Quality of Life

By Bobby Blakey on October 13, 2019

Philippians 4:4-9


Quality of Life

By Bobby Blakey on October 13, 2019

Philippians 4:4-9

This is a rush transcript.

[00:00:10] I want to welcome you. If this is your first time or you're just checking out our church, maybe you're visiting because one of these young men just got baptized. Can we give them a warm welcome here this morning?

[00:00:20] Thanks for comment. CompassHB saved me.

[00:00:25] And I'm actually not here to encourage you to open up your bulletin right now, but I would love for you to open up your Bible. Who's got one of these? Let's do a Bible check here this morning. Who's got a Bible? All right. That's this is CompassHB Bible Church. We're here to hear from God in his word. And I want to invite you to open your Bible to Philippians, Chapter four versus four to nine. And that's going to be our text this morning. And we go, oh, there's always Bibles you can pick up on your way in if you don't have one, if you really don't have a Bible at all. Feel free to take one of these Bibles. That's yours today. We want to get everybody into the word of God.

[00:01:02] That is our goal here as a church. And I just want you to think for a second. We got two young men who have professed faith in Christ and they publicly declared it to all of us by getting baptized here today. All right. I want you to imagine some of us who are Christian people, we believed in Jesus. We've repented of our sin.

[00:01:21] Maybe you've been a Christian for a year or two years. Maybe you've been a Christian for five years, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years. One of these two guys, they still got wet hair. They come up to you after the service.

[00:01:34] They say, wow, I'm a brand new Christian. What's it like to be a Christian? Long term, what's it going to be like to be a Christian for the rest of my life? What would you say to that? It's OK. You know, you're kind of just hyped up because you're young. It's not really going to change you that much.

[00:01:54] That you would say to these guys?

[00:01:56] Yeah, well, hey, praise God that he saved you, so when you die, you can go to heaven.

[00:02:00] But here on Earth, man, I mean, it's just kind of like hang in there, you know, just hope it goes OK.

[00:02:07] Or would you say to these guys, hey, Jesus Christ, when he came from heaven to earth to save you, he didn't just come to give you life. He came to give you life abundantly. Is that what you would say to them? See, the Christian life is more life.

[00:02:23] That's what it means, that Jesus says as the Good Shepherd, he came to lay down his life for the sheep because the thieves were coming, that they might steal their life, kill their life, destroy their life. But he came to give them life and to give them life abundantly.

[00:02:40] So you Christian people are called to a higher quality of life. We call it a new life, an eternal life. Jesus Christ said this is eternal life. That they may know who you.

[00:02:55] The only God and Jesus Christ whom you sent. So I want to encourage you, brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ.

[00:03:03] You have a quality of life. You have been made new in Christ. And all of his blessings have been given to you. And it should overflow out of your heart. And so what we're gonna be called to here in Philippians Chapter four versus four tonight is to be called to live out the life that you already have in Jesus to live out a higher quality of life.

[00:03:28] So out of respect for God's word, I'm gonna ask if everybody would stand up and I'm gonna read for us Philippians Chapter four versus four tonight. And this is our text for today. This is God speaking to us by the power of his spirit, in his written words. Let's hear what God has to say to us today. Philippians, chapter four. Verse four. Rejoice in the Lord always again. I will say rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand.

[00:04:02] Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication.

[00:04:07] With Thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding. Will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

[00:04:20] Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable.

[00:04:31] If there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise.

[00:04:36] Think about these things.

[00:04:38] What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me practice these things and the God of peace will be with you.

[00:04:48] That's the reading of God's word. Please go ahead and grab your seat. And when we come to here at the end of the letter, Philippians, we've been studying this letter now for a long time here at our church all the way since the beginning of the summer. Here we are now in the fall. And we've been going through these words that Paul wrote when he was in prison and the Philippine church sent him a financial gift. He responded by writing them this letter. And we've learned that the theme of this letter is joy.

[00:05:18] And at the end of this letter, like so many of the other letters that we have here, the letters of Paul and Peter and John and James, they a lot of times, especially at the end of these letters, they have a lot of quick commands, a lot of hay, a lot of imperatives like, hey, you should go do this, do that.

[00:05:37] A lot of commands of here's the expectation from God. Here's how God is saying that you should live. And I wonder what your response is when we come to passages like this that give us these quick rapid fire commands. Are you, like, burdened by things that God is telling us to do or are you called to that quality of life that you already have in Jesus Christ? Let me ask some questions here this morning. Is there joy in Jesus Christ? OK. Well, is that how you're live in your life?

[00:06:10] Is there peace, a peace that surpasses understanding, a peace that even when you're going through trials and tribulations, your heart and your mind are guarded like a fortress with perfect peace, the peace of God in your soul? Do you believe that? Well, what it's calling you here is it saying, let's live out that quality of life that you have in Jesus Christ. And so we're going to go through all of these commands if you're taking notes, if you want to jotted down with us.

[00:06:41] These are things that Christian people are expected to do. But we can do it. We're called to do it because we're in Christ. So let's just go through we'll put the commands here kind of to match the verses that they come from in the first command here is to rejoice. And it says it it says it two times. And maybe you remember we preached on this earlier this year. We actually started our whole study of Philippians with this verse because the joy of the Lord is the theme of the letter that Paul writes to them.

[00:07:15] We even had the double clap. Go on, rejoice in the Lord always. And again, I say rejoice. Right. That was our that was our double clap two times.

[00:07:26] You're commanded to rejoice in the joy is there. It's not in your circumstances.

