Sunday 28th February

Service Transcript & Video

Bible reading:     Philippians chapter 4

Talk:

                       Final words…

I think that teaching through the BOOK of Philippians has been such a wonderful way to finish these last few weeks with you…

 as the Apostle Paul writes his final words to a congregation that He is obviously so fond of… 

just as I can honestly say that I am so fond of YOU in SST… and of this town of Donaghadee that we serve and share the Gospel with.

I’ve picked out 4 words from this passage for us to think and act upon to-day.

 

1.    Rejoice v 4-7

As we’ve said. This is a Book full of JOY and full of JESUS… as our lives also ought to be.

Remember:

Happiness depends on what is happening around you.. Your circumstances…

BUT JOY is what GOD places in you… despite the difficulties that you find yourself going through right NOW.

So the Apostle Paul is writing this from an incredibly difficult place.. House arrest, awaiting an unfair trial and execution..

Yet there is a JOY that fills his heart and soul…

(v10)     “ I rejoice greatly in the LORD”

YOU too.. (v4) 

Rejoice in the LORD always… 

In His goodness, HIS graciousness, faithfulness, kindness, grace.. 

HIS Presence and HIS strength.

Nehemiah 8v10 “Do not grieve, The JOY of the LORD is your strength.” 

Because He is a GOD who hears and answers all our prayers… so pray about everything that you’re going through…

One of the greatest JOYS and encouragements in my whole ministry are in this box. 

These are my prayer journals stretching back over 27 yrs… 

Your names are in here…

These are a record of GOD’s amazing faithfulness in answering our prayers over 27 yrs… 

I wish I could let you read them.. especially the back pages of each journal that record the answers to many, many of those prayers and the Names of people who were converted to Christ… and when they told me.

In Alive to GOD and Alpha, in your own homes, in the wee Prayer room in High Street we had one year, here in this room after a Sunday service..

Joy!!  JOY!! absolute JOY… 

What a faithful GOD we have.. faithful in every way…  

So Rejoice in the LORD. Let your hearts be full of JESUS and full of HIS strength and Joy.. even as you go through some very dark and difficult days ahead.

 

2.    Practice.  V9

I love the way that the Apostle is unafraid to point to his own life as a model for this church family to follow even though he was far from perfect.

I too am full aware that I have been far from perfect as I have tried to model and  mentor the Christian life out before you… over these last 27 yrs

And yet with all my heart I want to say that it’s soo soo important that we live and practice what we preach…

and I have been acutely aware of that in my own life as your minister… 

I feel deeply those times where I failed to be what I would have wanted to be and what Christ would have wanted me to be.

I genuinely ask your forgiveness.

It is soo important in N.I. that we Not only Preach the Gospel… BUT.. that we live the GOSPEL so that it makes a noticeable, attractive difference to our lives and relationships every day. 

Ghandi quote:

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

In SST I see soo many of you living and modelling the Gospel in beautiful and generous lives… and I bless you because it has always been my greatest desire that Christ radiates out from us as a church family into this town of Donaghadee so that the lovely but lost people who live here will see the beauty of Christ in our lives and relationships with one another..  Keep Shining!!

Keep putting the Gospel into practice every day… 

in your   homes.. work places… friendships

 

 

3.    Content:  v11-12

In this last little section the Apostle Paul is thanking the people for the gifts that he has received and the blessing they have been to him…

I want to say exactly the same to YOU… For all your gifts and especially for all your thoughtfulness… your kindness.. your generosity … your love to us as a family and to me as your minister… Linda.. Myself… the girls… 

We want to say a HUGE and sincere Thank YOU…

YOU have a special place in our hearts and you always will… because GOD in His infinite wisdom brought us together and we are so deeply grateful for the privilege of journeying with you in this beautiful town.

So we are content ( v 11-12) 

NO!!… To-day is NOT how any of us would have planned it.. We would love that you were here in front of us right NOW and that I could hug you as I would want to..

BUT GOD is GOD and GOD is good and He is able to do immeasurably MORE than anything that we could possible ask or guess or request according to HIS power.. strength… that is within us..

I love (v13) and I pray it over you as a congregation… facing many HUGE challenges to reach this generation for Christ the KING…

YOU can do it…

You can win this generation for the King..

 

I’m still praying for Revival..

That’s still the longing of my heart for this church… this town…. and this nation..

YOU can do all that Christ asks you to do.. through the strength that He gives You to do it…(v13)

So Be Bold.. Be strong.. 

for the LORD Your GOD is with YOU…

 

 

 

4.    GOD  (v19 and 20)

It’s so appropriate that the Apostle final words apart from his greetings are about GOD…

To-day is a special day.. a sad day… 

a good day… 

BUT it’s NOT about Me…

 It’s Never about ME… 

I NEVER… EVER… would want it to be about anyone else other than our wonderful Saviour GOD .. 

            Father.. Son.. Holy Spirit…

And my deepest prayer for you is v19… that out of His glorious riches.. that our GOD will supply all your needs as a congregation in the days that lie ahead…

and that in His great mercy… He will bring you to a New minister and new ministry that will…

Be Open to the Holy Spirit..

Pointing you to Christ the Saviour..

Honouring to God the Father..

So thankful for God’s amazing goodness to You and also through You… to us as a family over these past 27 yrs..

So thankful for God’s amazing grace… that saved some of You …

and kept us together over all these yrs…

May the LORD bless You and keep YOU. May He make HIS face shine upon You and give You peace…

 

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