- Even as the economy begins to reopen after the peak of COVID-19, many of us are still facing many challenges and transitions
- Virtual graduation, virtual learning, virtual meeting, even virtual online worship.
- Many of you have been diligently serving in various ministry teams, but all of a sudden, all your scheduled serving has been canceled, and indefinitely shelved.
- Your enthusiasm, hope and energy to serve have started to die down.
- Those God-given gifts seem to have no meaning or purpose anymore
- You start to question or rethink your own identity and purpose as a Christian
- What does it mean to be a Christian in this new “Normal”? Churches and Christians are facing unprecedented challenges during this pandemic
The teachings and example of Paul (Philippians 1:12-26)
- We will find encouragement and strengths to break out of our comfort zone and move forward to uncharted waters.
- Background: Paul was being locked down in prison in Rome, waiting for his trial and possibly execution. What would Paul be thinking at a time like this?
- Surprisingly, Paul's response is "I rejoice".
- Paul is joyful because the Gospel of Jesus Christ is being spread even under a full lockdown. "Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice" (Philippians 1:18)
- God’s mighty work does not stop during a pandemic so we too should be joyful!
- Paul can keep his laser focus while we struggle in the times of uncertainty because Christ is in the core of his being.
- "...as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:20-21)
- When Christ is our life, then no matter what happens, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
- For most of us who have been a Christian for a while, our problem is not that we don't know about the importance of Christ
- Too often our problem is that we tend to add more to Paul's Statement
- For to me, to live is Christ PLUS _________. For to me to live is Christ, plus all the other stuff in my life (our career, possessions, serving in church, ministry, etc)
- All too often, all these “plus” has become our primary passion.
- We need to keep asking ourselves, “What if these things were taken from me? Is Christ still there in the centre of our being and identity?
- Let's reflect and put Christ back into the centre of our core.
Summary of Reminder and encouragement from Paul
- Be Bold
- Not at all ashamed but with full courage
- Not frightened
- Let Christ be honored in your body, whether by life or by death
- To live is Christ, and to die is gain
Here I Am To Worship
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