Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: All we may have to offer up is broken pieces – give it to Him. He can use it. We may not have a lot of knowledge or skill – give it to Him. He can use us!

Perhaps you’ve heard of the best selling business author and speaker Harvey Mackay? His books include “How To Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive”; Beware Of The Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt”; and “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty.” Harvey was waiting in line for a taxi at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie and freshly pressed black slacks, Wally the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back door. Harvey noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside spotlessly clean. As Wally slid behind the wheel, he said, "Would you like a cup of coffee?" Harvey said, "No, I’d prefer a soft drink." Wally smiled and said, "No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice." Almost stuttering, Harvey said, "I’ll take a Diet Coke." Handing Harvey his drink, Wally said, "If you’d like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today." As the taxi pulled away from the curb, Wally handed Harvey a laminated card and said, "These are the stations I get and the music they play if you’d like to listen to the radio." As if that weren’t enough, Wally told Harvey the air conditioning was on and asked if the temperature was comfortable. The driver then advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day. Wally also let Harvey know that he’d be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts. "Tell me, Wally," the amazed passenger asked, "have you always served customers like this?" Wally smiled and looked in the rear view mirror. "No, not always. In fact, it’s only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I read something that said if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you’ll rarely disappoint yourself. So stop complaining. Distinguish yourself from your competition. Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd." "So I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers unfriendly and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more." "I take it that has paid off for you," Harvey said. "It sure has," Wally replied. "My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year, I’ll probably quadruple it." Wally the cab driver made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like a duck and to start soaring like an eagle.

So which one are you? A duck or an eagle?

This morning we are reading from Paul’s letter to the Galatian Churches. The region of Galatia, located in modern day Turkey was not far from the city of Tarsus where Paul was born. As you are aware, prior to his rather sudden and amazing conversion to Christianity, A member of the ultra-orthodox sect of the Pharisees (the religious rulers of the time) Paul was one of the up and coming stars in the Jewish faith during the first century. Paul received a thorough training in the Old Testament Scriptures studying under the famous Rabbi Gamaliel. In fact Paul mentions in this letter that “I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.” And he goes on to give credit to God for saving him through grace, to reveal Jesus Christ to him that he might preach the Gospel message to the Gentiles, and here we are.

For any of you who may be new to the study of the Bible and its people, Paul’s miraculous conversion is detailed in the New Testament book of Acts, penned by the Gospel writer Luke.

Our study this morning, the “Spirit of Life Through Jesus Christ” is based on the fifth chapter of Galatians, verses 16 through 25:

Paul writes, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

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