Summary: THANKSGIVING IS A CALL TO REMEMBER HOW THANKFUL WE ARE FOR EACH OTHER!
“I THANK GOD FOR YOU”
NOVEMBER 18, 2001
INTRODUCTION: “I THANK GOD FOR YOU” BY SAWYER BROWN
TRANSITION THOUGHT: The Apostle Paul, like Sawyer Brown, teaches us that we must give credit where credit is due. Paul realized just how important the Philippian church was to his ministry and his life. They were a constant source of help and encouragement and had stood with him through the struggles of ministry. But what was it specifically that the Apostle Paul gave thanks for? What was it that reminded him to give thanks and in this season of thanks giving, what might we learn from this text that will help us to be THANKFUL?
THESIS SENTENCE: THANKSGIVING IS A CALL TO REMEMBER HOW THANKFUL WE ARE FOR EACH OTHER!
I. THANKSGIVING COMES FROM A SHARED MINISTRY
A. Shared ministry begins with shared servant hood (vs. 1)
1. Letters are written for a reason.
2. Letters begin with common phrases.
3. The Apostle Paul uses the common things of life to focus his reader’s attention on what must be addressed.
4. The church at Philippi, though a great church, had a problem.
5. The church was in disunity on the issue of leadership verses partnership. It is the old story of too many chief and not enough Indians.
6. The Apostle Paul deals with this in a totally new way, He addresses his letter with the inscription, “Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus (vs. 1).”
7. He has never included someone else with him in this specific category. He often is coupled with others, but never in the shared role of Servant hood. He always sets himself apart for the distinction of authority, but at this point realizes the greater need of community focus on shared ministry.
B. Shared ministry ends with a common goal
1. The Apostle Paul remembers this church when he prays, and he remembers them with Joy.
2. This church shared in the Ministry of the gospel.
3. This church had “Partnered” with Paul starting with the first day until the present time of receiving this letter.
4. This church had one specific goal, “Get the Gospel OUT!”
5. Verse 19 makes this abundantly clear, “for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.”
6. And again in verse 27 he reiterates this same understanding, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel.”
7. The Gospel of Jesus Christ was the shared Goal of a Shared ministry!
8. NOW THAT’S SOMETHING THAT CAUSES REJOICING AND PRAYERS OF JOY.
II. THANKSGIVING COMES FROM A SHARED HEART
A. A shared heart begins with deep affection.
1. Paul says, “It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart (verse7a);”
2. He goes on to say, “God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.”
3. Paul loved theses people! And if you need to see it in writing, notice chapter 4 verse 1, “Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown,” 4. Can you feel the love??? Have you GOT LOVE?