SERIES: “The Book of Philippians”

TEXT: Philippians 1:19-30

MESSAGE: “Starting With The End in Mind”

Q: How would you define a successful life?

“We are witnessing a historic decline in the significance of place to human life. We are breeding a new race of nomads and few suspect how massive, widespread and significant their migrations are.” — Alvin Toffler

Q: How does God define a successful life?

TEXT: Philippians 1:19-30

What can we learn from today’s text? Paul teaches that God’s definition of success is characterized by…(1. Reliance 2. Better 3. Conviction)

  1. Reliance (v. 19-20)

…for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.”

“In verse 19 Paul speaks of the source of his joyful confidence. He’s relying on the prayers of the Philippians and the sufficiency of the Spirit of Christ. Commentators point out that Paul exactly quotes Job 13:16 from the Greek translation of the Old Testament. And he may have been reflecting on the life of Job, who also suffered even though he committed no crime. Here’s what he quotes: “Even if He kills me, I will hope in Him…Yes, this will result in my deliverance. (Job 13:15;16)” — Tony Merida

“The context of Job is important there. The issue is Job’s standing before God and his vindication…God will work these things out for Paul’s ultimate good, and if things go badly, humanly speaking, God can provide a bountiful supply of the Spirit’s aid so that Paul can endure and remain a good witness to the end.” — Ben Witherington

       2. Better (v. 21-23)

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.

“The application of this verse appears with the little phrase at the beginning, “For me.” Paul is resolved that he would life for Christ. Everyone must fill in this blank personally. How would you complete this sentence, “For me, living is _________?” It often gets filled with cheap substitutes: money, sexual pleasure, power, beauty, entertainment, etc. But using the logic of this passage, notice what fills the second blank, “Dying is ___________,” if you fill the first with one of these substitutes, if you say, “Living is money,” then you would fill in the second blank with “Dying is being broke.” After all, you can’t take it with you.” — Tony Merida

       3. Conviction (v. 24-26)

 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.”

“Patiently: I would stay with these people; there are no quick or easy ways to do this. Locally: I would embrace the conditions of this place — economics, weather, culture, schools, whatever—so that there would be nothing abstract or piously idealized about what I was doing. Personally: I would know them, know their names, know their homes, know their families, know their work.” — Eugene Peterson

“Jesus’ ministry plan was to move “into the neighborhood” (John 1:14), to move from being “above” us to being “among” us…incarnational ministry moves us from “above” our places to “among” the people, within the community. Presence is not just physical; it’s also emotional and spiritual. It has never been easier to be among people physically while remaining disconnected from them, reading emails on our phones or entertaining ourselves on a tablet. Living incarnational lives requires us not just to stay physically but to remain…engaged in the spaces, opportunities, and lives around us.” — Alan Briggs

TAKEAWAYS: How can we live with the end in mind?

Examine your source of reliance

Ask God to define better for you

“They say, “How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?” 12 This is what the wicked are like— always free of care, they go on amassing wealth. 13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence. 14 All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments.” —Psalm 73:11-14

Invest in a God conviction

“Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”  Jim Elliot

Prioritize God-centered relationships

“…I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel…” v. 27b

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” — Philippians 1:21

“Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, Christ in the eye that sees me, Christ in the ear that hears me.”  — St Patrick (Fifth century)

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