Author Archives: pastorrobin
You could say that today’s sermon is the prequel of the Philippians series. “Philippians Begins”
It is interesting to see these events converging. The Study of Philippians, They started at a River. Next week we are worshiping at the river.
Twenty years after Jesus ascended into the Heavenly realm, the Apostle Paul was called by God to go on a mission. Sail to foreign lands and preach the good news of Jesus. Jesus is still calling us to preach the gospel in foreign lands.
Mike just talked about our journey to Mexico the last 8 days. When I preached in the different churches, the message was simple. God is perfect, we are far from perfect. Instead of spending the rest of your life trying to earn God’s approval, I have good news for you. While you are in the midst of your sin and rebellion, Christ loved you so much that he lived the perfect life for you. He took your place of punishment and shame. He died in your place. Receive the Good news today! One of the pastors (that’s right, PASTOR), came to me weeping after the service and said, “Thank you so much. I have been working so hard and falling short of the expectations of others. Others put so much pressure on me. I almost feel like a prostitute in my position. I always feel guilty like I have not done enough and need to earn my identity.” I leaned in and touched her shoulder and said I have good news!
Your identity comes from Jesus and he completely accepts you. Stand tall, thank God for his salvation and acceptance, and then give him your allegiance.
This was the message Paul was on a mission to send to the continent of Europe. He saw a vision from God to go to Europe. This was a first! Until this trip, there is no record of the message of Jesus going west of Asia.
There was a Who’s Who of NT Bible characters on this journey. Paul, Timothy, and Luke were among them. They landed on the southern shores of Greece and went about 8 miles inland to the town of Philippi and stayed there a few days.
Philippi was very much a Roman population. Latin is spoken by the higher officials, and an air of Roman superiority pervades the place. The local religion was a mixture of the worship of the old Thracian gods and goddesses, the Greek Athena, and the Roman gods of Jupiter, Mars, and of course the emperor Caesar.
The guys were hanging around town for a few days and then wanted to meet up with some people interested in the things of God. Whenever they wanted to start a church they would look for people of peace. People that would listen to the message.
As you go about your day, do you look for people of peace. Several times throughout scripture, the concept of People of Peace shows up. Jesus tells the disciples to go throughout the town and look for those that will accept them and the message. If people don’t, then don’t force it. No need to get bitter, sad or mad. Dust off your sandals and keep walking.
I encourage you to pray that God will reveal and make clear the People of Peace throughout your day.
These are farmer moments (sowing seed, tending the soil, or harvest time). Pray for it and expect it.
Paul and the guys wanted to find some Jews, but very few Jews lived there. Consider that about this time, in a.d. 49, Emperor Claudius had expelled the Jews from Rome because they had been blamed for creating a religious disturbance. We surmise that the Roman colony of Philippi had followed Claudius’s example and banished the Jews.
In fact, there was no Jewish Synagogue (a synagogue could not be started with fewer than ten male heads of households to form the congregation). In cities where no Jewish synagogue existed, believers gathered under the sky and near water so other Christians knew where to find them.
So it says in:
Acts 16:13 On the Sabbath we went a little way outside the city to a riverbank, where we thought people would be meeting for prayer, and we sat down to speak with some women who had gathered there. 14 One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth, who worshiped God. As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying.
This verse is loaded with details.
This WOMAN (not a man) is a successful business woman that deals in some of the most expensive goods of that region. She bought and sold purple. We think that is no big deal. Because purple at hobby lobby is right by red, orange, bubble gum, magenta, etc. However, in that day, color was much more complicated. The purple dye applied to fine linen was obtained from the secretion of shellfish that live in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. It took approximately eight thousand molluscs to produce one gram of purple dye. This made purple cloth was extremely expensive.
Purple garments were worn by emperors and by private citizens as a status symbol. Therefore, we can deduce that Lydia was loaded. She rolled up to the river that day in her Mercedes Benz! She had her Prada handbag! Lydia was not suffering financially.
