Summary: The desire of my heart is to see you transformed into the image of Jesus.
A Thankful Pastor: Part 2
Text: Phil. 1:7-11
1. Illustration: A pastor thought God gave Him an idea, and he presented it in the monthly elders meeting. After giving his most impassioned plea and really "selling" the idea to the elder board, the board voted and voted down the pastors proposed changes 12-1. The head elder looked at the pastor and said, "Well pastor, it’s 12 votes to 1. Looks like you’ve been out voted. Looks like time is up for the evening, so will you please close in prayer." The pastor, not wanting to give up yet on what he felt God was leading him to do then lead in prayer. As he prayed, he lifted his hands up to heaven and prayed, "Loooorrrdddd - I know my brothers here do not have the same vision you have given me. Please help them to see that this is not MY vision, but YOOOOUUUUURRRR vision!" At that exact moment, a lightning bolt with a loud clap of thunder burst in through the window in the meeting room, striking the table, splitting it in two and knocking all the elders to the floor. As the dust cleared, the pastor looked at the head elder and said - so, what do you think about that? The head elder, dusting himself off, sighed and said, "Well, I guess that’s 12 votes to 2, then..."
2. Last week we talked about Paul as a thankful pastor to the Philippian church. Today we will continue that thought and discover the nature of Paul's prayer for them.
3. In this section of Philippians Paul talks about...
a. Reason For His Love
b. Content of His Prayers
c. Purpose His Prayers
4. Let's stand as we read together Phil. 1:7-11
Proposition: The desire of my heart is to see you transformed into the image of Jesus.
Transition: First Paul expresses...
I. Reasons For His Love (7-8).
A. It Is Right
1. In the previous text Paul talked about how much he loved and appreciated the Philippian believers.
a. He talked about how thankful he was for them.
b. He talked about how he prayed for them with joy.
c. He talked about his confidence in God's continuing work in their lives.
2. He now takes those thoughts one step further when he says, "So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News."
a. Paul with the phrase, "so it is right," is connecting what he has already said with what he is about to say.
b. He has talked about how he feels about them, how they have been his partners, and about how he was confident that God would finish the good work he had begun in them.
c. Now, however, he verifies how it is right for him to feel this way about them.
d. The word "feel" doesn't refer to thinking or reasoning, but rather with a mindset or attitude.
e. What he is saying what he has already said about them is not without foundation or substance.
f. He goes on to say that they have a special place in his heart. It is important to understand what the Bible means when it talks about the heart.
g. The Biblical understanding of the heart is that place which is the center of human consciousness and the seat of both decision making and the emotions. It is the essence of who we are as a person.
h. He is saying that the feelings he has about them come from the core of his being and those feelings are completely valid.
i. He then gives the reason for his feelings, and that is they share the grace, the special favor of God, because they have stood by him and supported him while he was in prison and in the preaching and proclaiming of the gospel.
j. As always with Paul, the gospel is the center of everything, and his feelings about them are centered in their partnership of sharing the gospel both before and after his imprisonment (Fee, 88-93).
3. Then Paul further expresses his feelings for them when he says, "God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus."
a. In his verse Paul's love for them spills out.
b. Epaphroditus is about to return to them and this causes Paul's mind to turn toward Philippi and the memory of the special relationship expressed in their recent gift to him.
c. This one of several times in his letters that Paul expresses his thoughts and feelings about those to whom he is writing.