I hope and pray that you all have a Christ-centered, God-glorifying week!
Hey Church family!
Last Sunday we began a new series ‘Philippians, His Glory, Our Joy.’ I hope and pray you left our worship time encouraged to live for God’s glory in Christ Jesus and experience the true JOY that comes with that. Many of us found this first message in Philippians to be an occasion to repent of our joylessness and trying to find joy in the wrong things. As we said yesterday, JOY IS THE FLAG THAT FLIES ON THE CASTLE OF THE HEART WHEN THE KING IS IN RESIDENCE THERE.
Tomorrow we’ll be looking at Philippians 1:12-26. Please be encouraged to read ahead and note any observations you may have. Maybe the most notable verse in this passage is Philippians 1:21 where Paul says, For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. What a powerful statement!!! We’ll definitely take a close look at that on Sunday!
Also, check out this blogpost that goes right along with our current series on JOY:
Grace and peace,
What’s up church? Sorry to nerd out on y’all like this 😅, but I thought this might interest some of you. As most of y’all know we are staring a series in Philippians this Sunday. If you haven’t seen it before, this little map can help you to better understand where the city of Philippi is located, and also where it is in proximity to some other cities/areas found in the Bible. The bottom right corner is Nazareth, Samaria, Judea, Jerusalem — you recognize those from Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and the beginning of Acts. Then you can see names/locations for Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, 1&2 Thessalonians, Romans. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of references to Bible places. Anyway, I thought this might help bring Philippians and some of the Bible to life for some of us. Most Bibles have maps in the back, but we seldom make use them, but they’re there to teach and remind us that the events of the Bible happened in REAL places and time.
Ok, I’m done geeking out. Blessings, roy.
Hey church family! Yesterday we wrapped up our ‘Better Together’ series. Next week, we’ll start a new sermon series ‘His Glory, Our Joy’ going verse by verse through the book of Philippians.
Philippians has been referred to as “The epistle of joy” and called “the most joyful book in the Bible” as we find the words joy and rejoicing repeated multiple times throughout its 4 chapters.
In a world that asks, almost exclusively, what circumstances will make me happy? In our study of Philippians, we want to ask and answer a deeper question, how can I have JOY, in spite of my circumstances?
If you’d like, read through Philippians ahead of time, and maybe highlight or circle all the times you see joy and rejoice.
Love you guys and can’t wait to start this series as we journey toward greater joy in Christ together!
(Btw my sweet and talented daughter Trinity made the cool sermon graphic for us 🙂)
The quote in the pic is from a book I read years ago, ‘The Mortification of Sin’ by John Owen. It had a profound impact on me to say the least. So much so that I named one of my best friends after the author, my dog, Owen. Not even kidding 😂 I could go on and on about the author of the book, but the reality is the book was great because it was biblical and Christ-centered.
This past Sunday’s sermon was on the subject of SIN from Numbers 11:4-20. We talked about the dangers of giving in to sin and how sin wants to enslave us. Sin can be a trap where, like the Israelites in the book of Numbers, we end up ROMANTICIZING and CRAVING sin, then BUILDING A TOLERANCE for it, then falling into DENIAL of it, then falling into a horrible CYCLE where we indulge in sin more and more as a way to try and ease the pain that was actually caused by sin. This is what it looks like to be ENSLAVED by sin.
Often we mistakenly think of sin in terms of few sensational “really bad” actions to avoid. But sin is so much more pervasive than that! Of course, sin is found in our actions but it’s also a power that is at work in all of us. It wants to destroy us, and must be resisted and fought against, every day.
Yesterday we defined sin as: “Craving something more than you crave God. The essence of sin is living for something other than God.” H/T Tim Keller
So our battle against sin isnt just about changing behavior, its about changing our affections and attitudes. About changing our CRAVINGS. It’s about TASTING and SEEING that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8).
The best place to get perspective on sin, is of course, the Word of God. Here are a few passages of Scripture to encourage and better equip us to, by the Spirit, struggle against sin.
If you are interested in reading The Mortificaiton of Sin by John Owen. You can get it at the link below. Kindle version is just .99 cents and paperback is $7.50.
Love y’all. And more importantly, Jesus loves you, more than you know!
Grace and peace,
“Likeness to Christ is the ultimate goal of sanctification. It IS holiness. It is therefore also the ultimate fruit of being devoted to God.”
Last week I read one of the best books I’ve ever read: Devoted To God, by Sinclair Ferguson. At a conference a few years ago I heard Sinclair express some concern that we as modern Christians may be lacking an emphasis and understanding of “our union with Christ.” His words really stuck with me so I was really excited to read his book on the subject. It did not disappoint! If you’re serious about becoming more like Christ, and I pray that you are, please consider giving this a read.
…not having a righteousness of my own…but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith… Philippians 3:9
It’s truly insane that self-righteousness would be a battle for me. In addition to the many flaws and failures that you all see, there are SOOO many more that I am keenly aware of. But still, somehow I find a way to downplay my sin, amplify the sins of others, and there it is—self-righteousness, easily identified by thoughts and feelings of moral superiority and an “I’m so glad I’m better” attitude. Charles Spurgeon said “The greatest enemy to human souls is the self-righteous spirit which makes men look to themselves for salvation.” Now, I believe that my salvation comes from the person and work of Jesus Christ! I believe that factually, but do I trust Jesus functionally? In other words, am I thinking more about his gift of righteousness to me or am I running in my head a score sheet of how good I am doing—or, lets be honest, how much better I am doing than others? The truth is, when I’m more focused on my own righteousness than the righteousness of Jesus Christ, I am trusting myself as a functional savior.
And when self-righteousness shows up in my life, it’s just ugly. It makes me think it’s me vs them when it’s actually me vs sin. It blinds me to my sins so it stalls my growth in Christ. It robs me of the ability to love others because you can’t really love people when you think you are better than them. It makes me condescending and sarcastic rather than understanding and compassionate. It alienates me from community because people cant be real around me out of fear of judgement. The list of ramifications goes on and on.
One more Spurgeon quote
“Beware of self-righteousness. The black devil of licentiousness (thinking it’s ok to indulge in sin) destroys his hundreds, but the white devil of self-righteousness destroys his thousands.”
Prayer: Lord, thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Help me to see you for who you are, and myself for the sinner that I am. Kill the self-righteousness in me and replace it with awe inspired worship of you, thankfulness to you, and grace and love toward others. It’s truly all about you, God. Amen.