and joy seems to retreat in defeat. Busyness tells us we don't have time to think about joy. All of these must be addressed to find joy. Paul wants to consider something that will kill joy that we may not consider, and it seems that from his address in Philippians 3 it might be the chief enemy of joy. He confronts it boldly. He points us to a life-giving truth that fuels joy. Take a few minutes to read through the chapter. See if you see the dangerous joy killer and it's solution.
Examples of Christ's Humility
Sun, Oct 11, 2020
I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. - Philippians 2:25–26 (ESV) I recently learned a new skill. It's one that I have wanted to try for some time, but I've never had the occasion, equipment, and most importantly a teacher. A few weeks ago I tried welding for the first time. I'm not 'laying down dimes' as they say, but I can now stick a couple pieces of metal together in a pretty permanent way. Its fun and a little scary and I won't be leaving the pastorate for a career in fabrication anytime soon, but I would not have even attempted it without teacher (HT: to Ken S!) The Christian life is sort of like welding. You need to get the theology and you need to have some equipment. You also need people that will walk alongside you as you grow. This week in Philippians, we meet a few of those examples for the church at Phillipi - Timothy and Epaphroditus. These men were selflessly serving Paul and ultimately Christ. They were providing flesh and blood examples of what that looked like. This week Carson is opening up Philippians 2:19-30 to us. Will you take a few minutes and read it? Consider those that have provided not only instruction but example to you in your Christian life. What have you learned from them? How have they helped shape your journey?
Sermon 10-4-2020
Sun, Oct 04, 2020
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. - Philippians 2:12–13 (ESV) I'm thinking about starting a new program at Hope. I'm think of calling it the 'Tag-a-long' ministry. In this ministry, I'll come to your home and live with you for 72 hours. It won't be a teaching ministry. I'll just be around. I'll go with you to work and out on appointments. I'll just be there. Don't worry I won't get in the way. If I started the ministry by being with you, how would that change how you work? Or how would it change what happens in your home? How would it change your interactions with those in your life? We have a built-in tendency to act differently when we are being watched. We slow down when a cop drives by. Paul recognizes this idea. However, he wants to call the Philippians to a life of integrity and obedience if he is there or not. This week we continue to open up Philippians in chapter 2. Would you take a few mintues and read through the chapter to prepare your heart and mind to worship together?
The Joy of Humility - Part 2
Sun, Sep 27, 2020
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. - Philippians 2:5–8 (ESV) Your true desires and character are often revealed in the pressure cooker of stressful situations. When the things you rely on get removed and the bare, raw realities of life are exposed, we simply have nowhere to run. It's in those moments that our selfishness is seen. Paul had lived in that state for many years. Imprisoned and awaiting a verdict that could mean release or death. In the midst of this, he found joy in humble service. Where did that orginate from? This week Paul points us to the center of the doctrine of Christ. His work and example provides not only the path but the power to live humbly in the middle of our strains and stresses. I want to encourage you to read and worship in Philippians 2 as we prepare to look at this passage. Many consider it an ancient hymn (that might even pre-date Paul). Take some time to slow down and soak it in. What is it telling us about Christ's nature, character, and work? And how does that help us to live beyond our selfish defaults?
The Joy of Humility - Part 1
Sun, Sep 20, 2020
complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. - Philippians 2:2–4 (ESV) You deserve it. Treat yourself. You have to love yourself. Without self love you can't show others love. These are all phrases and ideas that show up around us. How we think of our self is important, but how should we think about ourselves? How does that effect how we think and ultimately treat those around us. This week we venture into Philippians chapter 2. In this chapter, Paul addresses one of his big concerns for this church - their unity in the middle of difficulty. How are they to respond to others that disagree or annoy them? How are they to love those that are hard to love? What gives them the motivation and power to do something that seem supernatural? I want to encourage you to take a few minutes to read through Philippians 2. Side-by-side in this chapter are practical commands and mountain top theology. As we unfold it, we will see how they are vitally connected.
To Live is Christ and to Die is Gain
Sun, Sep 13, 2020
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. - Philippians 1:21–22 (ESV) Imprisoned. Silenced from preaching and planting churches. Restrained from traveling. The real possiblity of execution looming. How would you respond? Hopelessness? Despair? This was the plight of the Apostle Paul. What would happen next was unknown. With all of this, Paul's mindset was different. He wanted to help both the Philippians and us to consider what that mindset looks like and where it comes from. This week Carson opens Philippians 1:18-30 to us. I want to encourage you to take some time to read through this passage. It might be familiar, but read with fresh eyes. Maybe even in a different translation. What is he saying? How does he want us to think? How does the gospel change our thinking?
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