In Philippi, she faithfully worshiped on the Sabbath at the river with some other women. When Paul taught the gospel of Jesus Christ, she listened attentively to his words.
Acts 16:15 She and her household were baptized, and she asked us to be her guests. “If you agree that I am a true believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my home.” And she urged us until we agreed.
From this point the Philippian church began! With some women down by the river! We have every indication that the church began to meet at her home. Because of what we read in the book of Philippians (ch4) We have reason to believe that Lydia became a major contributor not only to the ongoing work in Philippi, but to the missionary activity of Paul.
This is not the end of the story. There are 2 other major events that happened in this church’s infancy. Over the next few days, Paul and the guys hung out with Lydia and the new church members. They would continue to go down to the river to pray and worship publically. Every time they would head to the river, a young woman slave girl would run alongside them and pester them. What is interesting is that she was telling the truth, but none the less, Paul finally had enough.
18 This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And instantly it left her.
This brought peace to the immediate situation but difficulty in the long run. Her masters were very upset that she no longer would bring them money with her spiritual gift (from the devil). He began to falsely accuse them and eventually had them arrested. They were stripped naked in the public square and beaten with rods! Then they were placed in an underground jail, bound hand and foot.
This was only a couple of days after the first river experience. Very early on in the church of Philippi.
How do you respond to being stripped naked and public, beaten bloody with rods and thrown in jail??
25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. 26 Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!
We make a DECISION to worship. Everyday no matter the circumstances, we can worship or not. I will worship.
A WAY smaller example of this. I was put to the test a couple of weeks ago when I started having back spasms and pain down my right arm. Numbness in my fingers.
I decided that my back pain was going to worship God. So, I intentionally started doing things that would make my back hurt while I was singing and dancing before God. I started talking to my back. If you are going to keep me up all night, then you are going to worship God with me all morning!
When the prisoners were set free, the Roman Jailer freaked out! He was responsible for the jail and he had failed at his job. This would mean certain death for him.
Paul and the guys immediately reassured the Jailer that they didn’t leave. He was safe. He wasn’t going to get in trouble.
HOWEVER, the jailer’s response is amazing. Even though, he is safe in his job, the supernatural experience compels him to ask Paul, “What must I do to be saved?”
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” 32 And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. 33 Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. 40 When Paul and Silas left the prison, they returned to the home of Lydia. There they met with the believers and encouraged them once more. Then they left town.
What a great story of the Philippian church beginning. We know from the book of Philippians that this local body of believers continued to flourish long after Paul and the superstar apostles journeyed on to the next church plant!
We believe that PromiseLand San Marcos is a body of believers that are pursuing the same God as Lydia. We are on the same mission as Paul. We are going to experience the same power of conversion.
Join me this week to pray for our time at the River next weekend and every following weekend. May we find people of peace. Hearts ready for the good news of Jesus.
As we go on our ordinary way, may we be not weary in well doing. Continue with passion and unity.
Let’s expect for the power of Jesus Christ to confirm his Gospel. This means signs, wonders, and miracles follow them who believe. Let’s worship God in the midnight jail cell, but let’s also expect him to deliver us from all evil. Let’s expect the supernatural to show up in our everyday lives!
Let’s pray. Some of you are far from God. Today is the day that God is calling you to join him. He is ready for you to accept his love and forgiveness.
It is a simple process but sometimes difficult to do. Letting Go. Jesus offers you a new life today. Let’s let go of our way and jump all in to the ways of Jesus.
He sent you here today to hear the good news of salvation! Repent!
Here are my notes from a sermon I preached on Philippians chapter 3. During our sermon series, “No Matter What”. You can listen to the podcast here.
This week is: The Gospel No Matter What
Philippians 3:1 Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith.
Rejoice – to enjoy a state of happiness and well-being (feeling or action)
Safeguarded – stable, firm
2 Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators….
