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Pray for Me - Philippians 1:19-20

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Steven Davey
The Truth Network Radio
January 9, 2020 12:00 am

Pray for Me - Philippians 1:19-20

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Steven Davey

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January 9, 2020 12:00 am

How confident are you in your prayers? I don't mean how confident are you in yourself or in your own ability to pray; I mean how confident are you that God will answer? Stephen shows us what true confidence in God looks like as he takes us back to Paul's remarkable letter to the Philippians.

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Today in wisdom for the heart.

Stephen Davey is an important challenge for us. It's easy to say please show people your glory. Lord, please allow people hear the gospel, Lord, please allow the truth of your word to be non-please Lord, let your grace be seen. No other sale the Lord, may your glory be seen in the way I live. May your grace be seen through my actions. The truth of your gospel be heard through my lab that God would be magnified in his life and that Paul would magnify God with all his might. That's a hard prayer to pray when things are going well, let alone when times are tough.

There are other principles were to learn today as well. As we examine one of the apostle Paul's prayers.

This is wisdom for the heart, and Stephen Davey is working his way through a series entitled moving forward. Today were going to see what praying confidently looks like as we examine the example of the apostle Paul in a message Stevens calling pray for me.

If you're able to open your Bible to Philippians chapter 1 as we get started with today's lesson from God when we observe the apostle Paul in Philippians chapter 1 where I invite you to return with me.

He declares his joy and it is a deep sense of joy which is all the more remarkable because well for one thing, there is any ship anchored off the island to rescue him back the believers in Rome, for the most part have abandoned him. Might as well be on a deserted island. The rescue party showing up after a sleepless night or two, and in the words of one commentator Paul is surrounded in a sea of trouble. He shackled a soldier, a praetorian guard 24 seven is confined to house arrestees charged with formatting, civil unrest, which was a capital crime. Most of the believers in Rome at abandoned. I'm assuming that he was under the judgment of God, for even being incarcerated. He's awaiting his day in court. Yet he remarkably says in verse 18. As you come to the end of it, which we looked at last Lord's day. Yes, and I will rejoice remarkable. There's no ship in sight to rescue me.

But yes, I will rejoice. Paul's decision to rejoice whether he lived or died wasn't some kind of irrational piety because apostles are supposed to talk like this is actually based on knowledge that this move in the verse 19 where he writes, for I know that through your prayers and help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. This will turn out for my deliverance for I know you want to underline that or circle and I know only.is the Greek word, it means to grasp with mental certainty not I hope so. I think so. I'm gonna bite my nails about this, but I'm hanging on how I know this is going to turn out. My deliverance most commentators by the ways I studied in research what they thought or read themselves on the subject. Many of them believe that Paul was actually quoting Job's reply to so far. One of his counselors. As Job delivers that incredible statement of trust, though he slay me, though God slay me, yet will I trust him. This will turn out for my deliverance. Job 13. The question that immediately comes your mind is a Bible student is what Paul actually thinking about her when he says it is absolutely convinced is going to be delivered is he hoping for some rescue party the common at one of those baskets down the wall kinds of events again. Is he expecting an angel. Perhaps the common start moving that will house around in his shackles falloff and he can walk fast asleep in Garden City referring to being vindicated in court is he talking about having his testimony delivered in the sense that the leaders of Rome will understand is not being incarcerated because of God's judgment. From the way Paul clarifies it in in this paragraph about living or dying seems best to understand Paul's idea.

Deliverance is either being delivered in court by means of an innocent verdict or a verdict of innocence which allows him to live or being delivered by death into the presence of Christ as if to say whether I live to see the light of day again as a free man or end up being executed. I consider either one of these conclusions. My deliverance and trust God for whichever comes in and that I can rejoice one way or another life or death. They will mean deliverance for me that he get to the end of that offense or we stop, we could come up with this amazing testimony of Paul the great man of confidence in, and all of us wish we were more like he just relieves us in the dust and mean if there is a testimony of the epitome of a confident Christian. Here it is no wonder he's the apostle, and were not not so fast sometimes it helps to just keep reading while Paul is convinced of his ultimate deliverance is actually not sure how he's going to behave in the meantime she was going to reveal now two things that is absolutely dependent upon which by the way, are the same two things that you and I have, upon which we can depend or should, as were on our deserted island where we discover the truth of Charles Spurgeon's words, 150 years ago that we really are our spiritual best when were shipwrecked on the island of God's sovereignty. What are these two critical things that we learn to appreciate more than ever when isolated or feeling deserted.

