This message was preached by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on August 28th, 2016. To listen/download the audio please click here. To listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here
Has anyone had the experience of walking on a rope bridge? It is shaky and you need something to hold on to.
Q. In your spiritual life, how can you stand firm?
In Phil 4:1-9 Paul gives us 7 things to help us stand firm.
1. Relationships are important. In verse 1, he says that he loves and longs for them and that they are his joy and crown. In verse 2 he is pleading with Euodia and Synteche to resolve their issues. We looked at that last week. It is important to have good relationships in the body of Christ. It is not a small thing. One infection in your toe can cause gangrene and affect the whole body. People squabbling in the church is a Big thing.
2. Rejoice: Paul is commanding the Philippians to rejoice. He is saying it again and again. Maybe your situation is not ideal but this is not an option. It’s not rejoicing in circumstances but in the Lord. the Lord is worthy of Praise.
Happiness comes out of happenings. But Paul is talking about joy that is not determined by circumstances. This is demonstrated in Acts 5: 40-41: “His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.”
Joy is supernatural. It’s one of the fruits of the Spirit. Even when they were being flogged, they rejoiced.
2 Cor 8:1-2 is another supernatural evidence- “And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity”
Grace of God was upon them. Our joy and well being is dependent on knowing who the Lord is and being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Horatio- his family moved to Chicago to help those who were less fortunate. A year later, the family went on a ship and the ship sank. Hearing this, he went to see his wife who was the lone survivor. In the ship that was taking him to meet her he wrote the hymn, "It is well with my soul." He had every reason to be bitter, but he did something else.
Q. How do we rejoice?
1. Contentment- we are incredibly blessed. We always want more and think our situation is bad. Our situation can always be worse. If you have a home, food, shelter, you are in the top 5% of the world. You are blessed and need to be content.
2. Remembering what Jesus has done for us. We are children of God- we pass through death like a doorway to enter heaven. No matter what you’re going through, he will be with us.
Romans 8:28- “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”
3. The sovereignty of God is a truth we need to hold on to. He is all powerful. The disciples in the boat- when the storm came by, Jesus was sleeping. The disciples were screaming. Jesus was woken up. He said, be still and the storm calmed down. The disciples marvelled. Jesus then rebuked them. He is in control. That is the great assurance we have.
All the organisations in the world will come and go. The church is the only thing that will survive. God has given us something significant to do.
We rejoice in him.
Q. How can you change the way you feel?
By changing the way you think. As we read the word, it gets into our mind. And even in a bad situation, we are able to rejoice.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.