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February 7, 2019 3:00 am
You know, because I'm a person who can't of always interested in words and meaning of words of often question myself when I hear a word that is used and occupied asking myself was at me.
For example, when I call the hospital to check on the patient and this all his in a stable condition.
I can scratch my head was at me because the Oxford dictionary defined stable as firmly fixed. Not easy to be moved and I wonder is it is a given. Not getting better on the getting worse is that what it means another definition of the word stable is resolute, not wavering all fickle and in reality when it comes to our spiritual lives being stable should be the goal of every single believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and the reason for that is we easily moved and if we allow our emotions to take over. We will be all over the map, but to be spiritually stable means that you're not easily shaken that you are not easily addressed with the prevailing mood of culture that you are not easily carried away by the waves of public opinion so that you are not easily swept off your feet. With every new fad that comes into town. That's what it means spiritual stability is the burden of most if not all the writers in the New Testament. It is the burden of their hearts. It's a burden of the apostle Paul in the production added every epistle. It is the burden of Peter and Jane and that is why in first Thessalonians 38 Paul said, for now we really live when we standing firm in the Lord in second Thessalonians 215 he said so then, brothers, stand firm. James in chapter 1 verse eight tells us about the person who's lacking spiritual stability said he is double minded and unstable in all his ways.
The apostle Peter tells us in first Peter 512. This is the true grace of God stand fast Internet why why should all of these New Testament writers constantly pleading with believers to stand firm and to have spiritual stability because then you they understood that spiritual instability would lead to spiritual burnout and spiritual burnout will lead to discouragement will lead to doubt and to populate effectiveness in the ministry of Christ, and that is why I want you to turn with me now to Philippians chapter 4 beginning verse one all the way to verse nine and you'll see here how we can live as stable Christian life. We are toward the end of a series of messages from Philippians. This epistle of joy about the joy of the Lord and that's why I'm calling the series is contagious.
Pass along before first how you can catch the joy of the Lord. They were so high you can keep the joy of the Lord in your life.
Then we saw how to exhibit the symptoms of the joy of the Lord.
Then we saw how to infect others with the joy of the Lord so how to value in your life.
The joy of the Lord and then we saw in the last message how to appropriate all of the blessings and all of the advantages of the joy of the Lord. And today I want to tell you about how that joy of the Lord stabilizes your life and mine and the apostle Paul basically gives us for things he doesn't spell them out. I'm just summarizing for you. First, in verses 1 to 3 of chapter 4, he said you can achieve that stabilizing power of of joy from body standing firm and majoring on the majors. The secondly in verse four he said, but always rejoicing in the Lord. And thirdly, in verse five, six and seven, he said, by praying and not complaining or instead of complaining.
And finally, verses eight and nine by filling your mind with godly thoughts. How do you measure on the measures by standing firm by resolving that you gonna stand firm in the Lord not beloved. This is a command. It is not a suggestion, and the English that you get from this passage is that of a general who has gone into a territory and he defeated that enemy and he had taken over the territory. And as he defeats the enemy completely and subdue them and takes over the territory turns around and he hands that territory is a already been conquered to the soldiers to the offices to his army and that is why this holding army when they come and take that territory they have confidence not on who they are, what they have done, but they have confidence that the general has already defeated the Army. All they need to do is to stand firm in the victory of the general and in our case the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. We stand firm, because Christ has already defeated the enemy we stand firm, because he already conquered death and the grave. We stand firm, because he already knocked Satan's teeth out. We stand firm, because he has defeated fear and anxiety and doubt. We stand firm, because Christ already has taken over all of the territories of sin and guilt and render them ineffective. We stand firm, because Christ has already obtained a victory for us.
We don't have to go and get victory in order to gain the toys Christ has already destroyed all of the elements that cause us to lose our joy.
That's a picture that the apostle Paul gives us here you heard of double jeopardy.
