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March 2, 2021 12:00 am
Be willing to respond to abuse patients why the Lord is near you, willing to yield your rights rather than demand them why the Lord is going to be courteous when others are discourteous why the Lord is always writing this letter is chained to Roman soldiers and he effectively reminds you and that phrase this is not the end of the store angle.
Keep an eye as it were, the Redeemer by her gentle spirit of all the attributes Paul could've chosen to focus on attributes like purity, integrity, honesty, humility, and so on.
Gentleness seems a little bit peripheral doesn't. Why is it so important that we be known by our gentleness well will find out today as Stephen Beatty opens God's word to Philippians 4 and teaches from this important passage. This is wisdom for the heart and today's message is entitled ladies and gentlemen I can remember growing up with my three brothers, our family dog because I grew up with us wax was her name very creatively named basket you like in your tables color wax and wax.
It was Jenna letter every year. No matter what my parents tried to do somehow keep that from happening.
She had a litter and I remember many times my mother waking us in the morning by putting into bed with each of us a warm squirming little puppy that great.
You'd never do that with a kitten by libido a puppy and we wake up and that was a wonderful way to wake up. What happens when there is no warm puppy you fill in the blank when there's no money when there is no success. When there's no popularity when winter are straight A's, and there's no girlfriend, no boyfriend no no no no rising career no new car no-fault shopping cart. What happens when there's none of that. We tend to be happy as long as we have that see happiness is circumstantial and can't be commanded joy is internal.
It is responding to the nature of God's spirit within us.
Joy is a settled conviction that God is in control of every circumstance and every event. Even as James would write when trials come we we we calculated all to be a joyful response. Keep in mind, by the way, you might think Paul's idea because he's an apostle about the states say so I read you know for 2000 years with a right now. Keep in mind that he's writing this command he is not many rights and sipping coffee on the coast of Italy overlooking the sea is writing this chain between two guards under house arrest to watch him 24 seven. Rejoice commands.
Can you imagine his demonstration through this resolution to rejoice in his bath. Can you imagine the effect on the soldiers that would take shifts every day is the guarded you happen to be living in a very unhappy culture right, surrounded by the satisfied disappointed human beings, and you become a demonstration of the grace of God in the gospel when you face all things at all times always this resolution to rejoice the joy that is internal comes to the surface.
Don't be like so many Christians. One author wrote this joy is evidently so deep it never surfaces now I've waited until this text to sort of flesh out this idea of joy give you four or five features of joy rather quickly.
First, joy is given by God to those who are saved, not ever tell an unbeliever to be joyful the best I can be as happy joy is bound up in the gospel.
It is that resolution to respond in such a way that reflects trust and in submission to the will of God.
I find it interesting that when the angel first described to the shepherds that the message which is effectively the gospel in Luke chapter 2 verses 1 to 11 that Angel says to these shepherds.
Behold, I bring you good news of great joy for the city of David is morning our Savior is Christ the Lord. And by the way, after the shepherds left that outdoor delivery room were told that they return praising God, rejoicing and nothing.
Keep in mind about their dirty jobs at J nothing about their income had been altered. Nothing about their status is ceremonially unclean. Unable enter the Temple precinct. The change was the gospel that would give to them. This lasting joy do your own word study to find joy. Time and time again.
In fact, throughout the book of acts as the gospel is exploding.
Gentiles and Jews were being converted are beginning to rejoice, even the apostles who leave the presence of the religious leader to tell them if you speak in Jesus of them to kill you in a leave rejoicing. It's impossible to separate the gospel we know and believe from joy.
Think on that more. Secondly, joy is ongoing production of the Holy Spirit is an ongoing production of the Holy Spirit not getting up to Marzano to drink coffee tomorrow morning out of my coffee cup that is a smiley face on it because I'm gonna be joyful when trying this is the work of the Spirit of God. Paul writes to the Galatians, the fruit of the spirit that is the outward manifestation of the internal work of the Spirit of God is near the rattle off live with the second word joy joy happiness is very human and we love those moments. Joy is supernatural and in those moments, it may not be happy. But we can have joy settled conviction that God is worthy of being worshiped. Thirdly, joy is the result of receiving and obeying the word of God is the result of receiving and obeying the word of God. Jeremiah prophesied this to God. Your words were found in I ate them in your words became for me a joy ever been a very discouraging point in your life and you've opened the word found in the word joy course you John the apostle writes his inspired letters, among other things, his readers joy may be made complete. John one verse four.
Fourthly, joy is deepened as believers experience trials, you became imitators of us and of the Lord.
Paul writes, having received the word. Listen to this in much tribulation and with the joy of the Holy Spirit. What a contradiction. First Thessalonians 1 verse six what what what a combination much tribulation joy. Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth.
In second Corinthians chapter 6 and verse 10 we were sorrowful, yet rejoicing. There's there's balance there and transparency in his writings is not a Pietist he's not. He's not a mystical author of here's three ways to just keep a smile forever plastered on your face.
We were sorrowful and there were things in life that didn't make me happy.
