Good morning First Baptist. We welcome you to worship this morning. Be sure to remember your brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the week as you pray for them, and as the Holy Spirit brings their faces to your mind. Be sure to also connect with them in the ways that are possible. And if you have any questions or would like to talk to someone, please don’t hesitate to contact the church through the church telephone and leave a message. (519-733-4144)
Call to Worship
Holy Spirit break open our hearts this morning to hear the word of God. Come and let us worship with great joy! God is about to do something new in our lives!
Good Morning FBK…. WELCOME TO WORSHIP!
Prayer of Confession & Assurance
Patient Lord, we find it easy to blame others and other circumstances for the things which happen in our lives. We hear the words “if only” and wonder why things didn’t happen differently for us. Too often we want you to be a “magic” presence which will, with the wave of a wand, cure our ills, give us success and happiness; but we don’t necessarily want to take responsibility for our attitudes and actions. Life just is. Things happen which we didn’t plan for and events swirl around us over which we have no control. But to place blame and not to find ways in which we can work through the situations is detrimental to everyone, especially ourselves. Forgive us when we are so busy placing blame that we don’t recognize your presence and love for us. Free us from placing our own desires first and foremost. Help us to look at the many ways in which you are working in the world for peace and justice, and enable us to be part of that ministry. In Jesus’ name, we pray. AMEN.
Assurance of Pardon:
Let go of your fears. God has forgiven you and offered to you God’s healing love. Accept this free gift, for it is given for you through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.
Today's Message: Pastor Dave Page
Scripture Reading: Philippians 1:3-8
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
This past week (Wed.) many of us would have participated in Bell ‘Let’s Talk’ Day. Launched in 2010, Bell Let’s Talk Day is an annual mental health initiative that’s focused on how we can support ourselves and those in our community by listening, talking and being there for one another. This yearly initiative allows for great conversations but also provides us with some data regarding various facets of Mental Health in Canada. Here are some that were prevalent this week:
Mental Health Research Canada, Understanding the Mental Health of Canadians Throughout COVID-19 and Beyond:
Poll 13. – Those indicating feeling high anxiety was 7% just before the pandemic, 23% during the pandemic, and 11% now. This is a 64% relative increase and represents 1 in 4 during the pandemic 1 in 4 Canadians will receive a lifetime diagnosis of anxiety.
Poll 14. – 56% (more than 1 in 2) of Canadians who said they needed mental health support are not getting the help they need.
Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Infobase, Opioid- and Stimulant-related Harms in Canada:
The number of opioid-related deaths in Canada increased by more than 90% in the first two years of the pandemic, compared to the two years prior. 20 people die from opioid overdose per day in comparison with pre-pandemic levels that ranged from 8 (in 2016) to 12 (in 2018) deaths per day.
Public Health Agency of Canada, Suicide Rates in Canada.
Every year, approximately 4,500 people in Canada die by suicide each year, which is equivalent to approximately 12 people per day. For every 1 suicide death there are 25-30 attempts.
Someone you know is suffering. Someone you work with is struggling. Maybe you’re finding it hard to make it through your day too. And on top of that, the pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives, including our mental health. As we struggle to emerge from the pandemic, more and more people are experiencing an even greater decline in their ability to cope with stress, anxiety and depression:
In a poll conducted by the Angus Reid Institute, nearly 50%of Canadians said that they’ve been feeling fatigued, 40% reported feeling frustrated, and 38% indicated that they’ve been anxious. The same report findings also show that 1 in 3 Canadians are struggling with their mental health. This is a significant leap from before the beginnings of the pandemic, when 25% of the population reported mental health concerns.
According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, on any given week, over 500,000 Canadians are unable to go to work due to mental health issues.
High Anxiety, Low self-esteem, addicted, lonely, isolated, lack of confidence, there are so many terms that we have used just to define how an increasing number of people are struggling to live out there day to day lives. As you might expect, The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Philippian church, has something to say about that.
First, Paul greets the Philippian believers with a prayer of thanksgiving. He is thankful upon even the slightest remembrance of them. They had proven to be a special blessing to Paul and to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus. This is where Paul intentionally takes the time to tell them this. It is important to let people know when they have been a blessing to us. There’s an old quote that says ‘Roses do no good when the person is dead.’
That’s the first takeaway for us from the rest of Paul’s greeting. Paul expresses his gratitude towards the Philippians for their partnership in the gospel – The fellowship we talked about last week. He thanks God every time he thinks of them and then prays for them with joy.
One way we can apply this part of our passage, to our lives, is simply by recognizing the importance of partnerships in our walk with God. I suspect many of you here this morning have those people – maybe one or maybe more – who have helped your faith journey. Teaching you, mentoring you, serving alongside you. This is an invaluable part of our Christian walk and a very intentional part of the makeup of the Church.
Galatians 2:9-10 NIV
9 James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised. 10 All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.
Just like he had experienced at the very beginning of His Christian ministry, Paul had a deep appreciation for the fellowship he shared with other Believers. Especially here, with the Philippians’ partnership in the gospel. We should also value the partnerships we have with others in our faith journey.