You know, double jeopardy is it is you can't be tried for the same crime twice, and that policy be tried twice for our sin and guilt.
And that's why the Bible said. Therefore, there is no condemnation upon those who are where in Christ Jesus. We cannot be tried again because Christ bore our punishment on the cross because Christ paid death sentence because Christ removed our sin as far from the East to the West. Therefore, we stand on his victory.
We stand covered by his righteousness, not ours. We stand firm in his power. We stand firm in his accomplishments, not ours. We stand firm in his glory. We stand firm in him leaving us onward and upward. We stand firm in the past that you already have mapped out for us. That is why we cannot be judge for sin. Christ paid for it already, and that's why Paul goes on to say to us to stand firm and that he immediately go into rebuking two ladies in the church of Philippi. These two ladies. Obviously were doing most of their thinking between their chin and the nose of Riverbend that I've done that these two ladies in the church of Philippi.
There were fighting over minor issues.
I promise you if there were fighting over major doctrinal issues that has to do with the gospel of Christ that has to do with the applicable truth. Paul would've taken sides would say you wrong you write but he doesn't. He clearly thinks that these were issues just simply difference of opinion they not important. Beloved, listen to me because one of the saddest things in life is when a husband and wife are forever bickering on each other, fighting with each other over silly thing over the things above. Another important things but the problem is those little things unless they nipped in the body and taking care of the gonna grow to be big things that some people actually forget what to start fighting for about one of the saddest things is when two brothers in Christ are two sisters in Christ going to battle with each other over a difference of opinion has nothing to do with the gospel has nothing to do with salvation has nothing to do the biblical truth. One of the saddest things is when believers get hung up on style rather than substance. And you know what Satan said. He loves it in a time when we are facing the most horrendous attack by the forces of evil. The last thing we need to do is to get bent out of shape over personalities and feelings is what Paul's argument here and that is why he tells those two precious ladies in the church in Philippi, he says I agree in the Lord is saying don't be divided over opinion but agree on Lord because that's who we can agree on.
Instead of insisting on my way right submit to one another on those issues that I'm really not important. Submission the spiritual authority is a dirty word in this postmodern times it really is and had the problem, together about submission to spiritual authority and that is why Paul tells him actually to submit to his yoke for fella.
The pastor that he set up in the church in Philippi most likely preferred items, whom he appointed as an overseer is a spiritual authority in the church. Why because the call of the church of Jesus Christ is not to get stuck in the minor issues of life. But it is to minister to one another to restore the falling to encourage the weekend in the fainthearted. It is to bring about the father's business is to go about serving one another instead of insisting on my way. Paul knew that the one thing that would steal the joy of the believer.
Is this stubborn insistence on their opinion. He knew that is one thing that will steal your joy as fast as you can count and when the joy is missing. Believers become destabilized when you become destabilized within the life of an individual Christian or Christian home for Christian community. When you become destabilized when destabilization takes place in your life, you open the door. 100 for Satan to come in and set up his beachhead. Trust me I know what I'm talking about. We often talk about the panic attacks, atomic attack, but you know that most believers actually open the door for Satan to come and attack them by foolishly not understanding how to major on the majors and mine on the minors because this is going to produce believers who are richer and vengeful and critical and hostile and unforgiving, and proud for Paul understood that unless a decisive action is taken quickly. The Philippian church is going to get disintegrated into hostile factions and that is why. Twice he says I urge you, I urge you he is pleading with them. So what is the answer resolved to live in harmony in the Lord. Mary John the majors and mine on the mine's the way human nature is that we forget that we stand on Christ's victory. We really do we become divided instead of seeking peace and reconciliation. We get on the bandwagon to take sides and thus we get sidetracked from the call of the gospel stand firm by majoring on the majors. Secondly, rejoice always in the Lord. This is the whole epistle is the pursuit of joy and rejoicing.
