TRANSCRIPTION | Sunday, September 4, 2022 | The World Didn’t Give It Series | The Dogs Are Out
Because we're in the middle of a series that we just simply been referring to as The World Didn't Give It. And I may unpack that just a little bit more once I actually kind of dove into sharing the message with you this morning. But what we've been doing is going through the Book of Philippians and the Book of Philippians has four chapters.
And so we've dedicated four weeks to this book and we're just doing a chapter a week. You can, through social media, connect with the church. You can find some reading plans, kind of follow along with us. But it's it's it's a great little book that has some incredibly profound things to say in encouraging the Christian, the believer to follow the Lord.
And even I believe in encouraging the unbeliever to give consideration to following the Lord. And so this morning, I want to just share with you what's going to be our anchor text. So we'll look at quite a bit of this chapter, but this will be the anchor text further. My brothers and sisters rejoice in the Lord. It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.
So what Paul is saying is that he's challenging these people, this congregation, to rejoice in the Lord, and he's admitting that he's.
Already said it to them before, but.
Now he's saying it again, because if they will rejoice in the Lord, it will actually be a safeguard around their life and around their relationship with with God and others. So we're going to look at this. The world didn't give it. Would you pray with me? Father, I ask you to help me to teach. Help me to preach.
Help me to share your word. Use this moment for your glory, Father. Let your Holy Spirit provoke every single one of us to our next step in you, whatever that might be in Jesus name. And this church said, Amen. So some time ago, I was just going through some personal difficulty. We've all had those days. We've all had those weeks.
We've all had those moments. And I just remember saying out loud as though it was to the Lord.
Lord, this is stealing my joy. And I felt like that God just.
Instantly spoke back to me or dropped this in my heart or gave me this thought. No, it's not. You're giving it away.
And I was reminded of this song that I grew up.
Singing in church. This joy that I have. The world didn't give it. And the world can't take it away. Anybody else have any familiarity with that song whatsoever? All right. So so a.
Handful of you at the church I grew up in, we sang it regularly. Matter of fact, I think I was in the youth choir and I had the lead.
They clearly were not bothered by the fact that I was tone deaf and should never have been allowed to sing anything in any public setting.
This joy that I have, the world didn't give it and the world can't take it away. And God just began to unpack some things in my personal life and in my personal relationship with him that I was giving away, that it was not so much that the world was able to take it or that the enemy was able to take it, but rather that I was giving it away.
And I think we all probably have had moments like that where that we have blamed the world or we blame the enemy or we blame the devil for taking something from us that actually we made a decision to give it away. Here's the deal. If God gives it to you, the world can't take it away. And so specifically in the realm of joy, what you see is that the book of Philippians is known to have a theme of joy, and that throughout that book, Paul is trying to encourage this congregation to make sure that this is something that they keep at the forefront of their Christian walk and in their lives, and that it's something
that they are exemplifying even. And so it actually reaches the point in the book of Philippians two where that 19.
Within 104 verses, Paul talks about joy. And so what that tells us is that nearly 20% of the verses in the book of Philippians originally written as a letter to that church, deal with the word joy or the subject of joy in some way, shape or form or fashion. So it leads me to ask you this question. Do you have a list of things you never leave.
Home without taking with you.
When you get ready to leave the house? There's this kind of a list of, I need to grab this handful of things and I need to make sure.
That I take them with me.
I cannot keep up with my keys, but they are essential to functioning. I seem to lose my billfold every other day, or sometimes multiple times a day, but it's essential to functioning. It seems like when I get ready to leave the house is when these items are the most likely to disappear, especially if I'm running behind and I really need to be able to locate them.
And so. A few years ago, my wife and I, we were living in a home and she came up with the conclusion that the solution to my issue was that she went into the kitchen and she picked out the drawer that was in the kitchen cabinet closest to the door. And she called me in there and she said, Eric, this is your drawer.
I said, What do you mean do that?
She said, When you come through that door, you're going to take everything out of your pockets and you're going to put.
It in this drawer.
And then when it's time to leave again, you're going to come to this drawer. You're going to put all those things back in your pockets, and then you're going to be able to function without calling me at my name 45 times on your way out the door. And so as many now have relocated multiple times, we've moved like eight or nine times flipping houses, doing different things like that.
When we go in to a new home, the first thing my wife does is makes a decision about where my drawer will be. And she points me to This is where your keys are going to go, this is where your billfold is going to go. Here's where these other essential items to your function are going to go. So don't call my name.
Eric. These are the things you're going to need to take with you. So you're going to have to be careful about organizing them and placing them in such a way that you can.