Now, here’s the second thing that Paul points out to us in this opening greeting, Paul shows us that We should be confident that God will complete the good work he has begun in them.
Look at Vs. 6 again:
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Paul shares with them the additional good news that God is still working on them. If you find yourself struggling with feelings of unworthiness, the narrative of “I’ll never be good enough’ or even where our faith is concerned, feeling like you don’t measure up, then let me ask you this question.
Isn’t it good to know that God isn’t finished with us yet?
None of us has arrived yet. We are all still work in progress. I am so glad today that I am not what I will be some day. You see, He is still working on all of us. As we travel toward eternity, there are three things that we have that ought to encourage our hearts while He finishes His work in our lives.
1. WE HAVE CONFIDENCE
We want each of you to feel confident. Assurance is the greatest blessing in life. Some people trust in the material, some in themselves. That doesn’t satisfy, It won’t satisfy! It’ won’t satisfy because the material or even reliance on self can be taken from us. The assurance we are given in Christ can’t ever be taken. Sadly though, many believers lack this confidence – “The sorrow of doubt!”
Don’t doubt, there’s no need for that. We can and should possess absolute assurance in Him. How can I say that ? Because we are told so!
We have His Word . 1 John, Acts 16:31; John 3:16
- His word doesn’t change.
We Have His Promises—Heb. 13:5; John 6:37
- His promises don’t change.
We Have an Absolute Guarantee—John 10:28
And so what we’re left with is an absolute guarantee. And let me be really specific here – If you at all lack total confidence concerning your salvation, stop trusting yourself and learn to trust Jesus. He can and will keep those he calls —1 Pet. 1:5
2. WE HAVE CONTINUANCE
Here’s the second point that should encourage you. Look at the word Until in vs. 6.
God isn’t finished with you and me! Aren’t you glad?
When we accept Jesus and the Holy Spirit comes into our lives, we have been changed, but we haven’t been perfected yet! That’s Gods work, according to His will and His timing. Our duty is to yield to God’s hand! He will work in us, but we must allow Him to do that work! The Potter and the Clay—Jer. 18: “Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand,…” God will not stop working—UNTIL! God will keep working, shaping, and molding our lives until the very minute we leave this world.
3. WE HAVE COMPLETION
And so let me relieve you from a burden – We are not at our best!
Say this with me – “I am not my best.” Again – “I am not my best.” Someday, God’s work in us will be over, we will be complete, and we will be perfected! How can I use the word perfected ?
Because, we will be like Him.
- Physically – 1 Cor. 15:49–54 (Ill. Finally sin free—Rev. 21:27)
- Spiritually – 1 John 3:1–3 Ill. The days of fighting the flesh will end forever.
- Geographically – John 14:1–3 (Ill. Heaven bound!!)
Paul is confident that God will complete the good work that he has begun in the Philippians. He reminds them that God began this work in them and will bring it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
You should be just as confident about your own life and God’s ability to perfect you as Paul is of these people he loves so much – I am!
Someday, God will finish His work in us. I have never been satisfied with me here, but I will be there—Psa. 17:15! It will be hard to improve upon perfection!
The question for each of us is: Are you one of His? Are you saved? Have you given Jesus your heart? If you have, if you can answer yes, then the question becomes will you allow the peace of His promises to be what you feel as opposed to those other terms we used at the beginning of this message. If not, this can be your day. Wouldn’t you like to be saved and sure of it? Wouldn’t you like to be made perfect ?You can be! Ask Him, just ask Jesus !
Lord Jesus, I confess my sins and ask for your forgiveness. Please come into my heart as my Lord and Savior. Take complete control of my life and help me to walk in Your footsteps daily by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank you Lord for saving me and for answering my prayer.
Church, let us rejoice in the fact that our God is greater still and never stops working, even when we are unaware, even when our confidence is lessened by doubt. I leave you with the words of Irenaeus – “The glory of God is man fully alive”. God want’s us to live fully alive and confident in His will for your life.
Thank you, God, for the joy of today. It is still morning, and yet so many good things have Lord God, how extravagant your love for us is! You continually pour upon us blessing upon blessing – in the lives of people near and dear to us, in the beauty of creation, in the skills and abilities you have given to us. There is so much for which we are thankful. Yet in the midst of this thankfulness, there lurks the demons of demand and confusion. We want you to be in control of taking care of all the things that threaten us. We want you to prevent us from facing times of confusion and doubt. Actually, we want to have a more complete faith. How hard it is for us to see that we need to take some time to honour and praise Christ instead of continually asking for Christ to do things for us. We have a lot to learn. Lord, teach us! Open our hard hearts to the healing words you have for us. Give us patience and persistence in our service to you. And when we stumble and thrash around faithlessly, bring us back to your presence; that we may find healing and hope. In Jesus’ name, we pray. AMEN.
Go with assurance and the peace of being confident of this, “that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the coming of Lord Jesus”