These building up the entire purpose overcome the verse two of chapter 4 dissecting legislators be reconciled as a whole purpose of writing there. Some people think that they are rejoicing in the Lord when they are on emotional high in a spiritual steroid era that is rejoicing. For some people think that when you have this ecstatic feeling you rejoicing a beloved thought at all times and on rejoicing in the Lord, I'm sitting in silence and tears staining my face when you rejoicing in the Lord.
Sometimes when you become so overwhelmed with gratitude to God that you are speechless. Can't say anything that you're delighting yourself in the Lord even when everything is blowing at your face, your rejoicing in the Lord even when your circumstances.
Think your rejoicing in the Lord and we have seen throughout the series of measures the difference between happiness and joy happiness is that then I get excited when you get a 20 don't you go down in the dumps.
But when the Lord is the object of your joy when he is the object of your rejoicing.
You will be able to rejoice in him no matter what you say will Michael Halcomb Halcomb because when all of your sufficiency is in Christ, you're not going to be a gossiping are going to be a backbiter not going to be a conceited person you not going to be filled with pride. You not going to be a stingy person with the work of God. You not going to be bitter in spirit.
When the Lord is all your sufficiency. You will always again and again and again and again rejoice is a how do I experience the sufficiency of the Lord. There is no other way other than sitting down and spending time with him time to know him something on his character.
Todd denies word time denies promises time to know his desire and his will for you joy stabilizes our life when we stand firm in major on the majors.
Secondly, when we always rejoice in the Lord. And thirdly by praying instead of complaining. I wanted to look with me please versus five, six and seven because of the contrast here when he said let your gentleness be evident.
He's not saying let's all become wimps or let's all become milquetoast nonowner.
Too many people confuse gentleness with wimpiness not remember his continuing this theme that is going through.
What is that theme of bending where it doesn't matter. And that's what gentleness is all about being flexible in the matters of opinions is what gentleness is all about being gracious in the issues that have nothing to do with the gospel that will ultimately cause you to rejoice. Why, because you are imitating Christ. Our through the years I have seen couples fight over the silliest of things. I really do have seen it and neither argue about everything. The important things and unimportant things I never asked my wife's permissions. Organize for forgiveness later but I can tell you in our relationship. I have sent them many times. I don't care if the wall is pink, blue, yellow, green, I don't care if the carpet is black, white, doesn't matter to me.
But when it comes to money, I'm all nose. I have a nose for these things. If we can afford binomial fashion guy I get credit for that we can afford it. When I got to spend the money. You don't need it until God provides the money won't get so instead of properly determining that your opinion is the right one Friday. That's what Paul is saying here I call upon the Lord, there is no greater assurance of spiritual stability in your life than being confident that the Lord is near. By the way, he's not talking about the second coming of Christ with his return is near. He is talking about the Lord's nearness with us in every day, every moment that he's nearness and that's what he saying. Just remember that you know why because when we can see the Lord with our physical eyes. We tend to forget that he is right there is in the middle of that argument is in the middle middle of the debate is in the middle of all that we tend to forget that he's closer to us in our skin so you heard me say this before you know when the kids were teenagers and there were dating and I'm so glad those days are over. I pray for you who have kids and soon I used to say to them and their friends actually nudges them with all their friends outside. I remember going out on the date. Jesus is sitting between you. They used to come back and say to me that you ruin the date also. Praise God when we know that the Lord is literally sitting next to you that he is right.
So near the closer to us in our skin you and I'm not going to be obstinate when I got to be obnoxious when I get a bit anxious when I go be worried. Let gentleness be evident to all, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be known to you know what most Christians do the reverse.
The apostle Paul's formula. They really, really do most Christians do army and they let everybody else in the world know about their needs and not only one that they should go to when he complained to everyone who would listen instead of going to the only one who can meet our needs. We tell everybody about of victimless instead of going to the only one who can do something about it. Let me give you a use of interpretation. Another translation is an interpretation. I guess this kind of put it in that in every day language is what Paul say be gracious to people all but pound as hard as you like on the doors of heaven has to say what you like to be polite toward God.
