Sermon: What Does it Matter?
Scripture: Philippians 1:12-18
ICE BREAKER: What is something you used to be obsessed with that now you don't pay much attention to? (favorite pop star from back in the day, a sport you no longer follow, a hobby you went all in on and now don't participate in, etc...)
This week, we looked at the reality of what lies ahead of us after this life. Someday, we will all stand before Jesus and give an account for how we lived the life we were given!
To be CRYSTAL CLEAR, our works during our life do not determine whether or not we ENTER eternity in relationship with God; however, they do determine the rewards we receive from Jesus upon entrance into Heaven. In other words, our works are about INHERITANCE, not ENTRANCE.
We are Justified by faith alone and promised eternity with God - THEN, we pursue Sanctification (growth and maturity to be more like Jesus) and are rewarded for that effort after this life.
To help us improve our eternal perspective, we looked at a snap-shot from the life of the Apostle Paul. Paul was writing to the Philippians from his jail cell where he had been imprisoned for his preaching of the Gospel! Even in chains, Paul had not lost hope!
13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard, and to everyone else, that my imprisonment is because I am in Christ.
14 Most of the brothers have gained confidence in the Lord from my imprisonment and dare even more to speak the word fearlessly.
Paul was spreading the gospel BECAUSE of his imprisonment, not just in spite of it. The imperial guard was coming to faith in Jesus, other pastors were becoming more bold for the gospel, and Paul even celebrated his haters because they were even telling people about Jesus!
In the worst situation imaginable, imprisoned for his faith, Paul rejoices in what is going on and continues to make a massive impact for Jesus!
In the middle of his message, Paul asks a question that shows the proper perspective for living a life that will one day be rewarded:
WHAT DOES IT MATTER?
These are 4 of the most powerful words you could put together! What Does It Matter?? This is the question that followers of Jesus must have on the forefront of our minds if we are going to achieve the powerful life we are capable of living.
Paul is asking this question in light of eternity!
IN response to what Jesus has done for us
With eternal perspective
With our Justification secured
Clothed in the Righteousness of Jesus
With Heaven in our hearts... WHAT DOES IT MATTER?
Paul was in a terrible situation:
What are you experiencing in life that could cause you to lose hope?
What feels so unfair in your everyday life?
Who/What occupies an enormous amount of your thoughts and energy?
If we are only living for TODAY, then the things of this world will carry immense weight in our life! If we are only living for ourselves, then offenses and troubles can derail us for days, weeks, months, and even years.
However, IF we live with Jesus and Eternity in mind, we will realize that
HOW YOU MOVE TODAY
IS HOW YOU ARE MEASURED TOMORROW
Here is this week's application question:
In light of what we learned from Paul's example: What is something you are giving enormous weight and power to that you need to view in light of eternity and ask, "What Does it Matter?"
Living with the end in mind is something you will have to practice for it to become second-nature. Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you throughout your day that you are living for more than this world. Center your mornings on Jesus and imagine yourself standing before him someday. Thank God that we can be under suffering in this life, and still have hope!