Sermons

Summary: We can live with the gace and peace of God, no mater our circumstances!

West Greeley Baptist Church

July 21st 2002

Philippians 1: 1-2

“With Joy”

Pastor Mark Hensley

“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers[1] and deacons: 2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

Introduction: If you’re like most folks, you probably pick up household supplies and sundries at the local super market, perhaps even on your way home from a harried day at the office. After Hearing Bill Porter’s story you may rethink these and other aspects of your life - aspects that many of us take for granted.

When introducing a segment on Bill Porter’s life, ABC’s 20/20 host Hugh Downs said, "This is a simple story about a simply remarkable man." Born with cerebral palsy, Bill was told by many that he was unemployable. With the continual support of a dedicated mother and the indomitable spirit that is his trademark, Bill Porter has supported himself for decades selling household products door to door for the Watkins Company. While the people on his route didn’t always need what Bill was selling, they grew to understand that we all need people like Bill Porter in the world.

Bill had refused to let cerebral palsy stop him from supporting himself financially or rob him of his dignity. Whether it is finding cooperative bellmen at the hotel down town to button his cuffs and tie his shoes or beaming a video to his speaking engagements because of ill-health, Bill gets the job done, and does it all with a smile and a wave and without one moment of doubt or self-pity. Bill Porter graduated from high school at the age of 22, having to first go through a special school for the disabled, even though his disabilities are physical, not mental. Rather than receive disability assistance from the state, he sought a job and eventually was hired by the Watkins Company, as a door to door salesman. He agreed to be compensated entirely on commission and took on a territory no one wanted in order to close the deal. Bill went on to become the top grossing salesman in Portland, the Northwest, and the U.S.

Transition: Bill’s story is a story of courage and a story of joy in spite of severe physical limitations. Many if not most people would pity Bill Porter, refusing to believe that in hardship you can live a life “With Joy.”

The Apostle Paul will teach us that a life “With Joy” is not only possible for a Christian it’s expected! Philippians 1: 1-3

“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers[1] and deacons: 2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

*The author, Paul, wrote while incarcerated. He’d been imprisoned on trumped up charges and was awaiting his trial before Caesar in Rome.

Get the image in your mind. Paul was chained, day and night, to a Roman soldier. The soldiers took turns being shackled to him, but Paul remained bound to somebody at all times. He had no privacy or privileges. This condition may have lasted as long as two years.

It was under these circumstances that Paul wrote a letter to the church he’d founded at Philippi. He addressed lots of issues to these believers. But his main concern seems to have been that these Christians experience the same joy he had, yet without the literal chains. *From the sermon: “Looking beyond Your Obstacles” Pastor Joel Smith Wellspring Community Church 01-24-01

You can live with joy if:

I. Your conscious of God’s grace

II. You drink deeply from the well of God’s peace

I. Your conscious of grace. “Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers[1] and deacons: 2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Greek word for grace is caris. Its basic idea is simply “non-meritorious or unearned favor, an unearned gift, a favor or blessings bestowed as a gift, freely and never as merit for work performed.”

Expanded Definition—theological

Grace is “that which God does for mankind through His Son, which mankind cannot earn, does not deserve, and will never merit”1

Grace is all that God freely and non-meritoriously does for man and is free to do for man on the basis of Christ’s person and work on the cross. Grace, one might say, is the work of God for man and encompasses everything we receive from God. From the article “Grace and Peace” by J. Hampton Keathley III, Th.M.

Writing from prison, feeling the isolation and pressure of roman cruelty Paul reminds the believers then and believers now that even in life’s pressure times we have hope! The hope that comes from the love of God that reaches out to assure us that he is not absent or distant or unconcerned but near!

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