Within the tell everybody everything that reverse the formula he is saying these stable and you're dealing with people but get out of balance when you're dealing with God, for he is the only one who has a cure from anxiety is the only one who has peace.distorted spirit is the only one who has power to change us, and to change others is the only one who can transcend and overrule all of the human impossibilities is the only one who can supersede all of the human powers, all of the human plans of the human scheme is the only one who can open doors that nobody can shut, and he can shut doors but nobody can open is the only one who stands guard puts a garrison around your mind around your heart. Even in the midst of trouble to give you peace.
As we say the stabilizing joy comes from standing firm in majoring on the majors.
The stabilizing joy comes from always rejoicing in the Lord and thirdly the stabilizing joy comes from praying and not complaining forcefully.
He said the stabilizing joy comes from filling your mind with godly thoughts filling your mind with godly thoughts. I'm sure for patient to be stabilized even as Gullah medication letter nutritional all stuff that the doctors have to do in order to get him to that stable condition and the same thing with us spiritually, you heard the computer Thomas is garbage in garbage out as we are, what goes inside of us comes out and says you are what you eat until you biblical truth. You are what you think what you think. What fills your mind on a daily basis. Whatever fills your mind is going to come out in your life is going to come out in your behavior. Sooner or later.
If you're constantly filling your mind with lustful thoughts. Your behavior will reflect that in your life if you fill your mind with angry thoughts, revengeful thoughts. Sooner or later you will be an angry person. If you sit in front of the computer and watch all of this pornographic stuff sooner or later, your behavior reflects the garbage that you're watching.
If you read sleazy books all the time and sleazy magazines expect the best, can be reflected in your life if you fill your mind with the feeling of victim mentality. You will live in self-pity or poor me, poor me for me. If you try to count all the great things you did for God and all the favors that you get all the things you did for God you can count on being an ungrateful person, no gratitude, that is why verse eight Paul said, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if you fill your mind with godly thoughts with God honoring thoughts.
If you fill your mind with Christ centered thoughts.
If you fill your mind with Christ likeness is all I wanted fill my mind of how I reflect you in my life, that's exactly what your life is going reflect Proverbs 23, seven says whatever a man thinks he is your what you think. And so, my beloved friends.
It comes as no surprise to any of you that we live in a culture where people no longer ask what is the truth. What is the truth so many decades of relativism and the truth is what you make. The truth is what you believe the truth of how you feel have now taken hold and yet in reality for the joy of the Lord to reign supreme in our lives for stability to fill our lives, we need to fill our minds with Christ centered thoughts major, every thought you have with the word of God and the God whose character is peace, the God whose property is serenity.
The God whose name is Jehovah shalom the God whose nature is peaceful, will give you supernatural peace which will give you strength and would give you tranquility I will give you contentment even in the toughest of times and that will produce stabilizing condition father we just rejoice in your word.
We thank you for your word is is so rich. Each one of those items with fill an hour by itself but to thank you for the glimpse that we see.
We thank you that you always bring us a word of encouragement. A word of rebuke.
A word of exhortation and father. You know the heart of every individual here. Nothing is hidden from you, and so as we come to you knowing you the omnipotent and omniscient God, we confess to you that we got hung up on some silly things in nonimportant things. Homes got messed up and our friendships got messed up because of unimportant things. Father we pray that you help us and to learn this lesson of majoring on the majors.
Help us to stand firm in your victory, Lord, because that's the only victory that we can have and father above all, I pray that for those who are lacking your piece today.
Whatever the cause of the loss of the joy and peace operate in the name of Jesus that you point out to them if they need to do some if you need to repent. If they need to ask for forgiveness if they need to do something. Father I pray that you restore that piece to. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael. You sat recently featured on leading the way. If you'd like to know more about us, please visit LTW.org that's LTW.org