The Joy of Community | TBN

The Joy of Community

Watch The Joy of Community
November 19, 2019
27:29

Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah

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The Joy of Community

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  • Dr. David Jeremiah: There's no doubt we were built
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  • for connection and community, but are you experiencing
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  • the happiness that comes from being part of a group
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  • of fellow believers?
  • 00:00:40.010 --> 00:00:41.280
  • Today, I'm going to give you five characteristics that
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  • will help you cultivate the joy that comes from community.
  • 00:00:45.090 --> 00:00:49.280
  • 00:00:49.290 --> 00:00:59.280
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  • Dr. Jeremiah: Hello, I'm David Jeremiah.
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  • In the book of Philippians, the Apostle Paul gives
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  • the early church a lesson in enriching their community.
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  • He provides readers, then and now,
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  • with five principles to finding the joy in community.
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  • We'll look at those together in my series, "Count it All Joy"
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  • on today's edition of, "Turning Point."
  • 00:01:28.040 --> 00:01:30.290
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  • female announcer: Are you waiting
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  • for joy to find you?
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  • Don't wait, claim a happiness
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  • that circumstances cannot change
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  • with Dr. Jeremiah's book, "Count it All Joy."
  • 00:01:46.000 --> 00:01:49.000
  • In this rich exploration
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  • of the biblical book of Philippians,
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  • Dr. Jeremiah uncovers the Apostle Paul's secret
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  • to experiencing a joy that carried Paul
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  • through the most difficult times.
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  • Discover this happiness for yourself with,
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  • "Count it All Joy," yours as a thank you
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  • when you give a gift of any amount
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  • in support of this program.
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  • And if you generously give $60 or more,
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  • Dr. Jeremiah would like to send you in appreciation
  • 00:02:12.270 --> 00:02:15.120
  • the "Count it All Joy" set, which includes his book,
  • 00:02:15.130 --> 00:02:18.280
  • his complete newly preached 12-message series
  • 00:02:18.290 --> 00:02:22.040
  • on your choice of CD or DVD, and a correlating study guide.
  • 00:02:22.050 --> 00:02:26.210
  • Dr. Jeremiah's, "Count it All Joy" book or set.
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  • Support this program and request these resources
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  • when you contact "Turning Point" today.
  • 00:02:33.140 --> 00:02:35.090
  • male announcer: "Thank you for watching, "Count it all Joy"
  • 00:02:37.240 --> 00:02:39.270
  • on "Turning Point."
  • 00:02:39.280 --> 00:02:41.070
  • Now, here is Dr. Jeremiah with his message,
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  • "The Joy of Community."
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  • Dr. Jeremiah: When Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo,
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  • running backs for the Chicago Bears,
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  • began rooming together in the late '60s,
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  • it was a first for both of them.
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  • Gale Sayers had never had a close relationship
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  • with a white person, and Piccolo had never had
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  • a close relationship with a black person.
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  • In fact, he had never known a black person.
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  • During the 1968 season, Gale Sayers suffered
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  • a career-threatening knee injury.
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  • Most pundits thought he'd never play again.
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  • But one year later, after the close
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  • of the 1969 season, and having made a full recovery,
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  • Gale Sayers stood at the banquet of the New York Chapter
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  • of Professional Football Writers to accept
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  • the George S. Halas Award
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  • as the Most Courageous Player in Pro Football.
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  • Sayers and Piccolo had planned with their wives to sit together
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  • at the banquet, but instead, Brian Piccolo
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  • was confined to his bed at home.
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  • He wasn't fighting with a football injury.
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  • He was battling cancer.
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  • And that night, Gale Sayers accepted
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  • the George S. Halas Award,
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  • but he accepted it for Brian Piccolo.
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  • As he stood to receive his trophy,
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  • here's what he said: "You flatter me
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  • by giving me this award, but I tell you here and now
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  • that I accept it for Brian Piccolo.
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  • Brian Piccolo is the man of courage
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  • who should receive the George S. Halas Award.
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  • It is mine tonight.
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  • It is Brian Piccolo's tomorrow.
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  • I love Brian Piccolo, and like all of you
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  • to love him, too.
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  • Tonight, when you hit your knees,
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  • please ask God to love Brian Piccolo."
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  • I remember that speech, and I remember it did to me
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  • then what it's about to do to me right now.
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  • "I love Brian Piccolo."
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  • For some reason, those reasons sound strange
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  • coming from a professional athlete.
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  • In our culture, grown men do not
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  • usually express their affection so openly.
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  • But before us now is a letter that is filled
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  • with expressions of love.
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  • As we read this brief letter from Paul
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  • to his friends in Philippi, we are immediately struck
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  • by the eloquent words he used to describe
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  • the deep feelings of attachment he had for all of them.
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  • Dr. John Townsend explains in modern terms the pain
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  • that Paul was feeling.
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  • He said, "The reason is found in the law of entropy,
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  • or the second law of thermodynamics.
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  • This law of physics states that things that are isolated
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  • move toward deterioration.
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  • Entropy operates in the spiritual world as well,"
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  • said Townsend.
