Summary: In this message Philippians 1:1-10 is used to help us come to define our lives by what really counts and brings lasting joy. Our walk with Jesus, our prayer life, and our focus on others.
How many of you would like to live a more joyful life? Would you like to discover how to be content with what ever life dishes out? If you answered yes, this series of Bible teaching is for you.
This morning we begin a new series on how to live the joy-filled lives. There is no one who understood how to live with joy better than the author of Philippians. So for the next few weeks we are going to be learning from Philippians.
In the next few weeks we are going to learn, how to make lemonade when life gives you lemons, how not to complain, how to adjust you attitude, and the power of praise.
However, this morning we are looking at how we should live if we want a joyful life.
For us to understand this book we need to know a little about what is happening with Paul as he writes Philippians.
Paul is in prison in Rome. He knows that he is facing death. If I were in prison facing execution, I don’t think I would be filled with joy. Instead I would be filled with dread. But Paul is overflowing with joy. In fact not once or twice, but eighteen times Paul takes about joy or rejoicing, in this short letter. We can learn from him how to live.
(Read Philippians 1:1-10)
As we read this text there were three qualities that stands out.
First, Paul understood his position.
Philippians 1:1 “Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
The apostle Paul could have listed all his qualifications.
He could have called him self, “a great scholar who studies under the greatest of all Jewish scholars, or he could have pointed out how he was selected as one of Jesus apostles. He could have written how he was the founding pastor of not only the Philippi an church but several others.
Instead, he just says he is a servant of Christ Jesus. Paul understands the great title anyone can carry is that of servant of Christ Jesus.
The Greek word used here is “Doulos” which means bondslave. It refers to someone who has been purchased and is owned by his or her master. This is how Paul saw himself. He was purchased at the cross.
Paul wrote, “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”
Part of the joy Paul felt came from knowing God is in control. We are his servants.
But that is not the only reason for his joy. Paul not only understood his position.
Second, Paul understood his source of power.
Philippians 1:3-6 I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Prayer was the key to Paul’s power. Isn’t it remarkable that Paul is thinking of others and not of himself? As he awaits his trial in Rome, Paul’s mind goes back to the believers in Philippi, and every recollection he has brings him joy.
Read Acts 16; you may discover that some things happened to Paul at Philippi, the memory of which could produce sorrow. He was illegally arrested and beaten, was placed in the stocks, and was humiliated before the people. But even those memories brought joy to Paul, because it was through this suffering that the jailer found Christ! Paul recalled Lydia and her household, the poor slave girl who had been demon-possessed, and the other dear Christians at Philippi; and each recollection was a source of joy.
Third, Paul’s Prayers were for others
Philippians 1:9-11 9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
This is a prayer for maturity, and Paul begins with love. After all, if our Christian love is what it ought to be, everything else should follow. He prays that they might experience abounding love and discerning love. Christian love is not blind! The heart and mind work together so that we have discerning love and loving discernment. Paul wants his friends to grow in discernment, in being able to “distinguish the things that differ.”