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November 9, 2020 5:02 pm
The post Sermon: The Making Of A Servant (Philippians 2:19-30) appeared first on Redemption Church.
Thank you so much for being here on this snowy day. There is a lot of other places could have chosen to be this morning and I am glad that you have chosen to be here to worship Jesus together today we are glad to have you with us. We are especially glad if you are here is our guest and redemption this morning. Thank you so much for coming and we hope you are made to feel welcome and in-home in every way. My name is Tim Lewis on one of the pastors here at redemption. And if you are here is our guest today. We would love to do anything the week to help you.
Pray for you and help you in any way that we can pursue cards on the table right on the other side of this wall. Here is a connection card of the top if you wanted to fill out one of those and give it's one of the pastors or just drop it in the offering box in the we love to do anything to be a blessing to you, help you in any way that we can, but thank you for being here if you got your Bibles find Philippians chapter 2 Philippians chapter 2 were continuing today in our journey through Paul's epistle to the Philippian church and glad to have you join us for this morning.
I did a search this week.
A Google search that I began by typing. Most successful. You guys know how Google works right. If you start typing something Google tries to read your mind what it thinks you're going to search for based on what all the other billions of people on the all in the world have searched for and so I typed most successful just to see what it would show me what other people search for and here are the top results of things that people look for when you're looking for in terms of the terms of success.
Number one people search for most successful shark tank business idea and if you don't know what shark tank is you'll have to Google it yourself. I number two was most successful, America's next top model, continuing on the search for most successful movie most successful YouTube are most successful businesses most successful franchises most successful American Idol contestants and most successful band of all time. You can kinda see a theme through those a lot of those are business related. Know what I gotta do to get ahead.
And so I saw that and I have to confess that got me curious, and this is how you waste your life away on the Internet right here.
Then I had to know right so down the rabbit hole. I went researching what were the most successful ones of all of these and so to save you all the work. I'll tell you this morning the most success shark tank business idea is something called the scrub daddy what the scrub daddy is, but apparently it's responsive some kind of magic sponge that may have us scrub daddy and several so I think it gets it gets firm and cold water and soft and hot water. The other way around.
Something like that anyway.
10 million people have bought a scrub daddy with profits of over $50 million so that shortening person, contestant, whatever they are, has done well. The most successful, America's next top model. I don't know who this is, either, but it's a young lady named Annalee Tipton was apparently gone on to have a great deal of success in several movies and TV shows.
The most successful movie of all time is avengers endgame, which had 2.7 built in dollars in ticket sales. However, when you adjust for inflation. It is still not the most successful movie of all time. The most successful movie of all time adjusted for inflation is a little film that came out in 1939 entitled gone with the wind, gone with the land I will give you my opinions on the movies.
I'm not here to be a film critic but gone with the men when made $400 million in 1939, which when adjusted for inflation works out to about $3.5 billion today, so it's still the most successful movie, the most successful YouTube are in all plan on all planet Earth is a man named cutie pie. I doubt that is given and that's is YouTube name cutie pie.
Some of you gamers will know my kids know but apparently cutie pie just plays video games and gives commentary on it while he plays it and he has 105 million subscribers. He has made millions of dollars on YouTube playing video games.
The most successful businesses to begin the most successful small businesses in 2020. If you are thinking about opening your own to most successful in 2020 20. Are these the ones that are the quickest to turn a profit are to open your own auto shop or open your own food truck and so now you entrepreneurs know if you're thinking about opening your own franchise. The most successful and most profitable franchises in 2020 on McDonald's Dunkin' Donuts which I find funny since our just closed McDonald's Dunkin' Donuts and the UPS store, but you could have some money to start one of those if you want to start a successful franchise on the cheap. One of the cheapest franchises to to buy into 7-Eleven.
You can own your own 7-Eleven for as little as $50,000 and they stopped the store for you, which might explain mother building one on every corner in Weaver County. Right now, right there everywhere. The most successful American Idol contestant is Carrie Underwood, Carrie Underwood's had 17 Emmy nominations. Five.
