The Rock Covenant Church

The Rock Church Worship Service


How Wonderful (I am undone, this fire unquenchable)
How Great Thou Art (O Lord my God When I in awesome wonder)
You Have Won Me (Grace, you've shown me grace)
Amazing Love (I'm forgiven because you were forsaken)


Looking at Phillipians 4
Next week Paul’s got a friend coming in from his Gospel signing days
Week after that, Maria and I will be talking about contentment

Be glad in the Lord always! Again I say, be glad! Let your gentleness show in your treatment of all people. The Lord is near. Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus. From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. Practice these things: whatever you learned, received, heard, or saw in us. The God of peace will be with you. I was very glad in the Lord because now at last you have shown concern for me again. (Of course you were always concerned but had no way to show it.) I’m not saying this because I need anything, for I have learned how to be content in any circumstance. I know the experience of being in need and of having more than enough; I have learned the secret to being content in any and every circumstance, whether full or hungry or whether having plenty or being poor. I can endure all these things through the power of the one who gives me strength. Still, you have done well to share my distress. (Philippians 4:4-14 CEB)

Good news
Paul, the apostle, the big shot, says he’s learned to be content in all circumstances
This is not just a suggestion or gloating, he’s passing it along to us
You might feel content because you feel safe and secure
But that can lead to laziness
Discontentment can lead to bitterness
I want to reassure you tonight, you’re not alone
I have this tendency to look back at the last decade of your life, and say “what an idiot I’ve been”
Three practical things
Thanking, thinking, loving
And the practicality of how that plays out
Doesn’t say make your requests and thank him AFTER you get what you want
Make your request WITH thanksgiving
Peace comes before your requests, by the act of bringing it to God
If we could see things from God’s perspective, our prayers would look a lot different
If we approach Him as one who is thankful regardless of outcome
Sometimes God says no, so just accept it
That’s not really helpful for me
I can remember that’s not very helpful
Looking at the last decade, it’s been really difficult
In the garden of Gesthemanae, Jesus says something that touched me and made my walk through the valleys of my last decade easier
Before then, Jesus has said that He and God are sooo connected, the Father says something and I do it
He makes his request here about if there’s any way this burden can pass from me, and hears silence
Then on the cross he says my God my God why have you forsaken me
He feels the silent God
As I’ve looked through that passage feeling my own abandonment from God, I’m finding Jesus there
That sounds dark, but if you haven’t felt pain, you just haven’t lived long enough
In those moments of silence, Jesus begins to feel even more real
Maybe that is when true peace comes
It isn’t just safety and comfort, but peace, peace that passes understanding
When He experiences the silence of God, He says “not my will but yours be done”
If I could see things from God’s perspective, my prayers would be different
With thanksgiving, make your requests known to God
I have a friend who’s experiencing a great deal of ridicule right now
He says “I’m just learning to surrender the outcome and leave it in the hands of My God because I trust Him with my life. Thank you for listening to me! Thank you for not turning away from me (even if you’re silent)! ”
Paul is facing possible execution and he’s saying he’s learned to be content
Even though I’m learning to deal with this outcome, I’m surrendering the outcome to God
How many times have you prayed and given God an ultimatum?
So with thanksgiving we make our requests know
The God of peace will be given to you
When? When anxiety has you by the throat and you’re afraid
It doesn’t mean you lack faith
But Paul says, think about these big universal truths
When you’re in the thick of it and think about the big truths
That there is a God and that He gave himself up for us so He could have a life-giving relationship with us
What is honorable, what is commendable, what is worthy of praise
All of this messy stuff I’m just throwing it out there
I’m not sure what’s going to happen, but you’re going to be there
Sometimes we’re not thinking hard enough or deep enough
Christianity is a relationship that calls us to think
Think about having Christ and Him alone
We’re not exempt from problems
Think about Him when things are difficult
God is up to something
The more we think about these things, the more peace will come
Peace comes from thinking
Peace comes from lovely
There’s this great Hebrew word that I’ve used before – kavod – something that is weighty, greater than anything ever created
This puts an image in my head
I love the California coast, on the route up north, there’s these giant, massive rocks that have refused to be beaten down
Next time you get slapped upside the head, think about it as having weight, of being kavod
Paul is saying “I’m about to possible be executed, isn’t that awesome?”
And loving, and lovely
St. Augustine has this great quote
Only the love of the immutable will give you peace
Immutable = something that has kavod
The things that change can’t bring you peace that sustains, when the wave of life side swipes you
I need something that’s immutable
You may love your kids, your spouse, your friends, your family, your career – that’s all fine and well, but they’re mutable
If you’re really good at something, there’s always someone better than you
There’s always somebody ahead
Loving the immutable, someone with enough kavod to handle you, gives you peace
I’m learning to sink my heart into the one who is worthy of my praise
If you try to sink your heart into something mutable, you will crush it because they can’t have enough kavod
I thank You that You’re here
I think of the bigger truths and let them spill over me
I love
Thanking, thinking, loving Jesus


Love That Will Not Let Me Go (When sorrow falls like bitter rain)

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