Take them with you.
She really hasn't figured out anything from my pants just yet. So even just recently we were having a mild crisis as I was 15 minutes late to depart and the pants weren't in the drawer.
Now, I don't know. I can't. I can't get any help on a Sunday morning. See.
There are some things you're going to need to take with you. And what Paul seems to be implying is that if you're going to leave the house, you're going to need to take joy because the world is going to be waiting to smack you in the face and hit you with all the stuff that's going wrong and all the stuff that's not going right and all the concern and all the worry.
And if you don't take joy, then you're going to automatically embrace cynicism and pessimism and negativity and be hateful and mean and rude and walk around like you've been sipping on dill pickle soup. But the thing that has to happen in our lives is a decision has to be made. So what Paul talks about is he says, further, my brothers and sisters, I'm telling you, rejoice in the Lord.
It's no trouble for me to write the same things to you again. It is a safeguard for you. And one things that you discover is that if you don't properly process stress, it can actually destroy your physical body. And I think that Paul here is talking not only in a spiritual sense, but even in a physical sense, that when you choose joy, it's actually helping to safeguard your lives, probably in more ways than we could even contemplate.
But he points this out specifically notice he says, Rejoice in the Lord, and he makes it clear it is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again. It is a safeguard for you. So he's like, I get it. I have mentioned this almost 20 times, within 100. And so verses I get it that 20% of everything I'm saying to you includes this one word, Joy.
I get it that you may think I don't have anything else to talk about, but I need somebody to understand that I'm okay being repetitious on this subject because you need to have joy, you need to experience joy and you need to choose joy. So it seems to me he's just point blank saying that joy, something that we need to be reminded to take with us, need to be reminded to take with us.
In other words, don't leave home without this. You might even want to be careful about opening up your social media feed without getting a dose of joy. First, be careful scrolling through the newsfeeds without taking joy with you first. What's happening is that Paul is in parenting mode, and we all know that children must be reminded. Now, there's some people that believe that it's been about 11 years since Paul has seen this church.
And so Paul actually burst this church, which means that Paul played a key role in each of these believers in this church coming to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, being born again Christians. And so Paul in many ways feels this spiritual parenting responsibility that he wants to see these people do well. He wants to see these people get it right.
So he's like, Hey, there's this key thing called joy and you need to get it right. This is a big deal. You don't need to mess this thing up. Keep joy. Choose joy. Now, if you're raising kids, you know what it is to remind them and you remind them and you remind them and you remind them. Is anybody else raising kids in.
I get you. There's there's a there's a necessity as a parent to remind our children and we remind them about practical things. We remind them about spiritual things. Here lately, there's been something that I've found myself just repetitively reminding my kids about. We kind of started calling it the Big Four. And I don't apologize for the fact that every time they leave my presence, they hear this.
Now, there's two things that's been standard for years. Any time I get ready to part ways with them, I look at them and I say, Don't be stupid, be smart. But it's since evolved and got a 15 year old, a 17 year old. And now I find myself I'll look at Rodney. I said, look at me, look, look at me.
Don't do drugs, don't drink, don't have premarital sex and love Jesus.
Again, Dad going around now, I.
Have no idea if we're going to succeed, but as a parent.
I'm going to do everything I can to remind.
And that's what you see.
Is speaking to this congregation from the bottom, his heart, having a passion towards like, you got to get this, you can't let the world take your joy.
Seems to me that sometimes to remember, though, we need a reset.
Do you ever notice how it's.
It's easy to, like, lose your joy and not even know it's gone?
Like, you can kind of spend days in in a gloomy news and in a darkness and.
Maybe even, like.
Depression or a borderline depression. And you don't even realize you've been walking around looking all beat up and all beat down and you haven't been smiling at people and you haven't been conversing in a positive way with people. And most of your conversations have been a little bit toxic about work or maybe even negative about your, your Christian experience and and all this, and you don't even realize.
So sometimes when the Holy Spirit brings you to the realization that you are losing your joy or that you have lost your joy, you have to have a reset. Jesus himself exemplified the power of a reset. He was the Son of God made flesh dwelling among us. He he was the greatest teacher preacher to ever live. He was a guy who could raise the dead back to life and open blind eyes.
But Scripture says he would be preaching to 5000 people and he would leave the crowd and say, I need to be alone for a little while. And he would go into a private place and there he would seek his father and get a vision for his earthly life from his father. And that scripture says he would come back and he would live out that purpose.