The first thing Paul is depending on is the prayers of the saints verse 19 again for I know that through your prayers into the merciful turn off my deliverance so I can rejoice unless I know you are praying for all of the fact that Paul was never too big to ask for prayer.

He was never so confident you know as an apostle to be confident that he didn't fully realize he was actually helpless without the help of God, he says, would you pray to that end for me throughout his letters, you find this theme worries begging other believers to pray to the Thessalonians, he writes, pray for us for Thessalonians 525 in second Thessalonians 3 praise. He he says brotherly writes, pray for us that the warlord may speed ahead to be honored, that we may be delivered second Thessalonians 3 wanted to. He writes to the Corinthian church. You also must help us by prayer to the many will give thanks on behalf of the blessing granted us through the prayers of many, synchrony is one verse 11 he wrote to the Roman believers I appeal to you I you brothers and sisters strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf as I know him to be delivered in my life or death.

But I need help along the way through your prayers.

Here's the balance of Paul's confidence that John MacArthur writes in his commentary. Paul believed in the limitless sovereignty of God, and the total confidence that God's purposes would be carried out, but he also knew that God's sovereign plan incorporated the prayers of his people in the mystery of God's providence is plans and our prayers co-laborer in fulfilling his purposes. I can tell you, having known the Lord now for several decades.

That is still as much a mystery to me today as it was 30 years ago, but if you noticed in your study the word God's word.

Never hands that we don't need to pray because what God is going to do it that the opposite is true.

Paul tell the same group of believers later on in Philippians chapter 4, pray about everything in everything by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known to God truth is the Lord emphasizes are praying much more than we apply our prayers are much more significant than we could ever begin to understand but I'll tell you what we do understand we do understand what it means when someone comes to us and says I am praying we unfortunately assume the stronger someone is in Christ, the Lester going to need the prayers of other believers. Here's Paul saying she got a pray for me. Aren't you glad he did.

Here Paul was confident in his ultimate deliverance as God unfolds for him, his purposes in the meantime, tell these flipping believers. He must have their prayer support on his behalf. Secondly, Paul not only depends upon their prayers. The prayers of the saints, but also on the provision of the spirit. Notice again for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

This will trap for my deliverance. The word here used by Paul translated help the help of the Spirit is from a word that can be rendered. Supplier full provision. In other words, it describes a generous sufficient bountiful resource of the spirit of God is every reason by the way, to be concerned about what is to say when he stands before the imperial court.

That is no doubt troubling is mine. He begs for them to pray for him and, specifically, that the spirit will supply you is probably thinking were not sure. But more than likely his thinking back to that promise of Jesus that he made in Matthew's gospel chapter 10 where he said you're gonna be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness for me and when they deliver you over. Don't be anxious how you're going to speaker what you're to say for what you are to say will be given to you that our brain is not you who speaks but those spirits speaking through Matthew 10, 18 to 20, Paul is absolutely confident in the purposes of God being fulfilled. He's just not that confident in how well he'll do what is called the stand and speak so he states with honor and open transparencies depending on the prayers of his friends and is depending on the prayer or the supply of the Holy Spirit nephew been with us. You remember, perhaps back in chapter 1 verses 9 to 11. The Pope pray for the Philippians and that wonderful list of things that he prayed for now he is about to hand over to them his personal prayer requests and there are three of them. I'm going to point out the principal statement for severe taking any kind of outline he prays first pray that I will mind what matters most. Notice the first phrase in verse 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed.

In other words, I really want you to pray the will not let you down. I want to let you down.

I want to let the Lord and I don't want to let the church that I want to let the gospel down. Pray that I'll not be ashamed the world you watch me Caesar himself may perhaps hear from me. I want to meet us at the moment. What matters most, gives the Philippian believers another prayer request. Pray that I will model courage where counseling verse 20 that I will not be at all ashamed, but with full courage. Now, as always. So Paul is is concerned about the courtroom as he is about his character knows pray that I'll be all be true no matter what the verdict is easy for us to forget it. Paul is actually on the tight rope of life and death will get more in our next study.

