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
The Psalmist says
O come, let us sing to our God
and make a joyful noise
to the rock of our salvation.
And so together We lift our hearts and voices
in joy and thanksgiving
for being here together
in the presence of our God.
Come, let us worship this amazing God,
for we belong to God.
We will listen for God’s word
and live in the hope it inspires.
Allow Him to Refresh us this morning
Allow Him to Open us to the possibilities of a friendship like know other.
GOOD MORNING FBK & WELCOME TO WORSHIP!
Prayer of Confession & Assurance
Patient and ever-faithful God,
we come to you this morning
confessing that we can be a grumpy
and unsatisfied people.
When things are not perfect in our eyes,
we murmur and complain,
and grumble and doubt.
We lose hope in the people around us
and, even worse, we lose hope in you.
We challenge instead of accept.
We put you to the test
rather than trust your caring love.
Forgive our doubts and complaining.
Forgive our loss of hope.
Let your healing, life-giving waters pour over us.
Restore our souls. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon:
Our hope and assurance
rest in God’s unfailing love and forgiveness.
Open your hearts and minds and souls
that the healing mercies
of God’s never-ending love and forgiveness
may flow into and over you.
Today's Message: Pastor Dave Page
Good morning! Before I begin today’s message, I want to ask you all a question. How does it feel when someone notices something you’ve done that has been meaningful and intentional? Maybe you worked hard at a job or made an effort in a relationship, or even completed a project you set out to do. It feels amazing when your efforts are recognized and appreciated – but what if we could take those feelings of joy and purpose higher? Well, church, this is exactly where I hope to take us today.
With Lent now upon us, this is a time of year that we have the opportunity to reflect on our faith and how we can live for the glory of God. Our text for today comes from the book of Philippians, chapter 2 verses 5 through 11.
Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:5-11
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
This passage not only speaks of Christ’s willingness to serve and sacrifice for us, but also to examine our own lives, understanding our attitude and motivation each day should come from a Christ like perspective. Let’s focus on living exceptional lives as a way of honoring Him.
Point #1 – Inherently Unique
If you remember nothing else today, let me leave you with this thought: You were meant to be unique! Lets look again at verse 5-6 which reads;
“have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;”
Before Jesus humbled himself to become a human and live on earth with us, he was one with The Father. Before he came down from on high to walk this planet, Jesus was in control of all things, including his natural inclination being that of love, kindness, and peace for all. Therefore, it is quite clear that before Jesus took on human form, He was inherently unique.
All too often we decide to take on other people’s character traits, believing we must fit into a certain mold in order to be accepted. Yet, try as hard as we might, we were uniquely designed for greatness because truthfully, like the makeup of the snowfall we see, it is impossible for two (or more) snowflakes to be completely alike. So, it begs the questions, why do we still place such high expectations on ourselves by emulating others instead of embracing our individual strengths?
Church, we cannot forget that even though it’s easy to conform to society’s standards, it’s far greater to be a leader along the different paths and roads that Jesus calls us to. As Andrew Carnegie once said,
“As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.”
Will we choose to follow the crowd or will we stand out and trust the Lord? You are, by design, inherently unique!
Point #2 – Spiritually Unique
You are also, by design, a spiritual being. Often when we think of spirituality, we think of being shrouded in robes, never cursing or letting loose, or simply being better than everyone else. But tell me, what does unique spirituality entail?
Look back at Verse 8 which states;
“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”
An important parallel here is between Christ’s earthly and human appearance and our own. Just as Jesus allowed himself to humble for a greater good, we should also be working toward achieving the spiritual relationship with the Lord He desires for us.
We are to obey His commandments, setting aside factors that cause spiritual division, such as material possessions, insignificance, and pride. We cannot simply rely on external righteousness for others to see, but rather real and significant internal change. We must be aware of and avoid any negative influences that bring us further away from Jesus. That means shifting and revising our mindsets as holy individuals. And then, once our inner vessels are sanctified and renewed, then only can we truly begin to exude real spirituality. A spirituality that truly impacts and transforms how we live life, how we deal with all that life throws our way.
Let me give you an example. Think back to the time when Jesus was arrested and brought before Pontius Pilate. (John 19:10-11) I mean, what did Jesus have to defend himself with? Just a few words here and there? No. In truth, He faced His unjust accusation with silence. That my friends, is true bravery and strength. We know Jesus did not deserve the death penalty he was given, yet He knew from the beginning that it was through His blood that redemption for us would come. He willingly gave up His life as a man with the perspective and action of a Saviour.
Point # 3 Salvation Through Hope
So that perspective and Jesus’ action, is where we find our hope. Look at these last verses, Philippians 2:9-11 which says
“Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Church, don’t miss the immense importance of this.
It is through Jesus’ ultimately selfless act of sacrifice, that we as humans have the ability to approach God without fear.
It’s because of Jesus and what He did that we are granted access to the Kingdom of Heaven and eternally saved.
Although facing the unthinkable, the humiliation and pain, Jesus saw the bigger picture and trusted that in due time, He would emerge victoriously. Rather than preoccupy himself with one sided thinking on the matter, Jesus focused on His end goal, laying down His life as a bridge for mankind to connect closer to our God.
I mentioned the season of Lent at the beginning of the message. Lent is a reminder of the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert fasting, reflecting, and being tempted. During this time, Jesus’ mindful choice not to give in to worldly enticements serves as a strong impactful reminder of His end goal. In the same manner, may we consider what obstacles we have placed around us, asking God to guide our eyes to look past momentary gratification and align us with His will. That’s not easy in the world we live in today.
