Summary: If we could measure love the chart would tell us so much, because in reality, love is the key to building the kingdom. Paul is telling the Philippian believers to abound in Christian love. (Philippians 1:9)
We have a board that we post the different reports on in front of the Sanctuary, such as attendance last week and last week's offereing.
Wouldn't it be cool if we had a way to post abounding love?We have increased by seventy percent in love over last week.
If we could measure love the chart would tell us so much, because love is the key to building the kingdom.
Paul is telling the Philippian believers to abound in Christian love. (Philippians 1:9)
Today I thought we would begin a journey through Philippians and see what the letter of Paul said to the Church at Philippi and what it has to say to you and me.
v. 3 Paul had the Church backing him: Paul knew that he did not stand alone in the world and he expressed his thankfulness for those who loved and supported him...
He was not alone in sharing Christ. He belonged to a great family, a family of believers who were living for God and sharing Christ with a lost and needful world.
When Paul wrote to the Philippians he was in prison in Rome which was a great distance from the Philippian believers. Paul was operating on the memory of their time together.
While sitting there in prison, remembering their love, their care and support, his heart swelled up with thanksgiving for them, and he thanked God for them.
This is an awesome lesson for us! If Paul thanked God for believers who were so far away from him, how much more should we thank God for each other?
We have the love and care and support of each other week by week and day by day, and we can call upon each other for help any hour of any day. Yet how often do we thank God for each other?
We are not alone in the world. God is building a body of people who are committed to live for the Lord Jesus Christ and to carry His gospel of salvation and love and care to a world that so desperately needs to hear the good news.
Col.1:12 "giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light."
Co1.3:15 “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful”
v. 4 You Are In My Prayers: Paul says that he always prays for the church. The idea is that he prayed all throughout the day for them. They were constantly on his mind and in his prayers.
While we were on vacation I thought about each of you, daily…
But am I to focus on Elim Bible only?
As Matthew Henry says, Paul prayed by name for all the churches he knew, and he had seasons of prayer for each church (Matthew Henry's Commentary, Vo1.6. Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell, no date listed, p.724.
Here is a powerful lesson in prayer! What if we decided:
To pray by name for all the churches we know, and not for ourselves, only.
To take blocks of time (seasons of prayers) to pray for each of those churches.
To always-all day long-pray for the churches around us.
I pray for you each day but how often do I pray for those around us, who are serving the same Jesus we are?
Jn.17:20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;”
**Several verse you can write down where Paul is thanking God for the churches
Rom 1:9 * Eph 1: 16 * Eph 3: 14 * Col 1: 3 * Col 4: 12 * 1Thess 1: 2
v. 4 You Bring Me Great Joy: Think about this; Paul is in prison, yet his heart is filled with joy. Joy, as used here, (chara) means an inner gladness; a deep pleasure, assurance and confidence. It is a cheerful heart that leads to a rejoicing behavior.
The joy of the Lord is not the same as the joy of the world. The joy of the world is more of a temporary pleasure than true joy. The world's joy is always nagged by some incompleteness, some lack, some unfulfilling thing, some missing ingredient. There is never completeness--nor a complete sense of assurance, confidence, and satisfaction.
There is always, the haunting awareness, that something can go wrong at any moment: circumstances can change that will disturb our earthly joy. Sickness, death, financial loss, war are just a few things that can steal our earthly joy.
There are three things I want to share with you about the believer's joy.
1. The believer’s joy is divine.
It is possessed and given only by God. Its roots are not in earthly or material things or cheap