SERMON: A THANK YOU LETTER FROM A PREACHER
11:00 AM Worship Service | Sunday, March 19, 2023
Philippians 1: 3-5
(3) I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. (4) Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy. (5) For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.
The book of Philippians is a thank you letter from Apostle Paul to the church at the city of Philippi. Paul founded the church on his second missionary journey. Some of his first well-known members include Lydia and her friends, the girl possessed with the spirit of divination, and the Philippian jailer. After Paul left the city, the church stayed in contact with him and took care of his needs by sending him money and care packages. After a while, however, they lost touch with him. When, later in his life, Paul went to Rome as a prisoner, they once more established a relationship with him and began again to send him money and care packages.
The immediate occasion for the writing of Philippians was gifts from the Christians at Philippi sent by Epaphroditus. He became sick on the way to Rome and it became necessary for Paul to care for him. The people at Philippi were distressed because their well-intentioned deed turned out to be a hardship for Paul. They also felt guilty about the times they had lost touch with him and could not provide support. When Paul learned of their feelings, he wrote to the church. Paul wanted to let them know that the kindness they expressed to him more than offset any difficulty he had in caring for their messenger.
I feel like Paul. He appreciated what the church at Philippi had done for him. I appreciate the moving service last Sunday. Moreover, I appreciated the twenty-eight years at Antioch-Lithonia. Just about everyone who talks or writes about church management uses the term “servant leader.” It is easy to be a servant leader when one is among friends. At Antioch, I know I am among friends. Now let’s exegete these three verses and extract some spiritual and practical truths.
1. There Is Value In Building Great Friendships.
(Proverbs 27:6; Proverbs 27:10; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26.)
2. There Is Value In Remembering Positive Things About Others.
(Let Memories Be A Blessing, Not A Burden.)
(Luggage Carried Too Long Becomes A Hindrance.)
3. There Is Value In Not Taking Your Blessings For Granted.
(Psalm 107: 31-32; Ephesians 1:3; Philippians 4: 4-7.)
4. There Is Value In Expressing Appreciation To Those Who Have
(Ruth Appreciated The Kindness Of Boaz-Ruth 2:13.)
(I Appreciate The Kindness Of The Antioch-Lithonia Members.)
How many ways can we say thank you?
We say “thank you” with our words.
We say “thank you” with our facial expressions.
We say “thank you” with our body language.
We say “thank you” with our kind deeds.
We say “thank you” with acts of service.
We say “thank you” when we give presents.
We say “thank you” when we let others know we are praying for them.
We say “thank you” to God when we worship Him in spirit and in truth. When the praises go up, the blessings come down! Let me say that again: When the praises go up, the blessings come down!
Give God Glory! Give God All The Glory!
Copyright © 2023 by James C. Ward
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