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  • "Whatever is cut off tends toward deterioration.
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  • That's why the ultimate punishment, hell,
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  • is not defined by loss of consciousness or annihilation,
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  • but by its utter and complete separation from the love of God.
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  • Jesus's sacrifice for us involved his separation
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  • from the Father when he cried on the cross,
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  • "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
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  • In that moment, the infinite Son of God
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  • felt the awful separation of hell
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  • for each and every one of us.
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  • God created us for fellowship.
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  • He created us for relationship.
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  • And Paul's relationship with these intimate friends
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  • had been interrupted because of his imprisonment.
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  • But his love for them had not gone away.
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  • In fact, his opening remarks in this letter are devoted
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  • to a detailed expression of his love for them
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  • and the prayer that their love for him would grow,
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  • and that they would continue to grow
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  • in their love for each other.
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  • As Paul communicates his feelings for the Philippians,
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  • he touches on many of the prerequisites
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  • for loving relationships in a local church.
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  • And as he concluded his opening remarks,
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  • he launched into a prayer for the growth and maturity
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  • of these associates for whom he cared so deeply.
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  • So, in these next few moments, let me take you
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  • through these 11 verses.
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  • Let's begin, first of all, with humility,
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  • the attitude of love.
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  • Philippians 1:1 begins like this:
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  • "Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ."
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  • We can all do well to remember that God did not save us
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  • to become sensations.
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  • God saved us to be servants.
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  • So, as you read this letter, you're going to discover
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  • that humble service is a dominant theme.
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  • Besides Paul and Timothy, there's Epaphroditus.
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  • All of them are held up as examples of what it means
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  • to live your life in serving others.
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  • And it is Jesus Christ in the 2nd chapter of this book who
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  • is given to us as the ultimate example of what a servant is:
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  • "He humbled himself and became obedient unto death."
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  • That's what the Scripture says.
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  • Humility is the attitude of love.
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  • "Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ.
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  • Unity, however, is the atmosphere of love.
  • 00:08:28.140 --> 00:08:31.060
  • Interesting, in the 1st and 2nd verses:
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  • "To all the saints in Christ Jesus
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  • who are in Philippi, with the bishops
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  • and the deacons: Grace to you and peace
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  • from our God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
  • 00:08:43.080 --> 00:08:47.160
  • Whenever you see the word "saints" in the Bible,
  • 00:08:47.170 --> 00:08:49.270
  • it will almost always be in the plural.
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  • It hardly ever appears in the singular.
  • 00:08:53.170 --> 00:08:56.080
  • In fact, I cannot cite one place that I have found
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  • where it does appear in the singular
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  • in reference to the body of Christ.
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  • This is a gentle reminder to us that saints
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  • are not meant for isolation.
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  • They are meant for community.
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  • And where there is community, the leaders are always
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  • the servants and the followers are the saints.
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  • Have you noticed how Paul addresses them?
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  • He says to them, "Grace and peace."
  • 00:09:22.220 --> 00:09:26.060
  • Did you know that in the Bible, those two words
  • 00:09:26.070 --> 00:09:28.190
  • are never reversed?
  • 00:09:28.200 --> 00:09:30.200
  • You will never read in any of the letters
  • 00:09:30.210 --> 00:09:32.160
  • in the New Testament, "Peace and grace to you."
  • 00:09:32.170 --> 00:09:34.260
  • One reason: grace always precedes peace.
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  • You can't have peace if you don't have grace.
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  • You become men and women of peace when you become men
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  • and women of grace.
  • 00:09:46.060 --> 00:09:48.130
  • So, even in that little salutation,
  • 00:09:48.140 --> 00:09:51.270
  • "Grace and peace," we learn so much.
  • 00:09:51.280 --> 00:09:55.170
  • Now, we've looked at the attitude of love
  • 00:09:55.180 --> 00:09:59.160
  • and the atmosphere of love.
  • 00:09:59.170 --> 00:10:01.140
  • Let me take you a little bit further into this text,
  • 00:10:01.150 --> 00:10:04.110
  • and let's talk about diversity, the assignment of love.
  • 00:10:04.120 --> 00:10:08.090
  • And most people that I know of when they come to church
  • 00:10:08.100 --> 00:10:11.000
  • kinda gravitate to the people that they feel comfortable with.
  • 00:10:11.010 --> 00:10:15.050
  • We have an affinity for some people.
  • 00:10:15.060 --> 00:10:17.200
  • Let's face it.
  • 00:10:17.210 --> 00:10:19.180
  • We get along with some people better than we do with others,
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  • even in the body of Christ.
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  • That's pretty normal.
  • 00:10:23.240 --> 00:10:25.160
  • But when the assignment is to love someone who is different,
  • 00:10:25.170 --> 00:10:29.180
  • that can be a challenge.
  • 00:10:29.190 --> 00:10:31.230
  • Have you ever known anybody and you know
  • 00:10:31.240 --> 00:10:34.090
  • you're supposed to love 'em, and you keep prayin'
  • 00:10:34.100 --> 00:10:38.000
  • that God'll help you figure out how to love 'em?
