Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: 5 helps for solving family problems

Solid Help for Solving Problems

Philippians 4:1-9

Sermon by Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church - June 24, 2007

*Sooner or later, every family will face problems. In this season of church camps, let me tell you about an 8-year-old boy who went to camp some years ago. This was before the days of cell phones, and one day his parents got this post card:

Dear Folks,

I knew all along that something awful was going to happen.

Well, last night it did.


Johnny (1)

*Yikes! Sooner or later, every family will face problems. What are we to do? Today we can look into the Word of God and see.

*Now the problem Paul addressed here was between two ladies in the church. But the principles we see here hold true for every relational problem you will ever face. What should we do?

1. First: Be firm about things that matter.

*But what really matters the most? What matters the most to God? If you had to boil it down to one word, it would be relationships.

1-God cares most of all about our relationship with Him. That’s why vs. 1 pleads for believers to “stand fast [or stand firm] in the Lord.” Relationship: Paul was so passionate about his relationship with the Lord that back in chapter 3 he said:

8. . . . I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ

9. and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;

10. that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death . . . (Phil 3:8-10)

2-God cares most of all about our relationship with Him. The only other thing that comes close is our relationship with each other. This is why in vs. 2 Paul said, “I implore [beseech, beg, urge, plead] Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.”

*Euodia and Syntyche were having a disagreement, just like we have sometimes with our family, our friends, at school, at work, even at church.

-We don’t know what the argument was about. It wasn’t important enough for Paul to even mention. (Have you ever gotten into arguments over nothing?)

*We also don’t know who was to blame. Was it Euodia’s fault? It could have been, but her name meant “Pleasant Journey,” and I am sure she was a wonderful woman. Syntyche’s name meant “Pleasant Acquaintance.”

-Both of these women were good, Godly women.

-Both of them were saved;

-Both of them had worked together with Paul to help spread the Good News about Jesus.

*But now both of them needed to put first things first in their relationship. God wanted them to stop fussing and fighting, because it was a terrible waste and a terrible witness. Euodia and Syntyche needed to change their minds so they could have the same mind in the Lord. As Paul said in 2 Cor 10:5, every thought needed to be brought into “captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

*God wants to change our minds, so we will be firm about the things that matter.

*Remember the strategy Dr. Tony Campolo uses to help struggling marriages? Listen again to the quote I gave you a few weeks ago. Tony said,

-“I challenge those who come to me for marriage counseling this way: ‘If you do what I tell you to do for an entire month, I can promise you that by the end of the month, you will be in love with your mate. Are you willing to give it a try?’

*When couples accept my challenge, the results are invariably successful. My prescription for creating love is simple: do ten things each day that you would do if you really were in love.

-I know that if people do loving things, it will not be long before they experience the feelings that are often identified as being in love.

*Love is not those feelings. Love is what one wills to do to make the other person happy and fulfilled. Often, we don’t realize that what a person does influences what he feels. (2)

*Minister George Crane told of a wife who came into his office full of hatred toward her husband. She told the preacher, “I do not only want to get rid of him, I want to get even. Before I divorce him, I want to hurt him as much as he has me.”

*Knowing how these things often work, Dr. Crane suggested this plan:

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