My tears of sorrow, though, are mingled with rejoicing God is worthy of worship.
Even then, to put it another way, our inner attitudes are not bound to outward circumstances. In fact, they don't depend on outward circumstance, which is why Paul writes here and putting chapter 4. Notice in verse four we are to rejoice in our circumstances.
No where to rejoice in the Lord are unchanging, unwavering, ever faithful rock and refuge and source of joy. One more fitfully.
Joy is motivated by thoughts of heaven.
He's an athlete running is often imagining crossing the tape skinny over to me over Paul's gonna arrive at the same point here, in his letter to the Philippians as we anticipate seeing Jesus I get there in a moment. But let me allow the apostle Peter to come to chime in.
Here's what he says though you have not seen him, you love him and know you do not see him now, you believe in him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible. First Peter 18 literary rights even to your suffering at the revelation of his glory, you will rejoice. First Peter 413 the resolutions of rejoice is not natural.
It's supernatural into the depressed and despairing and disappointed human race around us, and even perhaps our own hearts this morning, we demonstrate something so unique because they see in you as a Christian that your Christianity did not vaccinate you against sorrow. It it didn't inoculate you against stress and relational difficulties and frustrating illnesses and financial losses and heartbreaking deaths of parents and grandparents in it. Even children and grandchildren, but they see you effectively roll up your sleeves faith and trust even when you don't understand that you didn't expect it. You can't explain it and you cannot escape it something different about you. We are resolved to rejoice in the trustworthiness of the Lord.
That's like pulsating. You rejoice in the Lord sometimes is all you have and it is enough number of years ago I was handed a poem, which I kept I would later use it. Number of years ago when I was asked to preach at the funeral for precious little four-year-old girl before I chose to read that poem by message. The lyrics struck me is deeper than normal and I wondered about the author and so I did a little digging and found that this had been written in 1932 written by a young pastor and his wife and three small children of fourth was on the way there were complications.
However, during her delivery and the baby died and so did she. This young pastor called a friend of his. Another pastor to preach the funeral service and he sat on the front row with as little children, and this pastor notices he is preaching that the young pastor was just writing something paper and asked yes to him about it later in sorta rather dismissively so I'm just jotting. That's poetry come to my mind, it has been Since the lyrics go like this. My father's way may twist and turn, my heart may throb and ache in my soul I'm glad I know, he maketh no mistake. My cherished plans may go astray, my hopes may fade away, but still I'll trust my Lord to lead, for he doth know the way the night be dark, and it may seem that day will never break out pin my faith, my all in him, he maketh no mistake. So much now.
I cannot see my eyesight's far too dim to come what may simply trust and leave it all to him for by-and-by missed will lift and plain all make it through all the way though dark to me. He made no one state. It's as if Paul tells the church in Philippi was all eyes are to be on you when you have causes you and enables you to supernaturally respond with settled conviction in the strict make this your resolution by command.
Make this your resolution is not to be natural, supernatural resolution to be joyful. Secondly, make it your reputation to be gentle now you if you thought the community. Joyful was difficult and convicting as I get ready for this one verse five.
Let your gentle spirit be known to all men.
Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. I mean, seriously, never study that I will need to sort of stopped it really I'm I supposed to do that of a pastor, but I'm sure you do it. Actually, I did really let your gentle spirit be made known Army obvious to all men. Listen, you can get a taxi. If your gentle you can make the football team. If your gentle this was Paul mean here. Let your gentleness be known a woman what part of the challenge is over the last 500 years of English Bible. It's been difficult to translate that rather rare word. I have all the more study than ever to bring you just working to bring the top of the barrel here, but I want to give you just enough to let you know how difficult was meant to go back in time in 1380. John Wycliffe handwrote the first copy of the English New Testament from the Greek language and he translated the word patient can't stay there week we can understand that but William Tyndale, who printed the first English copy to New Testament in 1525, translated it softness was with that softness.
I have no idea what he had in mind. There, the Geneva Bible in 1560, which by the way, added verses in chapter number so you can study it, for study by Shakespeare quote from it hundred. It translated the word patient mind like your patient mind seen a woman thing. Okay 1582 Remus translates it modesty and that's difficult because those terms change in 1611, the King James Bible use the word moderation and later added in them in the margin. The word gentleness, which my translation. More recent translations of used forbearance reasonableness is are all excellent.
By the way they're trying to get out the nuances that are bound up in this very rich work. Aristotle use the word in the context of not insisting on the letter of the law has a legal nuance and so Williams would paraphrase an 11 paraphrase resist. This means you are you are meeting someone halfway the idea of the work during the days of Paul. The Greeks use the word in context where people yielded their rights where they bore abuse where they put up with other people's faults let the fact that he put up with other people's faults be noted woman supported fact an article that I follow a long time.
It was Stanley, Pinot Noir pulled back out. It was an article about the New England type cleaning company in Watertown, Connecticut. This three-man crew was digging 25 feet beneath the historic streets in Revere Massachusetts and they're trying to clean up 10 inch sewer line audition.