  • 00:10:38.010 --> 00:10:40.220
  • There's an old little phrase that goes like this:
  • 00:10:40.230 --> 00:10:42.170
  • "To love the whole world for me is no chore.
  • 00:10:42.180 --> 00:10:45.220
  • My only real problem is the guy next door."
  • 00:10:45.230 --> 00:10:49.190
  • You know, we can love in general, can't we?
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  • We all know how to do that.
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  • Do you love our church? Oh, we love our church.
  • 00:10:53.010 --> 00:10:56.180
  • But I can probably--you probably could tell me a couple of people
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  • in our church that you love 'em because you know
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  • God tells you to, but you don't like 'em.
  • 00:11:03.190 --> 00:11:08.190
  • In the church in Philippi, there was
  • 00:11:08.200 --> 00:11:11.020
  • an incredible diversity.
  • 00:11:11.030 --> 00:11:12.270
  • There was a woman in this church named Lydia.
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  • She was a businesswoman who sold purple cloth
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  • and made so much money, she was able to help
  • 00:11:19.130 --> 00:11:21.200
  • in the establishment of the church.
  • 00:11:21.210 --> 00:11:23.120
  • And many scholars believe the church in Philippi
  • 00:11:23.130 --> 00:11:25.260
  • actually met in her home for a long period of time.
  • 00:11:25.270 --> 00:11:29.120
  • In that church, there was a jailer.
  • 00:11:29.130 --> 00:11:31.170
  • He would've committed suicide if it had not been for Paul.
  • 00:11:31.180 --> 00:11:35.070
  • In that church was a slave girl who had been delivered
  • 00:11:35.080 --> 00:11:38.110
  • from a demon.
  • 00:11:38.120 --> 00:11:39.280
  • And you can go on and read the letter.
  • 00:11:39.290 --> 00:11:42.030
  • And if we knew everything that was going on in that church,
  • 00:11:42.040 --> 00:11:44.110
  • we would know that church was filled with a whole lot
  • 00:11:44.120 --> 00:11:46.090
  • of people who were so different from each other,
  • 00:11:46.100 --> 00:11:49.020
  • but they had unity in their diversity.
  • 00:11:49.030 --> 00:11:52.270
  • And the unity we have in diversity is because,
  • 00:11:52.280 --> 00:11:55.050
  • as Christians, we all have the same spiritual DNA,
  • 00:11:55.060 --> 00:11:59.010
  • don't we?
  • 00:11:59.020 --> 00:12:00.130
  • We have the DNA of Jesus Christ in our hearts.
  • 00:12:00.140 --> 00:12:03.040
  • I know that some of you have a hard time with that.
  • 00:12:03.050 --> 00:12:05.230
  • I read this: "If everybody were just like me,
  • 00:12:05.240 --> 00:12:08.280
  • the world would sure be a better place to be.
  • 00:12:08.290 --> 00:12:12.130
  • There'd be no murder, for I'm not violent.
  • 00:12:12.140 --> 00:12:14.210
  • No stealing, for I'm not a thief.
  • 00:12:14.220 --> 00:12:17.180
  • No adultery, I'm happily wed.
  • 00:12:17.190 --> 00:12:20.000
  • No atheism, I believe in God.
  • 00:12:20.010 --> 00:12:22.080
  • No ignorance, I've been to school.
  • 00:12:22.090 --> 00:12:24.040
  • If only the world was more like me,
  • 00:12:24.050 --> 00:12:27.030
  • surely it would be a better place to be.
  • 00:12:27.040 --> 00:12:30.240
  • Or would it?
  • 00:12:30.250 --> 00:12:33.010
  • For if everybody was just like me,
  • 00:12:33.020 --> 00:12:35.030
  • there would be no merry-go-rounds.
  • 00:12:35.040 --> 00:12:36.210
  • I get dizzy.
  • 00:12:36.220 --> 00:12:38.260
  • There'd be no clowns. I'm self-conscious.
  • 00:12:38.270 --> 00:12:42.090
  • No doctors, I hate blood.
  • 00:12:42.100 --> 00:12:44.280
  • No painters, I'm color blind."
  • 00:12:44.290 --> 00:12:46.260
  • I really am.
  • 00:12:46.270 --> 00:12:50.080
  • "No mechanics, I can't fix anything."
  • 00:12:50.090 --> 00:12:52.050
  • This is written about me.
  • 00:12:52.060 --> 00:12:55.200
  • "No elevator operators, I'm claustrophobic.
  • 00:12:55.210 --> 00:12:58.280
  • No home-run kings, I can't hit a curveball.
  • 00:12:58.290 --> 00:13:02.240
  • No balloon riders, I'm afraid of heights.
  • 00:13:02.250 --> 00:13:05.210
  • Come to think of it, if the world was just like me,
  • 00:13:05.220 --> 00:13:09.230
  • it would be an awfully boring place to be."
  • 00:13:09.240 --> 00:13:14.080
  • Isn't it true that in the church of Jesus Christ
  • 00:13:14.090 --> 00:13:16.210
  • we have this beautiful thing that happens?
