Philippians 4

Summer 2022  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  34:35
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This morning we are going to do a quick jump into the book of Philippians and start at the conclusion of the letter from Paul to the church in Philipi.
If you remember a few months back we studied the Book of Acts and talked about how Paul and his band of missionaries traveled to this city and planted this church.
This letter was written around AD 62 to the church in part as a thank you for their partnering in ministry and support of his ventures by God’s Leading.
It was written while he was sitting in a jail and had reports given to him about the church.
Consider this,
Paul sitting in a jail cell, not like the prisons we have today in Canada, where they have access to clean running water, but a cell that would most likely be cold and damp.
He wasn’t in prison for a crime he committed, rather for speaking the Word of God.
While in prison, it what most likely awful conditions, he penned these words to the people.
Consider it all joy,
I thank my God, Why
Philippians 1:7 (ESV)
7 ..... for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.
How do you respond when life is full of lemons.
When the things of this world do not seem to be going the way you thought they should or how you planned.
Do you consider it all Joy?
Paul told the believers,
Philippians 1:18 ESV
18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,
What is your attitude today?
Did you come today with a joyful spirit.
Be honest with yourself, you don’t need to tell me, but how did you come today?
Was there a sharp disagreement between you and the passenger in the car as you pulled up to the church?
You wanted to be here earlier, but you know who, wasn’t as prompt?
You were fighting with your children on the way here,
In a former town I pastored, there were many folks that traveled an hour to get to the church.
That is a long time to be in an argument or fight with members in your car before you arrive at church.
What about this week, Did you come this morning bruised and down because of all of the events of the week.
All this for the preparation of the pastor saying,
Rejoice, celebrate, consider it all joy.
So how is this possible, What do we need to remind ourselves today.
May I encourage you sometime this week take a moment and read through the entire letter, but for this morning we are going to look at the end of the letter and jump into chapter 4
but before we do this, let’s pray
Turn with me to the 4th chapter of Philippians and we are going to begin in verse 2
Philippians 4:2–9 ESV
2 I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. 3 Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
I have entitled this Sermon EEP
Not sure how many of you saw that and wondered where I was going.
Sometimes, I am asked by Val what the title of the sermon is before I have completed the writing of it, so this week it ended up EEP
Three things this passage deals with
Exhortation, Encouragement and Prayer.
If you want to be able to be like Paul and be able to say, Rejoice, we need all three things in our life,
Exhortation, Encouragement, and prayer.
You see, One person wrote,

Paul customarily brings his letters to a close with a section dealing with practical and personal matters and greetings

Letter writing,
One of the disadvantages of modern technology is that we have lost the art of letter writing.
How many of us spend time writing letters to others. During Covid when we were not able to meet, I attempted to send out a quick letter to people in the church. BTW if your thinking, hey, I didn’t get one, your right. I found letter writing hard and not a normal part of life.
Letter writing has become a lost art.
The last summer before Heather and I got married, I set out to write down a letter every day for her.
You see, I had finished College a year earlier and was living in Manitoba and she just graduated from college in the spring and had gone home to Southern Ontario to work, as rent was free, and she wanted to save money before we were married.
Back then, letters were cheap to send, phone calls were expensive.
There was no video chats, free long distance, or seeing one another so I set out to write a letter every day to my fiance, knowing at the end of the summer she would be my wife.
You see one of the ways in which we can be joyful in all circumstances is to begin to take our eyes off of our situation and consider others.
Exhortation, Encouragement, and prayer.


When was the last time you used the word exhort.
Can you image walking up to a friend and saying,Frank, let’s go out for coffee, I want to exhort you. I’m sure your friend would be busy even if you offer to pay.
Why does Paul begin his final comments with an exhortation?
Why do we need exhortation in our lives in order to be able to say,
I rejoice....
First off, you may be wondering where I get the word Exhort from
Look at verse 2
My translation says, I entreat you
others say I urge you,
Others say implore,
They all come from a greek word meaning to simple Exhort.
Now for many of you this may seem harsh.
What right do I have in telling others what they are to do.
Maybe some of you are the type of person who takes pleasure in correcting others, but most don’t go around and do this
Exhortation is important in our lives in order that we can say.
In all things I rejoice.
The past few months I have entered into a world of my wife’s expertise and came under the exhortation of her.
I began to learn to play music......
She has been playing, learning, teaching for many years and I begin, to learn to play. Before I use to play music. It was pressing the play on the music device. But now I’m in her world.
Folks there were many times, I would hear, so, what note were you trying to play?
Without exhortation, life will be worse.
Without the willingness to listen to exhortation, you will not grow into the likeness of Christ.
Without exhortation of a fellow believer, you are not encouraging one another in their spiritual journey to be more like Christ.
Paul was about to do this in his Letter
Remember earlier in the letter Paul tells the people,
Philippians 2:1–2 ESV
1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
Humility and exhortation are partners.
You see, if there is not humility in your life, exhortation will turn out to be nothing more than a rebuke and often the message in the exhortation will not be heard by the one who needs to hear it.