And he would live out the will of the father in the earth. He was able to go get a reset. Here's how we know. The Bible says that Jesus, even looked to the cross with joy. It was going to be painful. It was going to be excruciating. It was going to be challenging. But by being with the father, he was able to get the joy of what was on the other side of the cross, that the world could be saved and people could become new creatures in Christ Jesus and all things could pass away and people could be born again.
That that came from going into these moments of reset. And you may find that sometimes you just need a reset. For some people, that's going to be a walk. Just taking a little walk. For other people, it's going to be like getting quiet before the Lord and turning everything else down, turning everything else off. For some people, it might be getting away for a night or a day by yourself and just saying, I need a reset.
Because the question is, where are you looking to find joy? And I've found that most people, they look to find joy with their spouse or with their kids or in life events and listen, our spouse can can give us a sense of joy and our kids can give us a sense of joy. There's some stuff that can go in life.
You know, you start to kind of feel good about that. But the truth of it is, if the source of your joy is not God, you're probably always going to be found wanting because we have a tendency to confuse happiness with joy. And happiness is an emotion, but joy is something spiritual and God never intended for your emotions to Lord over your spirit, but rather for your spirit to Lord over your emotions.
You are a spirit with a body that manifest emotions. And that means if you start with Jesus Christ, that joy is not just a thing, it is a person. And when you get Jesus in your life, there's a joy that comes with that. And as the joy is being made manifest, you start to tell your emotions. So why are you disquieted with me within me?
You will hope in God, for I will yet praise the Lord who gives me a healthy countenance. That's Psalms 43 five. That's how I overcame five surgeries in Mayo Clinic, some 43 five. It became my daily prescription of I was dealing with anxiety, I was dealing with depression, I was dealing with all this stuff that I'm even embarrassed to admit that as an overgrown man I was wrestling with.
But I was the enemy was in my head. I would preach on a Sunday morning. I would go home on an afternoon, and this big old linebacker would let himself down in that little woman's lap and say, I can't believe I said that this is going to get mad. That one's going to leave. This is going to take some for and therefore and some more and do some crazy.
The whole thing's going to fall apart. And she would literally just rub my head and try to calm me down in my gut. Exploded on me to the point that doctors couldn't fix me and I didn't have a gut problem. I had a head problem because I had a Jesus problem. I'd never come to understand that the fear of man should never overcome your fear and reverence of God.
And if you get those two things right, you realize the world didn't give it and the world can't take it away. And it's God that will build His church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. And it is God that will be the author and the finisher. I'm sorry I get a little loud sometimes.
Scarred. It'll be the altar in the finished years of your life. It's God that says the weapons of your warfare will not be called to me and says what they did. You got to the pulling them strongholds. It's God that says he'll give you the helmet of salvation. The best way to watch the Lord's bigotry be be to be shot the person gospel.
Well, I feel like I was in a hurry, so I just try. It's God. And when you put your faith in God, it gives you an ability to look at things from a totally different perspective of this. I didn't catch none of this caught God by surprise. He's the God who determines the end from the beginning, according to the Prophet Isaiah.
So science did some stats and science says.
That only 10% of your joy this is actually science says only 10% of your.
Joy cheerfulness. Your happiness is contingent upon external circumstance is so, so, so in.
Evaluating people from a clinical trial, what they have discovered is that when it really gets down to the bottom of it, the.
External circumstance answers are really only affecting about 10% of that.
What they've discovered is that actually about 50%.
Of your joy is contingent on your personality, but 40% of your joy is entirely dependent upon your mindset.
So let's break that down for a minute. I get it.
Cannot control. There's going to be some stuff that just happens to you and you have no control over it.
Personality, your mama, your daddy, your DNA. It's a lot to do sometimes with the way God hardwired you.
Mindset, 40% of how you are affected in the realm of joy, it's a choice.
That you get to make.
So do you choose joy? So just keep. Keep. Well, my mama was this way. My daddy was this way.
And I guess I'd just be this way too.
Well, that's fine. And then keep wonder why you ain't got no friends. No one wants to be around you.
Oh, that was. Well, I just felt that bounced back. It is just. Oh, well, this happened and that happened and, you know, and this.
Thing transpired and they said this means.
How about you choose joy? I'll say I'm not leaving the.
House today without having a moment of recognizing there's breath in my lungs.
There's clothes on my back, there's shelter over my head. My God is still with me, despite all this other stuff. And even though my mom and dad may have not always handled things right, and even though this story I get to choose joy. So what Paul says is further, my brothers and sisters rejoice in the Lord. It ain't no trouble.
I'm sorry. It is no trouble.
For me to write the same things. That was the grill's.
Burl version right there for a moment. Those of you who don't know where.