[00:07:31] It's not in how you feel in your emotions. The joy is there in your salvation. In the kingdom of Jesus Christ, you have an eternal, abundant new life. And as you remember that, as you see it in other people, as you live it out, there is a joy that wells up within you like a river of life, like a fountain in your soul.

[00:07:54] And you can rejoice all of the time again. He says, rejoice. So this is a command Christian people, this is a mindset that is yours and you need to think that you need to act on it. You need to do what you have in Jesus.

[00:08:15] And you might want to write down next to that command right down, John, fifteen, eleven, that would be a good cross reference. If you're taking notes, write that down. Here's what Jesus said to his disciples on the night before he died.

[00:08:26] He said, these things I've spoken to you that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be full.

[00:08:38] Jesus says to his disciples that he is giving us his joy.

[00:08:45] If we are in Christ, if we are in the Lord. If we have this eternal life relationship with God, the father and his son, Jesus Christ, let's think about that relationship for a second. We'd like to say that as Christians that Christianity is not a religion. It is a relationship. But then when we get a passage like this that's calling us to live out our relationship. A lot of times we'd like to act like it's more like a religion and we make it a list of things to do.

[00:09:14] Hey, let's not do that. Let's think about the relationship that we have that the father and Jesus, the son, they have always existed for all of eternity and that the father, he perfectly loves his son.

[00:09:30] There is no more possible love than how the father feels about his one and only son.

[00:09:36] Jesus and Jesus, he perfectly obeys his father.

[00:09:41] He does everything, including humbling himself, to come down here on earth, living the perfect life of righteousness, sacrificing himself on the cross, being mistreated, being mocked, being beaten, being killed.

[00:09:55] He does all of that to do the father's will to please his father and heaven. You're talking about a relationship that is composed of perfect love and perfect obedience. You are now in that relationship.

[00:10:10] That's what the Bible saying. That's the quality of life that you now have, that God, the father in heaven.

[00:10:16] He has adopted everyone who believes in Jesus. You are adopted into the family by the same love that he has for his one and only son.

[00:10:25] He now loves you as a son or a daughter, and he brings you into the family. You are perfectly loved. You could not be more loved than you are as you sit here right now. How much does the father in heaven love you? He sacrificed his one and only son to pay for your soul. That's how much he loves you.

[00:10:46] So that's how you are, you're perfectly loved. And then you're thinking, well, I don't have the perfect obedience in response to God. I haven't perfectly done even as a Christian.

[00:10:55] I haven't perfectly obeyed my father in heaven while he doesn't see you based on your obedience. He sees you through the perfect righteousness of his son, Jesus Christ, and the blood of Jesus.

[00:11:07] That pureblood has covered all of your sin and washed you clean from all of your sin. And you're going to stand before the father in a robe of whiteness, representing your purity and you're blameless.

[00:11:18] A. before God, because God sees you as his one and only perfect son. Jesus Christ. He sees you in the righteousness of Christ.

[00:11:28] So he does see you. As perfectly obedient because it's the righteousness of Christ given to you.

[00:11:37] So there's an eternal love story going on between the father and the son. And you now get to enter in to that relationship.

[00:11:45] And what Jesus says is in this relationship, I'm going to give my joy, the joy that I have with my father, that I would perfectly obey him, that I would know his perfect love. I'm giving my joy to you that your joy would be full.

[00:12:03] And then it tells you, rejoice in the Lord, it says. See, that's not a burden that's being placed on you. That's a calling to live up to the quality of life that you already have.

[00:12:17] And Joy can transcend circumstances, I understand that driving on the four or five can be a joy killer. I get it. All right.

[00:12:25] I understand that certain certain work relationships, certain family relationships, certain people that we interact with, it seems like when you're around them, you're tempted to lose your joy. Here's the thing about Joy. It's not based on what is happening. That's called happiness. This is based on your relationship, your salvation in Jesus. Hey, the theme of this letter, this connection that Paul had with this church, a very close connection where he loved these people. They clearly cared about him. They sent him money when he was in prison. That's the whole cause of him writing this letter. I mean, these people, they really care about each other. They have this joy connection. When Paul came to Philipot, maybe you remember this, he came there and he preach the gospel. What happened to him? They threw him in where?

[00:13:12] When he was in Filiba prison. That's what happened.

[00:13:16] And when he was in prison, after being mistreated and falsely arrested and he's there at midnight, him and Silas, what are they doing at midnight? In prison, they are praying and singing hymns to God.

[00:13:31] Because you can put the Christian in prison, but they still have the joy of Jesus Christ.

[00:13:38] Where is he writing this letter from now? This letter that has joy. We've seen it all throughout the letter. And now here we've got the double clap two times. We're commanded to rejoice. Where is he writing from? He's writing for prison again now, not in Philipot, some place far away, probably chained to a Roman soldier.

[00:13:59] And yet, as he is in a jail cell, chained to a guard writing a letter, what burst out of his writing is what is in his soul. The joy that Jesus has put their. You can rejoice because you have joy in the Lord.

[00:14:20] That's why it calls you to rejoice. Remember who you are. Remember the joy.

