Don’t you just love my new header? It was taken from a set of note cards that I bought at a farmer’s market near Nanny & Pappy’s place, where they were on sale by the painter herself. And if I wasn’t so lazy, I’d try to find them, so that I could put her name here. But then maybe she’d find me, and make me pay up, a little more. Oops! Hopefully I’m allowed, because it’s not the full picture…
On to sermon notes. *sigh!* The whole thing just spoke so specifically to our church. Since we have so many things in common with the Philippian church (we’ve been doing a series on this particular epistle). Things like having women of influence who were at the centre of the church, welcoming a large diversity of cultures, disagreements (and Craig/Paul pointed out that it was NOT “the unspiritual” who were involved in the disagreement!). And other things.
Craig started his sermon by saying that most of life is lived in the valley, not on the mountaintops. Philippians 4 talks about some essentials of life–life not as we would like it, but the way it IS. Balance that with our underlying theme for this series, Confidence in God: the work that God has begun, He will continue and complete. Because it’s not our story, but His story.
Balance that with the fact that this is the chapter in Philippians where it says, “Always be full of joy in the Lord”, “I can do all things through Christ…”, “Don’t worry: pray…” and don’t forget to add thanksgiving when you pray, and then “the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds…” etc. God’s peace is the kind that keeps you mentally and emotionally stable! As for the thanksgiving, Craig said it’s not a matter of your ol’ “glass half empty vs half full”, but half full vs overflowing–if we’d only realize it, our glass is really overflowing!
So, the Essentials of Life. They can be distilled down to these two: relationships and purpose. If we stay true to the Lord, that relationship will effect all our other relationships–as verse 5 says, we will be known for our considerateness/gentleness/attitude of humility.
As for Purpose, that comes from verse 8: “Fix your thoughts on…” Fix, fix, fix your thoughts! I think it’s really quite neat that this verse, plus the one we started a meeting with after church (Rom. 12:1) are the two latest (and last!) memory verses we’ve had at the kids’ Club!
What a marvelous sermon, including the reality element–this is the way it is, live with it (my words)–and the encouragement. Ah, the encouragement! Craig had us close our eyes to listen to the encouraging verses. The reminder that God will give strength to all those who ask for it.