Did you have a childhood hero? Heroes have a special quality about them…sometimes charisma, other times beauty, or perhaps intelligent creativity. Whatever it is, they have a greatness in them that we admire and to which we aspire. It can be dangerous to have the wrong heroes. This is because the level of greatness our heroes have attained becomes for us the maximum level for which we ourselves are reaching. As you’ve likely noticed, heroes often fall short. As you listen to today’s sermon, test this statement out, “Show me your heroes and I’ll show you your future.” In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians, notice how Jesus-focused he is. In the first 34 verses of his letter to this church, he mentions Jesus Christ 22 times. He is absorbed in wonder at this person Jesus. “To me to live is Jesus Christ,” he says. Good thing Paul chose the right hero. He goes on to tell the Philippians, that they, like him, should make Jesus Christ their model. “Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” To the extent that he loved, served and humbled himself, they should do the same. Due to Jesus Christ’s obedience and commitment, even unto humiliating death on a cross, God exalted Him to true hero status, and has given Him the name LORD, at which every knee will bow and every mouth confess that reality. Who is your hero? May Jesus capture your heart and be the the standard for your greatest aspirations.
Click on link to hear sermon: https://soundcloud.com/kinser-chaplain/choosing-heroes-philippians-2
Joy in Adversity
When freedom’s lost and you are cornered, friends have become enemies, & life itself seems fragilely close to the precipice, Christians can still have joy. That is the message Paul shared with the Philippian Church during his imprisonment in Rome in 62 AD. He encouraged his concerned friends, “It’s going to be okay.” How could he say this with a potential death sentence hanging over his head? And how can we ourselves find joy in difficult circumstances we face right now? Philippians 1:12-26 teaches us four truths about joy in adversity. 1. Joy results despite our physical freedoms lost because the Gospel is bringing about great freedom in the lives of many others through our testimony. In Paul’s case, this happened among Caesar’s hardened Praetorian Guard. 2. We are called to joy even if dealing with the pain of of betrayal and animosity coming from so-called friends, because the hope of the Gospel stills spreads whenever Jesus Christ is spoken of. 3. Joy springs in adversity, too, because Christians have total confidence in a final deliverance – our forever life to come with Jesus Christ. 4. Finally, joy may be had in the worst adversity because Death itself has lost its power and fear because God has overcome it in Jesus Christ. He is with us, and brings believing friends into our lives to love us & pray us through! Adversity will come. Count on it. But know, friend, that God doesn’t work in your life despite adversity; he actually takes the adversity, regardless of its origins rooted in a fallen world of sin, using it to propel you to joy, the Gospel to wider embrace, and the purpose of your life to beautiful heights.
Sermon slides may be viewed at: www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=o…05041&type=1
Click on link to hear or download sermon audio: https://soundcloud.com/kinser-chaplain/joy-in-adversity-philippians-1
Gift of Joy
Life’s not easy. We face uncertainties and unexpected challenge all the time. But God has given a gift to us to carry us through these times. That gift is joy, which increases our love, strengthens our faith, and helps us to reach the world around with God’s hope. In the first chapter of Philippians we learn that the church at Philippi brought Paul tons of joy, even though facing potential death, imprisoned in Rome. This joy came from the fellowship they shared in the world’s most important mission—the gospel, and in their sharing a common Savior, Jesus. How is it with you? Do you know that God has built into the fabric of our Christian experience joy? It comes in waves of affection from our fellow believers, given by His Holy Spirit, right when we need it. And this joy is backed up by a promise: He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion until the end. We are going to make it & we’ll pass with flying colors! Our God said so. And so we rejoice.
You can click on link below if you’d like to listen to the audio sermon from yesterday’s message to Faith Community Church at Camp Kinser, Okinawa.
–Much love to friends and family across the miles. You are missed and so precious to me and Damaris.