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February 5, 2019 3:00 am
When we all face difficult times, challenging times just like these economic times of refacing now individuals, families and institutions begin to take stock on what their assets and what are their liabilities.
We all begin to reorder our priorities so tough times are not always bad because it help us all to begin to focus on what is productive in our lives and what is not what is important in life and what is not. And but all I mean all except the government of course, but taking time to evaluate one's priority is of vital importance taking time to examine what are the real assets in life and what are the real liabilities is very important, and in chapter 3 of the epistle to the Philippians. That's exactly what the apostle Paul does with his spiritual life. I want you to turn with me please.
Philippians chapter 3, beginning at verse one. Because the apostle Paul, though he's in prison. He was facing things that worsen prison. His biggest challenge were those people who are the enemies of the cross and they're out to destroy him in order to destroy the gospel message that he's preaching.
They the ones are running around saying yes you can saved by Jesus plus circumcision whenever the word plus comes in. It is a false gospel it only saved through Jesus Christ, and he was facing these tough times dealing with these people. He was facing hard time refuting those who were seeking to destroy the message of the cross and the message of grace and the message of faith, so he took time to assess his spiritual assets and his liabilities he took time to re-generate what is really important and what is not.
He took time to identify what is of value and what is sheer useless packages in life and will have those I know I do useless packages that constantly need to be purged. He took time to focus on what truly brings him joy and what only can bring him pride and boasting and the by the that way he leaves us a great role model to emulate. I think every believer needs to do that, but especially when you lose your joy when you begin to lose your joy in your lacking joy. You need to follow the example of the apostle Paul. You need to do a major audit spiritual audit of your life.
Find out where are your priorities have been focused and that is important you know why because you gonna discover that the reason for your lack of joy is the things that you thought were your assets are really a liabilities you will discover that what you think of as the object of your confidence that the object of your security and the object of your satisfaction are actually causing you a loss of joy and causing you to devalue the joy of the Lord, you will discover that the very things that you're proud of are really nothing but unnecessary baggage in life baggage that is keeping you from being continuously living in the state of the joy of the Lord. We are literally halfway in a series of messages on joy from the epistle to the Philippians and I'm calling the series of messages about joy.
It is contagious.
Pass it on. We saw first of all that this joy can be caught you get it when you're saved as part of the package of your salvation. Secondly, I pointed out to you how to keep the joy in your life, then how to exhibit the joy in your life, then how to pass the joy onto others, and today I want to talk to you about how to value this joy.
How to value within your life because very often from our experience.
All of us. We do not comprehend the value of something or someone until we lose it right.
That's just the way things are in the apostle Paul is doing everything within his power in order to get his Philippians friends to begin to value the joy of the Lord as I told you before the word joy is mentioned so many times in this epistle he's doing everything that he can so that he may warn them not to fall in the traps that are constantly being set before us. In order to cause us not only the loss of joy.
The devaluing of the joy and that's why this passage is very important. Listen carefully you do not have to be a similar graduate to know that our flesh that is going to be buried in turn into ashes when our spirit that is redeemed. Soul is going ashore into heaven and enter into a glorified body by which will be able to praise the Lord all the time in heaven, that flesh is constantly working hard in getting us to devalue the joy of the Lord, you don't have to know hope theology to understand that the world is constantly conspiring together from the media to the market to the work place to everywhere you go.
Conspiring to get us to devalue the joy of the Lord and then Satan behind the scene stirring up the world and the flesh to get us to devalue the joy did you know that for every Christian value.
There is a counterfeit value in the world did you know that for every Christian value. For example, we have joy, the joy of the Lord, they have happiness. We have love in the Christian life they have.
Unless it's sex with Christians have trust in the promises of God regardless of the circumstances they have material security. While Christians have peace that does not make sense in the midst of difficult times. They would have self gratification, and that is why happiness is a temporary thing. Happiness is circumstantial, but joy is permanent and is lasting happiness depends on what happens to you, but joy emanates from your trusting in the promises of God. One of the saddest things in my life as I look around and see Christians who have fallen in the world's trap.
They think like the world and behave like the world they have devalue the joy of the Lord, like the world and they have exchanged the joy of the Lord for what they think will bring them happiness no longer there are just as many depressed and discouraged and anxious people in the church as the outside of the church.
It might not come as a surprise to you to know the joy is deeply connected to mature knowledge of the word of God. You cannot separate them. Try what you may joy in your life, joy in my life is deeply connected with mature knowledge of the promises of God in the word of God and that is why Psalm 19. Eight says the precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart someone 1940s that I rejoice in following your statues as one rejoices in great riches in the Lord Jesus himself said in John chapter 15 verse 10 if you obey my commands that my joy may be in you and that your joy will be complete is obedience and joy must go together.
This obedience will make you a joyless Christian and that is why it is not surprising. Also, the first generation of Christians who have undermined the importance of biblical doctrine, who have devalued the biblical truth have lost the joy and behaving just like the people of the world member on this one.
