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Sunday, April 24, 2016

"Dividends" by Sergio Arguello




1.  Sacrifice

Philippians 2:12-18

Do Everything Without Grumbling
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[a] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

A.  work out your salvation—to make yourself fit for the salvation that you’ve received (requires a great investment).  You’ve already received it, but we have to work on keeping it (it could be lost, and though it can’t be earned, we must continue to work it out, able to maintain it—making our lives fit for it)—Story of little boy Charles—I would prank him by sending him to get me water in a cup with small holes at the bottom of it (empty by the time he made it back)—we will have nothing if we are wasting what we received from God.

·     People who are working on building their spiritual wealth are so concerned with their relationship with God that it consumes them (obsessed)—they allow God to work fully in their lives—they don’t limit their investment into God and His Kingdom—He will fulfill His good purpose in their lives (they will receive major dividends)
·     Spiritually rich people don’t need to put anyone else around them down to make themselves look better—they don’t have to argue and complain, there is an inherent surrender in them to strive to be pure.  Though not perfect, the heart that Paul is describing, is focused on being an obedient child amongst an extremely sinful and evil world. (it is easy to give in to worldliness—lady on horse.  It is important to be Godly, there are eternal dividends that we will receive—Bail bonds bag of crystal meth, calling me “The Rev”)
·     Don’t be fooled though, even in the church there are some that live for themselves and not for God and we can’t be so deceived that we quit on God because we see sin in others at times, whether it is someone’s weakness or a weak moment in their walk or maybe it is someone that is totally unsurrendered to God.  Some here are not going to make it because your priority is not God first above all else—Jesus is not lord (your kids or your schedule or your spouse or even yourself is lord).  You can be like a flickering star, about to lose your place in the sky because you prefer darkness.  Decide to shine, decide to invest and be rich, to receive the dividends for which Christ paid with his life for.

B. Invest in others:
·     Paul invested in the disciples in Philippi and poured out his life for them (imitating Christ’s love), he did not pour out his life for worldly or selfish gain or pleasure.  We should imitate Paul and how he poured himself out for others—who are you pouring yourselves out for (other than your immediate family (if you are a disciple, there needs to be someone, if not then you are not investing eternally and your dividends will be limited.
·     To be poured out like a drink offering would have painted a violent picture in those days, where people were familiar of drink offerings (it created a pleasant aroma from the sacrifice offered to God and made it pleasing to Him.)  Paul is asking the disciples to live out their faith in a manner that does not make his sacrifice one in vain.

2.  Look Out For Number One

Philippians 2:18-30
Timothy and Epaphroditus
19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. 23 I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. 24 And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon.
25 But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. 26 For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. 29 So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, 30 because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.

"Dividends" by Mike Rock





Sunday, April 3, 2016

"Be Rich!" by Sergio Arguello



Be Rich! Series


Philippians

1.  4/3--Be Rich! Background and chapter 1:1-11

2.  4/10--Capital Gains--Chapter 1:12-30

3.  4/17--Bankrupt--Chapter 2:1-11

4.  4/24--Dividends--Chapter 2:12-30

5.  5/1--Profits & Losses—Chapter 3:1-11

6.  5/8--Entrepreneur—Chapter 3:12-21

7.  5/15--Go Fund Me—Chapter 4:10-23

8.  5/22--Balance Sheet—Chapter 4:1-9

Being rich in this world is not only determined by our own effort or hard work, but there is luck, opportunities, and probably one of the key things that most of us never think about—where we are born.  Nick working making good money, that would not happen in Nicaragua or Cambodia.  He’s very fortunate he was born in the USA.  Any one of us living in the USA is considered rich in comparison to most of the world.  Rome was very similar and it’s citizens were rich in many ways.

Being rich in God’s eyes, however

Written towards the end of Paul’s imprisonment in Rome around A.D. 61-62.

Philippi was a city in Macedonia, the furthest Roman city or “colony” east of Rome.

It was an important place.  Its inhabitants were Roman citizens that were transplanted (that colonized Philippi), having the right of voting in the Roman tribes (31 total that made decisions over the entire Roman world), governed by their own senate and magistrates, and not by the governor of the province, with the Roman law and Latin language.  In a sense it was a smaller scale Rome.

