September 26, 2021 | Jess Rainer
Passage: Philippians 1:1-11
The quickest way to lose joy is to consistently focus on yourself. On the flipside, the quickest way to gain joy is to consistently focus on Christ and others. It’s cheesy, but it’s the old JOY acronym: Jesus, Others, You! That’s where I want to start this series…Joy begins when you see beyond yourself.
1) There’s joy in the messiness of community. (vs. 1-4) Satan loves to convince people that freedom comes from the enslaving things of the world. When you know you have the power of the Holy Spirit inside of you helping you proclaim a message of victory, then the futile attempts of a defeated enemy shouldn’t do anything more than annoy you. When identities get disrupted, community gets messy. We are still learning who Christ is - We are still learning who we are in Christ - and we are still learning who each other are in Christ. Be thankful that everyone is not like you! See beauty in the mess. See joy in the mess!
2) There’s joy in knowing God’s not done. (vs. 5-6) God’s not done with you. God’s not done with the person next to you either. That should produce not only a joy, but a confidence. Who you are today is not who you will be. When you look towards God’s future for you, it brings joy and confidence. “Regardless of what happened yesterday, if you stick with the Lord today, your yesterday doesn’t have to control your tomorrow.” -- Tony Evans, No More Excuses.
- The power of “AND”
- You can feel pain now AND find joy in knowing that God’s working in the pain.
- You can feel sadness now AND find joy in knowing that there are new mercies every day.
- You can feel disappointment now AND find joy in knowing God is a God of love.
- You can feel anger now AND find joy in knowing God is a God of justice.
- You can feel inadequate now AND find joy in knowing God will give you everything you need.
- Your joyful confidence comes from knowing God is working in every situation in life!
3) There’s joy in wanting the best for others. (vs. 7-11) Jesus is both the standard and the source of our affection for each other. Think about it! Paul used to hate and murder Christians, now he’s writing about this gut-level affection he has for them. Only Jesus can do that!
“It would be quite wrong to think that the way to become [loving] is to sit trying to manufacture affectionate feelings. The rule for [us all] is perfectly simple. Do not waste time bothering whether you “love” your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we [will learn] one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love [them.] – C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
- We find joy in the messiness of our community.
- We look at each other and find joy that God’s not with us.
- And then we love each other in a way that produces a joy that those around us long for.
This ten week series provides a survey of the book of Philippians. One of the key messages of Paul’s letter to the church of Philippi focuses on discovering a true joy in the Lord, because Jesus’s kingdom surpasses the circumstances of life.