This past Sunday we learned how to Choose Joy with our spiritual family when faced with persecution. Here are the highlights…
In Paul’s day believers were facing strong cultural pushback. The Roman citizens of Philippi felt that Christian’s faith was incompatible with Roman citizenship. It was a threat to their preferred way of life. They were also facing the fruit of selfishness within the body. Look what they learned about finding joy together.
Phil 1:27-28 Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
WHAT WE LEARN… Stand Firm in Your Faith WITH Your Spiritual Family.
TRUTH: Christ’s strength grows in us when we stand together.
One philosopher compared humanity to a bunch of porcupines huddling together on a cold winter night. He said “the colder it gets outside, the more we huddle together for warmth, but the closer we et to each other the more we hurt one another without quills. Then in the lonely night of winter, eventually we begin to drift apart and wander out on our own and freeze to death in our loneliness.”
Christ has given us an alternative, to forgive each other for the pokes we receive. That allows us to stay together and stay warm.
Stand With Your Spiritual Family in Christ’s Purpose.
Division among believers distracts us from our mission and blows up our chance of making great plays for Jesus’ kingdom. It’s like when players start getting out of control in a close football game. Emotions get the best of them and they get stupid penalties at critical moments. Great plays get lost to personal fouls. In that moment they forgot the larger purpose and fell into a foolish temptation.
TRUTH: Unity among believers reveals Him to the watching world.
Don’t be Intimidated by Opposition to Your Life in Christ.
1John 3:13 Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.
Phil 1:28 in no way alarmed by your opponents—which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God. 29 For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
TRUTH: Suffering for Jesus honors Jesus.
Unified believers can have joy in the spiritual battles of this life. The church is a colony/ outpost of heaven. Believers are to live like it. That is best way for the spiritually dead to find real life.
BOTTOM LINE: Paul calls them to focus on their heavenly citizenship and live in a manner worthy of Christ. In this way things can go from bad to better rather than from bad to worse. As they stand together in Christ they will find strength and joy to in fact stand. If they do not stand together, they will fail and Christ will not be reveals in the manner He intends.
Join us this next Sunday as we look at the key becoming an agent of joy in your relationships. To hear the complete message go to www.parkviewfamily.com