Summary: We find joy in experiencing God’s unearned forgiveness and knowing that nothing can stop him from finishing what he has already started in our lives.
Jeffery Anselmi / General
Be Happy / Joy; Happiness / Philippians 1:1–11
We find joy in experiencing God’s unearned forgiveness and knowing that nothing can stop him from finishing what he has already started in our lives.
• How has your 2020 been thus far?
• On a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific, where would you be?
• Honestly, I think we are kind of holding on to our seats waiting to see what else could go wrong, so maybe we would rate 2020 at a -10. :)
• For many, this year has been a struggle, it has been stressful, and it has been discouraging.
• If life, in general, were 2020, life would not be fun.
• Amid the storm of this year, we can lose our happiness and joy.
• There is so much negative stuff to focus on that we can forget the blessings we have in life.
• When times get rough, we have to decide how we will respond to those tough times.
• When we are faced with difficulties and trials at home, work, or other areas of life, we have to choose how we will deal with those situations.
• Will we allow tough times to define us, or will we be able to rise above the difficulties of life and grow and thrive?
• Today we begin a very timely series in the book of Philippians.
• Our ten-week series will focus on the joy one can receive when we devote our lives to Jesus and others.
• The letter to the church at Philippi, Paul was in prison, a fact that makes this letter even more impressive than usual.
• Of all of Paul's letters, the Philippian church letter is the most consistently positive and personal.
• This letter reflects a joyful spirit, a happiness that would seem surprising coming from a person in prison at the time of the writing.
• The Philippian church was the first church established by Paul in what we know as Europe during his second missionary journey.
• USE MAP ON PROCLAIM!
• Once Paul arrives in Philippi, his efforts led to Lydia's conversion and her household, Paul and Silas imprisonment after they cast a fortune-telling demon out of a servant girl.
• Then that led to the conversion of the prison keeper and his household. (Gareth Reese Philippians Commentary)
• Paul's visit was the beginnings of a healthy and generous congregation that supported Paul with prayer and finances from its inception to about a dozen years later when this letter was written.
• Paul had a great deal of love for this church, and they loved him also!
• So, as interesting as our 2020 has been, the big idea is simple.
› We find joy in experiencing God's unearned forgiveness and knowing that nothing can stop him from finishing what he has already started in our lives.
• Let's begin our journey through the book fo Philippians by turning to Philippians 1:1-5, and verse 7.
Philippians 1:1–5 CSB
1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus: To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons.
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you,
4 always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer,
5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.
Philippians 1:7 CSB
7 Indeed, it is right for me to think this way about all of you, because I have you in my heart, and you are all partners with me in grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.
• As consider the concept of Be Happy, the first observation we make is...
I. You can find joy in partnership.
• One of the things I love about life is enjoying life with others.
• I realize introverts probably enjoyed the stay at home orders we endured early in the pandemic, but one thing I know is that doing life alone would make life less joyful.
• One of the things we may see happens due to the pandemic shut-downs is the temptation to stay at home and “GET YOUR CHURCH AT HOME” in your pajamas with coffee in hand.
• We will always stream our services because it helps us spread the gospel; however, maybe we need to use our geo-blocking feature to get folks out of the house! LOL.
• In a moment, we will look at why we need to be together as much as we can get together.