Richvale Church
  • Intro.

    Good Morning, Richvale Church.; Welcome to our online service…
    We sent out a letter this past weekend, letting you know about our opening date scheduled for June 21st… At the same time we are monitoring the situation closely as we see more cases of Covid 19 in our area…
    We will also be live streaming our services onto our facebook page, so if you are unable to make it here in person… we should have that option available.
    Again, we are wanting to take every precaution to keep everyone healthy and safe as possible…
    We are in our series entitled RE-frame…and we are looking at Paul's letter to the Philippines… where he is challenging our thinking and our attitudes… That we have the same attitude that is found in Christ Jesus…
    Even though we have come to the saving to knowledge of Jesus… we are still this process of becoming like him… through working out what God has already work in us…
    This morning sermon is entitled
    Take off your training wheels and choose joy…
    Training wheels have a purpose they are there to give support while you are learning to ride a bike.. but there comes the day when those training wheals have to come off.. and When they come off … there is a new found freedom…
    In Philippians chapter 4 Paul is going to show us that by choosing joy… we are inviting Freedom into our lives.
    Remember Paul is writing from prison, He is chained to a Roman guard awaiting a possible death sentence… so there is a lot of weight that he is carrying on his shoulders … You would expect Paul to be anxious, depressed, down cast…
    But that is not what we find in his letter…there is no complaining, no blaming, no bitterness in his tone…
    We don’t see Paul pacing around worried or anxious..
    Rather, we find Paul full of faith Gratitude, thankful and Joyful…and he is encouraging others…
    Whenever we see someone who has been through the Kinds of difficulties that Paul has had and still has a good attitude … it gets our attention…
    Paul is in chains yet we see his Freedom in Christ.. and what could be considered a difficult time gospel is still advancing.
    What Does it mean to choose Joy?
    There is a big difference between joy and happiness... sometimes it is easy to get these two qualities mixed up… .
    At the beginning of the year Pam and took a few days off and traveled to San Diego… We wanted to set time to regroup after Christmas and come back refreshed for the coming year 2020..
    We had quality time together and we tried to spend as much time as we could just sitting on the beach... looking at ocean... ... and it was enjoyable… and it served the purpose of renewal…
    there is a big difference between enjoyment and joy…
    --- we learn from Paul that Joy is greater that our circumstances..and experiences… joy is more than what happenings
    . there are people that live in San Diego and they are looking at that same Ocean view every single day... and they still have no peace and no joy ..
    The reason is simply that Joy is not external quality …joy comes from within . ..
    When I think about my own joy ... it really comes from the inner sense of wholeness and fulfillment..
    ... When things are in balance between my Spiritual walk, my marriage, my family, my relationships, my health and my work ... there sense of contentment or well being
    The Bible has a word for that and it is the world Shalom.. Peace with God..
    This kind of peace does not come from the absence of conflict, the absent of troubles… or those good feelings… it comes from knowing that God is in control.
    How about you? What are the things that bring you joy? What brings you peace of mind…just thinking about hat is going on around us right now… there have been demonstrations and riots… we are possibly seeing a second wave of COVID 19 in some states… this past week the stock market went downs 1700 points. there is a lot of anxiety in our world…
    T/s How do we take off the training wheels… choose joy…
    First by...