[00:14:25] You remember what it felt like when the burden of your sin was lifted and you were forgiven and you knew that you had a new life in Jesus how you were lifted up, how you were raised out of the gutter of sin that you were in. And Jesus came and he rescued you. And he brought you out of that. And he set your feet upon the rock. You remember that feeling of being lifted and called the joy of your salvation. Rejoice in that second command he gets to hear. Verse five, it says, Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand. Now, in the ESV, our translation that we're reading from it says reasonableness in a lot of other translations. It says gentleness. Now add gentleness. You can't just say this word means gentleness, because in some of the passages that we know gentleness from. Like if you think about the fruit of the spirit where it says gentleness or maybe you've heard that verse first, Peter 315, where it says that we're supposed to always speak to people about the hope that we have in Jesus. If anybody asks a question, we give him a reason for the hope that we have. But we speak to them with gentleness and respect. That's not the same word that is used here. That's why the ESV is translating a reasonableness. But there's actually an old word that they used to use in this verse, a word we don't use commonly anymore. But if you were to go read like the American Standard Version 19 or one translation of the Scriptures in English, it would say, let your forbearance be known to everyone. Let's get that down for verse five. I want to use that word. It says you've got to make your forbearance known. And this is talking about two other people. He said the Greek word here is used five times in the New Testament.

[00:16:16] And it's it means that you're not insisting on your own rights. You might want to write that down as our definition for forbearance. You're not insisting on your own rights. Like maybe you're not being treated fairly, maybe under the law. You're not being treated the way you should. And under the law, you have rights that you could exercise.

[00:16:37] You could make an appeal. You could make an argument with someone and you could say, hey, this isn't fair. The way I'm being treated here is unjust. But forbearance means you look over the way that you're being treated. Even if someone's actually doing something that's totally wrong and they're treating you in this inappropriate way, you're going to forbear over how they're treating you.

[00:17:01] Because you know what it says here, the lord is at hand. You know the judge, you know the just one. And let me talk tell you this. Let me make a promise right now. God is going to make everything right. Can we get a man from anybody on that?

[00:17:15] I mean, that's what the Bible says that God is just. And right now we're in this time period of divine forbearance where God is not insisting that things be made right.

[00:17:26] Right now, he is forbearing over the sins of many. But make no mistake, don't mistake the patience of God for the weakness of God, because judgment is surely coming and everything that is being done wrong right now will be made right by a just and holy God.

[00:17:43] That's what the Bible says. No one's getting away with it.

[00:17:47] So what forbearance means is I believe that I believe that God is a righteous God, that he is a just judge, that he's going to make things right. And because I know God has my back. God is my defender. God is the ultimate judge. I don't have to insist on everybody treating me right because I'm not really trying to judge what everybody else is doing. I understand there's another one who's going to judge what everybody else is doing, and he's way more qualified to do it than me.

[00:18:15] And so I'm willing to forbear.

[00:18:18] When other people even don't treat me right, I don't insist on my own rights. That's the idea that it's talking about here. And this is such a perfect follow up to you, Odia and SINTA Key back there in the inverse to me.

[00:18:33] If you were here last week where we had these two Christian women, their names are written in the books of life, in the Book of Life in Heaven, but they can't get along here on earth.

[00:18:42] So for sure, they are saved people by the blood of Jesus. But they're having a catfight here in the Phillipi in church that people know about that's now being called out publicly. So so we learned to hey, as Christians, we can't be divided. We need to reconcile. We need to resolve our conflict in the pursuit of peace. And if you have conflicts with other people, I really hope you went and did something about it. I hope you tried to resolve that conflict with them and sit down with them. But here's what happens sometimes.

[00:19:13] If we were to get you Odia and SINTA key there in the room and they were now to sit down at the table of reconciliation, and we're going to now try to find some peace where there's been some division. What happens sometimes in in those conversations is we have to rehash the entire beef that we have here.

[00:19:32] And so you Odia begins and you Odia start saying how she's been mistreated by SINTA Key.

[00:19:38] And your audience starts describing how she her rights were, how she deserves to be treated. What is fair for every person? Has it happened to her? And then sent Tickie comes in and she says, well, let me tell you what you've done. You Odia. And she starts talking about how she has not been treated. Right. And maybe both of them even have truth to what they're saying, that the other person has mistreated them. That conversation, we might just keep rehashing the same old things over and over until somebody is willing to stop insisting on their own rights and stop trying to say I wasn't treated fairly. There might have to be some forbearance.

[00:20:23] We're even if I feel like I'm not sure if this person's really sorry or they really see what they have done wrong. I'm on a stop insisting that and making it about me.

[00:20:34] I'm willing to be wrong.

[00:20:36] That's basically a good definition of what this word means. I am willing to be treated wrong. I don't have to stand up for my own rights. So even if this is going to go down and I don't think it's clear to everybody here in the room or I don't think the other person really gets how it happened.

[00:20:51] I know the one who makes all things right. I know the just judge. And so I don't have to plead my own case because the Lord will defend me and he is the avenger of those who have been wronged.

[00:21:05] The Bible is full of statements. How God is there for the innocent. How God has the back of those who are righteous and starting from Jesus all the way through church history. There is a long line of Christians who have been mistreated.

[00:21:22] And you know what they took.

[00:21:25] And they didn't stand up and demand their own rights. They didn't stand up and and make it about them and demand justice and fight against everybody. No, they were they showed forbearance with me in James Chapter five.

[00:21:38] Here's a good cross reference where you can get this idea in jeans, chapter five versus eight and nine here again towards the end of a letter. We're kind of getting practical. We're given some commands. We're talking about how we interact with other people. Look at James five. Eight to nine. A great cross reference for forbearance here says you also be patient. This is James five, a page 1013. If he got one of our Bibles, says you also be patient, establish your hearts. And here's here's the same idea that we saw in our verse. The Lord is a hand for the coming of the Lord is a hand. Specifically, when Jesus Christ comes back to reign is to judge specifically thinking how there's going to be a day of final judgment where everyone will be judged according to what they have done. So the coming of the Lord is at hand. Be patient and look what it says then. Verse nine. Do not grumble against one another brothers so that you may not be judged.