Not enemies, enemies with when Grammy Grammy 570 Grammy nominations five Grammy wins and she has a net worth of only around $70 million. So she's done okay. She's sliding by and the most successful band of all time. You probably know but somebody tell me the Beatles and I know liking the Beatles is one of those things you're supposed to do if you're cool you disposed like the Beatles. I'll confess I never have. I don't get it. I know some of you think now you're not gonna listen to anything I said because you're mad at me for not liking the Beatles, but I've never been a Beatles guy, but they have sold 178 million records in the United States alone. So now you know I but after doing all that work in research on that. I'm still thinking this really doesn't help me and I'm trying to answer the question, what does it mean to be a success because any answer you get from the world is always going to be in terms of being the most something right in order to be a success, who's got the most wins in football in the NFL.
And I can't stand Tom Brady on the lies never done anything to me but I hated I don't hate them I love them in Jesus. Whatever I like Tom Brady but is 16 super Bowls in a let anyone 11 straight AFC JDs championship.
That's hard to argue with any time or thinking in terms of success more worldly perspective, it's always going to be those kind of term somebody who is that who made the most money. Who gets the most views who sold the most albums who lost the most weight. Who was the most best looking, whatever. It's always going to be in those kinds of terms med but doesn't seem a great way to measure success. There's a website called success.com that the best I could tell is just dozens and dozens and dozens of articles on how to be your best you or whatever. It's a lot of self-help motivational signals. Whatever but a good stuff on there and and they even realize it. Success.com that's not the best way to measure success. Their definition is a little different there definition of success is don't measure yourself against what everybody else is doing.
But to be a success, you need to just set personal goals and then set out to achieve those goals will that's a whole lot better but I still think it's a lefty way to define success for two reasons. Number one, you and I are near smart enough to know what our own goals should be. We think we know what's best for us but very road. Rarely do we. I'm all for setting personal goals and achieving whatever, but I'm not the best person asked what the best direction for my life is what my goals need to be the wrong person asking the number two on top of that you can give thousands and thousands of examples of people who set their own personal goals who achieved every single one of them and who died miserable and unhappy.
First, how do we figure out what is it mean to be a success when we reach the end of this life. How will we know if we did what we were supposed to have done, how we know if we achieved enough in Jesus definition of success was a whole lot different than anything you'll hear every anywhere else, and I think it's worth hearing. Jesus said this in Mark chapter 9 Jesus said whoever wants to be first arrived we want to hear the end of the statement right. That's what he signed up if you want to be a success. Whoever wants to get to the top. Whoever wants to be first.
Jesus said this, whoever wants to be first, he must be last, and the servant of all. By Jesus definition of success is not the person who climbs their way to the front of the line.
A person who is asked. Success is the person who willingly places himself at the back of the line and their okay being for sale that another way, the true heroes are not measured in terms of success. True heroes are measured in terms of their service in our text today in Philippians chapter 2 Paul introduces us to a couple men, we don't know a whole lot about, but according to the apostle Paul. They both meet that definition. Start reading with me. Philippians chapter 2 will start in verse 19. Paul's writing back to the Christians in Philippi and he says this. I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so they may be cheered by news of you, for I have no one like him who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare, for they all seek their own interest and not those of Jesus Christ. But you know Timothy's proven worth. How is a son with the father. He has served me in the gospel.
I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me.
Remember, he's always writing this from prison awaiting trial he to know if you can live or die. Send him just as soon as I find out and I trust in the Lord that I shortly shortly.
I myself will come also. I thought it necessary to send you a path for die. This, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier in your messenger and minister to my needs for his been longing for you all and is been distressed because you heard that he was ill.
