Summary: PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST BASIC QUESTIONS WE ASK OURSELVES AS A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST IS, “HOW DOES SOMEONE GO ABOUT LIVING THE CHRISTIAN LIFE?”, OR, “WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF LIVING FOR CHRIST?”
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO LIVE THE CHRISTIAN LIFE?
Philippians 2:17-24 But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. 18 You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me. 19 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition. 20 For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus. 22 But you know of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father. 23 Therefore I hope to send him immediately, as soon as I see how things go with me;
24 and I trust in the Lord that I myself also will be coming shortly.
INTRODUCTION: PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST BASIC QUESTIONS WE ASK OURSELVES AS A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST IS, “HOW DOES SOMEONE GO ABOUT LIVING THE CHRISTIAN LIFE?”, OR, “WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF LIVING FOR CHRIST?” THESE ARE REALLY QUESTIONS LOOKING FOR A TANGIBLE ANSWER TO A SPIRITUAL SITUATION. SEE, ONCE ONE HAS COME TO CHRIST AS SAVIOR, ETERNITY IS SECURE; HEAVEN IS OUR HOME, ETC. WHAT WE STRUGGLE WITH IS THE HERE AND NOW. WITHOUT LOOKING LIKE WE ARE WORKING FOR OUR SALVATION, WE REALLY WANT TO KNOW WHERE WE GO NOW THAT WE HAVE TRUSTED CHRIST AS SAVIOR.
THIS PASSAGE GIVES A GLIMPSE INTO THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION, AND WE SEE THE ANSWER IN THE LIFE OF PAUL AND IN PAUL’S DESCRIPTION OF TIMOTHY.
I. LIVING THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS LIVING IN CONTRAST TO THE WORLD WE LIVE IN
a. PAUL AND THE DRINK OFFERING
b. IT IS AN ILLUSION TO THE SACRIFICES PEOPLE MADE TO THEIR GOD’S
c. PAUL WAS SAYING THAT HE WAS OFFERING HIMSELF TO OTHERS
i. AT THE SAME TIME, PAUL IS ASKING THE PEOPLE NOT TO FOCUS ON WHAT IS HAPPENING TO HIM
ii. PAUL WANTS THEM TO FOCUS ON THEIR FAITH
iii. WHEN PAUL IS DONE, WHAT HE HAS DONE WILL ONLY BE A SMALL OFFERING FOR THEIR FAITH.
d. DIRECT CONTRAST TO THE KIND OF THINKING WE HAVE TODAY
II. UNDERSTAND YOUR UNIQUENESS
a. PAUL SAID THERE WAS NO ONE ELSE LIKE TIMOTHY
i. EMBRACE YOUR UNIQUENESS IN THE BODY OF CHRIST – THERE IS NOT ANOTHER YOU HERE!
ii. DEFINE YOUR UNIQUENESS – WHERE DO YOU FIT IN?
b. DO SETTLE FOR THE LIE THAT YOU DO NOT FIT IN. EVERY PIECE OF THE BODY COUNTS
III. DEVELOP A CONCERN FOR OTHERS
a. GENUINE CONCERN
b. THE THOUGHT HERE IS TO HAVE A CONCERN THAT IS NATURAL, NOT FORCED
c. THIS IS AN AREA WHERE WE CAN ASK GOD TO GIVE ME A GENUINE CONCERN FOR OTHERS
i. TO SEE THEM AS JESUS SEES THEM – LOST AND WITHOUT A SHEPHERD
ii. NO DIRECTION
iii. NO PROTECTION
d. ALSO TO BE ANXIOUS FOR THEM
i. DRIVING FORCE IS TO SEE THAT NEEDS ARE MET OT THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITIES
IV. MAKE JESUS A PRIORITY
a. DO NOT BE SELFISH TO HAVE YOUR OWN WAY
b. TRY IT GOD’S WAY
i. HE REALLY DOES KNOW WHAT IS BEST
c. WHAT REALLY INTERESTS CHRIST
V. DEVELOP YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS SERVICE