Summary: We all get so busy doing Gods work, that we forget to PRAY about the work we are doing for HIM. Paul encourages his congregation to stop and pray and rejoice while they are doing it.
THE SECRET KEY
10-17-10, New Liberty Christian Church, Veedersburg, IN with Pastor Rich McQuinn
TEXT; PHILIPPIANS 4:1-23
INTRODUCTION: It was the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that got Paul into trouble and started his journey to Rome. It is in Rome that Paul writes to his beloved church in Philippi. A city, a church, a people that he dearly loved.
Do you remember how he got there? Acts 16 tells the complete story and the exciting witness. Paul did not travel into that city by chance. No travel agency directed him to a nice hotel, palm trees, ocean view, all you can eat buffet and a clean germ free bed to sleep on. Instead it was under the direction of the Holy Spirit and the need for a New Testament church to be born.
There was a talented girl that kept stalking Paul and Silas as they preached. She kept interrupting them as they presented the Gospel. Paul rebuked the spirit living inside the girl and the spirit left. Her handlers were angry and had the preachers arrested and thrown in jail. It was midnight when Paul and Silas were having a prayer meeting------after-----they have been beaten. Can you believe it? A prayer meeting. They were praying and singing. The music and words bounced off the rock walls. Everyone in the jail could not help but to listen to their singing. What has gotten into these guys?
You may remember that there was a giant earthquake and the jail was torn apart and Paul and Silas were free, but they did not leave. Their prayers in a difficult time were answered immediately. We know him only as the Philippian jailor, but he took these men of God to his own home, washed their wounds and gave them plenty to eat.
One more thing you should know at least. The jailor immediately asked the question that the world is still asking. The question that your family may be asking you, or your neighbors, or a complete stranger. What must I do to be saved? Acts 16:30.
If someone asks you this same question today, would you know the answer? Could you tell them how to get to Heaven? Would you be able to pick out the Bible Verses and teach them the plan of Salvation? Paul told them what to do in verse 31. You should read it and see what happens next.
Paul has now written a magnificent letter to the church he help start. Chapters 1, 2, 3 are from a father image man whose heart is filled with joy and love for this church. He is so proud of them his heart could burst. It was one of his greatest joys of the ministry.
Now in chapter 4, he sums up his writings and gives them encouragement to go on witnessing in the name of Jesus the Christ.
Do you know what witnessing means? It is not someone who necessarily stands on the busiest street corners with a huge Bible in his hand and reads aloud from it so all can see him and hear him. It is not necessarily those who travel in twos and go door to door and passing out literature. Witnessing can be both of these, but more to the fact it is the example you set by your every day life.
Do people know you to be a liar, a cheat, a person who does not keep his word, or a straight shooter one that is filled with love for his neighbors and tries to help them no matter what color their skin is or what nationality they belong to? Your good witness can go along way for THE KINGDOM!
Paul in the last chapter expresses pure joy once more. Rejoice in the Lord Always and again I say Rejoice. Vs 4 Be full of joy, you have a lot to be thankful for. He goes on to thank them for their sacrifice of offerings that they have sent to Paul while he was in prison. He gives them his heart and his love.
I like that! When a Pastor can leave a certain church work behind and move on. He remembers the great things that happened and are still happening and I believe that he is super proud to be a part of starting a new church work and watching it grow. Amen!
I have to tell you that Paul teaches all of his congregations with the same message.
The call, the message of salvation, repentance, witnessing and praying. I do not believe that any preacher, pastor, minister, what ever you refer to us as behind our backs, is not worthy of his calling unless he teaches every congregation the plan to get to heaven and how to effectively pray. Paul has taught them to pray, he has demonstrated how to pray and now he is saying to them that he is praying for them.