Summary: Sometimes God allows us to go through some things to bring us to our point of blessing.
“Pressed To Be Blessed”
Philippians 1:21; 2:5; 3:13-14
1. My bro and my sis, this book was written to the church in Philippi by the apostle Paul while imprisoned in Rome. His purpose for writing this epistle was to encourage the church at Philippi to continue to spiritually grow in Christian living. It’s a letter dealing with the level on which all believers should be striving to be and where God wants us to be. Now I need to tell you that Philippi was a special church to Paul, not only because they were one of the only churches serious about their walk with Christ, but also because of how he got to Philippi and what happened while he was there. The bible says that Philippi was his second missionary journey, not by choice but by God’s will.
a. You see Paul was in Galatia and he wanted to go south to Asia, to the church at Ephesus, but God put up a roadblock and said no. So then he tried to go north to Bithynia and Acts 16:7 says that the spirit suffered them not.
i. So he couldn’t go south, he couldn’t go north and he was coming from the east, so that only left one direction west. But when he went west, he ended up in Troas which dead end at a body of water. The bible says that Paul did not turn around and seek another direction but he sat there and waited for further instructions from God.
b. Now my bro and sis you need to catch this because many of you have been in Paul’s shoes where that it seemed like no matter what direction you went in, in life, it was a dead end. I mean the year 2001 just wasn’t your year. Every road led to a dead end.
i. Your job situation seemed to be a dead end.
ii. Every financial move you made ended up at a dead end.
iii. Your marriage seems to be at dead end.
iv. Even your spiritual growth seems to have come to a dead end and you’re now saying, “Oh what shall I do? Where shall I turn? Where do I go from here? How can I stop 2002 from being like 2001”?
1. And Paul has given us the answer, don’t do anything, just wait for instructions from God, for Psalm 37:23 says, “that the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord” (elab).
2. And until God says, “get to stepping”, you need to do what Isaiah says in Isaiah 40:31, “just wait” (elab). For they that wait upon the Lord, he shall renew their strength, they shall mount up on wings as eagles.
a. Though the pressures of life weigh you down, just keep on pressing for your blessing (elab).
2. So the bible says that Paul waited on the Lord, God directed him to get into a boat and to go over into Europe and when he got there, he went straight into Philippi and many marvelous things were done in Philippi. Because of time, I don’t have time to deal with them this morning, so lets get to the letter that was sent to Philippi. Remember the purpose of this letter was to encourage them in their Christian living and the 1st section of this letter deals with the philosophy of Christian living.
a. Paul says in chapter 1:21 “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain”. Now if you notice in your bibles that the word is, is in italics, this means that the word is was not apart of the original writing. The original wording said, “for me to live Christ, and to die gain”.
i. This is the philosophy that every Christian must adopt. To live Christ now in order to gain the fullness of Christ in death.
ii. To live Christ means that your walk everyday must be Christ-like.
1. In your home you must live Christ. On your job, etc.
2. To walk where that others will see Christ in you because you may be the only bibles some may ever read (elab).
a. On last night, if you were in the club, you were not living Christ.
b. If you cuss folk out at a drop of a dime, you are not living Christ.
c. If you are a C.M.N.E. Christian. Christmas….
d. But to live Christ means to serve Him daily for the word says “that you must deny yourself and take up your cross daily and follow Christ.
e. In times like these, God is wanting to know is there anyone who is willing to develop the philosophy of Christ and live Christ (elab).
f. Is there anyone willing to press to be blessed (elab)?
3. So in chapter 1, Paul deals with us developing the philosophy of Christ. When we get to chapter 2, he tells us that we must pattern our lives from Christ. He says in chapter 2:5, “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus”. This deals with us having the attitude of Christ. Now I need to hang my hat right here because many believers have been fooled by the devil into believing that we are to simply imitate Christ. This verse does not call us to be imitator’s, it calls us to be duplicators’. Imitators’ are look-a-likes of the real thing. And the one thing about an imitator is that when it is put to the test, when it’s tried by the fire, it will always fail because it’s not the real thing.