Operation One Macedonia –The Call to Unity
In a fractured world of broken families, warring nations, and self-focus, Christians find themselves in enemy territory. Strangers to this world and to the things it holds most dear, God calls us to be united citizens of his coming eternal Kingdom. The Apostle Paul brought word of this truth to the Philippian Church of Macedonia in a letter written from his prison cell in Rome, 62AD. He told them to “stand fast together. Conduct yourselves in a kingdom-of-heaven manner worthy of Jesus. Be courageous in the face of sufferings given you by God. You are sharing these pains with Jesus, even as they confirm your commitment to Him. The courage you show in your Gospel mission is a sign of God’s salvation power and of your enemies’ soon rendezvous with judgment.” Unity among God’s people is a critical strategy of Jesus’ Kingdom advance. That unity is made possible by something potent and uncommon on earth: selfless love. This kind of love is the way of Jesus. It’s the way to live peaceably and purposefully among each other. Such love reaches hardened hearts with the hope of Eternity and forgiveness, revolutionizing the world.
Click on link to hear audio message: https://soundcloud.com/kinser-chaplain/operation-one-macedonia
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.