This was serious and there are brothers and sisters of ours in the Lord around the world today paying that price or more people martyred in the last century than any other century in church history paying the price for trusting Christ pulses that I don't want to be ashamed. Pray that I'll be all have courage with one set apply feeling very courageous about the thumb through the pages of a book published by the voice of the martyrs organization is an attempt to update Fox's book of martyrs, which was published originally in 1563 is a new publication, and what 2004, 2005 when they put a lot of new testimonials from around the world of those who paid the price for us is this updated version includes a note smuggled out of Romania while it was under a commons regimes a decade or so ago.

It reads this, we do not pray to be better Christians, but that we may be the only kind of Christian, God menace to be faithful. Paul is effectively writing to the Philippians. Pray for me that I'll be the only kind of Christian there really ought to be faithful to point out as well. Paul's word here for courage can be understood as old speech is a little nuance to any understand it could be translated forthright tests or forthrightness in speech.

In other words, he's not praying for the courage to just take it on the chin is actually praying for the kind of courage that ultimately publicly verbally identifies with the gospel.

The same kind of temptation. Perhaps that you're wrestling with. Now more than ever in the kind of pressure that that wants to sort of tempt you to be quiet where you might cause trouble in this updated book of martyrs. It also included the recent testimony of Chet Bitterman, a Wycliffe Bible translator.

He was abducted in Bogot Columbia and his abductors.

Soldiers demanded a ransom and they also demanded that Wycliffe exit every missionary from the country. Of course, Wycliffe refused both as evangelical missionary organizations that I know of.

Do the same. They refuse to pay ransoms or bribes because I would put every missionary at risk immediately so they refused.

Chet was able to get out a letter to his wife who was in the states and he wrote about the potential ministry he might have among the soldiers that was bullying his spirit with courage is people prayed for him and he had this should remember Paul and the praetorian guard in Philippians 1. Maybe God will give me the same opportunity with these soldiers who are guarding me were not sure of any other details. All we do know is that after 48 days. His life was ended by a single bullet.

Heaven alone is recorded. The impact of his testimony that Wycliffe received an unbelievable amount of requests of potential missionaries following a long ago according to information smuggled out of North Korea, a country brutally persecuting Christians which are media shuts down several families were herded together and their children taken from them to be hung unless the parents recanted of their belief in Jesus Christ and the parents refused to deny Christ and his their children were hung.

These adults gathered quietly through tears and anguish saying the him text more love of Christ to the more love to the she get that kind of courage when it happened. Paul is saying. I think it's going to happen.

So would you pray that when that happened I will have that kind of courage. I will be ashamed will be bold to the Christ will be honored in my body. By the way, that last part of verse 20 provides one last prayer requests notice this third he sang. Pray that I will magnify my master with all my might. Did you catch the request for Christ will be honored in my body. I want to watch this. Paul isn't just praying that Christ will be honored.

Paul knows the Christ one day will be in effect all of human history will acknowledge by bending on their knee that he is indeed sovereign Lord, you really don't even need to pray about that. That's going to happen. Paul knows it's going to happen. Paul isn't just saying, oh pray that Christ will be honored. He wants them notice carefully again by looking that Christ will be honored in him is easy to say Lord please show people your glory. Lord, please allow people hear the gospel, Lord, please allow the truth of your word to be known. Please Lord, let your grace be seen though others say all Lord, may your glory be seen in the way I live. May your grace be seen through my actions.

May the truth of your gospel be heard through my lab. That's another thing entirely. Jesus Christ will be exalted one day, all saying want Jesus Christ to be exalted today in my body again is not so concerned with the verdict of this trial is much as he was the value of his testimony in the public arena on people to see Christ honored in my life for me. Take this a bit further. Paul says here pray that Christ will be honored.

