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Message Monday: The Joy of Becoming a Missional Church

31 Oct

Intro:

  • Paul says four times in the span of these eleven verses that he is sending someone to the Philippians (2:19,23,25,28).
  • Such mentions of sending associates normally occur at the end of an epistle like Romans 16:1-2.
  • When we see a word like send four times in such a small passage and it should make us ask why does Paul need to emphasize his desire to send so often.
  • In fact the Latin word that we get our word missions from is translated as send. So think of this passage in that light. Why does Paul say four times that Phillipi needs a missionary?
  • John Piper says in his famous book Let the Nations Be Glad “that missions exist because worship doesn’t.”
  • Can I suggest to you that Paul seek to send these individuals because he knows that he worship of the Philippian church is hindered?
  • If we genuinely believe that Christ deserves the worship of as many people as possible, then we are missional when we look for the places where Christ is not worshipped and send individuals to those places in order to give them every reason to worship Him.
  • The Village Church which has become a leading church in Texas and the SBC explains their commitment to missional living by saying that their members should… (http://thevillagechurch.net/mediafiles/uploaded/a/0e1135869_article-what-does-missional-mean.pdf)
    • Minister within the specific environment God has appointed them to live.
    • Minister using the distinct skill and giftedness God has granted you by being God-centered in your vocation.
    • Minister with radical purpose and intentionality, not for self but rather for the good of others and the glory of God.
    • Minister with the expectation that a lay person’s ministry is just as valuable as that of a vocational minister.
    • Minister to the whole person. We should meet physical needs as well as share the gospel to meet spiritual needs.
  • Missional Living is seeking to be sent where people need a reason to worship Jesus Christ.

Hook:

  • This brings up an interesting question for us.
  • If Paul is missional in trying to send individuals to Philippi, and missional living is trying to send believers into areas where people need a reason to worship Christ, are we missional?
  • How often do we as members of this church value the joy there is in being sent into places where Christ needs to be worshipped?
  • Today, as we look at Philippians 2:19-30 I hope to share with you three extremely important reasons that we should rejoice in being a missional church.

Message Points:

  • In order to do that we must begin my looking at Paul’s description of sending Timothy.
    • Notice that the reason that he wants to send Timothy is to be cheered by the news of them.
      • Paul’s worship of Christ is evidently hindered by his concern for the Philippian church.
      • This is not a surprise since Paul says in 2 Cor. 11:28 “28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.”
      • I wonder how often your worship has been hindered by your concern for someone you cared about?
        • Perhaps you have a love one or an friend whose lifestyle or testimony raises questions in your mind about their relationship with Christ.
        • You know that you cannot judge that person as worthy of heaven or hell, but you also know that you do not want to come to judgement day and see them condemned to hell.
        • If your worship is more interrupted by minor differences in theology than the possibility of someone close to you spending eternity in hell, I am not sure who you are worshipping.
        • After all Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10) so our worship should be hindered when we have a concern for someone we love.
    • Notice as well in verses 20-21 what Paul gives as the reason for sending Timothy.
      • First he states that no one else is like Timothy because Timothy is concerned for their wellfare.
      • Paul makes it plain that Timothy has the same concern that he has for the Philippians.
      • Further notice that he says that Timothy is not selfish in his concern but he is selfless in his concern for the Philippians.
  • We can sum up well what Paul is saying in these verse in our 1st point: There is joy in a missional church when we can match our care and concern for others with the ability to send like-minded believers to minister (2:19-21).
    • Consider for just a moment the difference in effectiveness of just our event tomorrow at Happy Hollow.
    • What face does it show the community if just the few members on the missions council show up versus a huge number of people who love this community and the lost?
    • Let me take this a little further. What face does it show the neighborhood that you live in for you to stay at home on Halloween, hand out candy and tracts, and have gospel conversations with your neighbors?
    • Living missionally creates joy as we deny our selfish interests and give our community and neighbors practical reasons to worship Christ.
  • This leads to us considering the second portion of Paul’s passage beginning at verse 2:22.
    • Paul then points out that Timothy is already known to the Philippians as a proven servant of the gospel alongside of Paul.
      • This seems to indicate that Timothy is a faithful teacher of God’s Word.
      • Before we think that the only ones who can faithfully serve Christ are those who preach and teach look at what Paul says next.
    • As Paul begins to talk about sending Ephaphroditus back to the Philippians he uses five descriptors of his faithfulness. Paul calls him
      • His brother
      • His fellow worker
      • A fellow soldier
      • A messenger from Philippi
      • And a minister to Paul’s need.
      • It seems that Ephaphroditus is faithfully serving Christ to meet Paul’s needs.
    • The point here is that both of these men are missionally serving Christ by using the gifts and their talents to glorify Christ.
  • This leads to our 2nd point: There is joy in a missional church when we have equipped believers well enough to be sent to serve others (2:22-25).
    • One of the most important ways that we can equip believers is to train every person to give to God their best.
      • Giving God your best stretches you past what you were comfortable giving him last week, month, or year.
      • God may be challenging you to give Him your more of your conversations as you talk about your devotion or the messages you hear at church with friends.
      • God may be challenging you to give Him more credit for your blessings with the gratitude you show him.
      • God may be challenging you to intentionally give your children more gospel-centered discipline so that they will be ready to launched into the real world.
      • God may be challenging you to give your lunches to meeting with people who need to hear the gospel.
      • May God is challenging you to find a ministry where you can give your time to serve your community.
    • The point is that as a church we need to be more focused on equipping you as members to be sent outside these walls as missionaries.
      • Just imagine that we had every seat in this church full. Could we reach everyone in Spartanburg County? What about the city? How about even just one the east side?
      • There is joy in knowing that while we may not be able to reach everyone we desire to reach in one Sunday Morning worship service, we can certainly send each one of us out into the world to reach those individuals for Christ.
    • It is wonderful for you to invite people to church, but it is more effective for Christ if every member of this congregation is ready to give God the glory in their lives.
  • Finally then, we need to examine Paul’s final portion of this passage.
    • In this last portion of the passage beginning at verse 2:26.
    • Paul says Ephaphroditus has been concerned because he thought the church was more concerned about him than about Christ.
    • Paul also says that he is grateful that God showed both he and Ephaphroditus mercy by sparing him sorrow upon sorrow.
    • Paul says that he is all the more eager to send him so that the Philippians can rejoice in receiving Ephaphroditus and Paul can rejoice in sending him.
    • Finally then Paul says to receive him with all joy and to honor men like him who nearly die for the work of Christ among others.
  • Thus we have the 3rd point: There is joy in a missional church when we see our communities value Christ more because of the sacrifice they see our members make to serve him (2:26-30).
    • Friends we know that we have a dynamic church when we see people in the community begin to consider Christ for no other reason than the love shown by those who confess him as Savior and Lord.
    • That begins as we being to value Christ more because of the sacrifices we see others willing to make.
    • Talk about Bible Study.

Conclusion:Image result for missions worship

  • Let me remind you of that quote by John Piper one more time.
  • He said “missions exist because worship doesn’t.”
  • Do you love Christ enough to be sent into places where people need reasons to worship Christ?
  • My hope and prayer is that you will echo the words of Isaiah. Here am I Lord, send me.
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Posted by on October 31, 2016 in Ministry of the Word

 

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