Summary: Paul wanted the Philippians to know how wonderful it was to serve Christ and praised their efforts to be the servants God called them to become...
Date Written: October 6, 2011
Date Preached: October 9, 2011
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: A Series from Philippians
Sermon Title: Rejoicing In God’s Lagniappe
Sermon Text: Philippians 4:10-20 [ESV]
Here as Paul concludes his letter to the church at Philippi… I want us to review a bit about what Paul has said to them… and what we can take from this book to apply toward our lives as believers!
Paul has stressed his love for these believers over and over again and in many of his letters to other churches Paul speaks about the importance of love within the Christian walk… the implication is that LOVE must be central in the walk of the believer! And for US today, we must focus on loving God, loving each other and sharing God’s love with the lost world around us!
Paul also spoke to these believers about remaining faithful in their walk in Christ. This means that when we live our lives… we must live our faith out loud so that the world has NO doubt about our standing in Christ, so that they NEVER misunderstand or that we NEVER misrepresent our faith or our Savior! Our lives must match our talk… our witness must reflect the Gospel of Christ to the world around us… Paul called these believers to WALK the TALK… we are called to do the same today!
Paul then shared several examples of those who WERE faithful in their walk… those faithful to WALK the TALK in their actions and lives. He spoke of Jesus, Timothy and Epaphroditus, and how their examples were there for them to patter their own lives after! Paul even challenges these believers in 4:9 to live out their lives as they had seen Paul and his team live out their lives… God has promised that when we HONOR Him, that He is going to HONOR our service to Him. It doesn’t mean wealth… it doesn’t mean riches… it doesn’t mean a life without trouble… it doesn’t mean everything will go our way… but it DOES mean that we are in God’s Will and it does mean that God is blessing our service to Him.
Paul then called them to not focus on the things of this world… to not allow the things of the past to hinder their walk here in the present! It doesn’t matter what ‘those things’ were… they were to let go of the past and strive forward for the glory of Christ in God!
This meant that all of their heritage as the ‘people of God’ was insignificant, but that what mattered now was that Jesus had made a way for them to be PERMANENT residents in God’s kingdom! This means that today we too must let go of the past so that we can serve God today where we are today… we cannot allow the “glory days” of the past to distract us from our work today…
Then the past 2 weeks we have seen Paul challenge these Philippian believers to STAND FIRM in their walk, to not waver in the living out of their faith. Stand because Christ stood… stand because God will not leave you… stand because you have faith God will deliver! We are called to STAND FIRM in our walk, through all the trials and setbacks this world has to offer us… STAND!
Then last week we saw how Paul comforts the hearts of these believers by telling them that he understood how difficult living for Christ may SEEM to them, but if they were faithful to Jesus and trusted fully upon Him… God would deliver them!
Paul tells these believers that NO MATTER what comes their way, focus on Christ in prayer and thanksgiving and God will bless their lives with a peace that calms their hearts and eases their minds from the anxieties and troubles of this life! A peace that we cannot understand, but a peace that He will deliver… a peace that only HE can provide!
We are challenged to surrender our anxieties, let go of our anger, tear down our pride and prejudice and serve Him and He will grant us peace when the world around us is in turmoil… we will be guarded by this peace and it will deliver us through all the difficulties that we may face!
But today as Paul wraps up this letter we find him continuing in this same vein… as He begins in v.10 with “I rejoiced…” Paul’s focus is rejoicing and Paul’s focus is also NOT material things or personal accolades OR personal advancement… but Paul’s focus was rejoicing in what God had done and what God is still doing.
Let’s look at v.10-20 and see how Paul rejoices in many ways in these last few verses… I believe Paul is rejoicing in what we here in South Louisiana would call…“God’s Lagniappe”! Follow along as I read Phil 4:10-20 [ESV]