Indeed he was ill near to death. But God had mercy on him and not only on him but on me also list I should have sorrow upon sorrow, I'm the more eager to send him therefore that you may rejoice in seeing him again and that I may be less anxious. So receive them in the Lord with all joy and honor such men, for he nearly died for the work of Christ risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me. So we made their Timothy and a path for guidance to everything we know a little bit more about me piece things together for Max and Paul's other letters. Paul first met Timothy on his first missionary journey. Acts chapter 14 when he came to Lister in a slightly Timothy became a follower of Jesus at that time, we know his mother and grandmother were Jewish. They probably became Christians at the same time we know his father was a Greek. But we don't know anything else about his dad. Other than that, Paul came back to Lister on his second missionary journey and if you know the account of acts you know that it is first first trip. He had a young man named John Mark with him the kind of services paid and his assistant John Mark didn't return for Paul's second trip and so when Paul got to Lister. He and listed Timothy to fulfill that role in Timothy begin traveling with them on his journeys around the Mediterranean, sharing the gospel in overtime.
Paul and Timothy develop this very much of a father-son relationship as they work together in the gospel in many, many years later, Paul wrote what we call the day the books of first and second Timothy in the New Testament are letters that were written to Timothy when he was the pastor. Many years later at the church in Ephesus so compared to Pepperdine as we know a lot about Timothy because of Pepperdine as we know nothing about other than what we find in these verses only place he's ever mentioned in the pages of Scripture and from the verses we just read in from chapter 4, I think it's verse 18 the church of Philippi had sent a gift to Paul help provide for him while he's in prison because you gotta remember first century prisons were a whole lot different than prisons today. Paul was under house arrest exchange, a Roman guard 24 hours a day seven days a week but had to provide his own housing and he had to provide his own meals. So is in a rented room but had to pay for and had proper vipers own meals and even the worst prison in the world in the country today a cotton, three meals, at least round in doing that for you while it's hard to kind of earn enough money to do that when you're under arrest right so you're totally dependent on other people. So the Philippians had sent a gift with Pepperdine this financial gift to provide for Paul while he was awaiting trial, but that's virtually all we know about Pepperdine's what fascinates me about both of these men is they don't go even though we know very little about them. Paul holds them up as examples of the kind of men that he'd been talking about.
If you look up in verse three and four were Bobby told us a few weeks ago but Paul says don't do anything out of selfish ambition or an conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourself impulses.
These two guys I'm sending to you are those kind of men and I think from their example we learn several really important lessons about what it means to be a true hero is not trying to succeed, but a true hero that's devoted to service of others and Paul's is first of all true heroes are selfless look at what he says about Timothy again.
This is such a huge statement. The more I think about it he says in verse 20 about Timothy, for I have no one like him think what a huge statement that is at all of the people I know in all of the people in my sphere of influence.
Influence in all of the people I've come into contact with.
I don't know anybody else like Timothy is a pretty big complement right is there anybody in your life, the kind of feels that role for you anybody in your life that you can kind of .2 and go and there's nobody else in my life like them that when the chips are down and when I can count on anybody else I know I can at least count on that person and maybe even more important. Are you that person in anybody else's life. Is there anybody who would point to you and say I don't have anybody else like them in my life I noticed why he commends Timothy to them. He does nobody else like them who is as good-looking as he is now anybody else's fittest Timothy man say I don't have anybody else like him will show you how to plant building grow a church and marking your church where you can really make a difference for Jesus there in Philippi is not any of those things that we would point to. He says I don't have anybody else like him who will be really concerned for you from your will for he says I'm sending Timothy to you what you need to know about him. Timothy is he's gonna put himself at the back of the line and he'll look out for you is hard to do. Isn't it it is so hard to be selfless and put other people first we be honest this is church.
Let's try real hard.
Okay, it's hard to put other people first and hardest things Jesus ever commanded us to do is to love our neighbor as ourselves is hard because I love myself more than my neighbor. I agree with what Nick said last Sunday. I am my own favorite person.
I like me. I just spent a week alone in the mountains by myself and had a ball that I get along with myself if you people that I have a trouble with some of you.
I tolerate some of you I love a great deal, and I feel a lot of fondness for, but not as much as I like me and the more I think about it the more I realize most of the things in this life that frustrate me are areas where other people don't think about as much as me think of me as much as I do, but I love myself but I struggle to understand is why you would let me just as much as I do. We only we would 4 miles from church about our northern Harrison Boulevard it's not far but man wrong time of day it takes for ever to go from here to there on Harrison because it's all of the other people in their cars and I get frustrated with them because why they're so selfish.