[00:22:43] Behold, the judge is standing at the door. We got your audio and sent to key sit now arguing about who's right and who's been treated wrongly. When the Lord is at hand, the judge is at the door.

[00:22:58] How foolish it would seem for us to argue a case when the judge is right there overseeing the.

[00:23:06] And he's going to already know what was right and what was wrong. I mean, this judge, he's unlike any earthly judge, he actually gets it right every time he actually knows what already happened. He sees it all. And so it says, hey, do not grumble against one another, and I think some of that grumbling that it's gone referring to is me talking about how I'm not being treated fairly by other people. Yeah. Don't make yourself a judge of other people. Let the judge do the judging. That's the idea. And you can actually you can be okay with being wronged even if you're not being treated in the right way. You can forbear. That's the idea here of this word, this reasonableness, this gentleness. Hey, the Lord is going to take care of it. So I don't have to. That's a that's a command for us. No, go back to Philippians four, because now it gets to another command.

[00:24:01] It's actually two commands, both in a negative and a positive in Philippians, Chapter four versus six and seven here. Philippians four, six and seven. It says it in a negative way. Do not be anxious. That's a command in the Bible. And then it says it in a positive way, but in everything by prayer and supplication. With Thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. So don't be anxious, worried, wondering how it's all going to work out. Instead, take those cares that you have and cast them up to the Lord. As prayers make your requests known. Let's get that down for the request for the command here in verse six. We'll focus on the positive command here. You could write down. Do not be anxious that the negative command, but the positive is requests known and not to other people here, but requests known specifically to the Lord. I'm letting my forbearance be known to other people. That's going horizontal. But my requests, my prayers here are going vertical to the Lord. I'm taking these things that I'm being tempted to worry about, things that are making me afraid. I'm feeling that uncomfort ability of anxiety and I'm saying, wow, I'm really worried about this. So identify that care in my life. And I come and I bring it as a request to God. I say, I need your help with this. I can't do it. I have to humble myself. So we learned about that. We did a sermon. Anxiety is done. We looked at this passage in detail and we learned that the reason some of us are anxious is because we're so proud and we're trying to do it ourselves and we're thinking, I got this and then we're realizing we don't got this. And that's when the anxiety kicks in and you have to humble yourself and go to God and say, I don't have this, I never had this, I never will have this.

[00:25:50] You're the only one who is able.

[00:25:54] And so I come and I cast this care up to you and I'm asking you to do it. I'm saying to you, I can't do it. I need you to do it. Please do it, Lord. And after I give it to the Lord, it promises here there's a promise in verse seven that when you obey this command, there's a peace, the very perfect tranquility of God that comes in. It's in your heart and your mind. And instead of just continuing to go over those anxious thoughts. Now all of a sudden, there's a peace that can guard your heart in your mind like a fortress for your soul, because it's the peace of Jesus now in you.

[00:26:35] I went right down next to making your requests known here. You might want to write down John, 14, 26. John, 14, 26. Here's another G thing that Jesus said about the life that he has given to you. Remember, Jesus didn't just come so that you could live. He came, that you would live abundantly. He said he was the bread of life.

[00:26:54] So you would never hunger that he's the living water. So you would never thirst that he's the light of the world so you could come out of the darkness and shine. This is who Jesus said that he is. And this is who Jesus said he's gonna make you.

[00:27:08] And he says in John, 14, verse 27 here, he says, Peace, I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.

[00:27:20] Let not your hearts be troubled neither. Let them be afraid.

[00:27:25] Jesus says he's giving you his peace. This isn't the world's kind of peace where we say peace, peace when there is no peace and we just want to act like everything's fine when it's not fine.

[00:27:36] This is a real resolution of conflict that you and God have been made. Right. And Jesus gives you this peace. So don't let your hearts be trouble.

[00:27:48] Don't be afraid.

[00:27:52] See, Jesus takes it when his people are afraid. Jesus takes it personally because Jesus says, I am with you always to the end of the age. So when you're being afraid, it's like a kid having fear. When Dad is right next to the.

[00:28:08] Dad's gonna be like, hey, kid. Hey, well, hey, hold my hand. Feel better. Come on. What's going on? Right.

[00:28:15] That's how Jesus says he's like, fear not for I am with you. That's what God said in Isaiah 41, verse 10. Right.

[00:28:22] So here's something, here's a thought we need to get in our minds. A lot of worry, a lot of anxiety going on these days. Here's the thought I really want you to think about. You cannot worry and worship at the same time. Let's get that thought in our heads. OK.

[00:28:36] Either God's on the throne and I'm coming before him and I'm acknowledging who God is and I'm bowing before him to worship him as the sovereign ruler over heaven and earth, as the creator, as the sustainer, as the one who controls all things under his power. The one who reigns supreme. I'm either acknowledging that he is holy and that he is worthy and there's no one like him and I'm worshiping him or I'm down here acting like life is out of control and wondering how it's all gonna work out. And I'm worried about it myself. It's one or the other.

[00:29:09] You can't worry and worship at the same time, so if you find yourself in worry, what you need to replace that with is worship. First of all, address that thing you're worried about. Cast it up to God in prayer. And then when you go before the throne in heaven and you bring that request and you make it known there to God before his throne.

[00:29:29] Stay right there before his throne. Don't don't leave and come back to the worries of the world. Stay there. Let your mind be set on the things above where Jesus is. See God on the throne. See Jesus at the right hand and start even thinking, what do you know about heaven?

