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/