  • 00:13:16.220 --> 00:13:19.080
  • We come from all these different backgrounds,
  • 00:13:19.090 --> 00:13:21.100
  • even from different religious backgrounds.
  • 00:13:21.110 --> 00:13:24.030
  • When church members join the church,
  • 00:13:24.040 --> 00:13:26.160
  • they join the church not their church.
  • 00:13:26.170 --> 00:13:29.080
  • We are all part of the body of Christ,
  • 00:13:29.090 --> 00:13:31.150
  • and our unity is not about our diversity.
  • 00:13:31.160 --> 00:13:34.080
  • Our unity is in Jesus Christ, and it encompasses
  • 00:13:34.090 --> 00:13:37.270
  • the diversity of all of us.
  • 00:13:37.280 --> 00:13:40.170
  • Like snowflakes that God creates,
  • 00:13:40.180 --> 00:13:43.110
  • we are all different.
  • 00:13:43.120 --> 00:13:46.050
  • And yet, it is a beautiful thing
  • 00:13:46.060 --> 00:13:48.070
  • to see the people of God in unity.
  • 00:13:48.080 --> 00:13:53.080
  • And then, intimacy is the action of love.
  • 00:13:53.090 --> 00:13:55.170
  • Look at verses 3 and 4, and 7 and 8.
  • 00:13:55.180 --> 00:13:58.030
  • Here is Paul speaking to his beloved Philippians:
  • 00:13:59.080 --> 00:14:03.290
  • "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
  • 00:14:04.000 --> 00:14:09.270
  • always in every prayer of mine making request for you all
  • 00:14:09.280 --> 00:14:14.070
  • with joy."
  • 00:14:14.080 --> 00:14:16.150
  • And then Paul says, "Just as it is right for me
  • 00:14:16.160 --> 00:14:19.100
  • to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart,
  • 00:14:19.110 --> 00:14:23.270
  • inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense
  • 00:14:23.280 --> 00:14:28.040
  • and confirmation of the gospel, you all are fellowshippers
  • 00:14:28.050 --> 00:14:32.170
  • with me in grace.
  • 00:14:32.180 --> 00:14:35.080
  • For God is my witness," Paul wrote,
  • 00:14:35.090 --> 00:14:38.090
  • "how greatly I long after you all in the fellowship
  • 00:14:38.100 --> 00:14:42.230
  • or affection of Jesus Christ."
  • 00:14:42.240 --> 00:14:46.060
  • Now, it's one thing for us to love someone.
  • 00:14:46.070 --> 00:14:50.150
  • It is quite another to express that love.
  • 00:14:50.160 --> 00:14:53.210
  • We were surprised to learn that Gale Sayers loved Brian Piccolo
  • 00:14:53.220 --> 00:14:58.290
  • enough to say it out loud in front of a public meeting.
  • 00:14:59.000 --> 00:15:03.080
  • And if we are honest, we have to admit that unexpressed love
  • 00:15:03.090 --> 00:15:06.290
  • is useless to us because the only kind of love
  • 00:15:07.000 --> 00:15:10.260
  • we can use is the love that we feel.
  • 00:15:10.270 --> 00:15:13.200
  • And if we never tell anybody that we love them,
  • 00:15:13.210 --> 00:15:18.080
  • we run the risk of them never knowing that it's true.
  • 00:15:18.090 --> 00:15:22.210
  • There's a commercial on television for a hearing aid,
  • 00:15:22.220 --> 00:15:25.200
  • and this son tells his dad, "I love you."
  • 00:15:25.210 --> 00:15:29.270
  • And his dad doesn't hear it.
  • 00:15:29.280 --> 00:15:32.080
  • And you can tell by the look on his father's face that
  • 00:15:32.090 --> 00:15:34.180
  • he's not getting the message.
  • 00:15:34.190 --> 00:15:37.190
  • And then he goes to this miracle hearing place and he gets these
  • 00:15:37.200 --> 00:15:40.260
  • little implants in his ear, and the next time his son says,
  • 00:15:40.270 --> 00:15:44.240
  • "I love you, Dad," and he doesn't respond.
  • 00:15:44.250 --> 00:15:48.240
  • And the son says again, "I love you, Dad."
  • 00:15:48.250 --> 00:15:51.030
  • He said, "I heard you the first time,
  • 00:15:51.040 --> 00:15:52.160
  • but I just wanted to hear it twice."
  • 00:15:52.170 --> 00:15:55.240
  • And don't we all feel that way?
  • 00:15:55.250 --> 00:15:58.040
  • If somebody loves you, they need to tell you.
  • 00:15:58.050 --> 00:16:02.080
  • And Paul does not mince any words as he talks
  • 00:16:02.090 --> 00:16:05.080
  • to the Philippians.
  • 00:16:05.090 --> 00:16:07.010
  • He talks to them about his love for them.
  • 00:16:07.020 --> 00:16:09.140
  • And one of the greatest loves that Paul has for all of
  • 00:16:09.150 --> 00:16:12.180
  • the churches to which he wrote was his gratitude for them.
  • 00:16:12.190 --> 00:16:17.070
  • He just has this spirit of gratitude in his heart.