It brothers that is so far.
Back in the woods, you'll never find it. Don't worry. It's where I'm from.
It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again.
It's a safeguard. It's not a suggestion, it's a command. Choose joy. And so it's interesting that when writing to the Philippians.
Paul does not have.
Circumstances to rejoice in.
Because, you know, if you imagine Paul writing this all lean back in a La-Z-Boy recliner. His life's doing really good is for a one, K is soiled. You're like, Yeah, it's easy for you to say, but Paul is actually writing this from a jail cell.
It's he don't really know if he's going to live or die. He's he's up against the Roman Empire. There's a possibility that he's going to be sentenced.
To death for preaching the gospel and he's saying choose joy.
A guy imprisoned.
Is saying, don't.
Joy escape you.
It's almost as though even as he battles his own uncertainty that he's saying you can have joy, even when the future seems uncertain.
If your joy is in the Lord.
You just have to make sure that you don't negate something you believe with a defeat or belief. So I heard a guy say this and.
I thought, Man, that's so good. It really resonated with me because I can. I get it. I totally get it. He's, for instance, like, I believe that, you know, we should exercise and be in shape and that we should eat right and take care of our bodies. It's a great.
Belief, but I also.
Believe that fried chicken is one of God's greatest creations. And I. And I believe.
Bread. I'm so sorry, but if somebody ain't chasing me, I run and I and I believe after I've preached three times on Sunday and especially next week, after I start preaching four times on Sunday, I am.
Entitled to food.
Good food, food. It has some day to it, but I've tried to figure out this whole Quito thing and like there's times, like I've kind of mastered it. Like I can lose like £30, like, pretty quick. But you also know that I can find them do. And here's I find them is like late at night. Like late at night.
Everything tastes better. The lighter you go, the better it tastes. But why? Why did they put a cookout in our zip code? Because those two hot dogs with chili and coleslaw, and they taste better at midnight, and they know that that's why they stay open. I can't get nobody to be honest with me in this house. So I have I have I have great beliefs.
But I also struggle with some different beliefs. And it's the same thing. I believe God's for me, who could be against me, hallelujah in the name of Jesus. But I also believe, man, that hurt when I said that I believe by stripes we were healed. But I also believe that Doctor knows what she's talking about. And she just scared the daylights out of me.
I So we struggle back and forth. I believe that if I confess my sincere statement just to forgive me. But I also believe there's some folks that are never going to let me live it down. And so we have this belief, but we struggle with the defeat of belief. And one of the things that Paul seems to be dealing with in this passage, this book, is that religion kills rejoicing because religion is made up of defeat or beliefs.
You see, I'm not talking about good religion, James said. Good religion is taking care of widows and taking care of orphans. But but there's another kind of religion that's all about the traditions of men and all about self-righteousness and all about human efforts. And what we discover is that, remember, Paul is in prison and he's writing this letter and he says that dogs are slipping into the church.
It Phillippa And what he's talking about is there are religious people who are beginning to really make other people feel defeated in their walk with God. And what he talks about in verse two of chapter three of the Philippians is that these dogs are marked by their emphasis on human effort. And so what he's basically saying in this particular instance is that there's some people who are really caught up in circumcision because they have a Jewish belief system, and they're they're trying to embrace Christianity, but they still believe there's some work to the flesh you got to do in order to actually be saved.
And they're coming to this congregation because Paul's in prison. So these dogs are coming in and they're barking and they're saying, yeah, you think you're safe, but you're not really because you haven't done this and you haven't done that. And yeah, you think you're righteous, but, you know, not really because you failed here and you failed there. And that's the whole thing, man.
Is that dogs just tend to bark a lot and they love Facebook. So but but but you can tell when the dogs barking because the undertone of everything they're saying is I'm the standard and you fall short. So I'm here to judge you. But what I love is that Paul decides to bite.
While they bark.
And in Philippians chapter three, verse four, I myself have reasons for such confidence. So in other words, all these dogs that are over here barking about how religious they are and how advanced they are in their human effort and how they've done it better than anybody else could ever do it. And they're making all these other church people feel really beat down as though the righteousness is not good enough.
Paul starts talking to those dogs, says I myself have reason for such confidence. If someone thinks they have reason to put confidence in the flesh. Hey dog, I have more. Right? He says. You worried about circumcision? I was circumcised on the eighth day. I am of the people of Israel. I am of one of its finest tribes, the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews.
