Summary: How to connect with people like Paul the Apostle with the Philippian church

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Check out this Welcome sign into a town in Florida– “Welcome to Sebastian – Home of Pelican Island” – “Friendly People and Six Old Grouches”.

- I know this sign is being cute but in reality some individuals basically present themselves this way to the world. Most of the time they are friendly but at least 6% of the time they are real pills to be around and they know it and they may not care.

This morning as I present the second message of a series of messages from the New Testament book of Philippians. I am entitling it “How to Connect with people for God”. Why do I stress connecting with people for God? I am not Tony Robbins or Dale Carnegie up here telling you how to have good relationships with people so that your life can be smoother and you can succeed better.

-Because you will never accomplish anything of lasting – everlasting value until you begin to promote Him and view everything you do as a platform and an opportunity for Him – What do I mean? – your job and your kids and your life is for Him – you are here as an ambassador for Christ – not to get people to like you and your work so that you can be promoted and earn more money or be popular. So being a grouch is not an option if you’re representing Him. It’s not good for His business or for His cause.

Do you want people to be drawn to you so you can influence them for Christ? -we can learn from a master influencer who turned the world upside down not only through his love for the Lord Jesus Christ, but through His love for people. The apostle Paul.

To truly connect with people for God:

Last week

1) People must be on your mind (Philippians 1:1-6).

-we talked about how Paul was constantly having fond memories of the Philippians

This week:

2) People must be in your heart (Philippians 1:7-8).

3) People must be in your prayers (Philippians 1:9-11).

To truly connect with people:

1) People must be on your mind (Philippians 1:1-6).

2) People must be in your heart (Philippians 1:7-8).

Philippians 1:7-8 For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me.

8 For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.

-we talked last week how personal Paul was with people –

-it is right for him to feel so strongly about them because I have you in my heart – this type of vulnerability is rare in men – back in those days the macho mentality reigned as well. It’s like the guy who went to marriage counseling with his wife and she says to the counselor –“He never says he loves me” and he says “Ah come on, I told you when we first got married that I love you and if I ever changed my mind I’d let you know”. Men need to express love and appreciation for people around them.

-Paul says that since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me. “you have stood by me in my imprisonment” and I am deeply grateful – God has blessed us through this whole struggle of me being arrested for my faith and some people not understanding why I was being arrested but you did. “Paul says that the Lord has given us grace together – strength to handle it and pray through it.

-I feel this way with you all because of the way you stood by me through my cancer – we received grace together – I know your faith was challenged and strengthened through this as well – you wondered if y’all were going to have to get a new pastor when I almost died – Well, this Friday, August 13th will be the anniversary of a clean bill of health – one year with no evidence of disease. We’ve seen grace in action!

-God is my witness – why did Paul write this? It is easy to say that you have people in your heart.

-long for you all – He really truly loved them - he wanted to be with them.

-The high priest in the Old Testament wore a special garment, the ephod – a breastplate, over his heart. On it were twelve stones with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel engraved on them, a jewel for each tribe (Ex. 28:15–29). Why do you think symbols of the people were on his chest over his heart? He was to carry the people over his heart in love, Paul did -

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