Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: A call to accept a new season in our lives.

My favorite time of year is Autumn. More fall than spring because of the beauty of God¡¦s majesty in the leaves. Plus, football starts again. Deer hunting is back. I believe that before the fall of man, it was always Fall. The air is cool, the sun is warm, the holidays are coming closer.

There is a story of a place that is similar to the Eutopia I just described.

Have you ever read the great classic, "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe¨ by C.S. Lewis?

Some of us as children probably watched the cartoon on television. Walt Disney pictures is about to release this movie in December in a way that will absolutely grip your heart and soul. If you haven¡¦t seen the cartoon or read the book, here is an overview of the story:

First, it’s always winter in the land of Narnia. The evil Queen Jadis "car jacked" the Land of Narnia and declared herself ruler. As part of her rule, she cast a spell over Narnia making it a continual winter. To make matters worse, she has forced every living being to be submissive to her illegitimate rule. If they didn’t, they died. She doesn’t believe in a volunteer army¡Keveryone is drafted. Like it or not.

Her philosophy was "You don’t have to like it, but you do have to live with it." Should you choose to buck the system, you are turned into stone and placed in the palace courtyard as an example to all, of her power and authority.

Many people run to Florida during the winter months to escape the harshness of winter. The winter months have the highest rate of people suffering from suicide and depression. In Narnia, there is no place to run, no place of refuge, no place from the cold, no Florida.

There is a glimmer of hope. A rumor is circulating around the kingdom of Narnia "Aslan is on the move!" Aslan, a lion (The king of the jungle), is the rightful king of Narnia. At the single mention of the name "Aslan," a smile is seen upon the faces of the people of Narnia.

There are people today that have lived for years in the winter of Narnia their entire lives. Why is there such a high rate of suicide and depression in the winter months? It very well may be that some cannot see the end to the winter in their lives. Who are these people? It may be someone struggling through a divorce. It may be someone who¡¦s just lost their job or a loved one. It may be the battle of a crippling disease.

Today, there is hope: "ASLAN IS ON THE MOVE!"

Romans 8:1-11 MSG

(1) With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud.

(2) A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.

(3) God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that. The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it.

(4) And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.

(5) Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them--living and breathing God!

(6) Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life.

(7) Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing.

(8) And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.

(9) But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about.

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