Sunday recap for May 22, 2010

We finished our Series Essential Philippians today in West OC. Pastor Berry McCready preached at the high school today. Some of the West OC folks went to the high school at 8:30 to hear him, so I have already heard how great his message was.

This past week I did an interview with a reporter from a local paper this week (I’ll let you know when it’s printed). They sent a photographer to take pictures today. So, for the first 5 minutes of my sermon, I had a photographer standing in front of the stage taking pictures of me. I’m quite confident no one heard my introduction because it was a TERRIBLE distraction.  I was assured that they would be discreet and apparently I have a different understanding of what that means.

Today, we looked at Philippians 4 and talked about the Essential truth that the Gospel brings peace. It brings peace primarily between us and God.  Because we have sinned, we are offensive to God and deserving of his wrath being poured out upon us. But, Jesus was our substitute and he took on God’s wrath in our place when he died on the cross. Because of this, we have peace with God. We no longer face his wrath, but now we have grace and peace through Christ.  The Gospel brings us eternal peace with God.

I also talked about three other ways the Gospel brings peace to us in our lives today. The Gospel brings peace to our relationships, our minds and emotions, and our circumstances.  I spent more time in my sermon talking about how the Gospel brings peace to our minds and emotions than the other two points.

We live in a time when so many people are on medication to stabilize their thoughts and feelings and there are certainly persons that require this type of medical attention, and in no way do I want to speak against that. But merely treating our emotional well-being medically is insufficient. Here in Philippians 4, Paul shows us how the Gospel applies to our minds and emotions.  Worry, anxiety and frustration are red flags that should send us running to Jesus to rest in his sovereignty, to rest in his forgiveness, and to rest in the fact that he controls everything so we don’t have to try to control it.  Our minds aren’t vacuums, we must think about something. Paul applies the Gospel to our thoughts here. This passage tells us what a healthy thought pattern is focused on. So many people look at life and are worried about something happening to them which will cause a domino effect throughout their lives and bring them to utter ruin. Even though it hasn’t happened yet, all they can think about is the potential turmoil or destruction in their life.  Even if utter devastation comes, what will you do? You cannot control it! Run to the Cross, Run to Jesus, don’t run away from him, run to him.  When you find yourself beginning or stuck in this type of thought pattern, we are to begin to think about the Gospel and all the things related to it in Philippians 4:8.

 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

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