Take honesty and integrity for example. Those 2 things are so often missing from the experiences we have with the world around us each day. Just imagine if each of us walked outside everyday emulating Jesus way of life. Living bold and confident lives under His Lordship. In return, our integrity would soon be recognizable, as contrarian possibly, with even strangers recognizing how we are different. Still others would recognize our word for truth and having undeniable assurance in their heart that when we speak, we mean what we say. That is what I call walking with God’s unwavering truth every day.
The world encourages something different doesn’t it? The world says, say what you need to say to get what you want. That’s just the way of the world, you must take – and if someone get’s hurt, well, that’s just collateral damage.
You see, living like Paul is encouraging the people in Phillipi to do takes intention, integrity, strength. We must transform our mind Paul says.
Now ask yourself, how might you transform your mindset?
Are there aspects of your life you feel led to put down?
What attitudes and characteristics of Christ are you most drawn to exemplify?
Think of the transformed outcomes that are possible, even through small adjustments, such as radiating genuine humbleness, exhibiting contentment and submitting to God’s way of doing things. The world around you really needs to see the power of our convictions in how we meet them every day!
In this passage we’ve looked at this morning, Paul gave this stunning example of Christ’s humiliation and exaltation to motivate the Philippian church to
“do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (vv. 3, 4).
In fact, this encouragement extends to later in the chapter where Paul talks about Timothy,
“For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. They all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ” (vv. 20, 21).
This mindset of transformation and a posture of humble stance in the world was key to what Paul was saying. So, we must understand that counting others as more significant than ourselves and looking out for the interests of others is directly related to what we understand about Christ and what we believe he did. We are, in fact, commanded to have the mind among ourselves that is in Christ Jesus (cf. v. 5).
Others first is both a sign that the gospel is alive among us and a necessity for the health of the church and for us as individuals as well.
Others first encapsulates the role of a good husband as defined in Ephesians 5. He counts his wife as more significant than himself and looks out for her interests before his. In fact, he dies for her and loves her like he loves himself.
Others first practically defines the role of parent, producing protective fathers and nurturing mothers who regard their children as more important than themselves.
In the church, Others first effectively defines the role of pastors and leaders. As Peter describes it:
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. (1 Peter 5:1–3; cf. 1 Timothy 3:1–7; Titus 1:5–16)
Others first is meant to characterize the life we live together within the body of Christ, between brothers and sisters, and the lives we live out there in the world around us.
We really are to regard each other as more important than ourselves.
We really are to look out for the interests of others. And we can do that because we have the example of Christ, who really did it. And we have his mind.
As we wrap up our message for today, I want to leave you with this thought:
These are undoubtedly difficult tasks and require putting to death old ways of thinking—but here’s the thing: transformation only takes place when there is movement away from our former selves. Therefore, this Lenten season, If you’ve not already done so, I urge each of us to genuinely consider how we can grow in our relationship with God by choosing to be like Him.
Jesus’ humble sacrifice speaks to us in ways unlike any other. He is our provider and protector, our teacher and Lord. Knowing full well the cost, He gave up all rights and privileges to come to earth and suffered death on our behalf. Even more astonishing is that God not only accepts this sacrifice with open arms, He exalts Jesus’ name to the highest place, granting Him all mastery over life and death. The question for us today then is the same as it always has been: Will we submit ourselves to Jesus’ Lordship ? Will we follow His example and live a truly others-first life. I’ll leave you with the words of William Booth:
“The conditions of discipleship are indeed arduous; nothing less than unreserved, unqualified, absolute surrender to the authority and guidance of the Lord Jesus is demanded; nothing else will do instead.”
Church, regardless of who we are or what we have done, Jesus came not only to suffer and die on the cross, but to be the example of how to live a life of humble service to God, shown by how we treat others around us. Today, I encourage each of you, just as Paul encouraged this Church, to focus on walking in the same attitude of humility, serving and loving God as a testament of our faith. When you choose to allow Jesus Christ to remain at the forefront of your intentions, with the message of humble submission as the calling card of your life, even with our differences, only then will we reach our full potential; by trusting Him enough to obey whatever He asks us to do. Amen.
Father in heaven, you are so good to us. You provide us with everything we need, satisfying us Gracious God,
You are generous with your people; your mercy is abundant.
We gather on the tenuous threshold of spring,
When birdsong returns with the warming breeze,
When sunshine breaks through the persistent cloud cover,
When new life is aching to burst forth from the cold depths of winter.
Once again we are reminded of your abiding presence and the gifts of life.
Through your son Jesus Christ your grace knows no bounds.
By your spirit you inspire us to live as he lived, to act as he acted, and love as he loved.
In Christ we know that we are to care for the poor and the afflicted.
We are to gather in your name
And embody your love, hospitality, and care.
For we know that in your realm it is the impoverished of this world
Whom you have blessed with everlasting riches.
Let us sing your praises all our lives
And place our trust in you who keeps faith forever.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Let us trust in you when our souls are troubled,
When the aches of this world are too great to bear,
When grief reappears unexpected and unwelcome
When the impossibilities of daily life loom like a mountain
When our eyes have no more tears to shed,
When scrolling through the headlines dulls our compassion
When the foundations are tremble.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Let us trust that you are present with us in our need
And in every troubled corner of your creation.
Let us trust that you know what we seek before we even ask.
For you Holy God, are merciful and mighty.
Your spirit hovers over heaven and earth, seeks to dwell within our hearts, and gathers your people together to worship across space and time.
Through Christ you offer us a feast of grace when we ask for a crumb.
So fill us with your hope and turn our hearts to you
Church, our hope is that this morning, you have encountered the living God!
Go now to live in the hope this encounter inspires.
Be water bearers to a dry and parched world,
knowing that the God of love and hope
goes before you and with you always. Amen.
Blessings & have a wonderful week.