[00:29:46] So one thing I know about have and they said it in Isaiah six. They said it in Revelation four is there's these crazy creatures in heaven. Anybody heard about this? The Seraphim, the Cherubim, as anybody heard about these guys, they got six wings in there. They're flying and they're covering themselves with these wings. And here's the thing. I read about these guys in Isaiah Isaiah. He was a prophet. Hundreds of years before Jesus.

[00:30:10] And then I read about these guys in Revelation, Chapter four, where John wrote about them after Jesus. So here on on planet Earth, that's that's hundreds of years. And these these creatures, these creatures that are around the throne, they're they're still saying the same word from Isaiah six to Revelation four. They're still saying holy, holy, holy is the Lord, God Almighty.

[00:30:34] Who was and who is and who is to car like like, hey, you don't understand. There is no one like our God. God is other than us. God is beyond our comprehension.

[00:30:47] And here we are trying to figure everything out. Hey, let's go worship the one that cannot be figured out.

[00:30:54] Let's go in his presence for a minute.

[00:30:56] Let's see that he's way beyond what we've got going on, that we are very small compared to him in all of his glory and his splendor, and if we spent more time with our minds in heaven, there would be a lot less anxiety here on earth.

[00:31:13] That's what it's saying.

[00:31:15] Write down Isaiah 26, verse three, if you're taken notes, Isaiah 26, verse three is another passage that promises us this piece. You will keep him in perfect peace. Whose mind is stayed on you because he trussing you see when your mind is set on God. That's where you're gonna have perfect peace.

[00:31:38] We just read through. We just read through 260 chapters from Matthew to Revelation. Anybody hear a part of team to 60 where my people are a team to 60? Hey. Wow. That was amazing. We had this event last Saturday night to celebrate reading 260 chapters.

[00:31:53] I mean, this place was bumping. This place was rowdy. It was I was like, ah, well, what's going on here at church with these Orange County people here? What is L.A. County, Southern California? Christians are getting fired up. What's going on?

[00:32:06] And it wasn't just young people fired up. There was a gray haired people here fired up. You know what I mean? We had bald people in the house praising the Lord. Right. I mean, people of all different shapes and sizes of ages, all different backgrounds, all united on the word of God. And it was like there was life. It was like there was revival. Like, hey, this really made a difference reading the Bible like this in my life. And people were fired up.

[00:32:34] And one of the things we had just come off of the Book of Revelation and one of the things that really struck struck me when we read through Revelation.

[00:32:41] This time it really stood out to me, is that when there's all of this judgment is just terrible time on planet Earth when the judgment of God is finally being poured out, even while there's judgment because of all the sin and the people still won't repent in the time of judgment. They're still continuing in their sin. Just total evil going on, judgment coming down. And they continue in the evil, you know, what they're doing and having the whole time.

[00:33:06] They're praising God. They're worshiping him. They're saying you are just to judge.

[00:33:13] They're saying you're such a faithful guy, whatever you say happens. They're already celebrating the victory. Before we even get to the final battle, that's where perfect peace comes from right there.

[00:33:26] When there's evil all around you, when you're wondering, is God ever going to make things right, go to heaven in your mind, go to heaven through your prayer, go to heaven in worship. And find perfect peace for your soul. Trust me, heaven is not disturbed by what Fox News is telling us today. Can I get the Amen from anybody on the. Heaven is proclaiming God's holiness even while we are seeing evil here on earth.

[00:33:57] So it says, make your requests known so that you will experience this piece. Look at verse eight, look at what it says here in Philippians four, verse eight. Another command says, Finally, brothers, you could feel like we're in the huddle now. Hey, we're calling the play. Everybody lean in. Everybody hear what the play is here to get.

[00:34:14] Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable. If there is any excellence. If there's anything worthy of praise, here's the command. Think about these things.

[00:34:28] Now, this is a revolutionary thought perhaps for American people like us. That my thoughts don't get to tell me what to think, but I get to tell my thoughts what to think. How about that phrase? I can on my smartphone doesn't get to inform my brain. I get to control my own headspace. How about that for a revolutionary concept?

[00:34:50] You get encouraging word, everybody. You get to think your own thoughts. All right.

[00:34:55] It's commanding you. There's a certain kind of thing that you should be thinking about.

[00:35:01] And the list here, it's a bunch of beautiful words, it's something that's true. It's just it's pure.

[00:35:07] I mean, it's almost like we're starting to say the things of God. And it gives it away at the end when it says if there's anything worthy of what praise?

[00:35:15] Who's the one who's worthy of all praise, honor or glory, dominion, power forever and ever a man.

[00:35:22] Like, what do you let yourself think about see, the command here is think about these things. Verse eight. That's the command. It's telling you there's a certain kinds of thoughts that you should let yourself think. Other places in scripture, it says, take every thought captive to obeying Jesus.

[00:35:39] It says we need to renew our minds. Otherwise, we're gonna be can't conformed to the ways of this world. But we can be transformed by the renewing of our mind. The battle is going on in our own headspace, which is just a trendy new way to say our own thoughts.

[00:35:54] All right. What are you thinking about?

[00:35:58] Now, here's the thing. No one else knows what goes on between your ears.

[00:36:03] Nobody else knows. Now, sometimes you give yourself away by the things that you say, okay? Sometimes a text message or an email might reveal the thoughts that are going on in your head, but you're really the only one.