If you read the Bible hardly ever if you read it occasionally. If you read it when you have time.
Sooner or later, your joy will sag and then soon after that, you'll begin to devalue that precious gift of the Lord Jesus want every one of his children to have the joy of the Lord and that's why Paul begins in chapter 3. He begins by telling the Philippians to watch out for those people who are these people, these are the people who are undermining the truth of the word of God. They are the ones what devaluing the authority of the Scripture. And whenever that happens, there is no joy in fact to use a strong language he calls them dogs but before you jump up and down. Please rest were lexically explained to you, he is not referring to your cute little snow so whatever it is that the you have your pet at home. You know that's not the kind of dog you start about his dogs back then was so vicious though so ferocious and they would attack an unsuspecting pedestrian means there will be like a hyena so or elected Australians will will: bingo. There were ferocious dogs and that's what he is saying he is saying here.
Be very careful please. He's literally pleading with everyone. Be careful of those who attacked the importance of the word of God. Be careful of those who undermine the importance of biblical authority.
Be careful of those who deny the authority of the Scripture is inspired God raised word.
Be careful of those who will rule you away from obeying the word of God using smooth and sues words and psychobabble.
One child for those who come to you with fancy ideas and enticing philosophies and thoughts that are appealing to our flesh.
Be very careful why why is that important because that will not only make you lose your joy but you will end up devaluing the joy of the Lord listen joy and obedience are two sides of the same coin cannot be separated undermined obedience to the authority of the word of God and you will become a joyless person, place confidence in anything or anyone other than the word of God and you will become a joyless person and when you become a joyless person. Soon you will devalue the importance of the great gift. The joy of the Lord and that is why Paul goes on to say verse four, Philippians 34. Let me just tell you what what he saying okay is saying. I've been there done that and got the T-shirt to prove it as basically the bottom line is we saying here he saying I used to be a victim to the deception I used to think like them. I used to talk like them.
I used to think that my joy comes from my pride of my efforts of doing things up with my thought by pride comes from having brownie points with God by doing little things here and there. I used to think that my joy comes from my following certain rituals. I used to think that my joy would come from accomplishing certain levels of service is that I used to think that I was like them. I used to think that my joy would come from wanting people to point at me and say look at him. Here he goes. A great man.
He keeps all of the little laws, all of the rituals looking. No wonder Jesus said be careful, for it is worth to you if you want the world to speak well of you.
Whatever the world praises it's a watered-down message is not the message of the gospel because Paul is saying here when I got to know the Lord Jesus Christ that I was saved by grace alone. All that's tough was useless baggage. The stuff that I used to think boy this is important no longer the case is internal audit that he was doing in his life as he looked at that form a list of all the assets all the gains of the profits. He said there will become robberies in comparison with Christ anytime. Paul never denies the fact that all this useless baggage that he used to think that the good and important things and that he is going to earn his salvation is going to earn his way to God. He never said that that did not bring him social respectability did that he never said that it did not bring him cultural acceptability. He did not say that the bring him religious popularity did all of that but you gotta choose the one that you want to hear the precious words from the mouth of Jesus.
Well done good and faithful servant.
You can have both, so he places all of his assets and the prophets, but then he can present with Christ and he said in comparison with Christ. All of my profits. All of my assets are nothing but liabilities look at this very impressive list. It's an impressive list. Ritually he was circumcised on the eighth day man when you get dominates that you made it religious pedigree who part of the covenant. Not only that he was a Benjamite which is one of the most respectable tribe in Israel, the highest of tradition Hebrew of the Hebrews's blood was not mixed up and painted with Gentiles for the purest of all religious orthodoxy Pharisee on the sincerest of all sincerity he was persecuting the church. Don't ever forget that Paul was terrorizing the church of Jesus Christ and he thought that was part of his brownie points. That's how he's going to get the heavy he was so sincere and have you heard of it was that it doesn't matter what you believe as long as your sincere of you are there is a dear sincerely wrong, the highest of all, legalism kept all the outward rituals become the you cannot get a more impressive list of righteousness of somebody who can really make it on his own like this list all but look at verse seven because he quickly says that this goal turns into quicksand but him a Jesus when he met Jesus is here soon as he met Jesus when he understood that his salvation is by grace alone, and the rest of his life was to obey Jesus. This list turned from asset into liabilities now start to think how how can I bring to you living in the 21st century, the depths of the intensity by which Paul is really trying to communicate this message and and I thought of several examples, and I thought if you a person who spent your life and you have built up the most impressive investment portfolio.
I mean, it's fantastic. And then you discover is not worth the paper was written on is not far-fetched. All the investors with Madoff realize that divorce when I did all of these things worthless or think of somebody who worked hard to earn a higher degree and Diane Knight every waking month into discover that the school is going to she's going to is not accredited, and that degree is worthless. Just think about that or think imagining somebody who poured his heart and his soul in building a magnificent house only to discover that is built on quicksand or imagine the spouses invested his or her every waking moment in a marriage and family only to hear these dreaded words.