    1. Building Bridges not walls

    In Chapter 4, Paul is closing out his letter to the church at Philippi and he is encouraging the church to persevere in faith… but at the same time deals with a particular threat that was causing disunity within the church
    Philippians 4:2–5 ESV
    2 I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. 3 Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;
    Paul brings up two prominent woman in the church Euodia and Syntyche that have had some kind of fall out..
    What is interesting is their names Euodia mean… Prosperous journey.... and Syntyche.. means pleasant acquaintance.. They are obviously at this point living up to their names....
    Here is one of those situations where we don’t have the full story…
    We not sure exactly what the conflict was about…we don’t know if it was theological, some practical issue, something hurtful that was said.. We are spared the details…
    We do know however, that both woman labored sided by side with Paul in his work in the ministry .... At one point they were part of a cohesive team…
    But....Unfortunately and some point there was conflict and their differences began to bleed out into the church…and it was impacting the unity of the church at Philippi.
    So.. Paul makes this urgent and earnest request that they work out their differences...
    That they come to an agreement in the Lord...
    Notice that Paul not only addresses the woman but also requests the help of an individual whom he calls his true companion.. his yokefellow… to step in help
    Paul reminds us that restoration is a body work. It's not just the duty of the pastors and overseers to broker peace. Paul calls on the members of the church. So if you are aware of strife between fellow Christians, I ask you, loyal yokefellow, to do your part.
    What is going on here is that..
    Paul is Encouraging the church to build bridges not walls..
    One of the things that can take the joy our of life are broken relationships…
    Paul tells us too..
    Choose Joy.... Choose freedom… by choosing to agree in the Lord..
    Where do we start?
    a. We Build Bridges by agreeing with what the Word of God says...
    We living in an age of Disagreement … never have we been so polarized in our politics and beliefs— friendships that have last years are literally being ruined because of our different political perspectives.. no longer are we willing to agree to disagree…this is a fundamental problem..
    Because it …breeds distrust and disunity…
    How do we mend broken relationships?
    When it comes to believers there are clear pathways to mending relationships… Jesus gives us an outline in Matt 18 — where the goal in conflict resolution is to always gain a brother… But Paul's in our text here in Philippians tells us where to begin..
    Paul tells us that as Believers — we have common ground ..
    If we don't see eye to eye with some on… where do we start??
    - Paul urges these woman to agree in the Lord…
    We may not agree with each other… but what does God say about it?
    Paul covers this in Chapter 2.. Where asks --- if there is any encouragement in Christ, is there any comfort, love, participation in the spirit…then he urges the church complete my joy by being of the same mind…
    Then he tells us how to be of the same mind.
    Philippians 2:3–4 ESV
    Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
    Paul shows us how to bring agreement.. he gives us two sets of paired statements each telling us what not to do before telling us what we should do.
    1. Don’t look after your interests.. but humility consider others more significant than yourself..
    2. Don’t just look your own interests… but also have the best interests.
    here it the thing when you esteem some more important than yourself and simultaneously hold a grudge against them? You can’t do both, which means we must be proactive about truly resolving conflict rather than allowing it to fester below the surface.
    The scripture is always going to point us to walking together in unity… When you agree… you are not giving up a position… but you gain a gain a brother or sister
    First of all agree with what the scripture teaches… and then..
    b. Build Bridges by being in Agreement with others..
    The situation that Paul is dealing with is quite a serious matter you have two leaders at odds with each other and it is impacting the rest of the church... Paul is reminding them to keep sights of the gospel...
    Paul says remember that your name is written in the book of life.. both in Daniel andRevelations it talks about the book of life…
    Don't let the things of the day get in the way of the bigger than the mission of sharing the Gospel...
    c. Build Bridges by living out joyful
    Paul again says... Rejoice in the Lord and again, I'll say it again...
    Paul is not commanding us to be happy always… happiness is not a command.. and cannot be turned on and off like a tap.
    Paul is not issuing an order to be happy but an invitation to worship, and to joyful worship at that.
    Joy starts with in your own life and your own Worship then spreads outwards
    The Characteristic joy is that it is made known...
    In the book of Nehemiah when the exiles returning to Jerusalem ---
    We are told that ...The joy of Jerusalem could be heard far away.. joy is something you can hear from a distance. not just feel happy..
    Joy ultimately comes from this life that we have in Salvation... deep wells of joy... there are tons of reserves..
    Jesus said to the woman, I'll give you living water that you never thirst again.. limitless supply...
    Eugene Peterson message says Celebrate God all day and every day... revel in him..
    by doing so you are making know your reasonableness be made know to everybody..
    meaning that you have a gracious and forbearing attitude towards others.
    T/s. How do we choose joy?
    1. Practice building Bridges not walls