[00:36:16] Who can evaluate the things that you think about? Let me ask you, are you thinking about what is true, what is honorable, what is just, what is pure, what is lovely, what is commendable? Are you thinking about things that are excellent? Things that are worthy of praise are the things of God on your mind throughout the day. Or are you getting caught up in thinking about all kinds of things that really you wouldn't want to talk about at church, you wouldn't want to share with other people that you have those thoughts going on in your head? It's a command here. Think about these kinds of things. Think about the things of of God, the things of heaven, the things that are good and glory.

[00:36:58] Then it says this in verse nine. One last command for us here, it says, what you have learned and received and heard and seen and me practice these things. And then it ends beautifully with the God of peace will be with you.

[00:37:11] But Paul is actually saying, hey, what have you learned from me? Because he came and he taught them the gospel. He taught them the scriptures. What have you received from me? What had he given them? What did they heard? What did they seen? See Paul saying, hey, this isn't theory we're talking about. No, you saw me. I came to your city. I preach to you the gospel. Jesus built up the church. And I was there teaching you. You heard me say things. You saw me do things, OK? All the things that you've learned and received and heard and seen and me practice those things.

[00:37:46] Do those things. Do you have an example? Do you have an idea of what it means to be a Christian? Do you have an example of the life that we're being called to? OK. Go and live that life.

[00:37:58] So what we're being told here in verse nine, very straightforward.

[00:38:01] Do there go do these things, all the things that you've been passed on to you that have been given to you, that you've heard them, you've seen them. You know, you have an idea, you know what you ought to do, but something's holding you back from doing it.

[00:38:16] Go and do it is what he's saying practicing.

[00:38:20] Keep doing it until it becomes the way that you conduct yourself every single day.

[00:38:26] Now, this is different than how a lot of people here at our church think because we put Paul in this super apostle category. You know what I'm talking about, right?

[00:38:37] Like, is anybody running around saying I'm going to be the next Paul? If somebody said that, we'd be like, that's so that's so proud of you. How dare you think that you could be like the apostle Paul when in the pages of Holy Scripture, he's telling us, hey, come and be like me. And then if somebody was actually trying to do it, we'd be like, hey, have you seen this guy? What's up with him trying to be like Paul, you know? Oh, maybe he's being biblical. I don't know. Maybe he's read this verse, right.

[00:39:01] Should we act like, oh, that's somebody I could never be like when the whole point is. That's who you're supposed to be like.

[00:39:08] That's your example.

[00:39:10] So with people like Paul or head up, like he says over and over in this letter, in his other letters inspired by the Holy Spirit, it's not a man boasting. It's God saying, follow the examples I've put in your life. Don't put them on some level that you can't get to. Hey, what have they taught you? What have they given you? What did you hear from them? What did you see from them? That's you now. Go and practice it.

[00:39:36] They blazed the trail run after them. Follow them.

[00:39:40] So I want to ask you, who's the most radical on fire Christian person you know?

[00:39:45] Who's somebody that you look at them and you think that person. They're the real deal for Jesus Christ.

[00:39:50] Yes. What have you heard? What have you seen from that person?

[00:39:54] Go and do those things. Practice those things.

[00:39:59] Follow the example of that person, don't write them off as some category that you can't beat. Let me tell you what they've got in them. They've got the power of God working there.

[00:40:10] The fact that they are a new creation in Christ and that God has put his spirit in them, who is now causing them to walk in their ways. You know what they've got? They've got the same abundant life that you've got in your soul.

[00:40:23] They got the same river of life that's flowing out of you. They got the same joy, the same peace, the same forbearance, the same things of God that have been given to them. You've got to. Go and do these things.

[00:40:40] So we can we can take this right here and we could go and we could make the list. We got five different commands. It's actually seven because it's a double clap on rejoice and there's a negative. Do not be anxious. So if you want to have all seven, if you're like a if you're like a list person, you're going to just love that.

[00:40:55] Right. You can just go. And then you can be like, am I doing this? Am I doing that right? But let's see. Let's think this through. Let's try to get our minds around this text guy.

[00:41:04] A PAFA Didas shows up with a letter from Paul in prison, the guy that we had the collection and we sent him a bunch of money. The guy who came into town and he preached the gospel. And that's how all of us got saved. And that's how our church got started. We have a letter from Paul. And we all gather around. And now the letter is going to be read aloud in it for the whole church to hear. And we're going to start reading the letter from Paul. I would imagine you could have heard a pin drop. I would imagine everybody was hanging on every word of what is Paul saying? And he starts talking about the joy that they share in the gospel and how they can stand firm and they can strive side by side for the faith of the gospel and stop living for yourself and live for everybody else. Live as one mind. Come together.

[00:41:51] Have the mind of Jesus in you. And hey, I'll tell you what, I used to be about myself. I used to be about my own righteousness. And then I realized that Jesus is better and it's about righteousness by faith in him. And now I'm pressing on towards Jesus and I can't wait to be with Jesus. And so finally, brothers, and then bam, bam, bam, bam. He starts giving them commands.

[00:42:13] Now, if you were there on that day and you're hearing the letter of Paul read and you're hearing all these commands, rejoice in the Lord, don't be anxious, make those requests known and the peace of Christ will calm and guard your heart and mind. Hey, think about these things. Do these things in the God of peace. We'll be with you. What would that have felt like to hear all of that? You would have been like jotting notes and making a list and keep. You can even keep track of them one by one. The first time you heard it read, what you would be hearing is. That's right. I've been called to more than this. I've been called to an abundant life. I should be living out who I already am. In Jesus Christ, I should rejoice. I have a reason for joy. I should have peace. I have a God who was with me, who's in control of all things. That's what they would have felt. Not burdened down by the list of commands, but uplifted that they could actually live up to this calling.