Why are they all trying to go places. Don't they know that I need to go places and get out of my way right maybe and that drives me crazy because they're so rude and most of the things that bug me or think my kids get on my nerves because they don't do what I why don't they just do what I want to do and then everything would be fine right and I have along with you know me well enough. I'm weird and perky and I have a lot of quirks in if you seen Monk. My wife says I'm very monkish and I have a lot of things like it is all things that if the rest of you would just write not they wouldn't bother me as much. I can't stand to hear people eat there is there is a psychological term for it and I can't remember, but whatever it is I have it and I can't if you leave your mouth open in you crunch loud and some foods crunches you can't help it right. But if you're eating tortilla chips across the room and once I hear it I can't not hear it right you know I'm talking about it's all I hear. And you are so rude teacher tortilla chips loudly and interrupt my meal or whatever but a lot of things like that and you know it most of it is because I'm selfish because I am more important to me than you are in your Jesus is the true hero is the one who selfless, who can put the other person ahead of themselves. Somebody famously settled, I was but they said our first in our last love is self-love and I really think that's true beware the most difficult things for any of us to do is to be selfless and pretty other people first Jesus and that's were six success begin. True heroes are selfless, number two true heroes are willing to sacrifice pulses. I'm sending Timothy to you. He's gonna come in the past you guys for a while.
He's can help you guys think about it. That was no small thing is asking. It's the least it wasn't for Timothy rights is asking Timothy to leave him to leave Rome to go to these people in Philippi and pastor them who I assume even though most of them from a hole in the ground. Pastor those folks and Tim is no small thing right. Is it a pepper diet brought this gift from you and he nearly died in doing it.
Think about the reality that in the first century. They took this offering for Paul, but it's not like they could just write him a check and send it to them like they could just been mowing will be beeping there you go Paul. There's your money up. It's a blessing to you as the crow flies in 600 miles from Philippi to Rome, which actually travel that by rodents. 1200 miles in the first century that involves months and months of travel and travel was dangerous and apparently Pepperdine's became so sick it nearly killed them. Not only that Pepperdine has had a life we don't know you have a wife and kids today just leave them behind for several months to go would help me Paul's needs to make a living, how he survival of the just walk away from his job with no but whatever the case, that this involves an enormous sacrifice on Aphrodite as his partner. Think that's why Paul says I'm so glad God spared him and God healed him because it would have grieved me so much.
Had he died trying to bring me this gift and just amazes me. When I look at examples like that and I think of how little were willing to sacrifice for the sake of the gospel we live in the most affluent generation.
The world has been ever known, by far, hands down. It's not even close. The most affluent generation. The world has ever known. And we tend to squeeze every penny and hoarded as if somehow ready to hang on to any of it in the end were willing to do so little investing our time for the sake of the kingdom because were also busy right but have you noticed in the midst of all of our busyness that most of us find time for the hobbies.
We really enjoy. Also busy, so busy, so busy but not too busy to binge watch all of our favorite Netflix shows what it really boils down to is where were just not willing to sacrifice very much to make a difference for the kingdom. But Paul says that's why these guys are heroes. True servants are willing to sacrifice only that he says true heroes have the mentality of a soldier. I'm thankful for a lot of things that my parents taught me growing up, and the values they instilled in me but I'm particularly thankful that my dad taught me what it means to quote unquote be a man. I don't know how it was in your house, going out, but for me it seemed like dad had a list throw down somewhere right of what it meant to be a man because there's a lot of things that the only answer to the question of why was the man right is what men do.
Like for instance one of the things the very top of the list to be a man is if you fall and hurt yourself.
It doesn't matter how bad your bleeding unless it requires a trip to the hospital. You do not cry right bleeding all over the sidewalk but waited son get up and be a man you know cry that had a lot of things like that and I don't know where they came under some other things on the list were you also don't cry at sad movies. Generally speaking, lesson, death and tragedy those kind of things it's okay but just general terms to be a man, tears are frowned upon. If you're going to be a man when you shake another man's hand you want to try to break every bone in his hands.
