Our Week in Philippians

Back in Bible College, I broke all the homiletical rules and started building by senior sermon from an illustration rather than a passage of Scripture. I was quite the rebel it would seem. Those poor homiletics professors... As a children’s ministry major, God often spoke to me (still does) in illustrations and parables of sorts out of everyday life.

In 2010, He was particularly speaking to me quite a bit through cupcakes. To make a long story short, I managed to build the message out of the story of the Philippians and somehow bake 350 cupcakes with one cupcake tin in a very tiny oven 12 cupcakes at a time. To this day, I’m not sure that anyone in chapel that day remembers anything that I said. I’m pretty sure they just remember walking out with cupcakes.

(Welcome to college life circa 2011)

Needless to say, Philippians holds a rather special place in my heart, and so I’ve loved revisiting it with all of you this week. It’s always an encouraging and refreshing read. Speaking of which--if you didn’t know--Philippians is known as the “joy letter” and also is the most personal and endearing of all of Paul’s letters (You see now where the cupcakes came in…? Cupcakes go through a lot of mixing up and a lot of heat simply to bring joy to others. That is literally their only purpose--to come out sweet in spite of all they’ve gone through and to bring joy to others.) Unlike many of the other letters that Paul writes to churches to address issues and help them get back on track, Philippians is all about encouraging his friends to keep up the good work and stick with Christ like they have since he first met them. He is reminding them once again of what they already know. Oh friends, isn’t that what Christian friendship and community is all about? Reminding each other to hang in there and telling each other the truth over and over again when life gets hard and it’s easy to forget! That is our heart here at For Glory & Beauty.

So in that spirit, I thought I’d do something a little different for this summary of sorts. I thought I’d pull a modern day Phillipians and encourage you, our dear, dear friends, to keep up the good work and stick with Christ--

Our Prayer For You: 

... That you would love much and love well.

... That you would live a life full of sweet fruit that makes Jesus proud and that draws so many people to His heart.

...That nothing and no one would ever prevent the Message of Christ from being proclaimed in and through your life.

….That God will finish every good and wonderful thing that He’s begun in you and continue working to make you more like Him until He returns for you.

Remember: It’s always only about becoming like Jesus--
>Keep putting others first
>Stop working so hard to push to the front or the top. Just stop.
>Humble yourself. And then humble yourself some more.
>Live confidently in your God-given inheritance, but don’t be a brat about it.
>Live obediently.
>Give all of the glory and the credit to Christ--always.
>Be a breath of fresh air in a polluted and corrupted society.
>Carry the light into the night.
>Rejoice in ALL things.

Don’t Forget: 
* Relationship > Rules & Religion 
** NOTHING matters except knowing Jesus.
*** Don’t sell out now, you’ve come this far!
**** Who you are and where you’re going.
***** To drop everything you’re holding onto so that you can fully embrace Christ-- hugs are hard when you’re hands are full of stuff.
****** We want nothing but the very best for You--nothing less than ALL God has for you <3
******* How good and generous God is--in all things.

Here’s what you should do now: 

- Celebrate God all day every day!
- Pray. Don’t worry.
- Learn to be content right here and right now with a little or with a lot--with whatever it is God has or has not placed in your hands.
- Keep pointing people to Jesus. Get them ready to meet him and soon!
- Think about lovely, beautiful, true, gracious, noble, authentic, compelling, reputable things and forget the rest.

And here’s your recipe for happiness -- Whatever you have, wherever you are, you can make it through anything in the one that makes you who you are.

Thank you for your friendship to us. For partnering with us in what we believe God has called us to do. You are so very dear to us.

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