[00:43:13] That would have been how they felt. And this is how Paul writes.

[00:43:16] Go to First Thessalonians, Chapter five. Just a few pages over to the right here. First Thessalonians, Chapter five. And you'll see how this book ends where it says In versus Lilian's 512 page nine hundred and eighty eight.

[00:43:30] It's another rapid fire, quick commands. And it's about how they interact with other people. I mean, all these commands can be summarized in the categories of loving God with all your heart and loving your neighbor, your brother in Christ as yourself.

[00:43:45] And here they come. These quick commands here in First Thessalonians five. It starts by Hey, here's how you should treat your leaders in the church. Here's how you should treat everybody in the church. You should be at peace among yourselves. Treat this person this way, this person this way. And if anybody is evil to you, don't be evil back to them. No seek to do good to one another. And then it says this in verse sixteen. And see how similar this is to our passage here. I mean, rejoice always. There it is. Pray without ceasing. There it is. That's the opposite of anxiety right there. Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ. Jesus for you. Do not quench the spirit. So right there, as he's giving these rapid fire commands to always rejoice and always be taking your cares and turning them into prayers.

[00:44:37] He says, hey, this is what God's will is. This is how God is working in you. You're in Christ Jesus. You're not you anymore. You've got a new abundant life in Jesus. And hey, don't stop with the spirits doing in your life. Don't quench the spirit, the spirit that God gave us when we got saved. Who now causes us to walk in God's ways and is careful to obey the commands by the Holy Spirit? Who's the one actually doing the work and empowering and enabling us? Right there he drops all three of them.

[00:45:09] So if I say God's working in you or you have the life of Jesus in you or the spirits in you, it's all the same idea that you now have a life that is more than just your life. You have an abundant life, a quality of life.

[00:45:22] That's what he's calling them to.

[00:45:25] He says they don't despise prophecies, test everything, and then after all the commands, he gets to this first 23 versus lenience. Chapter five, verse 23. Now, may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely.

[00:45:41] And then your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and here's some good word right here.

[00:45:50] He who calls you is faithful. He will surely do it. Can I get any men from anybody on it? The reason there's all these rapid fire commands is because the God who's calling you to live up to this standard. He's faithful to do what he says in your life. In fact, in the end, when you obey the commands of God, when you live in this righteousness, when you live out what you already have in Jesus men, when you obey.

[00:46:18] Do you walk around saying, oh, I'm such a good Christian because I can obey? Right. Oh, look at me, everybody. I'm doing what is right.

[00:46:26] We know that. We know what that's about. That's hypocrisy. That's self-righteousness. No, when you are actually able to obey the commands. Who do you give all the glory to right away? Who do you think? Because you can tell that it's him working in you. And it's more than just you. It's not just your life. It's his abundant life in you bearing fruit.

[00:46:46] So you give the glory to God. He's the one who's really doing it, so we just got two points here in conclusion to all of the commands. Point number one, he makes you able to obey, right?

[00:46:59] Hey, let's make sure we keep this verse right here. He who calls you is faithful. He will surely do it when God calls you to obey the commands in Christ. That's because you have the life in Christ.

[00:47:13] That's why he's calling you to rejoice and to pray without ceasing and to keep on giving thanks, because that's who you already are in Jesus. And he's the one who's actually going to do that work in you. He is faithful to do.

[00:47:28] Don't being a Galatians Chapter five, a few pages over to the left here. Another as we get towards the end of another letter. Wants you to see how Paul says it here multiple times k like he's trying to help you see this is who you are.

[00:47:43] Live out who you are. OK. So I think that we could go through all of the commands individually like we did. But there's an accumulatively effect of hearing all these commands. Rapid Fire. It's to lift you up. It's to encourage you not to weigh you down with a to do list, but to remind you of who you are in Christ and to live up to your calling.

[00:48:07] And that's what he's doing here in Galatians. Chapter five, verse 16. This is a famous passage because it describes the deeds of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit.

[00:48:17] And it says, but I say walk by the spirit. You have the spirit of God in you. His life is now in you, a higher quality of life.

[00:48:26] Hey, walk it out. Do it. Conduct yourself according to the spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh for the desires of the flesh or against the spirit and the desires of the spirit or against the flesh. These are opposed to each other to keep you from doing the things that you want to do. But here's another way it says it if you are led by the spirit. So so far we've heard Walk by the spirit. Now we've heard led by the spirit under the influence of the spirit. Then you are not under the law. Now it's going to describe for us two categories deeds of the flesh and fruit of the spirit. And they're not even just two different things you can do. It's two kinds of people. Look what it says in verse 19. Now, the works of the flesh are evidence, sexual morality and purity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalry's dissentions, divisions, all these things that we're being commanded not to do envy, drunkenness, orgies and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Hey, people who are living life defined by these sins, practicing those things. Those are not God's people. They don't have the abundant life of Jesus. They're still living in their flesh. Their natural, sinful way of life. But it says here, verse 22, the fruit of the spirit is love. Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Notice how it hit, how here it doesn't even command you to go and do those things. It just says that's what the spirit's going to do. That's the fruit that the spirit will produce.

[00:50:15] Everybody who's alive, you're connected to the vine, every branch that's connected to Jesus Christ. You have the abundant life of Jesus. You have the spirit that Jesus sent is in your soul. His joy, his peace.

[00:50:27] You're going to have these things. That's the fruit of the spirit. It's not a command here. It's a statement of fact. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

[00:50:40] Can I get a man from anybody on that?

