Summary: Christ my Contentment
Reading: Philippians chapter 4 verses 1-11:
• (1). Kathy’s children’s cough medicine contains this warning:
• “Do not drive a car or operate machinery after taking this medication”
• (2). Boots hairdryer:
• “Do not use while sleeping!”
• (3). Marks & Spenser’s bread pudding:
• “Product will be hot after heating!”
• (4). Our Christmas lights from B&Q contain this helpful information:
• “For indoor and outdoor use only”
• (5). Sainsbury’s peanuts;
• “Warning product contains nuts!”
• Samuel Clement (better known by his alias Mark Twain);
• Attended a Sunday morning services.
• He met the pastor at the door afterward and told him;
• That he had a book at home with every word the pastor had preached that morning.
• The minister said, impossible and assured him that the sermon was an original.
• Clement (Mark Twain) still held his position.
• The pastor wanted to see this book so Clement said he would send it over in the morning.
• When the preacher unwrapped it,
• And looked at the book that contained every word the pastor had preached that morning,
• Mark Twain sent him a dictionary and in the flyleaf was written this:
"Words, just words, just words."
This weekend I hope these sessions have been more than;
• "Words, just words, just words."
• I believe that these words have the power to change us!
• “Some books inform, some books reform, only the Bible transforms!”
• Now as a Christian I need changing;
• And in these first five verses of chapter 4 there are 5 areas I need help with.
(1). Stability (verse 1):
• Paul’s first request is that these Christians "Stand fast." Or "Stand firm."
• ill: Chart. ill: Yo - yo. (ill: Malarial Christianity).
(2). Harmony (verse 2):
• Paul’s second request is that these Christians have the "Same mind" or "to agree."
• Question: How many conflicts have you had this week?
• We might be out and out arguing:
• But we gossip, talk about people, we speak negative things about them.
• A horse can’t pull while kicking. This fact we merely mention.
• And he can’t kick while pulling, Which is our chief contention.
• Let’s imitate the good old horse And lead a life that’s fitting;
• Just pull an honest load, and then there’ll be no time for kicking.
(3). Joy. (verse 4):
• Paul’s third request is that these Christians;
• "Rejoice in the Lord always" - "Always be full of joy."
• Question: How much laughter you had this week?
• Too many Christians endure their faith instead of enjoying it!
• When missionaries in the northern part of Alaska, where the Eskimos live,
• Were trying to get the Bible translated, they had some difficulty.
• When you go to translate the Bible in any culture,
• There’s a difficulty in translating some words,
• Because cultures and languages don’t always have the same words.
• Ill: “White as snow….white as cotton wool”
• There was no word in the Eskimo language for joy.
• So the translators struggled and struggled and got nowhere fast.
• Then they noticed that the happiest, the most joyful moments in those Eskimo village,
• Were in the evening when they fed their sled dogs.
• They’d go out, and the dogs would yelp and wag their tails and get all excited.
• And so, out of that experience, they found their word for joy: "wagging their tails."
• When you translate our verse Eskimo style, it would read like this,
• "Wag your tail and again I say wag your tails!"
(4). Purity (verse 8):
8”Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things”.
9”Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse”.
• Paul’s fourth request is that these Christians have pure hearts & minds.
• Question: How clean / pure / wholesome your mind this week?
• ill: D.L. Moody: ‘Invented a camera that photographs the heart.....’
• ill: Knew my thoughts I would not be your speaker....
(5). Consistency (verse 9):
9”Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
• Paul’s fifth request is that these Christians "Put into practice" or "Do it!"
• But if we are honest we are so inconsistent.
James chapter 1 verse 22: