Friday, March 7, 2014

Lesson 3 Philipians 2

How many of you owned a pin or t-shirt or bumper sticker with the logo WWJD?  
Charles Sheldon developed a sermon story that he read as a weekly series from the pulpit of Central Congregational Church in Topeka, Kansas in1896. The book, In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do, became a classic of Christian Literature, is available free as an eBook. The main character Reverend Henry Maxwell asks for "volunteers from the First Church who will pledge themselves, earnestly and honestly for an entire year, not to do anything without first asking the question, 'What would Jesus do?'"
A copy of In His Steps sat on the shelf of Janie Tinklenberg, youth leader at Calvary Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan. It is a book you get down occasionally to read again and again. It has been reprinted and updated, a 30 million copies distributed.

To inspire her youth to make a difference in the world she contacted a local manufacturer to produce 300 woven bracelets with the letters WWJD? an acronym for "What would Jesus do?"

"The bracelets had a two-fold purpose," she says. "First, I wanted the young people to be reminded, every time they looked at the bracelet, of the commitment [to Christ] they made. Second, the bracelet could be a tool for witnessing to friends."

Others more enterprising than Tinklenberg spotted the trend, made their own and took the marketing to the national level. By the time she attempted to register her trademark it was too late. Like Charles Sheldon who likewise did not copyright his book, neither made a profit. However money was not the reason for the project, it was a statement of faith by the wearer and a visual symbol for evangelism.

Paul Harvey mentioned the bracelets on his syndicated radio broadcast every day for a week during the spring of 1997. 15 million bracelets have been sold to date.
Such a small thing can have such an impact for Christ. Other less known than WWJD
FROG-Fully Relying on God
PUSH-Pray Until Something Happens
ASAP-Always Say a Prayer
How do you know what Jesus would do if you don’t know what Jesus did?
Evangelism is not what we tell people, unless what we tell is totally consistent with who we are. It is who we are that is going to make the difference. If we do not truly enjoy our faith, nobody is going to catch the fire of enjoyment from us. If our lives are not totally centered on Christ, we will not be Christ-bearers for others, no matter how pious our words. Madeleine L'Engle  Christian Reader (May/June 1998,p. 50)
Thank you ladies of CBS for not only attending our Bible Study but also studying the Holy Bible to find out exactly what Jesus did and why He is the perfect example for us to imitate.
PRAYER         Ladies, open your Bibles please to Philippians.
Christ: The Supreme Model Philippians 2:1-11
      Unity in the Church
      The Attitude of Christ Jesus

Verse 27 in Chapter 1 stated.
 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,

Paul challenged the church to unify and individuals to cease pursuing their personal agenda and become One Body, the body of Christ.  False teachers from envy and rivalry referenced in Ch. 1: 15-17, and disagreeing members are mentioned by name in Chapter 4. True spiritual unity is a matter of the heart.

In Chapter 2 Paul is asking for the church to unite in love. To be an example of Christ likeness we need to work toward unity and love, not division and rivalry.
1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,

CBS is an international organization established almost 40 years ago (1975). Community Bible Study includes the word “unity.”  All classes around the globe adhering to the same standards and mission: Making disciples of the LORD Jesus Christ in our communities through caring, in-depth Bible study, available to all.
2      complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

Kionania the Greek word we studied last week had a base one meaning common. More than just fellowship it is partnership in a common call. For the good of the whole, others before yourself.

3      Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people, nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts.  It means freedom from thinking about yourself at all.  ~William Temple
Giving money is the easy way to help others. But sometimes we have to inconvenience ourselves and be uncomfortable to be Christ-like. I was never more proud of my daughter than when she volunteered to spend the night on a concrete floor at the winter overflow shelter. It was definitely out of her comfort zone. Those of you that have travelled to other countries on mission trips know what I mean.

4      Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Andrew Murray.Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is for me to have no trouble; never to be fretted or vexed or irritated or sore or disappointed. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me and when I am blamed or despised.
Warren Wiersbe p. 62 Be Joyful “The secret of JOY in spite of circumstances is the single mind and the secret of JOY in spite of people is the Submissive mind.”
Years ago I went to Bible Study after Bible Study; Beth Moore, Henry Blackaby, Divorce Care. I was searching for JOY, for peace in my life after divorce. Finally during a study, the Mind of Christ, I finally let go of the bitterness of divorce. Submission was not my favorite word.  Paul was not my favorite author. The Spirit of God worked himself deep into my soul and taught me was submission was all about. Our memory work was the next seven verses in Philippians.

The Attitude of Christ Jesus
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus,
“He left the comforts of heaven, knowing his destiny was the lonely hill of Golgatha, to lay down His life for me. That is LOVE.”
who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God,
but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.And being found in the fashion of a man,
I don’t know if you have read or studied much about heaven. After the death of my Mother and subsequently my two aunts, it became my goal to help the elderly relinquish their fear of death and discover the joy of crossing over to the other side. Randy Alcorn’s book was my anchor. But I read over a dozen books on the subject. Alcorn uses scripture from the Bible for his assumptions.
If you can imagine the Garden of Eden from Genesis, a perfect world created especially for Adam and Eve when God could come down and walk in the evening. Heaven has got to be so much more! The dwelling place of God the Father, Jesus His Son and the heavenly hosts-how much more glorious and more wonderful it must be. Yet Jesus gave that up to become an embryo with a young Jewish virgin. That is the height of submission.
 He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death—even the death of the cross.
And being in the form of a man, he was spit upon, beaten, tortured, and suffered death on the cross….for me….for you. In the past when I displayed an image of Jesus on the cross, I chose less shocking photos: ones with shadows, smaller so you could not see the raw, broken flesh of suffering, but tonight I wanted you to SEE his pain, to cringe at the sight of Him. His suffering was real. We need to know and remember what He did so we might live. I hope tonight is Jesus is not your LORD, that you will come to the altar seeking His salvation. Yet as Christians we know that He rose from the grave and lives on high at the right hand of the Father.
Therefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven and things on earth and things under the earth,
11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Ladies will you now stand and give him honor and praise.
Mosque Dome of the Rock, Buddhists, Atheist

...For even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility."
- Benjamin Franklin

Will you choose to do what Jesus did-to humbly put others before yourself?