Summary: The only teamwork that we were born with was for the furthering of the team that consists of me, myself, and I. Satan likes the divided church, because a single Christian will fall easier then a church united. In warfare one of the greatest strategies i
Text: Philippians 4:1-8
Sermon Title: Highway to Excellence
Oskaloosa Community Church Sunday, August 20, 2000
In the Scripture just prior to this mornings reading, Paul has just finished telling us that we should have a goal in our lives and that goal is Christ. Everything in our lives pales by comparison, all of our worldly possessions are worthless, or in the words of Paul, rubbish. He tells us “I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Paul says, Whatever you have, give it away. How do you think this sets with someone who is driving a brand new luxury car? First of all I want to say that there is nothing wrong with having a luxury car, if, that is what the Lord has in store for your life. Just imagine for a moment, you find yourself with a brand new Rolls Royce and the Lord tells you to give it away. The difference between those that can give it away and those that will hold on are described by Paul in the latter part of verse 13 and on into the 14th verse of chapter 3, forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Jesus Christ. We have to leave our past behind us and look forward to the future that God has in store for us. Look at what happened to Lot’s family that escaped out of Sodom. They escaped their lives of sin, all that is but Lot’s wife, who looked back over her shoulder. We need to let go of our past and the treasures that we held dear. Our treasures are now ahead of us.
Please Join me in the reading of God’s Holy Word!
Scripture Reading: Philippians 4:1-8
1 Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved. 2 I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord. 3 Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
There is a certain thing that we are taught from the day we first understand anything and that is the need to work together as a team we are told from day one to Stick together and work together. The reason that this is drummed into our heads over and over again is because it is not a natural desire. The carnal nature that we are born with tells us that we should look out for number one. What is in it for me? What do I have to do in order to get that. I’m working to get that particular item or attention for me. The only teamwork that we were born with was for the furthering of the team that consists of me, myself, and I. Satan likes the divided church, because a single Christian will fall easier then a church united. In warfare one of the greatest strategies is to divide and conquer. And I tell you this is a war with the goal of battle not for land and possessions but our eternity.
I think a lot of times, we take for granted just how good we have it in these United States. We have our Christian brothers over in China executed for the simple reason of having a Bible in their possession. Paul tells us, Be thankful always. We need to be thankful in bad times as well as the good. It is the times that we keep our focus on God even through the times that are terrible that cause us to draw closer and realize just how awesome of a God we have.