I don't know where that rule is written, but dad impressed you don't give a dead guy did that this morning for service. I realized as I was walking away. That was not a good handshake. I district the guys in the with the woman you're doable with a man.
You try to break every and if they can handle and it hurts. They need to be a man. That's how men shake hands right if you're a man always always always open the door for a lady if you're a man every person when you're a kid any adult you referred to them as man Mercer. No exceptions. And even as an adult anybody who is your superior, you refer to them as man Mercer is, what it means to be a man if you're a man you always carry a pocket knife. I don't know why but you do.
It was a rite of passage in our house and I live some years you remember getting your first pocketknife. You are so proud. You just walking around waiting for somebody to go to see but have life is like a race to go. I want right. That's I'm a man. I have one if you're a man you don't whine when you're asked to do something tough go mow the lawn sign don't whine about it man. Go mow the lawn right sale that I'm speaking somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Obviously this morning.
I'm glad my dad taught me the value of trying to do hard things and do it with a good attitude because we've lost a number losing that in our society today.
Were we just anything that requires the least little amount of effort we just hands and go. Oh well, you wake up in the morning, you got a sniffle and feel so good I guess can be a sick day at work right anything the least bit. We just got a go and a lot that's carried over to the church where I think we we follow Jesus and we expected to be easy.
We just want everything to fall in place, and yet look at how Paul is referred to Pepperdine's verse 25 I thought it necessary to send you a path for died is my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier Paul use that imagery all the time in the New Testament, Jesus spoke in those terms.
Because Paul to Pepperdine. This realize that we live in a war of world at war. The reality is more is sometimes held in his heart, and sometimes the best advice you can give me all the time but sometimes the advice we need to hear is suck it up buttercup because just because it's hard doesn't mean it's not worth doing. We live in a world at war.
War is tough. We have the assurance we will win the battle in the end we are going to be victorious, but that doesn't mean the journey from here to there is always going to be easy, so true servants have that mentality of a soldier and then lastly, Paul says true servants are steadfast. Think about this with me that 20 centuries later, we know very little about Timothy. We know next to nothing about Pepperdine's and yet I'm these men are heroes of the faith scholars tell us that by the middle of the second century, about 150 A.D. the church had grown from a handful of Jesus followers in Jerusalem to about 150 to 200,000 people in 150 A.D. we ask you question. Can you name 10 of them for me. Just 10 Christians that were serving Jesus in 150 A.D. name five, 200 years later by three, 350 A.D. that hundred and 50,000 followers of Jesus had become the predominant religion across the Roman empire. Can you name me 10 350 A.D. name 10 followers of Jesus from the 16th century to name 10 followers of Jesus from the beginning of the 20th century. My point is this is that the story of the advance of God's kingdom from a handful of believers in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus Rex resurrection to more than a billion believer strong and growing today. The story of the advance of God's kingdom is centuries of Christians who lived and died, and we have no idea even of their name. See, I think in the end, the question is, it's wrong to even ask the question MIS success.
I think from a Christian perspective, the question is not MIS success. You realize that nowhere. Not one time in Scripture that I can think of right my brain one place in Scripture to God ever tell you to be a success, not one place in the Bible does God say thou shalt get ahead. Thou shalt succeed. One God never ask you to be a success. He never asked me to be a success, but he does ask you to be faithful.
He does ask you to be faithful in the role that he has for you in his kingdom, and it doesn't matter whether that role was big and flashy or successful, or seems like a success or not.
The question is am I becoming man or woman that Jesus asked me to be in my living out his calling in my life where he is planning me in this moment, and if you're doing that your success regardless of when anybody else may think the reality is I'm nearly 50 years old so reality is God's speaking five decades from now I will have been dead for quite some time, five decades from my now the odds are there won't be anybody on this earth who remembers that I was even here, there may be a few family members at that point in time. Maybe my great great grandkids who know my name is a list of the family tree or something that they will know a thing in the world about me and I'll be completely forgotten by everybody else and that's not just true for me.