In addition to the normal mass they expected to find this three-man team ended up unearthing this article 61 rings valuable ring several old vintage coins, even several pieces of valuable silverware which they were allowed to keep in cargo literacy draws the moral of the story by writing this wife, whether it's pipes or people. If you put up with some mass. Sometimes you find real treasure good.
Not a bad analogy that I could take that analogy and bring it back to verse five when you're in the middle of a mass you be treasure you be valuable vintage coin. You be like valuable silverware that's discovered in the middle of the mat to work a bit. One recent author complain about her current spirit.
He says attending the general here I sit here in a 21st-century reason discourses giving way to in-your-face soundbites playing hardball is the dominant metaphor for American public life are interchanges are confrontational, divisive and dismissive balance and fairness are casualties on the evening news shows and you watch them for abscessed tooth. Three sometimes four people contends simultaneously for the microphone volume and disagreements are the new civic virtue. This command is never been perhaps more difficult, gentle resolution is to be joyful.
Our reputation is to be gentle. Why because her expectation is going to be realized.
Notice how Paul drops in this ending phrase verse five the Lord is here.
Be willing to respond to abuse with patients why the Lord is near the willing to yield your rights rather than demand them why the Lord is near the willing to be courteous when others are discourteous why the Lord is near the willing to be gracious when the world is unkind and merciless why for the Philippians. This would apply immediately.
Lord is near. James speaks in a similar way. In his letter in James chapter 5 verse eight. Be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near impossible believe they would be alive in the church was rapture away.
Paul is writing this letter is chained to Roman soldiers and he effectively reminds you in that phrase.
This is not the end of the store and on stay at be joyful, be gentle. Don't keep your eyes focused on the circumstances. Keep an eye as it were, for the coming of the Redeemer Lord is near, can certainly be interpreted in that light prophetically is what I've just done for you, but you can also interpret this phrase the Lord is near in terms of his immediate personal presence. Both could be in the mind of Paul. In other words, this isn't just a phrase of prophecy. This could be a phrase of proximity.
The Lord is near to you right now right now the best of times the worst of times. Lord is with us on the driving principles that led one of my heroes.
Hudson Taylor standard 50 years of pioneering work in China or that 100 years ago was this principle, where he wrote he counted Jesus is never absent is near.
Following these two commands in common.
We live in the light of eternity.
We live is demonstration star lost and discouraged and disparaging despairing world of these two qualities of life and we might think you know what coming to do something for God. If, indeed, as we launch this month.
I'm really going to advance the gospel if I'm going to advance the church. If I'm going to advance the truth I'm going to advance biblical shalom. I mean, I've got something really amazing. I got into something very public got to do something really wise now resolved to be joyful right where you are today pursue a reputation of being gentle gentlemen today delivered to your world demonstration. Grace by close with this one author writes effect was Philip Yancey who was one speaking in Toronto's couple of years ago and is put in his recent book was it was speaking on demonstrating Grace's believers, and any rights that 120 just stopped and he asked the audience was in a large audience. He said one would you share together. You give illustrations of where God is allowed you to demonstrate the grace of the gospel, and he writes one woman, sort of shocked or surprised us all. When she stood and said well I believe that God is using me to minister grace to telephone marketers done that lately she said you know the kind who call at inconvenient hours and deliver their spiel and they wanted what you say I am not interested many times have we all, the author sort of interrupted responded rudely simply hung up. She continued, you know, all day long. These sales callers here people curse them and slam the funds down. I decided I would listen attentively to their pitch and then I would respond kindly, even though I wasn't interested more often than not inviting what they were selling and I would at some point try to interject a question or two about them time on the job. What city their calling from what what country their calling from. I would ask them about their lives and then I would ask him as I try to turn this corner if they had any concerns that I might pray about on their behalf. She said the rough and totally shocked to know what to say. Sometimes long silence. Often they asked me to pray with them right then and there before we hang up. It is unusual for them to end in the conversation in tears.
She said you and other people are probably underpaid and are surprised when I treat them with courtesy and grace Yancey conclusion. I wonder how often I've missed those moments my own interactions with people life. I marvel at this woman's gracious courtesy and I think of the times and I've been irritated on the phone or irritated with employees on computer help lines or calling from a country where they can even speak good English.
I catch myself Yancey rights, treating store cashiers and Starbucks baristas as if they are machine subtly or not so subtly I'm communicating that I matter more that I'm being interrupted that I need to get back to my life and in the process I'm missing wonderful opportunities of dispensing grace is not what Paul is commanding us here.
Imagine the church could be known as an assembly of ladies and gentlemen the remark who are resolved to follow joyfully their Lord is near, is coming nearer than ever before. Perhaps in this way the simple interaction we might truly advance gospel advance church advance fan shalom make this your resolution. Make this your reputation. Thanks for listening today to wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi. I trust this message has encouraged you. We need to be the kind of people who live joyfully and are known for our gentleness. It's our prayer for you that this time in God's word has helped equip you to pursue just that. We have many additional resources available, all designed to equip and encourage you in your walk with Christ.
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