Exhortation #1

Paul begins by starting with his first exhortation
Key leaders in a public disagreement
Paul came in humility and spoke to the people with humility, but he also was not afraid to speak the truth.
Let’s look to see how Paul dealt with the situation.
I find if most interesting that two ladies were singled out for their problem.
Remember that these letters were written and read in front of the entire assembly.
I am so thankful that public exhortation is not a preferred practice in our culture today.
I wonder how these two ladies felt as they heard the words,
You two, you need to agree in the Lord.
Scholars, who like to study and prove their point have come to different conclusions as to who these ladies were and why they needed a public exhortation.
Some state that one of them was the women know as Lydia, a member of the early church that was a key leader in the church.
Others call them influential ministry workers alongside Paul when he was there building the church
Whoever they were in not important, rather that we understand that Paul was willing to exhort them to mend their differences and continue to work together.
I do believe that it was a significant issue that needed to be dealt with as it was affecting the body.
As I read this section of scripture, I came up with a few things that need to be kept in mind if we feel we have the gift of exhortation.
Public exhortation is needed when the body of Christ is being affected.
The goal is to agree in the Lord, not to win a personal argument or prove that you are right.
Be willing to seek help in a disagreement and have a third party be drawn in when you can’t solve the issue yourselves.
Key parts of exhortation.

Exhortation #2

Once again we see the urging of Paul to have a mindset of Rejoicing.
it has been stated

This second time he repeats the call twice, “Rejoice … again I will say rejoice!” and adds the word “always.” The joy of the Christian is not a passing quality. Rejoicing is not to be reserved for special times of worship or praise. It is to be uninterrupted and unbroken.

How is your rejoicing going?
Is it uninterrupted and unbroken.
If you truly want to test someone’s level of rejoicing, sit with them in the passenger seat of their car as they navigate heavy traffic.
It’s amazing how quickly our rejoicing in the Lord changes as we are cut off in our lane.
Our walk with someone during rush hour at the grocery store and arrive at the express lane with 12 items and have the person in front of you with more.
Better yet,
Your favourite store with many cashiers and you have to pick which line will be faster only to arrive at the till in the second spot and you hear the words, “Price Check”
How is your rejoicing doing now?
Summer camp season is upon us, we have our VBS next week and the Volleyball camp the following week. When I use to be involved in urban camping with our church, I would instruct the summer workers on their actions.
One of the subjects I would tackle is that once they begin the summer as a leader, it doesn’t start in the morning and end at the end of the day.
The kids coming to camp will be watching you 24/7. You will always be their leader. When they see you in the store, at the park, or walking down the street, you are being watched, so act accordingly.
Philippians 4:5 ESV
5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;
Paul exhorts us that our reasonableness be known.
To your close friend, no
To your family, no
To the members of your church, no.
To whom?
The greek word used give the idea of lenience. The merciful or tolerance of slight deviations from moral or legal rectitude.
Rejoicing and responding to others and situations go hand and hand.
Have you been wronged by someone, rejoice
Has the plan you set forth been thwarted by others and you have every right to be angry, Rejoice.
It doesn’t mean we are to be taken advantage of because we are believers, but how we respond to others in those times, Paul reminds us that we are to respond like that of Christ.
So how is your rejoicing going in your life.
Are you like me and need more practice.
Do you have someone in your life to say, So what type of rejoicing is that, as you go off on a rant.
Let’s say together the verse 4
Philippians 4:4 ESV
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.