    2. Preface Your Day with the Lord is at Hand.

    How do you start your day? It so easy to start into the wrong footing every day. What would happen if we prefaced each day --- with this is the day that the Lord has made I will be glad and rejoice in it…
    if we did that we would be choosing joy!!! Every day.
    Philippians 4:5–7 ESV
    5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
    So Paul now points to fact is that Lord is at hand...
    The nearness of the Lord that could mean his nearness at all times to the believer, the nearness of his coming or both.
    The point is that God is not at a distance...God is near... God is as near as the mention of his name..
    When Paul starts out his letter he begins with I thank my God of every remembrance of you.. always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now..
    one of the keys to Paul's joy is that it was always prefaced with Christ… Even his chains were for the Lord...
    Paul says instead of worrying and being anxious about things... pray about things... come to God with various prayers and supplications... with thanksgiving.. make known our requests to God...
    Paul give us an antidote for Fear and anxiety..
    a. By turning our anxious thoughts towards prayers..
    Dr. Walter Cavert reported a survey on worry that indicated that only 8 percent of the things people worried about were legitimate matters of concern! The other 92 percent were either imaginary, never happened, or involved matters over which the people had no control anyway...
    But still it is amazing how you can be going through your day… everything is fine and how one thought… one phone call can send us into a tail spin...
    What is worry? The Greek word translated “anxious” (careful) in Philippians 4:6 means “to be pulled in different directions.”
    Our hopes pull us in one direction; our fears pull us the opposite direction; and we are pulled apart! The Old English root from which we get our word “worry” means “to strangle.”
    If you have ever really worried, you know how it does strangle a person!
    In fact, worry has definite physical consequences: headaches, neck pains, ulcers, even back pains. Worry affects our thinking, our digestion, and even our coordination..
    From the spiritual point of view, worry is wrong thinking (the mind) and wrong feeling (the heart) about circumstances, people, and things.
    Worry is the greatest thief of joy. It is not enough for us, however, to tell ourselves to “quit worrying” ... Worry is an “inside job,” and it takes more than good intentions to get the victory
    Paul says to in everything prayers, supplication and thanksgiving... In everything present our needs to God…no issue is too big or too small…
    We are prone to pray about the “big things” in life and forget to pray about the so-called “little things”—until they grow and become big things! Talking to God about everything that concerns us and Him is the first step toward victory over worry.
    When we Pray, bring our Supplication and Praise then Paul tell us that we will experience the peace of God, that transcends, surpasses, or exceeds..
    b. Offer up Prayers, Supplication, thanksgiving
    Each of this is a different part to prayer…spiritual life.
    a. The word prayer is the general word for making requests known to the Lord. It carries the idea of adoration — worship… seeking after God...
    b. The second is supplication, which mean to earnestly share our needs and problems.
    There is a level of intensity in this prayer..This is the way Jesus prayed in the Garden, it was an intense kind of prayer …
    Hebrews 5:7 ESV
    In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.
    There times when we are to go beyond prayer — raise up the intensity...
    Then thanksgiving.. praise...
    the power of prayer it's that it builds builds a parameter around our lives. this layer of protection
    Paul is not advocating that we pretend to have no worries... we should be honest of our real anxieties.. okay no fear is the goal... but how do we go about it...
    God's peace that is greater than our understanding will give you understanding.... God's peace will be a garrison and guard around us.
    The Greek word for “guard” is a military term that means to surround and protect a garrison or city. The Philippians, living in a garrison town, were familiar with the Roman guards who maintained watch, guarding the city from any outside attack. God’s peace is like soldiers surrounding believers’ hearts and minds (that is, emotions and thoughts), securing them against threatening and harmful outside forces
    Paul tells us that His peace is greater than our capability to worry...
    This peace of God transcends all understanding, that is, it is beyond man’s ability to comprehend
    Peace is the opposite of Fear...
    Fear is a powerful emotion... our fear is contagious and can rob off on others...
    Here is the thing your problem hasn't changed..but your mind is overwhelmed by the peace.. peace that transends means that which superior to the entire mind. When his peace floods in -- it will guard our hearts.
    When prayer replaces worry, the peace of God, which transcends all understanding comes in, and that peace acts as a sentry guarding the Christian’s mind and emotions from being over-whelmed by the sudden onrush of fear, anxiety or temptation. This reality Christians should prove in their daily lives
    When you living with upward calling in Christ... it changes your perspective... You know that saying don't make mountains out of mole hills - well as a Christians --- it takes the things we perceive and mountains and makes them mole hills... when we draw into the arms of the Eternal God... it changes our view... The more real-estate God has in our hearts the less anxious and more peace that we will have..
    T/s. How do we choose joy?
    1. Practice building Bridges not walls
    2. Preface Your Day with the Lord is at Hand.

