Summary: Paul reminds us that true joy in life is found as we continue to grow spiritually!
TEXT: Philippians 1:3-11
TITLE: To Live: GROW
SERIES: To Live (Philippians series)
TOPIC: Spiritual Growth
OCCASION: Burnside Christian Church June 21, 2009
PROP.: We are EXPECTED to Grow. God wants us to Grow. Paul wants us to Grow.
INTRODUCTION: Good morning! We find ourselves preaching through the book of Philippians. So please be turning to chapter 1. There are two things that I would ask of you as we study this letter that was written by Paul to the Christians living in the city of Philippi:
1. Bring your Bible and a Pen
2. Read through the book of Philippians each week.
I told you last week that the purpose, the reason, that Paul is writing this book is to teach us how to live.
I think a lot of us need to learn how to live life. We’ve been getting all wrong.
That in essence what Paul is saying to us is: That life is not a problem to be solved…but a adventure to be lived!
If you weren’t here last week, we didn’t get very far. We only covered the first two verses of Philippians but from those two verses, we learned that Paul is a slave of Jesus Christ.
And because he is a slave of Jesus Christ, Paul has GRACE & PEACE. But it doesn’t stop there…he wants US to LIVE! And to live, to REALLY live, we need Grace & Peace. And we learned that we get grace and peace when we submit ourselves fully to Christ and become slaves of Him!
That was in verse two. We only got through two verses last week. I know we are going to do better this week.
Our text is Philippians 1:3-11
3I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,
(Let’s stop there for a second. Paul starts this letter like he does so often. He starts with a greeting and then a prayer. Now Paul is sitting in Jail while he is writing this letter. So Paul has plenty of free time on his hands. So I am guessing that he spends time daily praying for all the churches he has started. You can read about Paul’s first visit to Philippi in Acts 16. And he tells the Philippians that he is always praying with joy for them.
Why is Paul joyfully praying for the Philippians?
Its there in verse 5: “because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”
The new american standard reads: because of your PARTICIPATION in the gospel…
Paul is thrilled that the Philippians weren’t just sitting on the sidelines with their faith. They were involved in ministry! They were serving! They were giving! They were telling others about Jesus!
ILLUSTRATION: Share a Plate with Mark…
I feel the same way that Paul does! There are sooo many people here at Burnside Christian church who are participating in ministry! I have been on the receiving end as people have been bringing a meal to share! Linda Jacob has been lining this up and I am so thankful to her and to people who unselfishly give and prepare food! How humbling it is to be served because people love the Lord!
I want to ask…
Are you a partner in the ministry that takes place here at Burnside? Are you participating in ministry? By the way: Complaining about the ministry isn’t participating in the ministry. This has happened to me more times than I can count: I’ll be at Wal-Mart, or at a restaurant or at an area church event and I’ll see some people from other churches and ask, “How are things going?“ And the response I get is - “Well, things are going ok…BUT our youth minister isn’t doing what we think he should be doing. Or our preacher isn’t taking us in the direction we want to go. Or the elders aren’t doing their job…“
And I wonder: What are YOU doing to help the situation? You see, I think some Christians have got the complaining thing down. But not the participation thing down.
We have a desperate need of people to step up and work! To serve. To give. We need teachers. Nursery workers. VBS helpers. The list goes on and on.
I know we have so many people who ARE participating in ministry. You are faithfully serving and teaching and giving and working. Thank you! I like Paul, and joyful that you are working for Christ. But if you are not plugged into an area of ministry where you regularly work for Christ…would you consider doing so? We desperately want to partner with you in the work that is being done for the sake of Christ’s kingdom!