Feel like you’ve messed up too much to be joyful? In this sermon from Philippians 3:1-16, Pastor Mark tells how there’s far more joy in your future than in your past, no matter what you have or haven’t done.
Find Joy Even When You’ve Messed Up: Philippians 3:1-16: December 22
Remember to Rejoice
Philippians 3:1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.
- “Finally” but he’s not nearly done!
- “rejoice in the Lord” – you can’t get joy Amazon or Costco
- We forget to access the Lords joy (19X in 104 verses)
- Mindset Reset – the power of reminding
Religion Kills Rejoicing
Philippians 3:2 Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.3 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.
1. Dogs (they called others) 2. Evil doers (not righteous) 3. Mutilators
- Dogs – wild, filthy, loud, dangerous, only domesticated animal eat human corpse
- Galatians 5:15 “bite and devour”
- Paul was the most devoutly religious (their version of Jesus)
o Benjamin – only son born in promised land, most faithful tribe
o Hebrew of Hebrews – both parents Hebrew, knew Aramaic and Hebrew (OT)
- Paul was cheerless and dangerous – terrorizing terrorist
- A religious spirit turns anything into a religious zeal (politics, sports, work, cause)
- Act like God – I make a list & judge you
Jesus is Joy to the World
Philippians 3:7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
- “garbage” “dung” “sewer trash” “filth” “worthless trash” “dog dung” “refuse” “pile of waste” “turds”
- Religion is a steaming pile in the yard
- Good words for good things, bad words for bad things (e.g. choice/murder)
- God does not often use strong language, but does use it carefully & forcefully
- Lost – status, reputation, friends, family, safety, money, health
- God is righteous
- Created us righteous
- Sinned = unrighteous
- We desire to be righteous
- Not a religious issue. A human issue.
- Under every social/political/moral cause
Option #1 – Works Righteousness (Religious & Secular)
= All for short of God’s standard – perfection
= All we had in the profit column, moved to the loss column
Option #2 – Gift Righteousness by faith in Jesus works
My Works God’s Grace
It’s all about me It’s all about Jesus
What I do What God does
I make myself better God makes me new
I cannot be wrong or fail I can be wrong and fail
Weak people need grace All people need grace
Independent spirit Dependent spirit
Our tribe is superior Only Jesus is superior
I’m never sure I’m good enough I’m sure Jesus is good enough
Ends in cheerless pride or despair Ends in cheerful joy
There’s Far More Joy in Your Future than in Your Past
Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
- Get past any perfectionism (not perfect growing after 30 yrs w/Jesus)
- If you cannot fix it then flush it.
- You know you have healed when you can talk about the past & have moved on.
- To move forward, you need to leave some people and things behind.\
- Don’t look back (Lot’s wife, sprinter, horse w/cart will run til dead)
- The best is yet to come so believe by faith until you see by sight.
- Only God can create joy that is genuine, healthy, and unending.
- God has joy in your present and future that is bigger than your past mess ups