  • 00:16:17.080 --> 00:16:20.050
  • I wanna run you through these verses real quickly
  • 00:16:20.060 --> 00:16:23.020
  • so you get the impact I got when I read them,
  • 00:16:23.030 --> 00:16:25.270
  • but watch the screen and listen.
  • 00:16:25.280 --> 00:16:28.180
  • To the Corinthians he wrote: "I thank my God
  • 00:16:28.190 --> 00:16:31.120
  • always concerning you."
  • 00:16:31.130 --> 00:16:33.130
  • To the Ephesians he wrote: "I do not cease to give thanks
  • 00:16:33.140 --> 00:16:36.150
  • for you, making mention of you in my prayers."
  • 00:16:36.160 --> 00:16:39.290
  • To the Colossians he wrote: "We give thanks to God,
  • 00:16:40.000 --> 00:16:42.220
  • praying always for you."
  • 00:16:42.230 --> 00:16:45.030
  • To the Thessalonians he wrote: "We give thanks to God always
  • 00:16:45.040 --> 00:16:47.150
  • for you all, making mention of you in our prayers."
  • 00:16:47.160 --> 00:16:50.220
  • To his friend Timothy he wrote: "I thank God as without ceasing
  • 00:16:50.230 --> 00:16:54.120
  • I remember you in my prayers."
  • 00:16:54.130 --> 00:16:57.080
  • And to Philemon he wrote: "I thank my God,
  • 00:16:57.090 --> 00:16:59.160
  • making mention of you in my prayers."
  • 00:16:59.170 --> 00:17:03.230
  • Somebody once told me, "If you're full of gratitude,
  • 00:17:03.240 --> 00:17:06.110
  • you can't be angry at anybody."
  • 00:17:06.120 --> 00:17:09.230
  • And then we come to security, the affirmation of love.
  • 00:17:09.240 --> 00:17:13.100
  • In verse 3 and in verses 5 through 7 we read:
  • 00:17:13.110 --> 00:17:17.010
  • "I thank my God for your fellowship
  • 00:17:17.020 --> 00:17:19.120
  • in the gospel from the first day until now,
  • 00:17:19.130 --> 00:17:22.280
  • being confident of the very thing,
  • 00:17:22.290 --> 00:17:24.180
  • that he who has begun a good work in you
  • 00:17:24.190 --> 00:17:26.090
  • will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
  • 00:17:26.100 --> 00:17:29.150
  • just as it is right for me to think this of you all,
  • 00:17:29.160 --> 00:17:32.030
  • because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both
  • 00:17:32.040 --> 00:17:34.260
  • in my chains and in the defense and confirmation
  • 00:17:34.270 --> 00:17:37.180
  • of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace."
  • 00:17:37.190 --> 00:17:43.010
  • As Paul expressed his love for the believers in Philippi,
  • 00:17:43.020 --> 00:17:45.220
  • he remembered the long and consistent care
  • 00:17:45.230 --> 00:17:49.130
  • they had provided for him.
  • 00:17:49.140 --> 00:17:51.160
  • He described that care as, "fellowship in the gospel."
  • 00:17:51.170 --> 00:17:55.180
  • And then he uses three points of time to sorta set
  • 00:17:55.190 --> 00:18:00.140
  • all this in context.
  • 00:18:00.150 --> 00:18:03.060
  • He said, "From the first day."
  • 00:18:03.070 --> 00:18:06.130
  • The first day was the day Paul walked in
  • 00:18:06.140 --> 00:18:08.130
  • to that little village, met the woman at the water,
  • 00:18:08.140 --> 00:18:11.170
  • and the little church began.
  • 00:18:11.180 --> 00:18:13.280
  • He said, "From the first day until now."
  • 00:18:13.290 --> 00:18:16.290
  • Now he's talking about this church that had grown
  • 00:18:17.000 --> 00:18:19.190
  • to maturity and had actually even flourished
  • 00:18:19.200 --> 00:18:22.090
  • while Paul was in prison.
  • 00:18:22.100 --> 00:18:24.120
  • And then he adds the third reference to time.
  • 00:18:24.130 --> 00:18:27.160
  • "From the first day until now."
  • 00:18:27.170 --> 00:18:29.250
  • And in the next verse he says, "Until the day of Jesus Christ."
  • 00:18:29.260 --> 00:18:34.110
  • Paul said that the church in Philippi had started right,
  • 00:18:34.120 --> 00:18:41.100
  • it had continued right, and by the grace of God
  • 00:18:41.110 --> 00:18:44.120
  • it was going to finish right.
  • 00:18:44.130 --> 00:18:47.280
  • If Jesus Christ should tarry in his coming for, let's say,
  • 00:18:47.290 --> 00:18:51.100
  • another 50 years or 100 years-- if we put 100 in that equation,
  • 00:18:51.110 --> 00:18:56.080
  • none of us'll be here.
  • 00:18:56.090 --> 00:18:59.200
  • But wouldn't it be something to see this church growing
  • 00:18:59.210 --> 00:19:02.290
  • and flourishing and reaching its generation
  • 00:19:03.000 --> 00:19:05.260
  • in even a greater way than it is now?
