Photo Cred: (1) | Updated: 5/26/2023
Last time I mentioned that life was so busy leading up to my wedding that I had only journaled twice in-between sermons. Well since late-June of 2022 up until the day of this sermon, I journaled nothing. I was doing the final weeks of prep before my USS Nationals show on June 25th in New Hampshire and that last minute training ate up a good chunk of my time. Of course the upcoming wedding ate up the rest, so with the little time post-competition I penned this message.
My final placing was 2nd to last for that show. I beat one guy in the Open Men MW (198-) class and gave arguably my worst Strongman performance ever in competition zeroing 3 of the 5 events. It was quite the dud of a showing on my part and I wasn’t even in very good shape. I showed up weighing 13lbs underweight with an incredibly lackluster strength physique going into my toughest show ever and yet I loved it.
My then-fiancée, Glory, traveled and supported me there. Which made the competition more about enjoying the show than just trying to win it. This experience in retrospect I think had a strong effect on this message in that I truly can’t do all things. I can’t win everything I try and I can’t do everything on my own, but we’ll get to why in the notes section. Speaking of which, here were the notes for this sermon:
- Tonight, we’ll be in Philippians 4:10-23.
- What should be our mindset on giving/receiving?
- Read Philippians 4:10-23.
- Mom’s mental breakdown grieving Grandma Rachel.
Transition To Main Point
- To express gratitude to God for us all supporting each other, while also carefully highlighting some important Christian aspects of giving and receiving.
Six Themes on Gifting (4:10-20)
- Gratitude (4:10) -> “I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have received your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but had no opportunity.”
- Contentment (4:11-13) -> “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
- Partnership (4:14-16) -> “Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again.”
- Fruitfulness (4:17) -> “Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.”
- Worship (4:18) -> “I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.”
- Faith (4:19-20) -> “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Goodbye For Now (4:21-23)
- “Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.”
Why It Matters
- Gratitude + Contentment (materials needs)
- Partnership + Fruitfulness (social needs)
- Worship + Faith (spiritual needs)
Explain the 1st + 2nd Mountain Concept
“All their lives they’ve been taking economics classes or living in a culture that teaches that human beings pursue self-interest-money, power, fame. But suddenly they are not interested in what other people tell them to want… The world tells them to be a good consumer, but they want to be the one consumed-by a moral cause. The world tells them to want independence, but they want interdependence-to be enmeshed in a web of warm relationships. The world tells them to want individual freedom, but they want intimacy, responsibility, and commitment. The world wants them to climb the ladder and pursue success, but they want to be a person for others… They’ve gone from self-centered to other-centered.”David Brooks, The Second Mountain
- The Christian life is other-centered, not self-centered. We die to self to help someone else. It’s a giving mindset.
- Give to your neighbors, the church, your community, and even people you hate.
- I can’t do all things, therefore God gives. You can’t do all things, likewise God gives. In all things, be giving to others as God has given to you.
As you can tell, I was reading The Second Mountain by David Brooks during the summer of 2022 and started reading it in New Hampshire during USS Nationals. It had a big impact on me and especially this message I shared with Reunion Church. If there’s one thing you can extract from my life, I’m not afraid to leverage the culture for the sake of Christ.
Call it more of a Pauline approach to be culture-centered than say Peter who was incredibly church-centered. Both have their merits and all Christians take after either one or the other. I just prefer using the culture of my time to communicate Christ to all people. With that said, Godspeed and Jesus bless.