Summary: During this series we will be looking at Paul’s letter to the Philippian church. Paul founded the church at Philippi and wrote the letter during a time of imprisonment in Rome. One of the themes in the book is joy. (some thoughts taken from a series by Cr
Philippians Pt3- What are you thinking?
Continue- 3rd part- series on Philippians.
Encouragement- read Philippians- over/over- meditate.
This week- pick up w/chapter 2:1.
One of our themes- joy- last week- Joy in Suffering.
Paul is writing to Philippians as a Roman prisoner.
Dreamed of going- Rome to preach- went as a prisoner.
Even though his dreams seemed to be shattered he was able to find joy in his circumstances.
Joy is not dependent on circumstances, but on God.
Learned- in suffering- instead of asking- Why-ask What.
Why Q’s- focus inward- What Q’s- turn- focus outward.
What is God doing?
What is God’s purpose?
What does God want to show me?
What does God want to do through this?
Important take away from last week-
When we ask What instead of Why, we become partners with God, not victims of circumstances.
Make my joy complete- in this chapter- discover that-
Joy is found in serving God and others.
If we live self-centered lives we will never find true joy
Paul- talks about how- thinking affects our Christian life.
In one sense, you might say-
Joy is all in your mind.
If your mind is self-centered- you will always lack joy, if your mind is God centered- you will find joy.
Rom 12:2 (NASB) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
2 Cor 10:5 (NASB) We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,
Phil 4:8 (NASB) Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Our mind plays a big part in our ability to walk in joy- you can chose to serve others or be self- focused.
Joy is also part of the fruit of the Spirit- one of the results of placing God first in our lives.
Joy- a calm delight
Joy is not up one minute and down the next-
Joy is not swayed by circumstances, but it is found in the consistent experience of the presence of God. (Craig Groeschel)
v2:1-4 (add vs 3-4) (Eph 4:2-3)
Another concern Paul has is for unity in the church- being of the same mind.
Four truths that define being of the same mind-
1. maintaining the same love
2. united is spirit (focused on one purpose)
3. regarding others more important than ourselves
4. looking out for the interest of others
Christianity is not an individualistic religion, it is a family experience.
As Christian’s we are called to live selfless, giving lives.
v2:5 (add vs 5)
Difficult verses- most of what I do is selfishly motivated-
what is going to happen to me,
what is in it for me,
how is this going to affect me?
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit- yet most of what I do is selfish.
How many would say that is true for them as well?
Humility- humility of the mind, lowliness of the mind-again, much of our problem is in our thinking.
Often we think more highly of ourselves than we should.
We cannot walk in humility and be selfishly minded.
Who will occupy rent free space in your mind? (Pastor clyde Oliver)
Paul says we should be- v2- intent on one purpose.
That one thing- you and I are bond-servants of Christ.
We vacillate between being focused on self/God.
Ja 1:8 (NASB) being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
When I am focused on God- experience joy- when focused on self- joy leaks away.
It is not that we do not take interest in our own affairs, but never to the exclusion of God/others.
We take care of ourselves to be free from selfishness so we can help others with pure motives. (Gal 6:1)
v2:5-7 (2 Cor 8:9)
Jesus took on the role of a servant.
Grasped- to plunder, robbery, to take by force.
Jesus was God but did not consider being equal with God something to steal.
In OT- Lucifer- arc angel- one day he wondered why it was all about God- He wanted more attention.
At that moment he grasped for something that did not belong to him and God cast him out of heaven.
The moment he grasped he fell and lost the joy that comes from being in the presence of God
Satan took- same philosophy into the garden of Eden.
He said to Adam/Eve- you can be just like God.
What did Adam/Eve do- they grasped for what was not theirs (fruit of the tree) and they immediately fell.