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September 13, 2021 2:00 am
As the church in Philippi grew, it experienced growing pains. In the message "The Anatomy of a Healthy Church," Skip shows you how Paul addressed some of those problems and applied the right prescription for them.
This teaching is from the series Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians .Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
So what Paul does his brilliant clever. He takes on a social issue any moves it onto spiritual ground becomes a spiritual issue settled the disagreement in your focus on God's glory came at his glory. Focus on what you want. This is all tied up with the New Testament concept of uniformity doesn't mean you can have your own opinion your own ideas, unity in the church unity among Christian is what proves the veracity of the Christian message. Corrie 10 boom set united with other Christians wall with loose bricks is not good. Bricks must be cemented together today on connect with Skip Heitzig Skip shares how you can experience the joy of loving your brothers and sisters, just as Christ loves you over the want to invite you to be a part of a life-changing journey take a trip to experience Israel, not just the historic landscapes, and delicious. But the spiritual significance in 2022.
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Chris's.com/ABQ. Now let's get into today's teacher Philippians chapter 4 as we begin our study with Skip Heitzig people come to me for counseling. On the issue. I asked him a question that surprises I will say what would it take for you to stop following Jesus. What would remain as well insert some kind of event you can think of some catastrophic topic about that of like God crosses that liner he takes that person away from me. I quit over to take to get you to stop following Jesus or are you like the song. That is some I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back. I'm standing firm I'm standing fast and African pastor in Zimbabwe died, was martyred for his faith in Christ by persecutors after he died. Among his papers was found something he wrote it turns out this was his philosophy of life, but it's noteworthy. Listen to what he wrote, said my face is set. My gait is fast. My goal is heaven, my road is narrow my way is rough. My companions are few, my guide is reliable. My mission is clear I cannot be bought. Compromise detoured Lord away, turned back, diluted, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity negotiate at the temple table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity or meander in a maze of mediocrity.
I won't give up, shut up, let up or slow up until I preached up prayed up, paid up, stored up and stayed up for Christ. That's how that's all he let that steadfast and I got until he was okay with. I think right now is going yeah I made the right choice. So a big heart, a firm stance. There's 1/3 component and that is a warm embrace. Warm embrace.
That is the ability to take two parties that are in disagreement to embrace both of them and helping them to resolve the conflict. Verse two. I implore you only and I implore soon 2K. Aren't you glad you have the name that you have and pardon me if I offended anyone here name soon 2K, I doubt that is the case, but I implore these two gals to be of the same mind in the Lord and I urge you also true companion help these women who labored with me in the gospel with climate. Also in the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. We don't know anything about who these ladies really are. We don't know any details about their argument that are not mentioned anywhere else in the New Testament we just know that something between them happened. We do know what their names mean you only is a word that means good journey or have a good trip. The word soon. 2K is a Greek word that means fortunate or lucky. So forgive me, but I'm to give them these names on a medical one misses good trip and the other Miss lucky, so Mrs. good trip and Miss lucky love each other or part of this church and fellowship together and probably brought deviled eggs to the potluck. But something happened between Mrs. good trip and Miss lucky and the disagreement got to be so advanced that it polarized the church and groups developed around both opinions. Paul writes about it is that enough of it needs to get it resolved something about these women. We do know they were prominent women.
They were just any woman. They were prominent women. How do we know that because verse three all said they labored with me in the gospel at significant.
I'm guessing I can prove I'm guessing that they were among the first women who were at the first prayer meeting in Philippi. The story accept for 16 to refresh your memory, Paul goes to Philippi. There is no Jewish synagogue there. The law required at least 10 males, 10 men to form a synagogue. There weren't any. So it says on the Sabbath day. We went outside the city to the Riverside where prayer was customarily made and we spoke to the women there were praying. Women Jewish women at a Riverside that was the first meeting. Paul attended I'm guessing these women you already and soon 2K were part of that first group.
I love the idea that a church was birthed out of a group of praying women. We talk about the founding fathers. These are the founding mothers of the church, but a personal conflict has erupted into two antagonistic groups so Paul wants to stop and here's what I want you to think of. The only time their names are mentioned in the Bible is over an argument they had and now it's immortalized for the next 2000 years people to read the Bible. Those are the two gals in Philippi who had a disagreement.
Wouldn't you hate that. And so Michael Bentley asked this if in 100 years time. Your name is to be discovered in an old document what one thing would you like the finder of that document to learn about you to a good question because these two women to Philippi go down in history being remembered for a disagreement. Now notice the solution. I think the solution is found here this the solution to their disagreement is found in the phrase don't overlook this phrase in the Lord. Look at it, I implore verse two. View you already and I implore soon 2K to be at the same mind in the Lord. This is not Paul throwing in a spiritual phrase that so little sound good. This is really the solution to the problem. It's the same thing as in verse one. Notice he says stand fast in the Lord. Verse four rejoice in the Lord always.
