Summary: God calls us to shine brilliantly for Jesus in a crooked and perverse world! He gave to us His example and His Holy Spirit. May we shine brilliantly for Christ!
Cornerstone Church October 11, 2015
“Work it Out to Shine Brilliantly”
A man dreamed of joining a monastery. His goal in life was to become a monk. So one day he went to a monastery and talked to the head monk and said, “What do I need to do to join?”
He was told that it was more difficult than what he thought. “In our monastery monks are only allowed to say two words every year.” He said, “That sounds a bit extreme, but I’ve wanted to be a monk for so long, I’m going to give it a try.”
So he was shown to his room. And so for the next twelve months the man never said a word. At the end of his first year he was taken to the head monk, and was told he could now say his two words. The Man said, “Food’s bad.” He went back to his room, and was silent for another twelve months.
At the end of his second year he again was taken to the head monk for his two words. This time his two words were, “Bed’s hard.” Head monk said, “OK.” And the man went back to his room.
Another twelve months of silence passed, and he was brought again to the head monk for his annual two words. This time the guy said, “I quit.” The head monk said, “Well, it doesn’t surprise me. All you’ve done is complaining ever since you got here.”
Taken from “Containing our Complaining” from a sermon shared by Mike Turner on www.sermoncentral.com
In our society we could hope for just two negative words spoken!
* Daily every news item instantaneously bombards us!
* Pundits shower us with their rants and opinions following the news!
* Facebook will soon up the ante allowing us to now respond with: Like, Love, Laughter, Yay, Wow, Sad, and Angry! I can picture myself trying to commit to which response I want to give (Wow or Yay)!
* There is an emoji for just about everything!
As Christians I sense we have allowed the world to take our focus off of the LORD Jesus Christ who is our Hope!
Jesus the Light of the World has called us to shine as light in a world that is malfunctioning, filled with broken people, and growing darker every day!
It doesn’t matter what times were like in the 1980’s, the 1880’s or the 1620’s when the Pilgrims established the Plymouth Colony or later the Puritans the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
* We live during these times!
* God who is Sovereign (Absolute Control of everything) placed us here and now!
* Like Queen Esther God has raised us up: “For Such a Time as this!”
A proper attitude they say is everything!
It should be a proper focus is everything!
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Heb. 12:2 NIV
This is why Paul had supernatural joy while in prison!
This is why Paul wrote to challenge the Philippians to stay focused on Jesus Christ and not on the crumbling society around them (the Roman Empire).
Paul ministered in Philippi and helped to plant the church there with individuals like:
* Lydia – the wealthy businesswoman – fasionista!
* Joe the Jailer
* A Slave Girl (part of the enslaved poor)
These and many more from all types of backgrounds and situations are part of the church in Philippi and Paul is challenging them to keep their joy and witness for Christ fervent!
Since the beginning of Philippians 2 Paul has been challenging the Christians to live a life of humility before the LORD!
It is the necessary ingredient that cannot be left out!
“When Augustine was asked to list the central principles of the Christian life he replied: ‘First, Humility; Second, Humility; Third, Humility.’”
“True humility is not thinking less of yourself;
it is thinking of yourself less.”
“Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis
Paul now continues!
Phil. 2:12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
Therefore, my dear friends (beloved), as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence…
JESUS OUR EXAMPLE
Paul ties what he is saying back to the example of the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil 2:5-11).
* Jesus – GOD the Son became human!
* He humbled Himself to the point of death.