Sunnyside First Baptist Church
The "Long Game" Awaits Us
  • As we do often let’s look back and see where we are...

    Philippians more than any other of the Pauline Letters to the churches explains and describes Paul’s situations, challenges and commitments to the early church and to his mission and calling from Christ.
    Paul’s desire was to provide a model of truth and integrity to the church and the people of Philippi.
    Paul had left his life of privilege when he was struck down, lost his sight, encountered the risen Lord and then 3 days later committed his life to Jesus completely.
    Philippians reads like a personal testimony… i doubt Paul understood that it would still impact us 2000 year later… But it has.
    Paul’s life was an open book… all of the good, the bad and the ugly is there for all of us to read.
    The letter among the New Testament writings is only effective, should only be read through the lens of a man, a failed man, a man whose sin was present for the world to see.
    This man represents not only men but all followers of Jesus, men, women, slave or free, jew or Gentile.
    Paul does NOT seek to amplify himself or what he has done but what you and I can do with a commitment to Christ and His message of Grace and Mercy that our world need to hear from US his church.
    In the first century Philippi was filled with many different people groups… these were overwhelming Greek and Roman. Bringing with them their emperor worship and multiple deities of cultic worship.
    Paul went there because of the calling in his life, he knew what he knew and that was that he was supposed to be in Philippi.
    He also probably knew that he and his message would not be be received well.
    Paul’s pattern was to find a synagogue and begin sharing the message of Christ with the Jews. There was no synagogue so Paul in Acts 16.
    Acts 16:13–14 NIV84
    13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.
    This “woman” no less a “woman” is counted as one of the original believers in Philippi.
    I’ll say it again and again. The Gospel is for everyone, what is required is Faith.
    and Grace of God alone that was provided by the blood of Jesus on the Cross.
    Paul wrote this letter from prison in Rome, to his brother and sisters in the faith. He wrote it in the early to mid 50’s.
    He wrote it to a church that was in a bit of stress and some disunity.
    Let’s get to our Scripture for today… Open your bibles, your apps or how you access the Word to Philippians Chapter 1 verse 12
    Philippians 1:12 NIV84
    12 Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.
    Regardless if Paul were in chains, or free. Suffering or rejoicing he saw joy.
    Let’s get to the first principle for today...
    Principle #1 - Describe your present situations in terms of the Gospel
    As followers of Jesus we are primarily responsibility to follow Jesus, represent him well and to win as many as possible to Christ while using as few words as possible...
    Come on Jeff, that makes no sense whatsoever.
    Listen… These are tough times, I’ve heard some of your stories. Family pressure and stress, business stress, spiritual stress, health stress. All seem almost insurmountable one at time.
    We are being throw in to all of them at the same time.
    Listen again… These are exactly the circumstances that Paul and the church are experiencing.
    Philippians 1:12 NIV84
    12 Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.
    So Paul was “joyful” in his chains
    Question: How are are you responding to this present situation?
    The world and EVERYONE in it is watching how “we” the body of Christ here in Sunnyside responds to our circumstances, some would call chains.
    Other believers watch and evaluate how we all respond to what the world is throwing at us. If we respond with the long game… God is still sovereign and wants the best for us His children. Spend time with God, listening how He wants us to respond.
    That is the strongest witness that we can have to Sunnyside and beyond.
    How do we handle it when the kitchen sink is thrown at us?????
    Live more more courageously and fearlessly.
    I had the opportunity to give the staff devotion and the opening Chapel a the Sunnyside Christian School a couple of weeks ago. They feel like chains have surrounded them…they are finding ways to be joyful, be dedicated
    These educators and the larger group of educators and para’s in our body and in our community have had the kitchen sink thrown at them in the last six months
    Will we be in person or at home or both?
    Am I going to have a job?
    How can I learn to teach, effectively through a box connected to the wall?
    Do my students have a fighting chance to learn this year in these circumstances
    What do I do with my “kiddos” when I’m at school.
    What if I get sick… will have enough sick time to cover or am I going to have to scramble
    And more that this outsider doesn’t even realize.
    This “kitchen sink” that has been thrown at you, these chains that bind you in so many ways is not unknown to God. This virus is not unknown to God, it’s effects on you and on your world is not unknown to God.
    Here is what Paul had to say about his chains
    Philippians 1:14 NIV84
    14 Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.
    Stand up in power of the Holy Spirit as Eph 6 tells us
    Ephesians 6:12 NIV84
    12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    I’m going to ask a tough question...
    If I asked your friends, neighbors, or business associates. Or your enemies, those you are squabbling with of something of little consequence if they knew you were a Christ follower… what would their answer be?