  • 00:19:05.270 --> 00:19:08.150
  • Because it started right, it continued right,
  • 00:19:08.160 --> 00:19:11.160
  • and it's goal is to finish right.
  • 00:19:11.170 --> 00:19:14.030
  • How many of you know that is a rare thing in our world today?
  • 00:19:14.040 --> 00:19:17.120
  • I wanna tell you that the affirmation of love
  • 00:19:17.130 --> 00:19:20.260
  • from Paul to this church is an example for all of us.
  • 00:19:20.270 --> 00:19:26.050
  • Let me finish with what we'll call the maturity of love,
  • 00:19:26.060 --> 00:19:29.100
  • the ambition of love.
  • 00:19:29.110 --> 00:19:31.180
  • Paul prays this prayer.
  • 00:19:31.190 --> 00:19:34.110
  • He says, "And this I pray, that your love may abound still
  • 00:19:34.120 --> 00:19:38.040
  • more and more in kindness and knowledge and
  • 00:19:38.050 --> 00:19:41.010
  • in all discernment, that you may approve the things
  • 00:19:41.020 --> 00:19:44.070
  • that are excellent, that may be sincere
  • 00:19:44.080 --> 00:19:47.010
  • and without reproach till the day of Christ."
  • 00:19:47.020 --> 00:19:51.260
  • When Paul used the word to, "abound in love,"
  • 00:19:51.270 --> 00:19:54.280
  • he uses a word that is a beautiful picture.
  • 00:19:54.290 --> 00:19:57.150
  • It's a picture of a little bucket sitting under a powerful
  • 00:19:57.160 --> 00:20:01.170
  • waterfall, and the water is going in the bucket,
  • 00:20:01.180 --> 00:20:05.190
  • but most of it's just flowing all around the bucket
  • 00:20:05.200 --> 00:20:08.150
  • 'cause the bucket's too small to contain the flow
  • 00:20:08.160 --> 00:20:11.190
  • from the waterfall.
  • 00:20:11.200 --> 00:20:15.030
  • Paul uses that expression and he says,
  • 00:20:15.040 --> 00:20:17.070
  • "I want your love for one another to be like the waterfall
  • 00:20:17.080 --> 00:20:20.190
  • that abounds, that the love is everywhere.
  • 00:20:20.200 --> 00:20:24.070
  • Don't be happy with where you are
  • 00:20:24.080 --> 00:20:26.000
  • in your current relationships.
  • 00:20:26.010 --> 00:20:27.230
  • I want your relationship of love to grow more and more."
  • 00:20:27.240 --> 00:20:32.250
  • And then he uses some defining words to describe
  • 00:20:32.260 --> 00:20:36.110
  • how this is to happen.
  • 00:20:36.120 --> 00:20:38.250
  • This growth and spiritual devotion is the love,
  • 00:20:38.260 --> 00:20:42.040
  • the agape love that we have for God that is translated
  • 00:20:42.050 --> 00:20:45.200
  • into the love we have for each other.
  • 00:20:45.210 --> 00:20:47.200
  • "Agape" love is a, "love which loves without
  • 00:20:47.210 --> 00:20:50.080
  • any desire or recognition of love being returned."
  • 00:20:50.090 --> 00:20:55.270
  • It's a selfless love.
  • 00:20:55.280 --> 00:20:57.130
  • It's a love that doesn't love
  • 00:20:57.140 --> 00:20:58.260
  • because of what it returns to you.
  • 00:20:58.270 --> 00:21:01.120
  • It's a love that is from God.
  • 00:21:01.130 --> 00:21:04.040
  • And then he talks about growth and spiritual discernment.
  • 00:21:04.050 --> 00:21:07.060
  • He said, "That you may approve the things that are excellent."
  • 00:21:07.070 --> 00:21:10.000
  • Most scholars translate that little phrase,
  • 00:21:10.010 --> 00:21:13.070
  • "Things that are different."
  • 00:21:13.080 --> 00:21:15.180
  • Paul says, "I want your love to be the focus of your life
  • 00:21:15.190 --> 00:21:19.120
  • in such a way that you will know
  • 00:21:19.130 --> 00:21:21.230
  • how to make difficult decisions."
  • 00:21:21.240 --> 00:21:25.010
  • Growth in spiritual devotion, growth in spiritual discernment,
  • 00:21:25.020 --> 00:21:30.140
  • and growth in spiritual development.
  • 00:21:30.150 --> 00:21:33.240
  • He said, "That you may be sincere
  • 00:21:33.250 --> 00:21:35.270
  • and without offense until the day of Christ."
  • 00:21:35.280 --> 00:21:41.280
  • Sincerity speaks of an absence of hypocrisy.
  • 00:21:41.290 --> 00:21:46.210
  • Sincerity is bein' who you are all the time,
  • 00:21:46.220 --> 00:21:49.060
  • wherever you are, no matter who you're with.
  • 00:21:49.070 --> 00:21:51.270
  • It means you don't have two selves.
