Philippians: How to Enlighten the World | 5-22-2022

Photo Cred: (1) | Updated: 1/13/2023

Sermon Prep

The month of May in 2022 was madness. Truly, one of those jam-packed months where there’s always something to do and that has to be done right now. The only real break from it all was when Glory flew out with me to meet my family in Texas. Even then, it wasn’t really a break as she’s trying to present her best self and I’m struggling family time with her time as my wife-to-be. Regardless, here’s my notes:

Sermon Notes

Opening Line

  • As we continue Philippians, turn to 2:12-18.
  • What should be our mindset with obedience?

Intro

  • Read Philippians 2:12-18
  • Working out salvation (high school, college).

Transition To Main Point

  • To encourage you to go from finding out salvation to working out salvation by God’s grace, so that you can shine bright in a dark world.

Main Point

Find Out vs Work Out: “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

Philippians 2:12-13
  • “as you have always obeyed” = consistent character and healthy growth
  • “work out your own salvation” = both individually and mutually. Universal, communal; personal faith.
  • Ephesians 4:14-16 + Colossians 2:4, 8
  • “with fear and trembling” = awe-based fear is an awareness of God’s holiness and our lack of it. Humility in the face of God’s holiness.
  • “God who works in you” = we can be obedient because God empowers us. The Holy Spirit himself guides us to obedience.
  • “for his good pleasure.” = our ultimate aim is to glorify God’s name.
  • God creates, we cultivate. He instructs, then invites. Physical order to spiritual order.

Imagers of God: “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.”

Philippians 2:14-16
  • “all things without grumbling or disputing” = no exceptions, do everything without having an attitude and arguing
  • “blameless and innocent” = As imagers of God, your image and intent matters.
  • “children of God” = belonging, chosen; loved. That’s what defines us.
  • “without blemish” = unrepentant recurring sin
  • “in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation” = Psalm 1:1-2 + John 17:16-18
  • “shine as lights in the world” = Matthew 5:14-16
  • “holding fast to the word of life” = Bible
  • “may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.” = Paul had disciplemaker in mind

Rejoice Over Sacrifice: “Even if I am poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.”

Philippians 2:17-18
  • “drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith” = celebration/sacrifice in OT
  • “I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.” = Romans 12:15

Why It Matters

  • Faith is progressive, not passive. One milestone to the next by way of obedience to the way of Jesus.
  • The farther one goes in faith, the brighter they enlighten the world around them.
  • New believers = find out, mature believers = work out.
  • Don’t just observe, but obey too. Rise + shine.

Final Thoughts

Looking back, I think that busyness got the best of me here. This sermon turned out fine. It did its job, but I think it was my presentation that was lacking. That lack of energy effected this one. Then again, it’s just a sermon. The Holy Spirit can use tired, weak men like me to do incredible things. I’m just a chipped-up vessel meant to honor him and all he desires.

Footnotes

  1. https://www.pexels.com/

Philippians: A Prayer for the People | 4-10-2022

Photo Cred: (1) | Updated: 1/12/2023

Sermon Prep

This was Reunion Church‘s real first foray into preaching through a book in the Bible. As this is our teaching pastor’s favorite epistle from Paul and a more inspiring book, it was the perfect book for us to start in Philippians. It was also our first-time basing our sermons around the outlines in a Bible commentary, which took a minute for me to be completely sold on it. I just had a hard time at first preaching a sermon I felt like someone else already did, but I got over it once this series got going.

What also stands out from this sermon timeframe in particular is I was just past one month of dating my now-wife Glory and man was I in love. I tried to look back and see if I journaled anything during this period of time, but found nothing. I was living in the moment and really didn’t make time to journal at all because I just had her on my mind all the time.

What’s also interesting was that I knew I wanted to marry her way early on into the relationship. So as Resurrection Sunday was fast approaching, which is the day I did propose I was just dying to ask her to marry me every moment we were together. I had a plan to propose at 3 months of dating on June 4th and started ring shopping, but yeah I couldn’t wait. I proposed with no ring and all the hope in the world that she would say yes, which of course she did.

But before any of that happened and before that life-changing day just one week later, I preached this sermon on a simple Sunday. Not knowing what was next or that my life would change forever in a week. We were just living and loving every moment together with the joy of the Lord. So on that simple Sunday, here’s what I shared:

Sermon Notes

Opening Line

  • As we continue Philippians, turn to 1:9-11.
  • What should be our mindset long-term?

Intro

  • Pray Philippians 1:9-11 over Reunion Church.
  • Intercede = to go between the needs of others.
  • Story of [close friend] at court.

Transition To Main Point

  • Paul’s Prayer is a trio: petition, purpose; praise.
  • Philippians 1:9, 1:10-11a, 1:11b

Main Point

To Petition: “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment”

Philippians 1:9
  • Knowledge of God leads to limitless love.
  • Love is active, not static. Unending.
  • Love in action is informed + understanding.
  • Know what’s right, then know what’s best.

To Purpose: “so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ”

Philippians 1:10-11a
  • Test everything to find what’s better, then what’s best (1:10a).
  • Jesus’ return in the future defines how we prepare ourselves in the now (1:10b).
  • Jesus returning is a moment we joyfully anticipate (1:10c).
  • Since we’re right with God, we should live rightly (1:11a).

To Praise: “to the glory and praise of God.”

Philippians 1:11b
  • To honor God is our highest aim.
  • Our end goal is to extol God, which means to upwardly raise his name.

Why It Matters

  • Our mindset determines our measures for loving people. With the right loving mindset, methods + motives become clearly defined.
  • Intercede for the sake of others in your care. Pray for people you know to carry on in faith.
  • Change your perspective. How are you producing a right life? Is a good life just about you?
  • Your impact is etched into the fabric of eternity. In knowing the big picture, life isn’t puzzling.
  • Life is a collective pursuit. A mass migration towards meaning. Worship God in the joy of every earthly thing.
  • We’re united in life together no matter how you split us up.

Final Thoughts

As I look back at this message 9 months after the fact, it’s strange which things stand out to me. I remember really only the intro and outro, which I think resonated well with the audience. I sort of brought the house down in my close and open with a very personal story of interceding for a close friend who I’m omitting given it was a child-custody battle in court. It’s their business, not ours so I reserve that right to protect their privacy.

I think the layout of the structure was good from a verse-by-verse approach and I distinctly remember that I felt brilliant for my last few lines of my outro. I love when I can pack-a-punch verbally in saying something super short, but incredibly powerful. That level of word efficiency is what I aspire for in anything I write. With that said, Godspeed and Jesus bless.

Footnotes

  1. https://www.pexels.com/