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The Right Reaction

Notes & Transcripts

The Right Reaction - Phil. 4:4-9

Life is 10% action, and 90% reaction.  It is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you handle what happens to you.  You may recall our message Sunday morning dealt with the simple response to life that was shared with us by the Apostle Paul while locked up in a Roman jail.  His formula – “Rejoice, and let me say it again, rejoice!”  It’s almost too simple, too unbelievable.  There we go again, always trying to complicate things!  Before you dismiss it as some cute but unrelatable connection to your life, let’s read a little further.

King James Version (KJV)  Philippians 4:4-9:  Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

The Message (MSG)  Philippians 4:4-9:4 -5Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!   6 -7Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.   8 -9Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

New International Version (NIV)  Philippians 4:4-9:

    Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

I still chuckle when I think about the joke I heard about the game warden that got a quick lesson on fishing.

It seems he noticed how this one particular fellow named Sam consistently caught more fish than anyone else. Whereas the other guys would only catch three or four a day, Sam would come in off the lake with a boat full. Stringer after stringer was always packed with freshly caught trout.

The warden, curious, asked Sam his secret. The successful angler invited the game warden to accompany him and observe. So the next morning the two met at the dock and took off in Sam’s boat. When they got to the middle of the lake, they stopped the boat and the warden sat back to see how it was done.  Sam’s approach was simple. He took out a stick of dynamite, lit it, and threw it in the air. The explosion rocked the lake with such a force that dead fish immediately began to surface. Sam took out a net and started scooping them up.

Well, you can imagine the reaction of the game warden. When he recovered from the shock of it all, he began yelling at Sam. “You can’t do this! I will put you in jail, buddy! You will be paying every fine there is in the book!” Sam, meanwhile, set his net down and took out another stick of dynamite. He lit it and tossed it in the lap of the game warden with these words, “Are you going to sit there all day complaining or are you going to fish?”

The poor warden was left with a fast decision to make. He was yanked, in one second, from an observer to a participant. A dynamite of a choice had to be made and be made quickly!

Life is like that.  Few days go by without our coming face to face with an uninvited, unanticipated, yet unavoidable decision. Like a crashing snow bank, these decisions tumble upon us without warning. They disorientate and bewilder. Quick. Immediate. Sudden. No council, no study, no advice.  Pow! All of a sudden you are hurled into the air of uncertainty and only instinct will determine if you will land on your feet.

Philippians 4:4-5 - Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.  Let your moderation be known unto all men.  The Lord is at hand.

How can he tell us how we should be acting?  From the midst of a hopeless situation, no promise of his future, in horrid captive conditions, he literally commands us - rejoice!

         

Why? - Because the Lord’s coming is near.  Because in light of eternity and the sufferings of this present state are not anything to compare to the future!

For those of you that this fact makes you more nervous, let us continue.

For those of you that cannot sleep and are worried and caught up in the pressures and turmoil of life, the Word of God has an answer for you.

1.  Right praying

2.  Right thinking

3.  Right living

You have heard it all before, but I submit to you today that there is a pattern involved.  You cannot go to step 2 before step 1; we always jump to step 3.  We know there can be wrong thinking & wrong living, but wrong praying?

James 4:3 - Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

 

Right Praying     

 

Philippians 4:6 - Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known unto God.

The Apostle Paul encourages us not to worry about anything!  In one broad stroke, he models a mastery over the "small stuff" that is backed up by a specific instruction unavailable to persons outside this powerful faith he promotes.  Paul says simply: "Pray about everything!" Paul teaches us that worry isn't worth the effort. Goodness knows, worry requires a lot of effort.  I once heard a person say that, "A day of worry is more exhausting than a day of work." And someone else has said that, "Worry is wasting today's time cluttering up tomorrow's opportunities with yesterday's troubles."  So, Paul says, put your energy where it can really do some good. Pray passionately about whatever it is that concerns you!

Do not be careful, or anxious, about anything else.  Do not worry, but turn your worries into prayers.  If you start to worry, stop and pray.

Sounds easy, but when worry comes, the natural tendency is not to pray, but to embrace it.  What if that happens?   Or this?

There is a difference between prayer Warriors - and prayer worriers.

When your knees start knocking, kneel on them.

You have to intentionally place your concerns in God’s care.

As I contemplate the greatness of God, I see my problems in their corresponding smallness.

The Lord’s Prayer - before you offer a word of personal petition- “your kingdom come”  - If what I’m about to pray is outside your will, over rule it.

Many times our communication with God can be compared to the football play called the “Hail Mary”.  It’s used when you don’t have any other options.

PRAYER IS OUR FIRST OPTION – OUR EVERY TIME OPTION!

***The promise for those who pray right - the peace of God that passeth all understanding -

Philippians 4:7 - And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

When items are compared, you have varying levels but one that passes all the rest.

Mellorine, ice milk, Blue Bell, or frozen custard. 

You can have my understanding, or yours - or you can have God’s peace.

Keep - is a military term defined as ‘garrison’ -

          God’s peace will stand guard around your heart and mind!

Daniel - he wasn’t embarrassed about praying, and the opinions and actions of others didn’t affect how he prayed.  It looked like it got him into trouble he could have avoided, but just the opposite was true.

Daniel 6 - He prayed and gave thanks to God even after he knew that it could get him arrested.

Sure, he had to go in the lion’s den - but nestling in the mane of lion must be pretty comfortable.

Daniel slept soundly while the king didn’t get any sleep.

 

 

 

 

Right Thinking

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. - Isaiah 26:3

Quit playing the what-if game; cast down everything that exalts itself.

II Cor. 10:3-5

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ

Talk to yourself - train your mind to think biblically, and reign in your emotions

Ps. 42 - David talked to himself - hope thou in God.  At a time when everyone was ready to stone him, we are told that he encouraged himself.

He applied faith, reason, and biblical thinking

It happens to everyone - Abraham had moments of doubt

Refuse to think about the future in negative terms.

Worry Meter

How much never happens?

n  Things that never happen…………...….. 40%

n  Things that can’t be changed by worry… 35%

n  Things turn out better than expected…… 15%

n  Petty insignificant fretting………………  8%

n  Legitimate cause for concern……………  2%

            TOTAL…………………………………100%

 

Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

The enemy makes sure there are plenty of thoughts out there that can get your attention.  It does not even have to be really bad and sinful.

 

 

 

Right Living

Philippians 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

 

You can’t separate outward action and inward thinking.  Sin always results

Is. 57:20 - description of unbeliever; no peace for the wicked

even in the midst of turmoil, the Christian can have the peace that passeth all understanding

 

Philippians 4:7 - And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Do you have that peace, or is your life in turmoil.

What we have talked about is for believers only. 

The scriptures that we dealt with is concerning with those who are already enlisted; they have a relationship with the Lord.

Before you can apply these principles, relationship first

There are many promises that are only activated

Before you can have the peace of God, you must have peace with God.

You are in a war with God right now, and you will lose.  Why keep fighting?

He loves you, and wants to have a relationship with you.

Thank you for Your Word, and its effect

All the water in the world –however hard it tried

Could never, never sink a ship – unless it got inside.

All the hardships of this world – might wear you pretty thin,

But they won’t hurt you one little bit  - unless you let them in.

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