  • 00:21:51.280 --> 00:21:55.030
  • You just have one.
  • 00:21:55.040 --> 00:21:57.020
  • And then the Scripture says we're to be,
  • 00:21:57.030 --> 00:21:58.190
  • "Sincere and without offense."
  • 00:21:58.200 --> 00:22:02.070
  • That refers to the ever-present danger of offending somebody
  • 00:22:02.080 --> 00:22:06.180
  • who is a follower of Christ.
  • 00:22:06.190 --> 00:22:08.200
  • The word here in the Greek language
  • 00:22:08.210 --> 00:22:10.150
  • is the word "skandalon."
  • 00:22:10.160 --> 00:22:12.150
  • It's from the word which we get "scandal"
  • 00:22:12.160 --> 00:22:15.240
  • in the English language.
  • 00:22:15.250 --> 00:22:17.210
  • And Paul's passion was that these believers would live so
  • 00:22:17.220 --> 00:22:21.140
  • that no one would ever stumble because of their behavior.
  • 00:22:21.150 --> 00:22:25.180
  • He wanted them to grow in spiritual development.
  • 00:22:25.190 --> 00:22:30.230
  • And the final part of his prayer as we end this early section
  • 00:22:30.240 --> 00:22:34.220
  • of Philippians is for their growth in spiritual deportment.
  • 00:22:34.230 --> 00:22:39.000
  • It reads like this in verse 11: "Being filled with the fruits
  • 00:22:39.010 --> 00:22:42.060
  • of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ,
  • 00:22:42.070 --> 00:22:45.250
  • to the glory and praise of God."
  • 00:22:45.260 --> 00:22:49.270
  • Now, some of you who are as old as I am will remember this.
  • 00:22:49.280 --> 00:22:53.140
  • But when I was going to school as a young man,
  • 00:22:53.150 --> 00:22:55.280
  • we had two little sections on our report card.
  • 00:22:55.290 --> 00:22:59.290
  • One section of the report card was for your grades,
  • 00:23:00.020 --> 00:23:04.060
  • but there was another section that was called "deportment,"
  • 00:23:04.070 --> 00:23:08.170
  • your deportment grade.
  • 00:23:08.180 --> 00:23:11.070
  • And I learned early on, I could get straight A's,
  • 00:23:11.080 --> 00:23:14.050
  • but if I messed up on the deportment grade,
  • 00:23:14.060 --> 00:23:16.030
  • I was in big trouble when I got home.
  • 00:23:16.040 --> 00:23:18.240
  • What is deportment?
  • 00:23:18.250 --> 00:23:20.040
  • Well, it's how you deport yourself.
  • 00:23:20.050 --> 00:23:22.130
  • It's how you handle yourself.
  • 00:23:22.140 --> 00:23:24.070
  • It's how you live.
  • 00:23:24.080 --> 00:23:25.240
  • It's what you do.
  • 00:23:25.250 --> 00:23:27.040
  • And so, in those early grade cards--
  • 00:23:27.050 --> 00:23:28.260
  • anybody remember those, those early grade cards?
  • 00:23:28.270 --> 00:23:31.100
  • You got a grade for your academic doings,
  • 00:23:31.110 --> 00:23:33.220
  • and you got a grade for your deportment.
  • 00:23:33.230 --> 00:23:36.060
  • My parents were usually more concerned about deportment
  • 00:23:36.070 --> 00:23:40.080
  • than they were about academics because the grade
  • 00:23:40.090 --> 00:23:43.190
  • on deportment told them if I was behaving myself in class.
  • 00:23:43.200 --> 00:23:48.080
  • And Paul wanted the believes in Philippi to get high marks
  • 00:23:48.090 --> 00:23:51.040
  • in deportment.
  • 00:23:51.050 --> 00:23:52.230
  • In fact, he prayed that their hearts and their lives
  • 00:23:52.240 --> 00:23:55.220
  • would produce a rich spiritual harvest.
  • 00:23:55.230 --> 00:23:59.060
  • If their roots were in Christ Jesus,
  • 00:23:59.070 --> 00:24:01.120
  • then the harvest would be the fruit of righteousness.
  • 00:24:01.130 --> 00:24:04.050
  • If "godly love" is defined as, "seeking the best interest
  • 00:24:04.060 --> 00:24:07.110
  • of the one loved," then Paul's love
  • 00:24:07.120 --> 00:24:09.170
  • for the Philippians certainly qualifies.
  • 00:24:09.180 --> 00:24:11.240
  • How blessed they were to be among his disciples
  • 00:24:11.250 --> 00:24:15.110
  • and to receive this incredible letter we know as Philippians.
  • 00:24:15.120 --> 00:24:20.110
  • As wonderful as the introduction is,
  • 00:24:20.120 --> 00:24:22.110
  • it's only the beginning.
  • 00:24:22.120 --> 00:24:24.110
  • Paul said that the love he had for the Philippians and the love
  • 00:24:24.120 --> 00:24:29.170
  • they had for him had totally transformed everything
  • 00:24:29.180 --> 00:24:35.160
  • so that even in prison, he could write a letter of joy.
