The secret


sunday, november 25, 2018

Has anyone ever told you a secret? How did that make you feel?

Learning a secret unlocks something that was kept from you and opens it to you.

What if there was a “secret ingredient” to a “Good Life”?

Most of us would want that.

A “good” life is not marked by perfection, – but true, centered life is characterized by…

Unity, Joy, Peace of Mind, Maturity, Gratitude, Generosity

Paul wrote some “final” words to friends of his that we find in his letter to the Philippians.

Philippians gives a wide range of topics regarding life: Practical love, trials, humility & Jesus, joy, gratitude, generosity, focus, prayer, worry…

Towards the end of this letter, Paul gives his “secret ingredient” that can help all of us in life.

He starts off talking about the importance of unity.

“My dear, dear friends! I love you so much. I do want the very best for you. You make me feel such joy, fill me with such pride. Don’t waver. Stay on track, steady in God. I urge Euodia and Syntyche to iron out their differences and make up. God doesn’t want his children holding grudges.” – Philippians 4:1-3 MSG

Instability comes from insecurity and leads to much dis-unity.

Then Paul talks about joy and how it’s connected to our peace of mind. He gives internal elements effect external living….

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” – Philippians 4:6-7 MSG

Jesus said it this way, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:34 NIV

Anxiousness leads to unnecessary movement.  Confidence leads to steadiness.

Then, Paul gives us practical advice to replace & fill our minds with things that are….

True, Noble, Right, Pure, Lovely, Pure, Admirable, Excellent, Praiseworthy. 

This “confidence/steadiness” leads to a kind of MATURITY that can’t be easily shaken…

And here comes his “secret ingredient”……

“I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite (build) content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. 

Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” – Philippians 4:10-13 MSG

The secret ingredient is contentment – in the One who makes me who I am.

Contentment is not found in external or internal things. It’s far better.

Contentment is found in the one who made all these and makes them possible.

Paul gives a final thank you to these people for their generosity & “gifts” they sent him…

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19 NIV

Paul shares with us how Contentment turns: 

Disunity–Unity. Discouragement—Joy. Worry—Gratitude.  Need—Generosity.

The secret ingredient is contentment – in the One who makes me who I am.