Summary: Perspective in Christ - Philippians 1 verses 1-11 - sermon by Gordon Curley PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(1). I have you in my mind (vs 3-6):
(2). I have you in my heart (vs 7-8):
(3). I have you in my prayers (vs 9-11):
(3a). Grow in love (vs 9).
(3b). Grow in knowledge (vs 9).
(3c). Grow in holiness (vs 10).
(3d). Grow in fruitfulness (vs 11).
• A few years ago Transport For London cycling safety advert!
• The advert challenged its listeners to answer the question:
• ‘How many passes does the team in white make?’
• Everybody is focussed on counting the number of passes the White team makes.
• But at the end after the correct answer is give,
• The ad throws up another question: ‘Do you see the Moonwalking bear?’
• The ad then replays slowly and you change perspective,
• This time as you watch you are looking for and you see the moonwalking bear.
• Point made!
• In the busyness of driving look out for the cyclist.
• YouTube clip:
TRANSITION: This letter called Philippians:
• Is a thank you letter,
• He refers to this fact in chapter 4 verse 14-16.
• The Apostle Paul wants to thank the Church at Philippi,
• For the financial gift they sent to him.
“Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need”
• When he was skint, in need and ‘his cupboard was bare’
• God prompted this Church to send him some financial help,
• Their giving kept the apostles missionary ministry going.
• As an evangelist who works full-time in a faith-based ministry
• (Jargon for unpaid or rather not charging for my services).
• I/we have on a number of occasions been in a similar situation to Paul,
• Where humanly speaking it looked like I/we might not financially make it,
• Then out of the blue a Church or an individual who knows about our work;
• Is prompted by God to send us a generous gift,
• Which means we can pay the bills etc.
• Seeing God at work this was does at times test you faith,
• But it also gives you confidence that God who called you to this ministry will sustain it!
• That has been my testimony for the last 35 years.
So think of this letter as a thank you letter.
• But this thank you letter contains lots and lots of bonus features e.g. extras.
• Ten years have passed since Paul was in Philippi;
• But as he writes he is able to remember and in chapter one he says......
• As you read the letter the words "joy" and "rejoice" keep popping up,
• In fact, they are used 16 times in this short letter.
• It might surprise you to know that the apostle Paul drafted the letter;
• During the two years when he was under house arrest in Rome.
• But instead of feeling sorry for himself having lost his freedom,
• His letter is full of joy and rejoicing!
Joy in the Christian life is all about perspective:
• True joy is not based on circumstances.
• The key to lasting contentment is found through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
• This is the perspective Paul wanted to communicate in his letter to these Christians.
Note: these verses nicely divide under three main headings…
(A). I have you in my mind (vs 3-6):
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”.
• Recent research discovered that the things people most often forget are:
• 6th place: Faces
• 5th place: What was said.
• 4th place: Words.
• 3th place: Telephone numbers.
• 2nd place: Where something is.
• 1st place: Names.
• TRANSITION: The apostle Paul never forgot this Church,
• In fact, he thought about this Church often,
• Church of course is the people and it’s the people he is connected to.
• Verse 3: “I thank my God every time I remember you”
• Verse 4: “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy”.
• The apostle Paul had established the church in Philippi,