  • 00:24:35.170 --> 00:24:42.290
  • And that kind of joy that survives the worst that life
  • 00:24:43.000 --> 00:24:48.190
  • can throw at us is the goal of the Christian life.
  • 00:24:48.200 --> 00:24:53.070
  • Jesus said he wants us to have his joy,
  • 00:24:53.080 --> 00:24:57.130
  • and that joy is at our grasp if we will walk
  • 00:24:57.140 --> 00:25:03.080
  • in the Spirit and in faith.
  • 00:25:03.090 --> 00:25:05.040
  • male announcer: Dr. Jeremiah will return in a moment
  • 00:25:06.010 --> 00:25:08.030
  • to close today's program, right after this.
  • 00:25:08.040 --> 00:25:10.140
  • female announcer: Thank you for watching "Turning Point."
  • 00:25:12.210 --> 00:25:14.160
  • When you support this program with a gift of any amount,
  • 00:25:14.170 --> 00:25:17.160
  • Dr. Jeremiah would like to send you
  • 00:25:17.170 --> 00:25:19.260
  • in appreciation his book, "Count it All Joy."
  • 00:25:19.270 --> 00:25:23.110
  • In its pages you'll discover practical steps about how
  • 00:25:23.120 --> 00:25:26.180
  • to claim a happiness that circumstances cannot change.
  • 00:25:26.190 --> 00:25:30.150
  • And if you generously give $60 or more,
  • 00:25:30.160 --> 00:25:33.020
  • you will receive Dr. Jeremiah's comprehensive
  • 00:25:33.030 --> 00:25:36.020
  • "Count it All Joy" set, which includes his book,
  • 00:25:36.030 --> 00:25:39.240
  • his complete newly-preached 12-message teaching series
  • 00:25:39.250 --> 00:25:43.150
  • on your choice of CD or DVD, and a correlating study guide.
  • 00:25:43.160 --> 00:25:49.100
  • Thank you for watching and supporting the ministry
  • 00:25:49.110 --> 00:25:51.140
  • of "Turning Point."
  • 00:25:51.150 --> 00:25:52.290
  • Call or go online to request these resources today.
  • 00:25:53.000 --> 00:25:56.050
  • male announcer: And now, with one last word
  • 00:25:59.080 --> 00:26:00.280
  • for today's program, here is Dr. Jeremiah.
  • 00:26:00.290 --> 00:26:03.190
  • Dr. Jeremiah: Relationships are the building blocks
  • 00:26:04.210 --> 00:26:07.020
  • of communities.
  • 00:26:07.030 --> 00:26:09.000
  • The stronger our relationships are with one another,
  • 00:26:09.010 --> 00:26:11.170
  • the stronger our communities.
  • 00:26:11.180 --> 00:26:14.130
  • But there is one relationship that is the cornerstone
  • 00:26:15.190 --> 00:26:19.140
  • of all godly communities, and that is our relationship
  • 00:26:19.150 --> 00:26:23.180
  • with Jesus Christ.
  • 00:26:23.190 --> 00:26:25.260
  • Is your life built on a relationship with Christ?
  • 00:26:25.270 --> 00:26:30.030
  • Is he the foundation of all the other relationships
  • 00:26:30.040 --> 00:26:33.060
  • in your life?
  • 00:26:33.070 --> 00:26:35.120
  • To answer any questions you may have
  • 00:26:35.130 --> 00:26:37.120
  • about beginning a personal relationship with Christ,
  • 00:26:37.130 --> 00:26:41.000
  • I hope you will allow me to send you two free gifts from,
  • 00:26:41.010 --> 00:26:45.170
  • "Turning Point."
  • 00:26:45.180 --> 00:26:47.030
  • One is our booklet called, "Your Greatest Turning Point"
  • 00:26:47.040 --> 00:26:50.140
  • and the other is our monthly devotional magazine called,
  • 00:26:50.150 --> 00:26:53.140
  • "Turning Points."
  • 00:26:53.150 --> 00:26:55.080
  • We will gladly send both these resources to you
  • 00:26:55.090 --> 00:26:58.050
  • free of charge if you will contact us here
  • 00:26:58.060 --> 00:27:01.030
  • at, "Turning Point" today.
  • 00:27:01.040 --> 00:27:03.020
  • male announcer: Next time on "Turning Point":
  • 00:27:04.210 --> 00:27:06.060
  • Dr. Jeremiah: We can never allow our adversity
  • 00:27:07.060 --> 00:27:09.190
  • to define who we are.
  • 00:27:09.200 --> 00:27:11.130
  • We are who we are.
  • 00:27:11.140 --> 00:27:12.280
  • Adversity is just a footnote in our life journey.
  • 00:27:12.290 --> 00:27:17.140
  • male announcer: Thank you for being with us today.
  • 00:27:17.290 --> 00:27:19.230
  • Join us next time for Dr. Jeremiah's message,
  • 00:27:19.240 --> 00:27:22.180
  • "The Joy of Adversity"
  • 00:27:22.190 --> 00:27:25.030
  • here on "Turning Point."
  • 00:27:25.040 --> 00:27:26.190