Summary: Sermon #4 in a series about joy from Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Previously preached for another congregation, but reworked and retooled for this series.
A lazy, hazy day
Goal: How to find contentment and peace so that we can enjoy life.
Intro: I grew up in South Louisiana…less than a 20 mile distance from the Gulf of Mexico…and more often than not the weather could be described as hot and humid.
Obviously the heat and humidity would lead us to seek the comforts of the lazy, hazy days.
Those days where there is nothing better than lying in a hammock under a nice shade tree, a glass of iced tea within reach and a good book being read or laying across our chest while we doze off.
This is the very image of peace and contentment we are looking for.
But, honestly is this type of peace and contentment even possible? Is the idea of enjoying life something within reach for us?
We are a people in need of peace and contentment.
You turn on the news each evening, and the last thing you see is usually peace (in fact, most news programs save the peaceful stories for the “human interest” story to end the program).
Job security is a thing of the past, due to both changes in the economy and lack of general happiness with jobs.
The average American holds 17 different jobs and changes careers 3 times in their lifetime.
The US divorce rate is hanging steady at about 50% right now…half of all marriages end in divorce.
The reason for all of this usually boils down to a lack of contentment that keeps life from being enjoyed.
We want those hammock and iced tea days, instead we tend to find rush hour traffic through some sort of highway construction with our air conditioner not working.
The question is, can we find peace and contentment in our lives here in 2007?
Are those lazy, hazy days of relaxation and enjoyment even possible?
The answer is yes, we can find peace and contentment, and we can find out how in…
Read Phil 4:10-23 and pray
Background: The Apostle Paul wrote this letter to the church at Philippi after being imprisoned for some time without a trial in Cesarea, and was at the time being held in a Roman jail.
He had survived a perilous storm at sea and felt loss as those closest to him had deserted him.
Yet, in this letter to the Philippian church, we can find joy and encouragement.
In my own life, there have been numerous times when I faced trials and tribulations, if felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to turn to the book of Philippians.
In some of my older Bibles, this book is the most worn, the most high-lighted, and the most noted, and in it, I too find the joy and encouragement I need.
But the question is, does Philippians speak to us about peace and contentment, does it tell us how to find a lazy, hazy day and enjoy it?
The answer is yes, and to find peace and contentment, we must first…
1. Cherish what you have been given (10-11)
The fact of the matter is, it could be a lot worst.
I remember a couple of years back while getting ready for going to the office, I was watching Fox News and reading the daily high/low temperatures in various cities.
I had already seen on a local channel that our high was going to be around 90, and of course the humidity to boot, so I was preparing for another one of those days.
While reading those daily highs and lows I saw that Las Vegas was going to have a low temperature for that day of 83…we are thankful here when our highs only get to 83!
Be thankful for what you have.
ACTS method of praying, thanksgiving and writing down what we are thankful for.
When you look at what you have, and not try to compare it to what others have, you will see how blessed you are.
The example we find in scripture is from the life of Paul, look at his situation.
He was stoned, he was arrested, he was beaten, he was ship wrecked…yet he continually rejoiced because of the life he had in Christ.
If you are a Christian, you have something that is to be cherished…eternal life, salvation, hope, mercy, grace!
No matter had bad things get for you as a Christian, it could be worst…at least you don’t have to fear death and be concerned about hell.
To find peace and contentment you must cherish what you have, and then…
2. Realize that Christ is all you need (12-13)
All too often we quote verse 13 and think of it like Popeye’s can of spinach, or better yet…like a night’s stay at a Holiday Inn Express (I.e…Someone touring a nuclear power plant saves them from a meltdown after staying at a Holiday Inn Express, the actor/cowboy trying to rescue a snake bite victim after staying at the HIE.)