Who could he be talking about? Murders? Adulterers? Thieves? Abusers?
who say you must be circumcised to be saved. (haughty, ego-driven, prideful)
3 For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised (saved). We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort,
RELY – what a huge word. What are you relying on? Your level of peace and your level of stress reveal what you rely on.
4 though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!
Paul’s list here is ENORMOUS! It’s hard for us to relate because we don’t really care quite honestly what tribe he was in or that he was a real Hebrew. It took great courage to list that these items were worthless.
For thousands of years, the items Paul listed were THE test of a faithful servant of God.
5 I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. 6 I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.
I asked our church on our online community (The City) to list a modern day list that would be comparable to Paul’s.
- Been in church since birth – 38yrs never missed a weekend unless sick or out of town.
- Baptized when I was 12 years old
- Went to youth group every Friday night, summer camp every summer
- Paid tithes (10% of my income) to the local church ALL of my life
- Been in ministry position at church since I was 18yrs old. (20yrs)
- Married in church, completely faithful to my wife, 3 kids dedicated and baptized
Thomas – 1. With only a High School education I have built a successful career to include being named VP of Sales for a Billion Dollar company.
Elizabeth – *I am a gentle & loving mom *I am quick to serve others
Chelsea -Have led a woman’s bible study for 5 years, loyal encouraging supportive wife
Gary – reading 10 chapters a day for 7 years then going to 45 minutes a day now spending from 1-3 hours a day on one chapter.
Anne – I was superior, highly educated, raised in an intellectual home of the american dream of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
Mike – husband, father, businessman, guitar hero
Jennifer is a homeschooling mom
Wynnel – Loving caring faithful wife, mother, sister
7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!
Some folks in here today struggle to make a list of honorable things that define you. You give up the struggle to do good because you feel like their list is not long enough.
Both sides of the issue are wrong. Neither our efforts or lack of efforts make the difference needed.
Jesus said inMatthew 9:13 For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.
Matthew 11:11“I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is!
How is that possible? Because people of the Kingdom find their worth in the King! (not in their efforts.
Paul was saying here: JESUS IS BETTER than all my best efforts or my worst failure. He was clear to say: these items in and of themselves are not enough to remit my sin and put me in a right position (righteous) place with God. Only faith in what Jesus Christ has done for me will rightly place me as a son or daughter in his Kingdom.
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
The Holman Commentary said: “He cannot cloud his mind with past memories…Paul forgets the guilt of persecuting the church. He forgets the pain of prison and physical punishment. He forgets the frustration of disobedient church members and false teachers. He looks ahead to see the resurrection, where he will meet Jesus face-to-face.
Whatever has been distracting you. The lies of the enemy try to get your focus off of the Gospel of Jesus and onto your past. I’m so glad you made it to church today to hear the word of God for your life!! Keep pressing on. Keep Looking to Him!
17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth.
Wanting the things of this world more than the things of the Kingdom. Not just food appetite, but also desiring the things of this culture. It grieved Paul. It is destroying our homes and our well-being.
20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control. (Going to spend quality time on this passage in another message. Possibly FWW in Aug.)
Here are the sermon notes from July 13, 2014. Our series, “No Matter What” is coming straight from the book of Philippians. This week’s message is from chapter 2. You can listen to the podcast of this message here.
Philippians 2:1Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate?
These are great questions. They need to be answered honestly. When it comes to the Gospel of Jesus Christ the answer is YES. If you honestly answer these question NO, then don’t go further. There is more of Jesus that you can receive. There is more of his Spirit that you can be baptized with. SEEK HIM.
For those who answered YES to verse one, then we continue:
Verses 2-4 basically say:
Live in Community with Other Believers!
2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. 3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
Be an active member of a healthy church (body of believers).
- Agree wholeheartedly with each other
- Love one another
- Work together with one mind and purpose
- Don’t be selfish
- Don’t try to impress others
- Be humble – think of others as better than yourself
- Don’t look out only for your own interests. Take an interest in others.
