Paul’s prayer of thanksgiving to God for the Philippians teaches us about Christian assurance; that no one who God redeems in Christ will fall away from Christ because they are kept in faith by God’s power. They may fall into temptation but cannot fall away from Christ and lose their salvation.
Sermon preached by Randy Warner
He is not too glorious to become a shepherd. He is not too powerful to care for the weak. His glory may be great, but his head is not swollen.
The joy of this season has its feet planted firmly on the ground, where beggars stand on street corners, hospitals beds are full, and families fight. We need a joy that goes down underneath all of the sorrows of this world, so that it can then lift us up into the heavens.
This Thursday, we’ll all gather around tables with friends and family to celebrate a supremely Christian feast. And it matters not that Thanksgiving as a national holiday isn’t commanded in the Scriptures. Christianity alone can account for and support the tradition. If there is no God, who is there to thank?
Why is it critical to pray for national leaders? Because national leaders represent the people. They stand in for the people. They lead the people. How they conduct themselves doesn’t simply reflect on the people; it actually takes the people somewhere.
Paul says our mission in life is to make the manifold wisdom of God known to spiritual authorities in the heavenly places. And how do we do that? “Wives, respect your husbands. Husbands, love your wives. Children, obey your parents. Parents, raise your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
For the next three weeks we’re preaching a series called Parenting Tune Up for two important reasons: First, because God has blessed our congregation with many new families with young children. We want to equip and encourage you parents in the role God has assigned you.
Here, at the end of the book, Solomon helps us think about aging. And the headline of his teaching is this: a wise person prepares for the end from the beginning. Life is short, so how can we make the most out of it?
God is the God of Fortune 500 companies and he is the God of cleaning the dryer lint. Joy in work isn’t calibrated towards the size of the work, but the size of the Lord who has called you to the task.
We live in a world of complexities and conundrums, so must resist falling into an “all or nothing” mentality. The kings of the Bible aren’t neatly divided between good and bad. It’s filled with great kings who are adulterers (David) and evil kings who bless the people of God (Cyrus).
As we seek to understand who God is, what this world is and what is our place in this world, Solomon warns of some practical barriers which impede our understanding. Surprisingly, the first potential barrier to understanding God is worship-if you are not worshipping rightly.
We ought to think of Ecclesiastes 2 as a series of highly sophisticated and calculated experiments. Solomon begins with the words, “I said in my heart, ‘Come now, I will test you…” Solomon wants to find meaning in life and he’s going about his quest in a thoughtful manner.
In his novel, When Nietzsche wept, Irvin Yalom writes, “Despair is the price one pays for self-awareness.” In other words, don’t look deeply into life. If you begin to think deeply about the world, wealth, work, and wisdom you’ll despair. And yet, God, through the author of Ecclesiastes spends 12 chapters forcing us to think deeply about all these things.