Summary: Get the true joy!
Th: Toward the Goal
Pr: GET THE TRUE JOY.
?: What? What keeps us from it?
TS: We will find in our study of Philippians what thieves use to keep us from getting the joy God has for us.
CV: “We will wholeheartedly worship the everlasting God.”
I. CONFLICT (2-3)
II. DISCONTENT (4-5)
III. WORRY (6)
PA: How is the change to be observed?
• Disunity kills joy; keep peace.
• Be satisfied in God’s blessings.
• Get God’s perspective when anxious.
• Be perceptive.
RMBC 20 July 08 AM
ILL Conflict (S)
Before he was a pastor, David Slaigle served as a nurse in the operating room for several years.
One day a couple arrived, both with gunshot wounds.
The husband had awakened late for his first day on the job because his wife did not set the alarm. He expressed his displeasure by shooting her in the arm.
Not to be outdone, she retreated to another room, got a shotgun, and shot him in the arm.
As Slaigle gathered their paperwork in the preoperative unit, he heard something one would only expect to hear in a country song.
Separated by a deputy sheriff and handcuffed to their respective stretchers, the husband began: "I love you, baby, and I’m sorry I shot you."
The wife responded, "I love you too, baby, and I’m sorry I shot you."
What keeps you from being happy?
We live in an edgy age that is full of worried and peaceless people.
We exist in a pressure cooker of a world.
And we feel it.
There are financial stresses as inflation is on the rise.
There are continual racial tensions around the country and the world.
The family is in crisis – divorce is common and the biblical definition of marriage is being challenged in several states, including our own.
We live in the tension of a cultural shift – from a modern worldview to a postmodern view.
How does one navigate all this change and stress?
Optimism seems to wear off quickly.
Ignoring the issues doesn’t work, because somewhere along the line they end up touching our lives one way or another.
And there is no such thing as a “happy” pill that won’t in the end ruin you.
Where does one find happiness in the world?
We have been studying the letter Paul wrote to the church in Philippi.
Paul is in Rome, under heavy guard, waiting for his appeal to Caesar to be answered.
And throughout this letter, one word that Paul can’t seem to get out of his system is joy (not happiness, but joy).
He wants the believers in Philippi to experience true joy, no matter what the circumstances.
And, I believe, that is our instruction as well:
GET THE TRUE JOY.
Get the true joy that God has for us.
Christianity was never meant to be lived apart from joy.
Authentic Christianity is a lifestyle of joy.
If people want joy, it is Paul’s testimony that they will find it in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
That’s where it is found.
That’s where it is lived.
But there are things that keep joy away from us.
There are joy robbers.
So, we will find in our study of Philippians what these thieves use to keep us from getting the joy God has for us.
The first tool of the joy thief is…
I. CONFLICT (2-3)
I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion [Suzugos], help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
Disunity kills joy.
It is sad that we remember these two women, Euodia and Syntyche for this incident.
They had been known for contending for the gospel.
Paul considered them partners.
They had labored with Paul for the salvation of souls and the growth of the church.
But now, they were known for dissension.
They had bickered and argued.
They had criticized and dissented.
They had murmured and grumbled.
Paul uses a strong word here.
He is begging them.
He begs them to get reconciled.
He begs them to be of the same mind.
Because it is hurting everybody!
Discord makes the church unstable.
When there is conflict, it generates instability.
It spreads all about.
Critical and bitter attitudes spread like a virus.
When people become unforgiving and proud, it infects the community that they are in.
This applies to us all, doesn’t it?
We are at a time in our church when we need to work toward unity.
It is work.
And if we allow ourselves at anytime to become proud or selfish or critical or bitter, we end up hindering God’s work.