How can we accomplish that list: JESUS CHRIST
5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. 6 Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. 7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, 8 he humbled himself in obedience to God (obeyed God’s Word) and died a criminal’s death on a cross. (sacrificed his self-center, killed the desire to satisfy himself) 9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
How we live in Community at PSM:
- We worship together (Sunday Celebration)
- We live life together (Weekday Community) – Friends/companionship, helping, listening, carrying burdens.
o Informally –friendships develop
o Small Groups –(PSMU right now) In September, we are launching new groups – we are looking to launch 50 groups this fall. In order to do that, we need 50 people or couples that
- People that are currently not doing it
- People that might have never done it before
- People that feel like they don’t have enough time
- People that feel like they know enough about the Bible
When I started pastoring this church, I was 26 years old. I had never been to seminary. I was scared that people would reject or mock me. All that was true, BUT GOD. God worked through me. He wants to work through you.
IT’S GAME TIME! The church leadership are here to help you get a group of some sort started.
o Classical Group – discussing the sermon from Sunday
o Book Groups – reading and discussing a Christian book
o Interest Groups – softball team, volleyball, shopping, golf, fishing, riverfloat, nursing home, moms/kids playgroup, homeschooling, scrapbooking, working out, decorating, gardening, hunting, geocaching, video-gaming, cardplaying,
If you love Jesus and he has impacted your life, then use your natural skills and ‘likes’ to gather others in community.
Participate in that activity and we can help you figure out how deep you go with the Biblical/Spiritual application.
Work Out Your Faith
Philippians 2:12 (Amplified Version) Therefore, my dear ones, as you have always obeyed [my suggestions], so now, not only [with the enthusiasm you would show] in my presence but much more because I am absent, work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ).
13 [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.
14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. 16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. 17 But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. 18 Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy.
Paul circles around and ends the chapter with the same concept at the opening verses.
Live in Community with Other Believers!
Get Risky (not frisky) – Be Venerable – Be Open –
19 If the Lord Jesus is willing, I hope to send Timothy to you soon for a visit. Then he can cheer me up by telling me how you are getting along. 20 I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare.
When Paul checks Facebook, he doesn’t get jealous or thrive on other people’s failure. He doesn’t feel depressed or heavy when comparing himself to others! HE IS ENCOURAGED BY THEIR WINS.
21 All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ. 22 But you know how Timothy has proved himself. Like a son with his father, he has served with me in preaching the Good News. 23 I hope to send him to you just as soon as I find out what is going to happen to me here. 24 And I have confidence from the Lord that I myself will come to see you soon.
25 Meanwhile, I thought I should send Epaphroditus back to you. He is a true brother, co-worker, and fellow soldier. And he was your messenger to help me in my need. 26 I am sending him because he has been longing to see you, and he was very distressed that you heard he was ill.
27 And he certainly was ill; in fact, he almost died. But God had mercy on him—and also on me, so that I would not have one sorrow after another. 28 So I am all the more anxious to send him back to you, for I know you will be glad to see him, and then I will not be so worried about you. 29 Welcome him in the Lord’s love and with great joy, and give him the honor that people like him deserve. 30For he risked his life for the work of Christ, and he was at the point of death while doing for me what you couldn’t do from far away.
In the movie, Nacho Libre, there is a sub-plot that parallels life and scripture almost perfectly. This sub-plot helps us with a core part of Christianity. We will call it:
4 Parts of Connecting Others with God
Nacho and Esqueleto become friends and wrestling partners. Nacho is a friar. Esqueleto is…well we aren’t sure what he is.Their relationship takes a very unexpected turn during their first wrestling match.
Nacho: You take the stallion, I’ll take the pony.
Esqueleto: I can’t wrestle him.
Nacho: But you’re tall and fast like a gazelle, you can do it. Pray to the Lord for strength.
Esqueleto: I don’t believe in God. I believe in Science.
Nacho is Shocked that his partner is not a believer in the Lord.
Nacho is shocked and saddened. This gives us point #1:
1. We Discover that Others are Far from God
This is the first step. The realization and the responsibility of ‘the Lost’.