    3. Prepare your mind for Action

    The battle for joy is our minds… the mind is incredible wonder… 12 - 14 billion cells that connect 10 of thousands of other cells …
    The mind’s activity has been compared to 1,000 switchboards, each big enough to serve New York City, all running at full speed as they receive and send questions and orders. Put another way, there is more electronic equivalent in one human brain than in all the radio and television stations of the entire world put together!
    With all this Ram and brain power… It is amazing how just one thought can trip us up… How wrong thinking can slowly creep into our lives… One thought can discourage… one thought can lower your self esteem… one thought can destroy a relationship… the book of proverbs tells us
    Proverbs 4:23 ESV
    23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
    Paul knows that the key to joy is what we meditate upon...
    Philippians 4:8–9 ESV
    8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
    Paul comes to closing thoughts.... Finally...
    Finally brothers
    1. fill you minds with the right things
    Whatever is true, fix your thoughts on what is true
    a. Meditate on things that are true…-
    Truth includes facts and statements that are in accordance with reality (not lies, rumors, or embellishments), sincere (not deceitful or with evil motives), and loyal, faithful, proper, reliable, and genuine. Truth is a characteristic of God
    b. honorable (benefiting behavior) These matters are worthy of respect, dignified, and exalted in character or excellence
    c. Things that right
    b on the things that are morally pure,
    c. things that are lovely or pleasing (admirable)
    d worthy of praise
    “anything that deserves the thinker’s praise” or “anything that God deems praiseworthy.”
    a. In other word Tackle your thought life..
    Karl Barth was invited to deliver one of the distinguished lectureships at a theological seminary in the East, and while he was there a group of ministers and theologians and dignitaries of one kind or another sat down with him in a kind of question-and-answer period. Someone asked the question, "What is the most profound thought that you know, Dr. Barth?" This is what he said: "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so."
    b. Practice makes Perfect
    In chapter three Paul says imitate me as I imitate Christ..... Remember for those new greco Christians Paul and the apostles would have been the only example what a christian looked like… they would have had the gospels… they had Paul...
    Paul goes back to the examples... put into practice the things you have learned, received or heard from me... It is often not that we don't know the right things to do... the problem is lack of action. Putting things into action
    Paul outlines the process… to learning
    9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you
    1. learned and received
    You don’t only acquire knowledge… you have to receive it and make it your own.... Knowledge has to be internalized to have impact… truth becomes yours… Bob was sharing with me this week that the sermon preached last week really made a difference… where we talked about Citizenship… the thought that we are resident aliens on this earth… and he wrote it down and stuck on sticky in his house as a reminder… that is making truth your own…
    2. Seen and practiced.
    Again, Paul tells us it is not enough just to have witnessed something… you need to put into action the things that you have seen...
    This is where the real power lies...
    If the believers would keep on practicing the virtues that Paul cited above, they would experience the God of peace. God is the source of peace for all believers
    Max Lucado, tells this story how the gadgets and gauges were robbing him of joy.
    For years he was an avid cyclist. He was one of those guys with the tight shorts and helmet. He then got into competitive ridding… Then he started to kit out his bike…He got some gadgets. … everything from a speedometer, to a monitor for his heart rate, a device to read the incline of a hill. He had gauges on gauges. Then on top of that he had his music…
    One day, he wrecked the bike. And had to borrow a friend's bike—one with no gadgets on it at all. And for some reason, didn't take any music .
    He tells that he surprised how much he enjoyed that ride. He said ...It was delightful...I was riding for the pure joy of riding..
    Here is the thing we can choose Joy…
    Can you imagine if each of us had 5-10% more joy in our lives? What would that mean for you?
    Paul is offering much more than 10%... Paul is saying to that when we live our lives from the point where God is near... God is close... the things that are keeping us up... will no longer have power over you because their will be new found freedom.... You will have the peace of God that surpasses understanding...
    so what's holding us back?? from living every single day with joy? That's the offer!!! Maybe it is time to pull out the tool box and loosen those training wheals… those things that we perceived as holding us up… take the push and choose joy!!
    I challenge you this week
    .1. Practice building Bridges not walls
    2. Preface Your Day with the Lord is at Hand.
    3. Prepare your minds for actions.
      • Philippians 4:2–5ESV

      • Philippians 2:3–4ESV

      • Philippians 4:5–7ESV

      • Philippians 4:6ESV

      • Hebrews 5:7ESV

      • Proverbs 4:23ESV

      • Philippians 4:8–9ESV

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