Years later I don't love you anymore, Paul is saying all of this thinking that this is all going to get me to have other. All of this going to get me in here realize compared to Christ they are rubbish, trash were stronger than that. Somebody made a statement that really summarizes our culture today expresses well. He said, and I don't mind the rat race as long as I get a little bit more cheese. That's where we are, in fact I read recently about a pastor member of his congregation came to see him and because he lost some investments in any citrus pastor as a pastor I lost everything in the pastor thought for a moment and and then he symptoms that I am so sorry you lost your wife and before the man could even react to certain I'm also sorry that you lost your character and before the man could say anything is and I'm also sorry you lost your salvation and going to hell in the next before the man could even breathe a word he said.
And also sorry lost an image in couple of assets major as his sister got left in the man furnace. A pastor stop. I haven't lost any of these things. He said I thought you told me lost everything in many ways the shock, reminded this dear man, that those losses are not really losses at all. And Paul said all of these things on the profit ledger on the asset side of the ledger. There were transferred to the liability side as soon as I got Jesus because when I got Jesus I got everything that really matters Oliver John Wesley once said he was on his way to preach somewhere and it caught up with him and they said Mr. Wesley Mr. Wesley must come back.
You must cancel your speaking engagement.
Your house is on fire is an ongoing to continue ongoing preacher said God's house is on fire. They can take care of it overseas to amaze me every time I try to share Christ with somebody as well you know is a golden rule in Zavala by the golden rule BRS of you live by the Golden rule no in an amazing I'm trying to be all right now you want but you know what the best illustration I can use in trying to describe the difference between human righteousness and the righteousness that only Jesus gives you is like playing Monopoly. The money is very colorful. The game is enjoyable, but only a fool would take that monopoly money and try to purchase groceries with imagine the shock of so many people think that if they try harder be good.
They're gonna go to heaven is like somebody taking monopoly money and try to buy groceries with my work is only one way to heaven and thus through Jesus Christ and his salvation by grace alone through faith alone and you can receive it today. If you've never received his salvation. You can come to him and you can ask him to forgive your sins.
In order to give you the gift of eternal life beloved this man Paul understood the true essence and liabilities in Federalist, Thomas Edison, the great inventor when his Lib auditors in New Jersey were burned to the ground on a December 9 on 1914 the next morning he was walking around the still smoldering fire still rebels everywhere. Edison was 67 years old at the time, and as he looked around and saw everything is burned to the ground and said thank God. All our mistakes are now burning top. We can start again.
We can start again. And Paul is saying all of the profits that I thought were gains turned out to be rubbish in comparison to the righteousness that only Jesus Christ can give me look at verse nine. Not having a righteousness. All of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith from the moment Paul discovered that his assets were really liabilities he developed one over writing goal in life, the highest of all goals.
The greatest of all goals is found in verse 10, and here's the apostle Paul's goal and let them say more about this in the next message here say hello want in life now is to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his suffering. Why listen to me because only Christ's resurrection power can satisfy our empty hearts on the Christ resurrection power can defeat all of temptations all the font on the Christ resurrection power can turn my trials into triumph only price. Resurrection power can exchange my weakness for his strength on the Christ resurrection power can exchange my failures for his fullness on the Christ resurrection power can exchange my impotence for his glory. Amen. He said even in suffering even in suffering. It draws me closer to the Lord. How because my son suffering gives me a fresh comprehension of his suffering for me but I can tell you I did not do much growing when mom and the mountaintop. All of my growth taken place when I'm in the Valley. Only when I'm broken do I grow in Christ. I've never known any good crop that can grow well on top of the mountains all but Dean get the best crops in the Valley and in the fellowship of the suffering with Christ. It gives you a new and fresh appreciation of his suffering for you and you will grow like topsy.
I don't know where you place your confidence, only you can answer that. I don't know what accomplishments that you are proud of. Only you know that I don't know what this of assets that causes you satisfaction whatever they are when they are compared with Christ there liabilities their trash, they are rubbish but is the most important thing is, I conclude, listen carefully, I think most of us know that when we go to heaven will hit his gosh did I think these things were important to get dinner. Here's what I was worried about this and when you compare cost in the presence of the Lord in glory and and you consent. How could I be step foolish thinking that these things are important is going to happen. Heaven, but you don't have to wait to get to heaven to discover that you can discover it now, you can comprehend it.
Now you can begin to value the joy of the Lord now in the Lord only you know where each of us are only you know exactly where to point the finger of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Only you know that which caused us to devalue our joy in your grade God your gracious God your loving God and you want us not only value this joy. But pastoral may you wake up your church, your people before it's too late father. We cry to you that you will wake us up to what is important and what is of value protect us from missing out and falling in the trap of the flash in the world and the devil, and valuing that which the world values instead of swimming against the stream teachers to know what is rubbish.
What is useless baggage in our Lord. We have a bunch of those cleansers purchase. In Jesus name. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael.
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