Mar 31, 2019
Philippians 4 – Peace
Series: Philippians

A few months ago a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer. Following surgery he is now working out what follow-up treatment he is going to require. This week was his first visit with a new oncologist and he was naturally a little anxious about it. In a social media post he quoted an inspirational text from the bible, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians 4:6).”

As inspirational as it is, as encouraging as it is, it also seems impossible. How is it that someone with cancer could not be anxious? How could someone with a brain tumour not be anxious? How could someone with a sick child in hospital not be anxious? How could a parent who’s child leaves home not be a little anxious? How could a student sitting an important exam not feel anxious? How is it that someone is supposed to be at peace in the middle of any and all situations?

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians he claims to have found the secret of true peace in all situations. Fortunately for us, he doesn't keep the secret to himself, but explains the basic elements required to achieve that peace. For thousands of years believers have wrestled with these elements, and following Paul's advice they have found that same incredible sense of peace in all situations.

Whatever your life story we would love for you to join us at 10am on Sunday as together we look at what Paul taught and attempt to find peace in all the crazy things we face. #wollongongsalvos #peace#cancer #philippians

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  • Mar 31, 2019Philippians 4 – Peace
    Mar 31, 2019
    Philippians 4 – Peace
    Series: Philippians

    A few months ago a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer. Following surgery he is now working out what follow-up treatment he is going to require. This week was his first visit with a new oncologist and he was naturally a little anxious about it. In a social media post he quoted an inspirational text from the bible, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians 4:6).”

    As inspirational as it is, as encouraging as it is, it also seems impossible. How is it that someone with cancer could not be anxious? How could someone with a brain tumour not be anxious? How could someone with a sick child in hospital not be anxious? How could a parent who’s child leaves home not be a little anxious? How could a student sitting an important exam not feel anxious? How is it that someone is supposed to be at peace in the middle of any and all situations?

    In Paul’s letter to the Philippians he claims to have found the secret of true peace in all situations. Fortunately for us, he doesn't keep the secret to himself, but explains the basic elements required to achieve that peace. For thousands of years believers have wrestled with these elements, and following Paul's advice they have found that same incredible sense of peace in all situations.

    Whatever your life story we would love for you to join us at 10am on Sunday as together we look at what Paul taught and attempt to find peace in all the crazy things we face. #wollongongsalvos #peace#cancer #philippians

  • Mar 24, 2019Philippians 3 – Hope
    Mar 24, 2019
    Philippians 3 – Hope
    Series: Philippians

    We live in a credential-conscious society. Those with the right credentials can get into certain places, and do certain things, and those without credentials can not. Try to enter Vietnam without the appropriate travel credentials and you will very quickly discover that these particular credentials matter. Try to gain entrance into the Pentagon without the proper military credentials and see how quickly you are escorted from the premises. Try to get onto the sidelines of your favourite professional sporting match without the proper team or media credentials, and security will re-direct you very quickly. We might not like the hassle, or the barriers credentials create, but we accept the fact that they serve a purpose. Credentials keep the wrong people out and allow the right people in.

    No one would want to go to a doctor’s office and notice that they didn’t have any credentials posted on the wall. What if you asked your doctor, “May I see your credentials?” Only to hear the response, “Well, honestly, I never went to medical school. I didn’t want to waste my time or money. I don’t actually have a license to practice medicine.” What if they said, “Well I may not be an accredited doctor, but here’s my mechanical engineering degree?” Either way, I’m not sure you would let this person stand over you with a scalpel. Like it or not, credentials are essential, but they must be the right credentials.

    In Philippians 3 the Apostle Paul confesses that for too long he was using the wrong credentials. Paul was trusting in his impressive heritage, unsurpassed religious zeal, and uncompromising morality. These were the things that had given Paul a false sense of security for many years. And, when we look closely, we realise that these are often the very things that give people a false sense of security today. However, Paul discovered that the Gospel changed everything in his life. As Paul looked at his background, he said, “Everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung.” (Philippians 3:8 MSG) Paul realised that his prior credentials were insignificant; Jesus was the only credential he needed. When Paul gave up everything he had for Jesus, he discovered that he had actually given up nothing, to gain everything.

  • Mar 17, 2019Philippians 2 – Minds
    Mar 17, 2019
    Philippians 2 – Minds
    Series: Philippians
     Very few people have a mild reaction when they first taste Vegemite. Vegemite is so strong, bitter and salty that it turns peoples faces inside-out. This is very amusing for Australians as they often coax unsuspecting foreigners into trying huge spoonfuls of Vegemite by convincing them that it tastes something like chocolate. In some ways Jesus was like Vegemite. People rarely had a mild reaction to Jesus. They would either recoil in hatred at the things he claimed or they were attracted to his teaching, believed what he said and worshipped him. Jesus was a strong person, his message was powerful and his claims were incredible. Over time thousands of people began to follow Jesus. They discovered who he was, they learned what he taught and it changed their lives.

    In Philippians 2 we learn that one of the most important lessons Jesus taught and demonstrated was that of humility. Intentionally using your power and influence to build up others rather than yourself, is such a powerful counter-cultural concept, but it leads to a life of true satisfaction.

  • Mar 10, 2019Philippians 1 – Relationships
    Mar 10, 2019
    Philippians 1 – Relationships
    Series: Philippians

    The philosopher Aristotle said, “In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. They keep the young out of mischief; they comfort and aid the old in their weakness, and they incite those in the prime of life to noble deeds.”

    One of the most overlooked benefits of friendship is that it helps keep our bodies and minds strong. In fact, it’s as important to our physical health as eating well and keeping fit. A recent Harvard study concluded that having solid friendships in our lives helps us deal with stress, make better lifestyle choices that keep us strong, and allow us to rebound from health issues and disease more quickly. Friendship is equally important to our mental health. One study even suggested spending time with positive friends actually changes our outlook for the better. That means we’re happier when we choose to spend time with happy people. Modern research suggests that friendship may even hold the key to alleviating social problems such as divorce, homelessness and obesity, because our friends aid in the way we deal with stress or unhappiness.

    The apostle Paul knew the importance of friendship. In the book of Philippians, often referred to as a letter of friendship, we witness a very personal and warm Paul expressing affection for his friends. His friends were a safe refuge for him when the circumstances he faced seemed relentlessly dire and they gave him much needed strength to persevere. His partnership with them, in sharing the gospel, was life changing - it had changed everything. The letter to the Philippians was unlike other letters which Paul had written to respond to crises. Paul's love of and dependance on his friends in Philippi is evident from the very beginning, expressing, "I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now.”

    Paul, while in prison, has reflected on the value of friendship and in the book of Philippians we get an insight into the importance of sharing life with people who will partner with us and pray with and for us.