The solution is always in the Lord because he's usually the one people forget when they have an argument with each other when they don't disagree they have a viewpoint you have a viewpoint you go at it you have forgotten the Lord's viewpoint. So what Paul does is brilliant is clever. He takes a social issue and he moves it onto spiritual ground. So, becomes a spiritual issue now settle the disagreement in the Lord's focus on God's glory. Amen his glory. Focus on what he wants. This is all tied up with the New Testament concept of unity. Uniformity does mean you can have your own opinions in your own ideas, but unity in the church unity among Christians is what proves the veracity of the Christian message. There is no unity in the church people are to listen to much else. We have a set so I found something very interesting from the skull. The American psychological Association. They studied an orchestra and in an orchestra's fascinating of all these different instruments and orchestra pit and it's like one harmonious sound. Will this psychological Association decided to ask the different people in the orchestra. What they thought of the other people in your and they discovered percussionists were seen as insensitive, unintelligent, and hard of hearing, yet fun-loving string players were seen as arrogant, stuffy, and an athletic, the orchestra members overwhelmingly chose the word aloud as the primary adjective to describe brass players, woodwind players seem to be held in highest esteem described as quiet and meticulous, though very egotistical.
I have a question, given what you just heard how on earth can people with such different perceptions of one another, and different personality quirks make beautiful music together the answer they subordinate their feelings and their biases to the leadership of the conductor. They put all that's once again in the pit and they got the music in front of them and thereby ready to play.
Think about what the personality differences are. The opinions are the political differences are stances are there to make music. They subordinate all of that to her conductor wants to follow the conductor so that wrapped up in the idea in the Lord.
He's the conductor that's the solution a big heart, a firm stance. A warm embrace was a three of the five components of your for a Mary soul verse four rejoice in the Lord always again I will say, rejoice. There it is again this guy in jail keeps getting happier.
Rejoice in the Lord always and I'll say it again rejoice not sound like a command right like stand fast, rejoice something where to walk up to a grumpy person you rejoice really. You're telling me is a command to do that. Why does it come off as a command wall for the same reason he says it twice. He says rejoice in the Lord always and just in case you forgot what I just said salient rejoice and I think the reason he says it twice. The reason it comes off as a command is it ain't easy to always rejoice hard to be joyful. What this tells me is that joy is a choice more than a feeling the joy is a decision much more than it is a sensation that joy is an outlook that is based on an outlook and how often are we to rejoice.
Will says rejoice in the Lord sometimes or did I read that wrong. I'm sorry, rejoice in the Lord. Most of the time. I still blew it up. Rejoice in the Lord on Sunday at 1230 in church know. Rejoice in the Lord always.
How can a man say that. Here's what joy is a personal choice to react to life's uncertainties with faith.
My definition of joy. Joy is a personal choice to react or respond to life's uncertainties with faith, for he says rejoice in the Lord, even to say, rejoice. He qualifies a rejoice in the Lord we translate that my wife life is tough, but God is good, life is tough, but God is good. Rejoice in the Lord always. Nepal did this, he testified of this in his own personal life. Second Corinthians 6.
He writes being sorrowful, yet always rejoicing the net so weird you know you can have both. You can be filled with sorrow and grief and pain at the same time. Your soul rejoices, you're experiencing both your experiencing one which are making the choice for the other responding. That way, Paul and Silas were put in jail, and Philippi. You know the story they were beaten beaten up pretty hard. They were put in chains and stocks fastened to the wall.
There bleeding and it says at midnight Paul and Silas were they do sing hymns is the darkest time of the night, the darkest dungeon they been in for a while there bleeding bloods coming on their arms are fastened in stocks and Paul turns to his body, Silas, and they you know song yeah but this one. He startled the harmony they sing hymns to God at night, being sorrowful, yet always rejoicing. Proverbs 15 verse 15 says he who is of a Mary Hart as a continual feast and you know when you find people like that you're attracted of them right there. Great advertisement for the church God deliver us from grumpy Christians get more of the lightbulb ones out there. As Ben Franklin said you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
You know you catch more souls away to. So a big heart, a firm stance. A warm embrace. A Mary soul all constitute a healthy vibrant church filled with individuals like there's a final one. A soft touch will close with this verse five. Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Whenever there's a conflict like this conflict at Philippi. It's that gracious, gentle diplomatic touch that will make all the difference were gentleness could be better translated sweet reasonableness. I love that. Let your sweet reasonableness be known to all men.
The Lord is at hand and this is the person who carries around a big bucket of mercy and when that person finds failures in faults and shortcomings that just starts pouring the bucket of mercy that direction that that's sweet reasonableness. Let me say a word to so many of you who are mature believers. I know you're out there. Some of you have grown in your faith admirably. So you become leaders.
