Summary: Thoughtfully embrace the good God has for you.
S: Focus on Positive
Th: Toward the Goal
Pr: THOUGHTFULLY EMBRACE THE GOOD GOD HAS FOR YOU.
?: What? What is there?
TS: We will find in our study of Philippians 4 seven qualities that are to be embraced.
CV: “In living these values, we will give God the best we have to offer of our time, efforts and resources.” [concluding statement]
VII. EXCELLENT & PRAISEWORTHY
PA: How is the change to be observed?
• Deliberately use your mind and focus on the good stuff.
• Consistently practice what you profess.
• Follow the good examples you have been given.
• Experience the peace of God.
RMBC 03 August 08 AM
How do you handle the stresses of life?
There are a lot of them, that is for sure.
Many of us are thinking a lot about the economy, as gas prices have started us down the road of inflation and recession.
Many of us are thinking about the conflicts in the Middle East and wonder if it will ever end in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Many of us have been thinking about crimes in the news this week – a bus passenger stabbed to death in Canada, a child abducted from her mother by the estranged father in Boston, and a wife murdered by her preacher husband in Georgia hides her in a freezer.
And then there are just the ordinary day to day stresses of living.
So it is no wonder that many of us have been thinking – is there a way to stop the pain, the meaninglessness, and the guilt?
We do live in a complicated and hurting world and there are many out there that offer answers.
Most of them, unfortunately, offer only sham answers, falsely preaching the gospel of self-esteem, self-realization and self-effort.
Over and over again, these kinds of answers are repackaged and resold as the newest answer to the stresses of life.
One of the latest editions of this is A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.
Ordinarily, I would not issue a warning about Eckhart Tolle, except for two reasons.
One, he quotes the Bible extensively in his book and second, Oprah has endorsed him by making him a part of her reading book club, which rocketed the book to #1 on the best sellers list.
Tolle, though, is just another tired syncretistic mixture of Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity.
But he has become widely popular because of Oprah’s support.
All you have to do is go to oprah.com and take the web classes “Are you ready to be awakened?”
You too can be enlightened to the true answers of life (forgive my sarcasm).
Simply, though, Tolle offers answers that are not biblically true.
And I want to encourage you, if you have been looking into Tolle (which I do not recommend), don’t take Oprah’s word for it.
Study this stuff – and you will find he is wrong about the nature of man, the person of God, and the our relationships to each other.
His solutions are man-made.
Tolle is just making another man-made attempt to find fulfillment by redefining God.
But note this…
God will simply not be ignored, denied, controlled or redefined.
It does not work.
And it will come to naught – guaranteed.
The apostle Paul, though, does offer real answers to the stresses of life.
We have been studying the letter he wrote to the church in Philippi.
And in this letter, he has been encouraging them and us.
Paul urges us to move “toward the goal.”
Paul wants us to understand that the work God has begun in us, He will not leave undone.
God is going to finish it.
In the meanwhile, we are to follow the example of Jesus, who taught us that the way up is down.
Jesus truly taught us how to live a humble life.
Paul wants us actively pursuing Christlikeness.
And he gives us his own example.
For he not only wants to know the power of Jesus’ resurrection, he also wants to experience the fellowship of His sufferings.
When we follow Paul’s example, we are moving toward the goal.
As we come to today’s passage, here is the main idea that I want us to walk away with.
THOUGHTFULLY EMBRACE THE GOOD GOD HAS FOR YOU.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me — practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.