[00:50:42] You've died with Christ.

[00:50:45] You're no longer your old life anymore. You're no longer the old you.

[00:50:49] You have a new life in Jesus. And abundant life, a higher quality of life. And so then it says this verse 25. If we live by the spirit, let us also keep in step with the spirit. If you have a higher quality of life, go and live that life. That's what the scriptures say.

[00:51:13] Hey, you've got the spirit, do you? Do you believe personally, I'm talking about you now?

[00:51:17] Does the Holy Spirit give agree with your spirit that you have the spirit of God living in you?

[00:51:25] Do you see these fruits of the spirit working in your life? Hey, if you live, if Jesus has given you his life in his spirit. OK. If you live by the spirit, let's go this week and let's walk by the spirit. Does anybody want to live an abundant life this week? That's what it's calling us to.

[00:51:42] Do you want to settle for less? Or do you want to know the more of Jesus? Do you want joy? Do you want peace? Do you not want to have to make everything right in your life? Because you know the one who is going to make everything right. Do you want to think about those things? Do you want to do the things that following the example of the people who live for God? Then let's go and do it. That's what Paul say.

[00:52:03] This is who you are. Be who you are.

[00:52:08] And one more passage, Second Corinthians 13, eleven. Just a few pages over to the left. Second Corinthians 13, 11 just here. Final greetings. So we're just looking at some of the other ways Paul wraps it up. We're trying to get the big idea not of the specific commands. But why does he end with these rapid fire commands? There's a reason he does this in so many letters that you and I need to learn.

[00:52:35] We need to receive it. We need to hear it. We need to see it so we can go and we can practice it and do it. And he says, here it's final greetings. Finally, brothers. This is Second Corinthians 13. Eleven. Finally, brothers, rejoice. Are we getting a theme here this morning, everybody? He's calling you to rejoice. Aim for restoration. Hey, don't just respond to God with joy. Respond to the people of God with peace. Aim for restoration. Something wrong? Let's make it right. Comfort one another. Agree with one another. Live in peace. And then he says here the same thing. He says at the end of our passage and the God of love and peace will be with you.

[00:53:17] He says the god of peace will be with you. Point number two, he is with you all the way.

[00:53:27] You could look at this as a list of commands that you need to obey, but maybe a better way for you to go and think about it today is you're just living like you're aware that God is there. That's all you're really doing.

[00:53:39] You're just practicing his presence. You're just entering every moment presently thinking in that moment that God, the great God of peace, who sits on the throne, the Lord who is at hand and coming soon, that God is with you wherever you go. How can you have joy? How can you have peace because you've never left his presence. He goes with you wherever you go.

[00:54:07] What an amazing promise that you and I can take into our Monday morning and our Thursday afternoon, that when you leave here today, the God of peace is with you. And here's the kind of stuff that the God of peace has declared from heaven on the throne. I will never leave you nor forsake.

[00:54:27] I am with you always to the end of the age. Surely his goodness and mercy will chase after you all the days of your life and you will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. How can you rejoice? How can you have peace? How can you think about those things and do those things? Because he is with you.

[00:54:50] He makes you able to obey and he is with you all the way. I'm here to remind you this morning that you have been called by Jesus to a higher quality of life. He died so that you could live this life. Everybody, let's get our hand in the middle right now. Everybody, hey, we're ready to call the play. Right. This is our huddle, OK? This is our huddle right here. And now we're gonna go out and we're gonna execute the play. OK. Peace and joy on three. Everybody get your hand in with me. Are you. I'm just kidding. We're not really going to do it. But what if we did? Right.

[00:55:25] OK, go get your hand in. Right.

[00:55:28] That's what's happened in here at the end of the letter. The play has been called.

[00:55:33] Hey, you've been called let's go live up to your calling. What kind of an example like does the world, when they look at your life, at your work, when your family sees you this week?

[00:55:44] Are they going to think that this person, they've got the life of Jesus burst out of their body?

[00:55:50] That's what we have, a higher quality of life. Let's live it out. Let me pray for us and then we're going to respond in worship and we're going to respond by singing. We're even going to respond in giving our offering here. All right. So we saved all of that to the end. You've heard the word. Now let's respond to the word. Let's hear what God is calling us to hear today. So the ushers are going to come forward. We're going to take our offering if you want to, given that way.

[00:56:15] The band's going to come forward. They're going to lead us in singing. If you want to respond in that way, we are going to now offer ourselves we're gonna experience right now the joy and the peace of God, and we're gonna respond to him here in his presence together as his people.

[00:56:34] And so let me pray for us as we respond to the word of God that we have heard father in heaven. It is amazing that you would send your one and only son down here to Earth to save us, to die for us, to give us his very life and abundant life and eternal life where now we come to you and we call you are father.

[00:56:57] And we say that we are in Christ as brothers and sisters, and we know that your very spirit is in us.

[00:57:06] Convicting us, as we heard the word causing us to respond even now, groaning before you as we come to you in prayer and worship and giving and singing. God help us to see that we are the most blessed people on planet Earth. We've been called to a higher calling that we are the people who get to claim the name of Jesus. And let us rejoice in that name. Let us take all of our earthly troubles before your heavenly throne and let us experience the peace of Jesus that guards our hearts and minds.

[00:57:43] Let us think about the things of worship. Let us do the things of obedience.

[00:57:49] Father, we settle for far too less. Winning win in your son, we have so much more. Call us to that standard today and let us respond now.

[00:57:59] We are alive by your spirit. Let us live by your spirit. We pray in Jesus. Name a man.


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