    I hope the answer is an unqualified YES!
    I’m not sure that I have responded in ways that bring honor and Glory to the Gospel and to God.
    I keep working at it and I hope that you would to
    Let’s continue at back in Phil 1.18
    Philippians 1:18–19 NIV84
    18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.
    -----------------------------------------
    Principle #2 - Be in “it” for the long game
    Jill and I have been in this valley for two years after living on the west side for 300 plus years...
    Sometimes it felt like that! We lived there for 30 years.
    Many of you trace your roots here back 80,90, 100 or 110 years. You already know about the LONG GAME.
    Through the ups and down of life, no water and extra water years. The great crop and high milk price year and the terrible years.
    You have looked to the long game.
    I asking you, The Apostle Paul is asking you, Joel is asking you.
    Be in the soul-winning, Gospel living mode for the long game.
    So you ask… i have no words, no training, I’m a failed person, I sin how can I be useful to God. It begins this...
    “Hi my name is Jeff, I’d like to buy coffee, a meal, have a BBQ with you… That’s as difficult as it is.
    Build relationships… Remember it is God that does the saving, it’s our job to represent him well in all that we do.
    Paul makes a BOLD STATEMENT
    It’s our 3rd Principle
    Principle #3 - “To live is Christ , to die is gain (Phil. 1.21)
    This statement blows me away… I have no comprehension of the REAL meaning of this...
    How would I respond if I were faced with this question tomorrow?
    Of course I hope we’d all say… Absolutely, I stand with the Gospel. I will stand with it until the very end. My life may be taken from me I won’t turn my back on the Gospel…
    Even if I am asked 1,2,3 times. I’ll never turn and run!
    Hmmm… that sounds familiar, Peter, the Apostle Peter said that, the night that Jesus died.
    Jesus after His resurrection told this same Peter, “on this rock I will build my church...” Jesus said I will NOT build my church on pious, religious people who are going through the motions.
    I am going to build by church on people who are sold out to me. Mind, body soul are with me.
    But yet we are failed human beings constantly in need of forgiveness, Grace and Mercy.
    To this larger faith community here this morning...
    If you come to church because your parents and grandparents did, because it is a social outlet for you, because it great for business...
    STOP! STOP! coming
    Find a mirror and look in it. I hope that you see yourself not in terms of what you’ve done, of all of your accomplishments.
    But I hope that you see a sinner saved by GRACE!
    That’s what Jesus saw when he struck Paul, a man who hated Christians, who hunted them down and delivered them to Rome for execution.
    This is what He saw, when he forgave Peter for denying a relationship with him over and over.
    This is what he “saw” when I encountered him 35 years ago.
    I hope that’s what this community see’s in your Pastor’s, in your church leadership, in your deacons, in your elders, and in everyone who calls on the name of the Lord.
    Jesus knows our past… but what he is really interested in is our future!
    Here is my last point...
    Principle #4 - Live a life that is worthy of the Gospel
    Philippians 1:27–28 NIV84
    27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God.
    You will be opposed… the world with throw the kitchen sink at you. You may be asked to give your life you may be asked to stand up to the very powers of hell.
    Ephesians 6:12 NIV84
    12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
    Our rest, our reward is found in as John 1 says..
    John 1:14 NIV84
    14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
    It is by our faith in the Christ alone. Not just acknowledging him, but living our lives boldly for the cause of Christ. Making it our life’s work to win others for Christ and to do it with words if we absolutely have to.
    Has any of this… any of it stopped you in your tracks, caused you to consider, made you try and find a mirror?
    This is a tough journey if you are doing this alone, if you are to proud, to young, to old, to rich or to poor, if your white, brown, yellow or purple. This is a journey that hopefully take a lifetime.
    Everyone, everyone needs a mentor, a guide, a spiritual buddy, a shoulder to cry on and a listening year, someone to share victories, seek guidance, to pray with, to work through defeats with.
    Don’t pass up the opportunity to be that person for someone else.
    Joel and I couldn’t say “Yes” quick enough if you are looking for someone in your life, we will graciously be there for you or find another to join in this journey with you.
    There is way past all of this, there is a way beyond our current circumstances, there is a way to preach the Gospel in these tough times.
    What we do know is that Jesus is our Waymaker...
    Worship team please lead us
    To God Be the Glory!!
      • Acts 16:13–14ESV

      • Philippians 1:12ESV

      • Philippians 1:12ESV

      • Philippians 1:14ESV

      • Ephesians 6:12ESV

      • Philippians 1:18–19ESV

      • Philippians 1:27–28ESV

      • Ephesians 6:12ESV

      • John 1:14ESV

Let us get to know you!

Please take a moment to send us your information so that we may stay connected with you. Your information is carefully managed and protected.
I am a:
Age:
How did you hear about us?