We see the destruction of loved one’s lives around us. Their lives often frustrate us. We are often disgusted with our friends, neighbors, co-workers. How could you? Why did you? Why don’t you?
It seems so obvious where others go wrong. From our outside perspective, we can often give advice or prescribe a solution for them. When we see their mess and their pain, this is a God-given red-flag. This is a system given to us by God, not to judge or condemn or EVEN give advice.
What we are seeing is their distance from God. Instead of their lifestyle making you frustrated or mad or calloused to ambivalence, we should feel a burden for their separation from God.
Romans 9:2 My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief 3 for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them.
Probably what ever thing or sin that makes you the most frustrated or upset is the area of people that God is calling you to reach out to.
After feeling the burden of the lost,
2. We Participate in Their Relationship with God.
One day while preparing for a match:
Nacho: I’m a little bit concerned about your salvation and stuff. Why have you not been baptized?
Esqueleto: Because I never got around to it, Ok?!
We participate with others’ relationship with God, Just as Jesus participated in our relationship with God
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…
So we are commanded to participate in others’ relationship with God:
Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
The movie shows an accurate picture of life:
3. We Often Stumble and get Anxious in the Process.
Nacho stumbles with his humanity. He is frustrated and gets anxious with the process.
Nacho: I’m not listening to you! You only believe in Science. That’s probably why we never win! The kids have no food because of you!
Esqueleto: I’m sick of hearing about your stupid orphans.
Nacho: What did you say?
Esqueleto: I hate orphans
Nacho: Say it again to my face
Esqueleto: I hate dem
Nacho: Come again
Esqueleto: I hate all de orphans in the whole worl!!
In the midst of living life with others, we screw things up. We often expect those who have no relationship with God to somehow live like they do.
We often don’t say enough or when we do talk, we show the wrong attitude. Our sin shows up.
What do we do in that instance? Get up, dust off, refocus on God and continue your pursuit of God. Demonstrate your dependence on God.
This leads us to our final point:
4. We Tell a Story and Reflect the Light. God Saves.
Nacho’s life, his example, his testimony in the natural rhythm of life influences Esquelto.
Acts 1:8 …You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses…
In spite of our sin, God uses our story to bring His truth and power to others. Jesus Christ reveals Himself in our weakness! He is made present or appears to everyone when we suffer weakness and then overcome. This tenderizes the heart of those around us.
In the movie, God changes Esquelto’s heart. We see a conversion.
- FIRST, shows up in his practical life.
Nacho: I have given up wrestling.
Esqueleto: Nacho, you are great fighter. You’ve got something none of these guys have. (heart). And the childrens need a real hero.
Nacho: I thought you hated all the orphans in the whole world.
Esqueleto: Not anymore. I like them. And they need you Nacho.
- SECOND, it shows up in his religious life.
When Nacho is facing Ramses, in the final match, it is Esquelto that leads the prayer.
Esquelto: Maybe we should pray.
Write the names of three people who you know need an encounter with Jesus. We are going to pray for them.
Some of you are a name on someone’s list. You are ready to commit your life to Jesus today! Let’s pray right now about that!
When you want to participate in someone’s relationship with Jesus Christ, a powerful tool that you have in your toolbox is inviting people to PromiseLand San Marcos.
This is something we talk about in 101 (first Sunday of every month).
We specifically design our worship services to reach the lost. We want you to have a place where you can worship God intimately yourself, but you can also be confident to invite friends and know that they will have a place to meet God themselves.
We are wrapping up Man Month (June) with a Beard Challenge. Who can grow the best beard in 7 days?
Men came to church clean shaven on June 22. They will return on June 29 with their best facial hair efforts. The winner will take a gift certificate and label of BEST BEARD 2014!
If you missed Sunday and want to enter the contest late, then email a picture of yourself clean-shaven to firstname.lastname@example.org. Here are some of our entrants.
May the force be with you, men!