Summary: Paul uses a conflict in the church to teach us how to gain victory over trials by giving them to God. Joyfully remembering how God has relieved us of our trials in times past, we are to present our needs to God, and continually focus on things of God!
A. The SITUATION
Epaphroditus, pastor of the Philippian Congregation, has given Paul a report that laid out a difference between two leaders (two women) of the church which has begun to cause dissension in the church. Hard to believe in a church isn’t it?!
1. What do you do when problems in YOUR church arise? How do you handle?
2. Think of our church and it’s entire ministry. How many of you SEE PROBLEMS?
a. How many have an issue with an individual?
b. How many have a concern, worry, or stress of a ministry?
c. How many would be honest enough to admit you are struggling with it!
d. TODAY, we are going to GIVE IT UP! TODAY WE CLAIM VICTORY
3. Would it surprise you to hear me say, “it happens to EVERY CHURCH”!
4. How about in PAUL’S CHURCH OF PHILIPPI?
a. Paul arrested of false accusation (Acts 16.20)
b. Members were trying to stir up trouble (1.17)
c. The church began to be persecuted just as Paul had been. (1.30)
d. This dissension between Euodia & Syntyche
B. The Text Today
- Notice all throughout our text today the word ‘you’ or ‘your’.
- God called YOU HERE (to your church) to be FED and to BE USED.
1. Text shows/teaches what to do when trouble/concern/worry arise!
2. It shows how to give it to God
3. It ALSO shows VICTORY IN PRAYER IF you give it to God
TEXT IS FOUND IN PHILIPPIANS 4:2-9
I. DIFFERENCES COME TO EVERYONE
READ VERSES 2-3
A. Euodia & Syntyche
1. ‘have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel’
Word ‘contended’ in GRK means to wrestle/labor together for something. Most theologians believe these two ladies to be deaconesses of the church –
Paul FIRST turns to the problem HEAD ON (NOT ANOTHER PERSON)
2. ‘…loyal yokefellow, help these women’ And ‘the rest of my fellow workers’
Saying don’t be a part of encouraging it – be a part of stopping it!
1. TO THE CHURCH
a. What do you do when problems, concerns, frustrations, or worry come to YOUR church?
b. Don’t run from it –don’t promote it with the loose tongue but HELP TO STOP IT! It’s NOT of God!
c. We are not isolated. Stand up to it.
2. TO YOU PERSONALLY
a. Don’t run from it – don’t pout over it– don’t let it worry you to defeat but STAND TO STOP IT!
b. YOU are not isolated. It’s NOT of God! It’s when you lay down in defeat that Satan gets and edge with it.
II. REALIZE GOD IS BIG ENOUGH – NO NEED TO PANIC!
Disharmony, just like any other storm, is a tool that Satan uses to distract you from God.
Part of the process is NEXT MAKING SURE YOU REALIZE AND BELIEVE THAT YOUR GOD IS BIG ENOUGH TO HANDLE WHAT YOU ARE FACING!
READ VERSES 4-7
‘Rejoice’ - The ‘Lord is near’ (Vs. 4-5)
While Paul is obviously teaching a turn to God, he is actually reminding the church they are not home and that’s worth some excitement.
1.27: ‘conduct yourselves in a manner worthy’
3.20: ‘our citizenship is in heaven and we eagerly await a Savior from there’
‘do not be anxious about anything’ (Vs. 6)
Lit. = ‘Be careful for nothing’. Don’t cave in to worry!
When believers worry, they say that ‘they don’t believe or trust that God will provide and that they doubt He cares or is BIG Enough!.
ILLUSTRATION: Rick Warren: "Worry is the warning light that God is really not first in my life at this particular moment."
by ‘prayer & petition’ = A solemn appeal to God for a sense of want or need.
ILLUSTRATION: Graham Scroggie - "Pray when you feel like it, pray when you don’t feel like it, pray until you do feel like it."
in ‘thanksgiving’ - remembering and thanking to Him for times past
So how much has God helped you in times past? Remember those times!
‘present … to God’- Lit. = the specific details of supplication. TELL GOD!
God alone can help you – BUT – YOU must ASK FOR HELP and WITHOUT THIS HE HAS NOT PROMISED TO HELP YOU!
BUT In confidence that HE is ABLE - believing (because He has) that He not only CAN but DESIRES TO help you!
When we give it to God, he removes the stress and worry. Notice the progression as it continues.
‘the peace of ‘GOD’ (Vs. 7)
Not the peace of the world but the same peace Jesus promised his disciples.
**John 14:27 (NIV)
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.