When Paul chose a place to work and to preach the gospel, he always chose it with the eye of a strategist.  He always chose a place which was not only important in itself, but which was the key point of the whole area.  It has often been noted that, to this day, many of the places which Paul chose as preaching-centers are still great road centers and railway junctions.  Philippi was such a place.  Philippi had at least three great claims to distinction.
1. In the neighborhood there were gold and silver mines, which had been worked as far back as the time of the Phoenicians. 
2.  The city itself had been founded by Philip, the father of Alexander the Great, and it is his name that it bears. 
There was no more strategic site in all  Europe.  There is a range of hills which divides Europe from Asia, the east from the west.  Just at Philippi that chain of hills dips into a pass; and, therefore, Philippi commanded the road from Europe to Asia as the road goes through the pass.  It was for that reason that in 368 BC Philip had founded the city of Philippi to command the road from the east to the west.  One of the great decisive battles of history was fought much later at Philippi; for it was at Philippi that Antony defeated Brutus and Cassius, and decided the whole future of the Roman Empire.
3.  These colonies had begun by having a military significance.  It was the custom of Rome to send out parties of veteran soldiers, who had served their time, and who had been granted citizenship, and to settle them in strategic road centers.  Usually these parties consisted of 300 veterans with their wives and children.  These colonies were the focal points of the great Roman road systems.  The roads were so engineered that reinforcements could speedily be sent from one colony to another.  They were founded to keep the peace, and to command the strategic centers in Rome’s far-flung Empire. 
These colonies had one great characteristic.  Wherever they were they were little fragments of Rome, and their pride in their Roman citizenship was their dominating characteristic.  The Roman language was spoken; Roman dress was worn; Roman customs were observed; their magistrates had Roman titles, and carried out the same ceremonies as were carried out in Rome itself.  Wherever they were these colonies were stubbornly and unalterably Roman.  They would never have dreamt of becoming assimilated to the people amidst whom they were set.  They were parts of Rome, miniature cities of Rome, and they never forgot it.  We can hear the Roman pride breathing through the charge against Paul and Silas in Acts 16:20,21: “These men are Jews, and they are trying to teach and to introduce laws and customs which it is not right for us to observe! for we are Romans.”  Paul wrote to the Philippian Church (3:20)—“Your citizenship is in heaven”.  Just as the Roman colonist never forgot in any environment that he was a Roman, so they must never forget in any society that they are Christians.  Nowhere were men prouder of being Roman citizens than in these colonies. 

Paul, with Silas and Timothy, planted the Gospel there ( Act 16:12, &c.), in his second missionary journey, in A.D. 51. It was the first church planted in the continent of Europe. The Philippian disciples sent supplies for Pauls needs, twice shortly after he had left them ( Phl 4:15, 16 ), and again a third time shortly before writing this Epistle ( Phl 4:10, 18 2Cor 11:9 ). This strong bond on their part was, perhaps, also in part due to the fact that very few Jews were in Philippi to sow the seeds of distrust and suspicion.

Due to a lack of Jews in Philippi there was no temple there, but merely a Jewish place of prayer, by the riverside. It is thought that less than 10 practicing Jews lived in Philippi at that time.  More than 10 Jews would have called for a formal temple to be erected.

The persecution that Paul and the disciples received in Philippi came from the owners of the fortune-telling girl whose demon was driven out, Roman citizens who now had lost their source of income.

The letter is general in nature—to thank the church for sending Epaphroditus to help Paul and for the contribution sent with Epaphroditus. Epaphroditus almost died from some illness while in Rome and Paul also wanted to communicate to the church how much help he was to Paul—Epaphroditus brought the letter back to the church.
Paul also wanted to warn the church in Philippi regarding the Judaizers.  Encouraged the church to follow his example and some exhortations to a few that were not being humble within the church.

The STYLE is abrupt and discontinuous, his fervor of affection leading him to pass rapidly from one theme to another.  In no Epistle does he use such warm expressions of love.  It’s obvious that Paul really loved the Philippian church.

Philippians 1:1-11
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons[a]:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
·     Overall theme of grace, love and gratitude in these first 11 verses.
·     It’s great to see how much Paul loved the disciples
·     He is eager to help them see themselves from God’s viewpoint
·     Paul was a very rich man (rich in grace, rich in love, rich in understanding)
·     Through his letters he tried to help disciples understand just how rich they were in Christ


1.  Diamonds in the Rough










Show some slides of rough diamonds and then some finished (cut) diamonds

·     Diamonds are created by carbon being subjected to extreme pressure and temperatures
·     Rough diamonds are not pretty (lump of glass)
·     Play-doh object lesson (2 volunteer artists and 3 judges)

Philippians 1:1-6
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons[a]:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.


2.  It’s Right To Be Rich…In Love

Philippians 1:7-11
It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. 

"Be Rich!" by Jake Rock