Central Christian Church
Joy; Servants, Saints and Leaders
Joy -- Rising Above My Circumstances. Paul wrote his letter to the church at Philippi from a Roman jail yet the book of Philippians is full of joy. Pastor Nathan leads us through an in-depth study of Philippians to discover Paul’s secret to find joy.
Locations & Times
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  • Central Christian Church
    204 S Broad St, Lampasas, TX 76550, USA
    Sunday 10:00 AM

Series Page

All resources for the series can be found on the series page.

http://www.ccclampasas.org/2017/07/joy/
Announcements for Aug 13
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Today Sommer Floyd will be leading worship
Board Meeting
Aug 19 Men’s Breakfast 8 AM at El Rodeo
Aug 20 IF: Table 6 PM

Sept 3 1st Sunday Collection for the Mission
Sept 10 Fall Kick-Off Sunday-- New Bible Study classes for all ages.
Sept 11 Patriot's Day Community Prayer Service
Paul begins his letter to the Philippians calling himself a servant. Paul is a doulos. A doulos is a slave, bondman, a servant. One who gives himself up to another's will those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing his cause among men. A faithful servant remains devoted to another to the disregard of one's own interests. The Christian life is one of humbling ourselves and allowing God to lift us up.
Jesus taught in Matthew 6 that God’s servant has but one task—to obey him (6:24); he depends on the Master to provide his needs (6:31–33). As one who has no rights, the servant joyously receives food and clothing and all the wonders of the natural world, as gifts from a Lord who is also his Father (6:26–33). Freed from bondage to money, he can enjoy the things that money can buy. Not so the slave of money: given the elusiveness and the vulnerability of his treasures, he is perpetually anxious (6:19–21, 31–32). He who rejects the true God for a false one (6:24) loses this world as well as the next.
Matthew 6:19-21, 24, 26-33 NIV

We also read about servanthood in the Old Testament. Isaiah 40–48 identifies the servant as a corporate group—Israel (compare Ezek 18; Jer 31:29–30)
Paul began his letter with a timeless truth. We are all servants of God. The Lord Almighty is not Santa Claus. We serve Yahweh; the King of Kings and Lord of Lords answers to no man and to no woman.
Richard Foster is a Quaker theologian. Foster is best known for his 1978 book Celebration of Discipline, which examines the inward disciplines of prayer, fasting, meditation, and study in the Christian life, the outward disciplines of simplicity, solitude, submission, and service, and the corporate disciplines of confession, worship, guidance, and celebration. It has sold over one million copies. It was named by Christianity Today as one of the top ten books of the twentieth century. In the Celebration of Discipline, Foster said the following about Christian service.

Self-righteous service comes through human effort. True service comes from a relationship with the Lord.

Self-righteous service is impressed with the "big deal." True service finds it almost impossible to distinguish the small from the large service.

Self-righteous service requires external rewards. True service rests contented in hiddenness.

Self-righteous service is highly concerned about results. True service is free of the need to calculate results.

Self-righteous service picks and chooses whom to serve. True service is indiscriminate in its ministry.

Self-righteous service is affected by moods and whims. True service ministers simply and faithfully because there is a need.

Self-righteous service is temporary. True service is a life-style.

Self-righteous service is without sensitivity. It insists on meeting the need even when to do so would be destructive. True service can withhold the service as freely as perform it.

Self-righteous service fractures community. True service, on the other hand, builds community
Timothy was with Paul when the Philippian church was founded (Acts 16:1 Acts 16:13; Acts 17:14). He had been there twice since (Acts 19:22; Acts 20:3).

The Apostle Paul wrote this letter to his close friends, the Christians in Philippi, from his Roman house arrest described at the end of Acts (Acts 28:30-31)as he waited for his court appearance before Caesar (around the year A.D. 61).

Paul founded the church in Philippi eleven years before this letter, on his second missionary journey (Acts 16:11-40). This was the first church established on the continent of Europe.
Paul wrote to all of God's Holy People in Christ Jesus. Some translations include the word saints instead of Holy People. This means all true Christians in Philippi. All Christians are made holy by Christ and called saints.

God welcomes all to join His church and to be called saints.

Paul also wrote to the church leaders, the overseers and deacons. The noun episkopos appears five times in the New Testament and means overseer, guardian, bishop. It is used in reference to Jesus Christ in 1 Peter 2:25 and in other places of individuals who have a function of leadership in the church ( Acts 20:28 ; Php 1:1 ; 1 Tim 3:2 ; Titus 1:7 ). The verb episkopeo [appears in 1 Peter 5:2 and means to take care of, to oversee, or to care for. Episkope appears in 1 Timothy 3:1 and refers to the position or office of overseer or bishop. It seems clear that a plurality of overseers (elders) was the New Testament model, though flexibility apparently existed as to structure. It is quite likely that one overseer or elder would have primary leadership as the pastor among the other elders in the local church, such as James in the church at Jerusalem (cf. Acts 15:13-21).
Paul acknowledged the leadership of Christ and respected the local church leaders. We all answer to the greatest authority in the universe, God. The Lord is looking for obedient servants who love Him and others.

The office of the bishop or overseer is both a great privilege and an awesome responsibility. The pastor/elder/overseer is to shepherd, direct, teach, and protect the flock of God entrusted to them with integrity and humility, looking to the Lord Jesus as the model for ministry.

Paul also writes to the deacons in the church. In Acts 6:1-6 we read of the frustration of some members of the early church for not having their needs attended to. Because the church had grown so large, the twelve apostles were not able to handle all the physical needs of the body and proclaim the word. They knew that if they neglected the ministry of the word the church would suffer: "It is not right for us to give up preaching the word of God to serve tables" (v 2). They asked the congregation to choose seven men—men of good reputation and sound character—to perform this task of serving tables. The verb "serve" in v 2 is διακονέω (diakoneo).
Grace and peace: Paul gave his familiar greeting of grace and peace, recognizing that these come to us only from God our Father and through the Son.
We also have peace because of Jesus.
In one sentence Paul reminds us of so much that is important in the Christian life.

When we are speaking with other Christians do we realize that they are a blessing to us? Do we respect other believers and church leaders? Do we treat others as adopted family members of the body of Christ? Do we live out lives of hope and peace? When we get food at Storms are we willing to share?

Do we realize that God honors all service in his name?

Not all the jobs in a church are prominent and glamorous. But it is often the people with their "faces to the coal" who help the church accomplish its mission. Whether you are cutting the grass, preparing communion, calling to check on people, or serving at the mission; God loves you and honors your service. When my toilet is overflowing and a pipe has burst, I don’t go looking for a brain surgeon or a theologian. I call in a plumber. Remember that two of the most famous video game characters in history are two plumbers named Mario and Luigi. I thank God for all of you. You are a blessing to me. Furthermore, everyone is welcome at our board meetings. God cares about what you think and so do we.
PRAYER

Almighty God, you have given us grace to bring our prayers to you, and you promise that when two or three agree together in your name you will grant their requests. Fulfil now, Lord, our desires and prayers, as may be best for us. Grant us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the world to come life everlasting. Amen.