You know the Bible. Your Bible experts you serve in a mature leadership capacity and as wonderful as that is the danger with that is the the older and the more advanced you grow in the Christian faith.
Sometimes, we can forget what it's like to be newly born in a fresh off the slave market liberated and the Christ. We forget that. And so what happens is arrogance begins to creep in and a snobbery of spiritual snobbery starts creeping into people don't feel relaxed around us because were so all let me remind you of something you weren't always this awesome you are and always this knowledgeable.
You weren't always so mature as you are now so keep that in mind and give them a little slack and be beat. Be be softer in your touch gentle in your touch to work them. It says in Proverbs 15, you know this well. A soft answer turns away wrath, that soft touch when there's conflict in any group home church.
Whatever that soft touch. Remember, you follow the Savior who said I am gentle and humble in heart, you follow that God that guides humble neckties, gentle so if we follow him some of that on a rub off now I have a hunch that some people here have a real battle with anger could be that you battle a critical nature just been a part of who you are for a number of reasons, bitter feelings are part of that some of you even battle outright rage. What Paul is saying in this verse is you need to get a new reputation.
You need to be known for some us. If you want to reset your life is a good place to start. Let your gentleness be known to all men.
Other words start being famous for your gentleness. Let that be a reputation and why should we. Well, it says the Lord is at hand.
Now I think most people read is about Jesus coming back. You better straighten up is right around the corner. You better watch it because he's going back now what it says the Lord is at hand that can refer to nearness in space or in time. Most people think it means time the Lord chronologically speaking is coming soon and I believe that is but I think the context suggests nearness in space. He is saying to the church at Philippi. God is among you, God is present, God goes to church to so he's with you, he's present. Be gentle because the Lord is present with his near so back to where we started. Okay I said the ministry is of the church is a ministry of people of the church lives because it's people are alive. The church withers and dies is because it's people are doing that person. So there's a guy named Tim and he wrote something very honest. Tim was a Christian.
Tim was a mature Christian. Tim was a leader, but Tim found himself having conversations with people who were other believers and invariably in the conversation, it would go negative toward the church, he found himself cut a talking smack about the church, his church, the church, all churches Christians are like that he does not himself credit on the negative role so as he was doing that one day he said he had a mental image flashed in his mind of a bride and the groom on their wedding day and in the mental image he saw himself walking up to the groom on the wedding day and leaning in and saying your bride is ugly you can imagine doing that right and he said I would never do that mean no matter how unattractive a bride might seem to somebody else to the groom. She's gorgeous. She's radiant, but he said the Lord used that it was as if he was saying to him every time you criticize my church you're telling me my bride is swift to be very careful how we talk about what Jesus said is the only thing he came to build and that is his church. I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against so deviled eggs at a potluck will not prevail against the church or anything better or worse, his bride, I finally just want to say a word to those of you who have been hurt by the church. I don't know your background, but I could guess that in this group some of you have bad experiences in your past you left the church, you have not fond memories of his leadership.
They did something to you or your family are still holding onto that and I just want to say to you on behalf of the church as a representative how sorry I am. I'm sorry that whatever church it was whatever city you came from, whatever happened to you.
Would you just accept that apology from a representative of his church. I'm sorry. But now I quickly want to say this, Jesus never said follow my people, he said, follow me and said, follow my pastor sees that follow me. You never said follow my church said, follow me. So don't take it out on Jesus for having some bad representatives because here's the deal. He's the only perfect one we follow a perfect Savior imperfectly were all in perfect so and and and if you're pushing Jesus away at arms length.
If you decide I'm in a follow Jesus, the perfect window to be around a lot of people like you in perfect you know the old joke ever find a perfect church don't join a cudgel, spoil, and so were were all in perfect we get that were called to pursue the perfect Savior. And as we look to him and we look at all the people around him, wallowing imperfectly at some point we need to overlook them and keep looking to the perfect as he can and will change your life, then Skip usual resource that introduces you to the key players in Israel in the Middle East and shares what their decisions are significant for you. New York Times best-selling author Joel Rosenberg is now based in Jerusalem and he's releasing the new nonfiction book enemies and allies I traveled with Joel to the middle of the cities to meet with Kings Crown Prince. We sat together on the east lawn of the White House for the signing of the historic Abraham accordance and I previewed his new book enemies and allies. I can tell you it contains never before published quotes from behind closed door meetings with some of the most powerful and mysterious leaders in the Middle East.
You will want to read enemies and allies by Joel Rosenberg includes insights and analysis. The authors conversations is what leaders meet's howls person language means income to meet the most consequential receipt leaders enemies and allies by Joel Rosenberg insights and analysis from the authors conversations with some of the most controversial leaders in the world will send you a hardcover copy enemies and allies. Thanks for your gift of $35 or more to give.
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