Exhortation #3

The third Exhortation that Paul give to the people is how we are to handle Anxiety.
Philippians 4:6 (ESV)
6 do not be anxious about anything, .........
I looked up the definition and here is what it stated
experiencing worry, unease, or nervousness, typically about an imminent event or something with an un...
un what, I began to be concerned I missed something, not quoting it right.
How easy anxious thoughts can slip into our minds.
It this didn’t give you a clear picture of what Paul is talking about here are synonyms
Synonyms: worried, concerned, apprehensive, fearful, uneasy, ill at ease, perturbed, troubled, disquieted, bothered, disturbed, distressed, fretful, fretting, agitated, in a state of agitation, nervous, in a state of nerves, edgy, on edge, tense, overwrought, worked up, keyed up, strung out, jumpy, afraid, worried sick, with one's stomach in knots, with one's heart in one's mouth, on pins and needles, stressed, under stress, in suspense, flurried, overstrung, unquiet
IS that enough, are you getting the picture
Paul states, do not be this way. But how?
You know, if the world were to read this passage they would be shocked.
One website, and of course you believe everything on the web. Folks I didn’t fact check this but it stated this
One site stated
The early years of the 21st century have witnessed a worldwide epidemic of poor mental health and related illnesses. But while depression is the condition most will associate with mental health issues, and the leading cause of disability worldwide, it is not the number one mental health concern people face.
That unwanted accolade goes to anxiety.
An estimated 275 million people suffer from anxiety disorders. That’s around 4% of the global population, with a spread of between 2.5% and 6.5% of population per country. Around 62% of those suffering from anxiety are female (170 million), compared with 105 million male sufferers.,An%20estimated%20275%20million%20people%20suffer%20from%20anxiety%20disorders.,with%20105%20million%20male%20sufferers.
Please understand me, Mental health is real, there are those who have suffered silently in the church for fear of being told they have a lack of faith.
God has created us with a very complex brain and in the broken world we live in, that brain can cause illness that is unseen and hard to treat.
If you are struggling with a mental illness, please seek out medical help.
Sometimes in the church we say,
A simple solution to those suffering with mental illness is to say
“Do not”
Paul’s intention is far from that
it is not what this verse is implying.
Following Christ, being daily transformed into the image of Christ take on a mindset of removing those things in our lives that cause us to be anxious about.
Paul doesn’t leave the listener at “do not” he provides a way or solution to the “Do Not”
One person wrote,

To begin by praising God for the fact that in this situation, as it is, he is so mightily God—such a beginning is the end of anxiety. To be anxious means that we ourselves suffer, ourselves groan, ourselves seek to see ahead. Thanksgiving means giving God the glory in everything, making room for him, casting our care on him, letting it be his care. The troubles that exercise us then cease to be hidden and bottled up. They are, so to speak, laid open to God, spread out before him.

Paul ends his exhortation by quickly moving to the second “E” in this message


How do we begin to move from an anxious mind to a worry less mind,
Philippians 4:6 (ESV)
6 .......but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Paul’s encouragement begins by letting us know where we are to be looking.
Take a mirror for example.
We often use a mirror to look at the situation, us.
The problem is in front of us and we begin to look to ourselves. We use the mirror to begin to be anxious.
Take a second mirror and you now begin to look away, up and over, like a periscope.
looking over the problem and to God
In everything by prayer and supplication.
As I was reflecting on this idea, the thought came to me about a prayer warrior.
You know who I am talking about. The folks that spend more time on their knees than the rest of us should and wished we did.
I wonder if the prayer warrior started out not as a
warrior but a worrier.
The more they worried the more they prayed, the more they prayed the less they worried.
The less they worried, the more they prayed and moved from a worrier to a warrior.
How is your prayer life.
How is your worry life.r
Are they balanced, lopsided on the right or wrong way?
do we see the connection?
When we begin to worry, we should be following the advice of Scripture and bring it to the Lord.
Philippians 4:7 ESV
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
God’s Peace is nothing like anything else.
When we focus our mind on the problem at hand,
look in the mirror and see ourselves the problem we do not see a way out.
But when we bring those worries, concerns and give God full control of our lives,
Fully take the second mirror and reflect over the problem.
It doesn’t go away, but our focus turns to God.
God’s peace is something that isn’t in our realm to totally understand how it works, but I know it does.

Our minds should be set on

The last encouragement that Paul give us is where we should be focusing or setting our minds
Philippians 4:8-9 4:8-9
Philippians 4:8–9 ESV
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Practice these things,
I have given you an encouragement card. Use them.
right out something before you leave, give it to someone.
Look around the room and listen to the Spirit what you need to write.
Practice these things,


The Final peace is prayer.
Pray through exhortation
Pray through praise
Pray through Anxiety
Pray for encouragement

In Summary

As the worship teams come forward to lead us in a song of response, please respond.
Here are the words penned,
What a friend we have in Jesus All our sins and griefs to bear What a privilege to carry Ev'rything to God in pray'r Oh what peace we often forfeit Oh what needless pain we bear All because we do not carry Ev'rything to God in pray'r

Have we trials and temptations Is there trouble anywhere We should never be discouraged or anxious Take it to the Lord in pray'r Can we find a friend so faithful Who will all our sorrows share Jesus knows our every weakness Take it to the Lord in pray'r

Response to Worship


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