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Summary: As believers we are called to serve and seek to serve, all without grumbling and complaining.

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SERMON BRIEF

Date Written: January 31, 2001

Date Preached: January 31, 2001

Church: BBC (PM) Wed Night

FOUNDATIONAL ELEMENTS

Series: Great Imperatives for the Christian Walk

Title: The Imperative Regarding Grumbling

Text: Phil 2:14-15

“…Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,…”

Introduction:

President George Bush met an emigrant from Russia. "I guess you left Russia because you wanted more freedom," the president said.

"No, I had plenty of freedom," replied the Russian. "I could not complain." "Then it must be that there were no opportunities in Russia," the president tried next.

"I had opportunities!" the Russian insisted. "I could not complain."

"Was it that you could not find a nice place to live?"

"Not at all. I had a beautiful apartment. I could not complain."

President Bush looked confused. "If everything was fine in Russia, why did you come to America?"

"Aha!" the Russian chortled. "Here I can complain!"

Remember this before you burden other people with your troubles. Half of them aren’t the least bit interested, and the rest are delighted that you’re getting what they think is coming to you.

-Vance Packard

We have no more right to put our discordant states of mind into the lives of those around us and rob them of their sunshine and brightness than we to enter their houses and steal their silverware.

- Julia Moss Seton

To complain means to protest, criticize, grumble, nit pick, whine, nag, find fault or to object to a certain situation or set of circumstances.

The opposite of complaining or grumbling is to PRAISE!

Are you a grumbler or complainer? Do you complain towards God? Do you gripe about your family situation or whine about your fellow church members or co-workers?

I believe that we all do this to a certain extent and in tonight’s passage the Apostle Paul is going to address that very issue to the church in Philippi.

Tonight I want us to look at what Paul said about this subject by taking these 2 verses of Scripture and breaking them out.

First I want us to look at the areas where we should or should not grumble or complain. Notice what Paul said in the very first part of this verse…

“…do ALL things without grumbling or disputing…”

If we look at what Paul says here, where or what in our lives do we have the right to complain or grumble about? If you read this as I do, you’re answer will be the same as mine…we DON’T have the right to complain or grumble! It does not matter what goes on in our lives we do not have the right to complain or grumble.

This verse goes hand in hand with the faith that we claim so boldly every time we read Scripture such as Phil 4:13 where Paul says, “…I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength…”

Or when we read Romans 8:28 when Paul writes, “…God works ALL things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose…”

Or when we read later in that very chapter when Paul writes, “…if God be for us, then who can be against us…”

There are many other passages in the Bible that we can turn to and claim the promise that Christ will always be there to meet our needs and make things alright. However, the key factor to remember here is, “Do I believe what I read and hear preached?”

Can we truly go to our prayer closet and tell God that we want to do His will and that we trust in Him completely…and still complain and grumble? I thing NOT!

To fully understand the significance of this particular imperative that regards grumbling and complaining, I believe we must examine the context in which Paul was writing the letter. Paul was speaking to a fellowship he held near and dear to his heart because he led many of these people to Christ when he was there in Philippi. He desired that they reflect Christ in all they did and said.

He expressed to them that his JOY would be in seeing them fulfill the commandments of Christ. He would experience that joy in this life and again when Christ came back and the next world came to be.

Paul spoke a little earlier in this chapter about God’s good work begun in the believer and how that was the source of our strength.

In v. 13 of this chapter we find the Apostle Paul writing, “…God is at work IN you…” This good news is letting the believer know that God is NOT an impersonal, unmoved and uncaring God. He created us and then got involved in our lives.

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