That's true for you. The vast majority of us and just a breath of time, historically speaking, nobody will ever know that you were here in the question. In that moment won't be. That's true whether you are successful in the world's eyes are not the question in that moment will be our year success question only questionable matter that were you faithful to do what God called you to do in this generation.
Your general I want to share story with you this morning and I apologize if I've shared it before I can remember having not this may be the best example of this that I know of in my life personally. It's an important story to me, to my family. My dad, I was very blessed to be raised in a Christian home, but my dad was not none of my dad's family knew Jesus who my dad was growing up, my grandfather was a rough-and-tumble West Virginia coalminer. They were good parents. They took care of my dad. He tell my dad hunt and fish, got a little bit how to drink knew who knew how to do that. He was a good daddy cared for my dad but Jesus name was never mentioned there was in the Bible in the house. They never went to church. My dad was 11 years old in 1962 the Gideons came to his school.
If you don't know who the Gideons are if you've ever been to a hotel that has a Bible and it the Gideons are the ones who put it there there an organization there. Their sole aim is to get the word of God to get the gospel in the many people's hands as possible.
1962 they came to my dad school because you can still do that in 1962 and 1962 they came to my dad school passing out little New Testament. You might've seen on the usually red or green or yellow orange brigade my dad one of those new Testaments. My dad was 11 years old. He took it home and he stuck in Modesto and you forgot about. I never had a Bible in my dad's house a few years later my dad was 14, 15. He's going through all of the angst of being a teenager, and insecurity of being a teenager and really starting to wrestle with big life issues and questions for the first time in trying to figure out is there even a God or not and how what I know how on earth would I know if there's a God and he was really wrestling with all of this in desperation. One day he prayed, God, if you are there. Will you just give me a sign. God, if you're real. Just give me a sign in after he prayed that he went to his desk and he opened the door and he took out that little Gideon New Testament.
My dad swears up and down.
The story is true you choose to believe it or not. He sat down he took the New Testament he went to the living room. He sat down he never read the Bible before in his life. He opened it and the first thing he read words, Jesus words in the Gospels were Jesus said, a wicked and adulterous generation asked to sign but he didn't stop he kept reading. He read that day. Read Matthew chapter 5 never read it before, but he read Blessed are the poor in spirit, and blessed are the meek and none of that meant anything to him. He didn't have any understanding of the long story short is my dad begin read that New Testament God began to work in his heart the end of the story is a couple years later 16 years old. My dad gave his heart and life to Jesus. Now this is where the story gets good that begin to go upstream the pastor. The little church he went to call my grandparents and said Bobby Junior wants to get baptized today.
We need you to be there. My grandparents went to my dad's baptism. Both my grandparents became followers of Jesus. My grandpa begin working on his mom and dad, who became followers of Jesus.
He also began working on my dad's great grandpa was born in the 1800s who never had a job in his life. He was a gin singer. He just lived in the woods.
He collected herbs and roots and had a shack in West Virginia. That's how he lived. He was an elderly man. My grandpa begin working on him when he didn't have much time at all to live. He gave his heart and life to Jesus. My dad and my grandpa carried them from that shack in a bamboo chair he had made himself down to a little stream and baptized him. So it flowed upstream for generations. Three generations grandparents. For generations from my dad but it's also flowed downstream from there.
Both my dad's brothers became followers of Jesus, one of whom died in a car accident about a year later May in both my brothers or followers of Jesus eight of my dad's nine grandchildren are followers of Jesus putting my nine-year-old son Levi, who gave his heart and life to Jesus last week I that's seven generations of Christians because one to give them a Bible. I don't know. That man's name that man probably never knew until he made it.
I assume 1962 was a while ago.
He probably went to be with Jesus.
Some time ago I man probably went home done made done anything to make a difference. I'm wasting my time in these by was the kids and get a read on the north from where the he probably never had any idea how much influence he would have, but I can tell you from my perspective and I think from God's perspective. That man was a success. That man was a hero because true heroes are measured. Best are measured in terms of service. Let's pray