Peter James speaking…
Okay my real lesson plans will start soon but first I want to open an inspirational letter by Paul who wrote in Philippians. Known in Philippians, the very positive letter out of the all New Testament most positive letters. When I read, wow, I feel and want to share two chapters for today and next Sunday, the last two chapters, only 4 chapters. I want share with you before i can go ahead start real Bible lessons; why because that letters i read, i was touched and that where i wanna passion jump in to the gospel by start read gospel from beginning to the end. I want to share with you. Let me start by reading Philippians chapter 1.
“This letter is from Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus. I am writing to all of God’s holy people in Philippi who belong to Christ Jesus, including the church leaders and deacons. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.” Understand the word “slaves”, long ago in old times, it meant servants, different words, make sure to understand this clearly. Okay next verse…
“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.”
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. So it is right that Ishould feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News.”
“God knows how much I love you and long for you with tender compassion of Christ Jesus. I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.”
“May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation - the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ - for this will bring much glory and praise to God. And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. For everyone here, including the Whole palace guard, knows and I am in chains because of Christ.”
“And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear. It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News.”
“Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice. For I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance.”
“For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better.”
“I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live. Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith.”
“And when I come to you again, you will have even more reason to take pride in Christ Jesus because of what he is doing through me. Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.”
Last verse of chapter one… “ Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for Him. We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it.”
Hold that before I continue Chapter two…
Talking to the audience… Give SSP some rest… anyone have any questions… (silence) … Okay, give you (SSP) a two minute break? You okay, want to keep going ahead? Go ahead, okay fine, make sure! Squishing some oils on the wrists, okay! Ha-Ha!!
Chapter two says… “Is there any encouragement from belongings to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.”
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”
“Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”
“Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
“Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”
“Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.”
“But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy.”
“If the Lord Jesus is willing, I hope to send Timothy to you soon for a visit. Then he can cheer me up by telling me how you are getting along. I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare. All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ.”
“But you know how Timothy has proved himself. Like a son with his father, he has served with me in preaching the Good News. I hope to send him to you just as soon as I find out what is going to happen to me here. And I have confidence from the Lord that I myself will come to see you soon.”
“Meanwhile, I thought I should send Epaphroditus back to you. He is a true brother, co-worker, and fellow soldier. And he was your messenger to help me in my need. I am sending him because he has been longing to see you, and he was very distressed that you heard he was ill. And he certainly was ill; in fact, he almost died. But God had mercy on him - and also on me, so that I would not have one sorrow after another.”
Last paragraph… “So I am all the more anxious to send him back to you, for I know you will be glad to see him, and then I will not be so worried about you. Welcome him in the Lord’s love and with great joy, and give him the honor that people like him deserve. For he risked his life for the work of Christ, and he was at the point of death while doing for me what you couldn’t do from far away.”
Talking to the audience…
Okay! That! How inspiring was that?! Awesome, right?! That was inspiring! Anything you want to say?? Nothing? Okay make sure, saw y’all were signing. I wasn’t sure. Okay, fine. Okay that Paul was imprisoned, you know, the Philippians were very friendly people. They help Paul through alot and he, wow, I noticed in other letters, Corinthians, Ephesians, Galatians; he will always have to inform each to correct them. But in Philippians, he emphasized to make sure yall remember, encourage yall, keep going, you know, that Philippians in that country as today in what, Japan, China, Thai, Korean, in those countries, that kind of Philppians, I was amazed. I was imagining their different countries. I have a picture of a map of where Paul traveled. I saw those areas, I see, compared to today. I can see some different areas, where Paul traveled from Israel in Jerusalem to Turkey. Have many different places. I will show y'all a map one day later. Will show, but wow, Paul went through a lot of times in his life. He got bit by snakes, his boat sank, abused, thrown in jail, many different things happened to Paul, but he continually, patiently, thoroughly. You know, Paul went to jail one time? No, more than once! He went to jail then was released. Jail then released. But where was he now while writing of Philppians? He was in the last jail of Rome. Why? Because he wanted to go to Rome and face their Ruler. Understand this was in the judge of Israel in Jerusalem, another country, but they said to Paul, you