Summary: Second in a series on Philippians where Paul reveals the axis on which his whole life revolves -- Exalting Christ in everything.
Given the extended use of the terms “joy” and “rejoice” in four short chapters (12), joy appears to be a central focus of Paul’s letter to the Jesus followers living in the Greek city of Philippi. That is interesting given considerable space also dedicated to the subject of suffering.
My suggested theme:
Maintaining the Lord’s genuine joy of the while managing the worlds’ grating junk.
Shorter Version: Maintaining God’s joy while managing the world’s junk.
I also like a title I found on a title slide from the internet. “Joy No Matter What”
In order to maintain this joy, we must align our life around four critical focal points which unfold in each of the four chapters of Philippians.
I. ADOPT THE RIGHT AXIS -- SUPRERIOR LIFE PERSEPECTIVE
The Exaltation of Jesus
II. MAINTAIN THE RIGHT ATTITUDE -- SUPERIOR PATTERN OF LIVING
Serve Like Jesus
III. PURSUE THE RIGHT AIM -- SUPERIOR LIFE PURSUIT
The Passionate Pursuit of Jesus
IV. ACQUIRE THE RIGHT ABILITY -- SUPERIOR POWER SOURCE
The strength of Jesus
1. GREETING 1-2
2. JOYOUS THANKSGIVING & PRAYER 3-11
The Passion behind the prayer. 3-8
The content of the prayer. 9-11
Paul regularly asked God that the love of the members of the Philippian church would excel more and more to demonstrate the difference Jesus makes in a life living in a fallen, broken world and bring glory and praise to God.
You are in my regular Thanksgiving 1-6
You are in my heart 1:7-8
You are in my regular prayers 1:9-11
Life hurls any number of troubling circumstances our way. These all have some things in common:
Unexpected, unpredictable - Unpleasant – Unavoidable - Unalterable
We generally have a common response to these uninvited circumstantial intruders that continually crash into the side of our joy mobile. That is: WE COMPLAIN AND GRUMBLE. O how Americans love to grumble. Circumstances however must be viewed like the weather. Weather is unquestionably unexpected, unavoidable, unalterable and sometimes unpleasant and so we have learned to adapt, accommodate, and adjust to IT. Oh we may complain about it but there is not even the slightest belief that any amount of fussing will alter the weather in any way. We simply learn to adapt. Most circumstances of life fall into the same category. No amount of complaining will change them or remedy the situation in the slightest. Complaining only complicates the matter. We must learn then to adapt to those circumstances. To maintain joy in this broken world, we need a perspective that enables us to keep positive in the negative. The axis around which our life revolves determines the actions of our life.
Most know that the earth rotates around what is called an axis. The earth rotates around an axis tilted between 22.1 and 24.5 9currently 23.5l). It is this perfect divinely designed axis that enables life to best exist. If it were tilted any more, the temperature would swing too much between super-hot summers and super-cold winters.
If it were tilted any less, too much sunshine all year long would super-heat the equator and too little heat would reach the north and south regions. Paul’s life rotated around a particular axis that enabled him to find joy in junk. Many times because we view events from a different axis, we respond in ways that short-circuit our joy unnecessarily.
Our world may revolve around pleasing self
Our world may revolve around pleasing others
Our world may revolve around things dictated by the world system.
Everyone organizes their life around an axis. Married people underwent a colossal shift in axis when they got married. Parents experience a shift in axis when children enter the picture.
This message explores the spiritual axis necessary for a joyful life. We will observe the effect when Paul’s world revolved around the axis of the exaltation of Christ in everything. The only axis that best enables meaningful life is a Christ-centered axis. How does it work?
I. Adopt the right Axis – the superior perspective
The exaltation of Christ in everything.
Paul viewed life through the grid of how it affected Christ and His cause.
He communicated it plainly in verse 20.
according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. Philippians 1:20
Paul looked for how Christ could be exalted through negative circumstances. He prayed that the Philippians would live to the glory and praise of God. That is another way to express the exaltation of Christ.
The term “exalt” means to make or declare great, magnify, increase, enlarge. Paul evaluated everything in his life by how it might show the greatness of Jesus. He determined to use every opportunity to glorify God in word, action and attitude. It is similar to the term “glorify”. He exhorted the Corinthians…