And in regard to the law, I was actually one of those Pharisees. In fact, I was so zealous for what I believe that I persecute to the church. As for righteousness based on the law, he said, I was faultless then when it come to the major sins of the law, he said, you could not find a single place where I had failed.
what's happening. Someone let the dogs out, but Paul put them back in the doghouse.
I'm sorry I couldn't resist it. I really fought on that one. And I just the hillbilly one out.
That the demonic.
Spirit of religious people operates like a wild dog. You know that a wild dog like a dog that's not been fully domesticated or even a dog it has been partially domesticated and then falls back into a wild behavior. Is the only proposed domesticated animal that will actually eat its owner. If it does biting, devouring, criticizing and shaming people while beating them up rather than building them up is how religious wild dogs bark.
And Paul had learned some stuff about this the hard way. In fact, Paul admits, if I could paraphrase that there was a time in.
His life when he used to look at other people.
Me are good. People like you are bad, but that's a high horse mentality and God knocked him off that horse. But the Book of Acts tells the story that the Apostle Paul was so caught up in himself that he was going around barking and biting at anybody and anything in his sight that didn't measure up. And one day while he was traveling to Damascus wrote God knocked him out of his saddle.
Isn't it amazing how God has a tendency to do that? And it can feel so painful sometimes, but later on you realize it's the best thing that ever happened to you and God just drilled down into his life, gave him a vision of Jesus and Jesus said, Why do I still persecute me? He went blind momentarily, gave his life to Jesus Christ, spent the next three years of his life.
After his eyes were reopened through faith, surveying the Old Testament and seeing all the places he had missed Jesus. And He came out of that three year experience with the greatest revelation of the gospel of grace that the world has ever known. And it feels two thirds of the New Testament. And here's what Paul had to say about all of that.
Whatever word gains to me are now considered loss for the sake of Christ.
So all that fleshly stuff.
All that Bach and I used to do, I realize it's nothing compared to Jesus. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ, my Lord, for.
Whose sake I have.
Lost all things. In fact, I consider everything.
That I had.
In the flesh, garbage that I may gain Jesus Christ, and that I may be found in Him not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith, I want to know Christ.
Yes, somebody needs to say yes this morning. I want to know Christ, yes, it's a decision. And with it comes joy to know the power of His resurrection, to participate in his sufferings, even to become like him in his death, if need be. And so somehow attaining the resurrection of the dead, not that I have already obtained any of this.
I haven't arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that, which for Christ, Jesus took hold of me, brothers and sisters, I don't consider myself to have yet taken hold. But one thing I do. Come on, somebody forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead. I press on towards the prize with Jesus, which God has called me heavenward in Christ.
Jesus is that not a beautiful passage of text from a new creature in Christ Jesus, who was Saul became Paul got radically saved and realized all that stuff y'all are bragging about in the flesh. It's worthless compared to Jesus. And that's how you get your joy, is to not put your joy in your circumstance or your personality, but to put your joy in a mindset that without God.
I am nothing. And I thank the Lord that He's with me and He's for me.
So I just came to ask you this morning, have you decided.
To say yes? Yes. If you decided to say yes, can we all just utter that one more time? Yes. Yes to Jesus. Yes to Joy. Yes to grace, yes to righteousness. Yes. They're going to come they're going to play softly. I'm going to ask you to close your eyes. Just take a minute. Just to be reverent before the Lord for a minute, maybe for the very first time, you need to say Yes to Jesus.
Maybe this is a high horse moment for you.
Like Paul. You just feel like life's kind of thrown you out of the.
Saddle and you realize, Hey, this is an incredible opportunity for me to start over with God or maybe have a relationship with Jesus for the very first time. You know, the Bible tells us that Jesus went to the cross and what we learned is that he went to that cross because sin requires death. Sin requires death. But Jesus died giving us the opportunity to call on his name and the wonder of his cross and see our sins come off of our life and be placed on him.
It's it's incredible to contemplate.
That if nothing else in.
The world could give us joy, that should that we through that are then promised eternal life in heaven as opposed to eternal darkness in the fires of hell. And why wouldn't anybody say yes to that? And so this morning, if you need to come to Jesus, maybe for the first time, or maybe this is a moment of rededication for you, or maybe in some way this just means an all in moment for you just would say, I need a fresh start in God.
I'm going to ask you just to lift your hand. And I want to ask you to be bold with that, to not be shy about that, and to contemplate the fact that Jesus threw his arms open wide on a cross on Calvary. It's his way of saying, Come, come to me, come to me. I got love for you.
I've got life for you. But it's a choice some. Have you been living in depression? You've been living in suicidal thoughts. You've been living in an addiction. Listen, Jesus, Jesus is where you're way out starts.