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Summary: #3 of a 6 part summer series from the Book of Philippians on how we are free in Christ

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“POSITIVELY Free”

Freedom! Week #3

Philippians 2:14-18

INTRODUCTION:{Video: Virtual Family - sermonspice.com}

Wouldn’t it be great if it was that easy? Just put on a gadget and all our negative verbiage is translated into words that edify and encourage. That would be great! But let’s face it, there is no such gadget even though a lot of us could really use it. In fact, I believe that many Americans believe they have a license to complain. We may be some of the worst offenders when it comes to negativity and complaining. If you’ve ever taken a mission trip you may understand why I say that. The trips I’ve been on are in 3rd world countries and it’s amazing that they have so little, yet complaining is almost non-existent. Why is it such a problem?

I think at least part of the difficulty is that we have an unrealistic view of what life is supposed to be. In other words we have it so good that the least imperfect thing can get us griping. We complain because our remote control isn’t working, and yet we have TVs. We gripe because there is crab grass in our plush lawns and yet we have property. We chafe because the rooms in our homes are not large enough and yet seldom thank God for having a roof over our heads. I am convinced that if Americans would of been at the feeding of the 5000 that we would of complained because there was no butter for the bread nor lemon for the fish.

Please understand that the Bible makes it clear where God stands on complainers. Would you read out loud with me the first verse of our text- Phil. 2:14- "Do everything without complaining or arguing.."(Repeat) Now, if you immediately are saying in your spirit, “I hate it when he does that.. Repeat after me” then you’re in the right place. God gives it to us in a cut and dry imperative... "Do everything..." Why? Well, once again God knows what is best for us. You see, He knows that a critical spirit is a kill joy. It erodes our peace, it insults the goodness of God and harms our influence for Christ. So, as we continue our series on Freedom! let’s get personal and practical and talk together about how to be “Positively free!”, let’s attack the problem of negativity. And while we talk about this please do yourself and your loved ones a favor. Don’t listen and say, "Oh, I hope my husband/wife is listening to this!" -OR- "I hope so and so is getting this!" Look deep within yourself, because I believe we all, to some degree, have a problem with this. And I promise that If you will heed the advice that the Holy Spirit gives through the Bible today, then your life will be better and most importantly, our God will be honored.

I. CLASSIFYING COMPLAINERS:

Now, before we get into the main part of the message I want to go down one side road. It is important to understand the difference between a legitimate complaint and chronic complaining. There are times when it is not wrong to speak out. If we pay good money for something and it doesn’t fit or we invest hard earned dollars in a car and it doesn’t run properly, or there is a legitimate problem at work we need some avenue to seek correction. And I think we ought to be thankful for organizations like M.A.D.D., Focus on the Family, the A.F.A. and other organizations who voice legitimate complaints and thus make improvements in our society. But our problem is that a lot of our complaining is not about a problem we can correct, but about circumstances we don’t like.


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