You could render that word magnified from the word mega Luna which means to make bigger to make large we call it super sizing something right was that mean how can we little human beings make Jesus larger when weirs before about my thoughts along this way in a helpful illustration. He said you know the stars and planets out there are actually very large but to our naked either very tiny little dots in the sky. Many of the however, make earth look like a marble. However, if you take a telescope telescope and you train it toward one of those objects you bring them closer as it were, to you.

Is there magnify when weirs rewrite this to the average person Jesus Christ as a misty figure of raw figure who lived centuries ago, but as they watch your life and mine.

We act as a telescope, bringing Jesus Christ closer in real life to them.

That's what Paul is saying he's effectively saying what my actions and my character to reveal to bring closer to people, Jesus my master how to make my master larger, as it were more magnificent in what people see demonstrated through my life.

I want to make much of my master with all my might to be an easy life, but it will be right it might require great sacrifice and effort, but it will be possible to her choosing to live our lives on the basis of that which is easy but what God is determined to be right and for each of us.

That is gonna look a little different here and there I'm talking about application practice. He chooses each one of us and are all a little different on a telescope were all a little different condiment microscope or magnifying glass is gonna magnify through us uniquely his character to those who see him through us best way to do that Paul is saying is to focus on what matters to model boldness to make much of Jesus Christ.

So don't forget it means to admit here with the great apostle I'm in have to depend on the Holy Spirit and then and this is where he started. In our study. I'm going to need your prayers on my behalf's never been easy to live for the Lord's never been easy to testify of him. There are some cultures where it's more difficult, but I've never met a Christian who said you know the wonderful thing about Christianity is so easy to so easily for simple rose petals through our strewn along my my path that one glorious cheerful day after another smile as I read recently. This interesting article researcher and spent a lot of time excavating a reading and studying excavated documents subtract back to the fourth fifth and six centuries BC to three, 400 years before the birth of Jesus Christ I was. I was intrigued with what they were wrestling with activity categorize everything in the five forms. These are things that people really struggle with. In general, the church is talking about life in general. Number one people struggle with the eminent outbreak of international hostility to the weakening of marriages in the breakup of homes number 3 billion of young people and their lack of respect for their parents like my brothers number for the corruption of politics and number five love this one holds in the public roads. Some things never checking Bradley's never been easy to live, much less live for Christ. For the believer.

The battle never left. Let's so taken from this aging apostle Amanda tutored the church but at the same time honestly and openly and transparently said I needed to pray for me like never before. I need to depend on the Holy Spirit.

I can do without them I can do that you and pray when you pray for me this and by the way, this clarifies her in prayer requests. It is in far aches and pains, and these things are trivial and passing presents. Pray that we will mind what matters most. Pray that we will model courage.

Pray that we will magnify Jesus Christ. Pray that the choir sang earlier, a wonderful arrangement. The words are sent to me in a manuscript in the weekend and I thought these words perfectly summed up some of the study today so let me close by reading them again. You can pack your things away.

There are moments on our journey.

Following the Lord, when God illumines every step we take, there are times when circumstances make perfect sense to us as we try to understand each move he makes. But when the path grows dim and our questions have no answers turned to him and bow the knee bow the knee trust the heart of your father.

When the answer goes beyond what you can see bow the knee lift your eyes toward heaven and believe the one who holds eternity when you don't understand the purpose of this plan in the presence of your king, bow the knee. There are days when clouds surround us.

The rain begins to fall in the cold and lonely winds won't cease to blow.

There seems to be no reason for the suffering we feel were tempted to believe God doesn't know when the storms arise, don't forget we live by faith and not by sight bow the knee trust the heart of your father. When the answer goes beyond what you can see bow the knee lift your eyes toward heaven, and believe one holds eternity. You don't understand the purpose of this plan in the presence of your king, bow the in the presence of balcony.

That song entitled bow the knee is a powerful way to conclude this lesson. I hope those lyrics as well as this entire message has been a blessing to you. This is wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi. The lesson you heard today is called pray for me. Stephen is a new booklet entitled moving forward and reverse that talks about how things that seem to us to be setbacks in life might actually be God's way of advancing his well this booklet is available.

This entire month for a donation of any size to our ministry. We can give you information about that you call the number again is 86 648 Bible. Call us today and then tune in tomorrow for more wisdom for the heart


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