Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

one size fits all?

One size fits all – has now become One size fits most.   Times be a changing.

This blog is taken from the message I preached last Sunday.  It is indeed a One Size Fits All!  I pull quite a few scriptures from Paul’s letter to the Philippians.  I am sure at least one  of these verses will speak to your heart.  If you take time to meditate on them and apply them to your life, it will be life changing.

Paul’s letter to the Philippians was written around 60 AD.  It is known as Paul’s happiest letter.    However, let’s get some background on Paul.

Around 3 years earlier, Paul wrote 2 Cor.    In this letter (chapter 6)  he gives us a glimpse into his life.

When we read Paul saying to rejoice in the Lord always – it can be easy to forget that life wasn’t all peaches and cream for Paul.  He didn’t live a charmed life.  He did write 13 possible 14 books of the New Testament.  (Hebrews is ?)

Here is what his resume’ looks like compared to the false prophets of his day.

patiently endure suffering and hardship and trouble of every kind
far more imprisonments
beaten so many times – he has lost count
often in danger of death
5 times given the 39 lashes (40 was the most their law allowed)
3 times beaten with rods
once stoned
3 times ship wrecked
spent a night and day in the deep
in danger from rivers, robbers, countrymen, city, wilderness, sea,
betrayed
spent many sleepless nights
in hunger and thirst
often without food
cold and exposure
his deep concern for the church
and let’s not forget the thorn in his flesh

What is his response to all of this?   What would your response be?

Paul says — God’s grace is sufficient and in my weakness He is strong.  (2 Cor 12:9)

Malcom Muggeridge, brilliant British journalist said “Everything I have learned in my 75 years in this world, everything that has truly enhanced my existence has been through affliction and not through happiness.”

3 years later Paul writes Philippians. Let’s not forget where he is at the time. He is writing from his jail cell.   Yet, what does he say about his circumstances?   1:12  I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel…

God uses our circumstances for good – if we let him. Paul’s focus isn’t on his hardships, his struggles – I believe he listed his hardships (in Cor) for our benefit. Maybe he had one too many people telling him – “You just don’t understand how hard it is Paul.”  “You didn’t go through what I am going through.”   “It is sooooo hard.”

Paul shows us how to handle difficulties.

It is possible to rejoice in the Lord in the midst of our struggles. In fact, it is necessary if we want to walk in victory.

HOW TO WALK IN VICTORY WHEN TRIALS ABOUND?

1:6 He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it

2:14 Do all things without grumbling or complaining – key to happiness!!  Easy to say, harder to do.  Where do you fall on the scale of grumbling?  10 being second nature and 1 being hardly at all.

3:1 Rejoice in the Lord

3:13 forgetting what lies behind and reaching for what lies ahead (Our focus should not be on the glory days of yesterday or the pain of the past but on the here and now. What is God doing now? What does God want to do through you today?)

4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice – decide in advance

WALKING IN PEACE IS A HUGE PART OF WALKING IN VICTORY!

Unrest and turmoil do not lead to a victorious life.  Stress and drama will stir up craziness in your life.

Paul shows us how to have peace.
4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.

TO WALK IN VICTORY YOU CANNOT IGNORE YOUR THOUGHT LIFE!

Thoughts — what you think about matters. It will determine your attitude. If you focus your thoughts on negative, sad things – don’t be surprised when it seems your joy is diminished.

Sometimes I think we give our circumstances way too much power in our lives. Power to make us miserable, sad, meh, complacent, negative. This can lead to gloom and anything but victory.

Meh?  What exactly is that?  Does it make you think Victory?  Yes?  Does it inspire joy and gladness?  Not for me.    I told the church that if they caught me using Meh – to say something – hold me accountable.  The King of Glory lives inside of me and meh just doesn’t cut it.     (After church one of the girls, that I love dearly, came up to me and showed me her shirt.   Of course I had to take a picture and encourage her to not settle for meh.  Isn’t she a cutie?  She is, inside and out!!! IMG_20160110_122215_347

4:8Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about. (TLB)

What do you dwell on when it comes to others?  How they have let you down or angered you or ??  How about instead if you look for the good in people?  Look for the good in each day.  It is there.  Sometimes you just have to look closer.  Remember God is good!!

4:11 I have learned to be content – get rid of those discontent thoughts – if you entertain them you will not walk in victory

4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me – no where does it say I can do it on my own.  What the Word does say is that without Christ I am nothing.

4:19 And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory – before you start thinking about that new Harley you might think you “need” or that nifty “sailboat” remember Paul was writing this from a jail cell.  Our needs sometimes get a little mixed up with our wants that we just think we must have.  Paul says in 1 Tim 6:8 (NKJV)

And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.”

There you have it – my one size fits all message.

til next time

by the way  –12 times in this short letter joy and rejoice are mentioned. (in the NASB)
(1:4, 18, 25 2:2, 17, 18, 28, 29 3:1 4:1, 4, 10)

So go ahead — choose to rejoice and look for the good.  It just might surprise you.

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January 14, 2016 - Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, sermon notes, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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