Faith Bible Church of Lake Charles
A Life That Counts
A Life That Counts
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  • A Life That Counts

    If we're to have the submissive mind and the joy that goes with it, we must recognize that there is a purpose to achieve (God's plan for our lives), a power to receive (the Holy Spirit), and a promise to believe.
    Driving through Mineral Wells, Texas, one afternoon in 1994, Jim Rhodes noticed many buildings standing vacant due to the shutdown of a local military base. "I always complain to God about things that bother me," says Rhodes, "so I asked him, ’Why aren’t these buildings being used to help the homeless?’"
    A few days later an announcement appeared in the paper: one of the base buildings was available to any charitable organization that could put it to good use. More to appease his conscience than to make a serious inquiry, Rhodes sent a letter to city officials, suggesting his idea. The answer he wasn’t prepared for came back: "It’s yours."
    "Never say ’God use me’ unless you really mean it," Rhodes says with a knowing smile. Decades earlier another complaint to God about abandoned children led him and his wife, Melinda, to adopt eight "special needs" children and be foster parents to hundreds more over the years. Soon Rhodes found himself also helping pregnant and battered women, which grew into New Haven Ministries in 1986.
    "The next step was to begin helping homeless families," Rhodes says. After a chain of miracles, including more than 5,000 volunteer hours from plumbers, electricians, and painters who renovated the facility, New Haven Family Center opened its doors in September 1995.
    Since then, the center has helped over 20 intact families get back on their feet. Families live at the center two or three months while they find employment. The center provides clothes, food, GED, and computer classes. "This is a totally Christian, totally donated, non-government funded ministry," says Rhodes. "Most of these folks just need a hand up instead of a hand out."
    What’s next for Rhodes? "Only God knows," he chuckles, "but I’m sure he’ll let me know the next time I start complaining."
    We all have a choice. Do we want to live a life that counts and makes a difference? Have joy now and in the hereafter, knowing we’ve lived out God’s plan for our lives? Holding fast to the Word of Life? Or be known as one who gave up on the faith. Or lived out our life alone and disappointed because we complained our way out of doing God’s will?
    So, how do we live a life that counts? I believe the Apostle Paul would tell us it begins with the submissive mind.
    If we're to have the submissive mind and the joy that goes with it, we must recognize that there is a purpose to achieve (God's plan for our lives), a power to receive (the Holy Spirit), and a promise to believe.
    Let’s begin with the promise to believe.

    Joy Comes from Submission

    Philippians 2:16–18 NKJV
    16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. 17 Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.
    The world’s philosophy is that joy comes from aggression: fight everybody to get what you want, and you will get it and be happy.
    What was Jesus’ philosophy? Submission to God’s will. Explained… It was this submissive mind that allowed His life to count, to make an eternal difference. Imagine if He hadn’t submitted...
    Verses 16-18 is part of one long sentence begun in verse 14. Why do we grumble and complain? Why do we dispute with others? Simple. We want our own way and believe we’re always right.
    How many of you have complained since last week? That’s our problem, our tendency to complain. And if we’re not careful, we’ll end up feeling lonely when we push people away with negative and can’t do attitude.
    Shouldn’t we all be able to get along and work together in the body of Christ?

    Joy Comes from Living a Life That Counts

    Philippians 2:16 NKJV
    16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
    phil 2.16
    “Holding fast” or “Holding forth” - It was used in secular Greek of offering wine to a guest at a banquet. As the Philippian saints held out (or offered) the word of life to others, Paul would then be able to boast (glory) on the day of Christ that he had not labored in vain with them.
    Could also refer to “holding firmly”. Either meaning fits, and may have an element of both in view. Don’t loosen your grip on the truth and hold it out so others can see and hear the life-giving message of the Gospel.
    It was used in secular Greek of offering wine to a guest at a banquet. As the Philippian saints held out (or offered) the word of life to others, Paul would then be able to boast (glory) on the day of Christ that he had not labored in vain with them.
    “so that I may rejoice” - word actually means “to boast”. But in this case, not a prideful boast, but one that was concerned with God’s honor.
    Paul filled with joy that Philippians stayed true to God and prayed they would continue their missionary endeavor.
    “day of Christ” could mean rapture or second coming. I believe refers to Rapture.
    The scene shifts now from the
    “run” - picture of athlete running into the stadium reaching out to break the ribbon at the finish line. Paul didn’t want his life to be wasted. He wanted it to count.
    I know what it’s like to simply drift through life at times. But the Holy Spirit gives us the power to hold out the life giving Word of God. It’s what we do for others in this life that makes out lives matter for eternity. Remember, everything Jesus did on earth was for others. From before birth, to death, and on into eternity...
    There’s a twofold joy that comes to the person who lives out this submissive mind: a joy hereafter as Paul talks about in this verse. And a joy here and now, (vv 17-18).

    Joy Comes from Living a Life of Surrender

    Joy Comes from Living a Life of Surrender

    Philippians 2:17–18 NKJV
    17 Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.
    The scene now shifts from the athletic stadium to the altar.
    Here is one of the most wonderful verses in the entire Word of God. It pictures what the Christian life really should be. He is referring to one of the earliest offerings in the Old Testament.
    Here is one of the most wonderful verses in the entire Word of God. It pictures what the Christian life really should be. He is referring to one of the earliest offerings in the Old Testament. When we go back to , we find that Jacob set up a pillar at Beth–el, “and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon.” Then in the books of Leviticus and Numbers the sacrifices are described. We learned that there was a drink offering which was to be added to the burnt offering and the meal offering. It was never added to the sin offering or the trespass offering. It was a most unusual offering in that it had nothing to do with redemption; it had nothing to do with the person of Christ. They would bring in a skin of wine and just pour it on the sacrifice which was being consumed by fire. What happened to it? It would go up in steam and disappear.
    When we go back to , we find that Jacob set up a pillar at Beth–el, “and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon.” Then in the books of Leviticus and Numbers the sacrifices are described. We learned that there was a drink offering which was to be added to the burnt offering and the meal offering. It was never added to the sin offering or the trespass offering.
    It was a most unusual offering in that it had nothing to do with redemption; it had nothing to do with the person of Christ. They would bring in a skin of wine and just pour it on the sacrifice which was being consumed by fire. What happened to it? It would go up in steam and disappear.
    Paul is saying, “I want my life to be poured out like a drink offering on the offering of Christ.” Paul knows that the Lord Jesus Christ made the supreme sacrifice. He wanted his life to be a drink offering—just poured out to go up in steam. He wanted to be so consumed and obscured that all that is seen is just Jesus Christ. He wanted Christ to receive all the honor and the glory. This was the mind of Paul. I can think of no higher wish for the Christian life.
    For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me [].
    For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me [].
    In other words, “If your life spreads the gospel, my life is just poured out as a drink offering. Together we’ll rejoice over this.” It is a walk in humility. Only a person with the mind of Christ could be so poured out as a drink offering. How gloriously wonderful that is.
    Paul ends on a note of joy and rejoicing. Today we often rejoice over the wrong things. We need to rejoice over the fact that Jesus died for us and that we can serve Him. When we hear of someone whom God is using or hear of a church where people are being saved and built up in the faith, we ought to rejoice. If we are walking in humility, we will rejoice at the success of others. We have too much strife and vainglory. That was hurting the cause of Christ in Paul’s day, and it still hurts the cause of Christ. The mind of Christ in the believer will bring joy and will bring glory to God.
      • Philippians 2:16–18NKJV

      • Philippians 2:16NKJV

      • Philippians 2:17–18NKJV

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