are already released. Paul said no I wanted to go to the head of the Rome ruler because his goal is, what, to preach the gospels to advance the King ruler. Because the head would think the ruler itself is advanced, Paul wanted to give the ruler the seed of Christ. That was his passion , but yeah, Paul knew he would die. He knew it may cost his life. But he looked forward, fine, and if I die, it’s for Christ. He will continually protect gospels. Continually spread that Good News. Why? Because Jesus Christ sacrificed his life on the cross for that. For y’all! That was a very inspiring thing, like Paul preached to many countries about Jesus Christ. How much did he sacrifice his life? Know that many Jewish people in Jew, some of them feel guilty, know they rejected Jesus, their own people. Jesus was one of those Jewish people. When they think before Jesus died on the cross, before they think He seems a make up, not a Son of God. Oh please, no he is not! He is a Son of a construction of Joseph. No he is not! Also have another half of Jewish people who do believe in Jesus, follow Him. Know His words, wow, full of authority. But when that day of the cross happened, Earth shook, people realized the Truth. Wow. God put this situation for a reason, for a purpose to wake people up. You know many times people say Israel people are God's chosen people, because in the Old Testament it said that. True, yes, but that’s not mean God loves Israel more than all over the world, no. It means God himself has a plan, using Israel as an example. Like a picture, those people, Jesus comes from Jewish right, but Jesus connects with everyone, all who believe in Him. You know, Pharisees, religion leaders said, “I am from the bloodline of Abraham”, but they missed the point of teaching of the Old Testament, missing the point! It is not about the blood line, it is about the faith line, that, faith! Jesus told Pharisees, "I can make children of Abraham from the stones!” These stones, from the children of Abraham! Better than Pharisees people, because they twisted His words. They taught many people of Israel the wrong way for many years! That’s why Jesus came to correct them, show them what God really means because the Pharisees are terrible at misunderstanding! They depend on themselves, on their own understanding, their perspective. That’s why Paul continually worked, spreading the words, working with people, teaching them in the right way. You know Paul often uses Old Testament verses, pick/transfer the verses to teach, explaining, interpreting into this today to what they can understand. That’s why I thought that Paul was one of my most favorite apostles. My favorite, I don't mean that I don't like one of HIs first twelve apostles, no. I have a lot of respect for all 12, but Jesus chose Paul for that special purpose, why, because Paul was ex-Pharisee. He knows all of the Old Testament verses and as himself as a person, a sinner, how terrible he was. He killed many Christians. He was thrown to jail, abused, and many, but Jesus still chose him. That shows us today, no matter how awful our past life was, God can change us! God can! Nothing is impossible! It only takes, what, His words! That’s it! His words are what touch us, our hearts, that changes us! That’s why it’s very important we hear His words carefully. That’s why Paul understands. When he faced Jesus for the first time, Jesus said to Paul, why are you betraying My people? Paul was shocked, when he heard Jesus’s voices, he became blind. Why blind? What does that mean to be blind? It showed him that he had been blind and now he woke up to be healed in three days, he opened his eyes. He woke up to the Truth. He didn’t realize that he had been blind to the world, blind to religion, laws, laws and laws. He realized! Immediately, it only took him three days, he changed! He started preaching and working for Jesus Christ! How awesome is that! That can happen to any of us!
When I was a little boy, only eight years old, I went to religion classes as a Catholic. I grew up Catholic, in classes, they did talk about Jesus, but not enough information, but I didn’t understand because of how they explain or how they interpret. I couldn’t understand it before until I was eight years old. I did see a picture of Jesus on the cross. I asked my grandmother, can you tell me about that picture? My grandmother wasn’t great about the Bible, she wasn’t so smart or advanced like a school teacher, but she explained to me real simple and said “that is Jesus Christ on the cross, who died on the cross for our sins”. I said “what do you mean, sins?” She said “it means you did something wrong in life, what you do is wrong. God can see everything that you do. That (to the picture) Jesus died for your sins so that you can be forgiven.” I learned, I see, wow grandmother. I understand! That, my grandmother was leveled with me to as eight years old kid. Wow! God used her, same way what God use Paul. You know, Paul said “I am not a wonderful speaker. I dont have a skill words to speak fancy words.” No. God use me, I will blunt you with Truth, with His words. Why, because Words give you life. Same with the picture of Adam, God made Adam, a man from dust then God breathe in Adam’s nose and became alive. Same with Christ, when we heard Words of God, heard gospel of Christ like He breathe His Words in my nose. I became alive in Christ! That’s how when I read Philippians, that remind me, yes, when I am not sure where to start. I am not sure where to go, i dont know, yes i do struggle. But when i read Philippians, real simple summary messages, yes they’re right! They’re right! I don’t do it for myself, I don’t do it for my passion, no, I am doing it for Him. i do it in my life as offering. You know in Old Testament, you provide an animal to do on altar but we don’t do that today. Instead, we do as spirit offering, that, I want to share that Philippians message with y’all. I hope y’all feel inspired, feel motivated, ready for gospel to hear. Y’all agreed with me? Awesome!
Anyone want to have a discussion? No one, okay!
I guess I will go ahead and close a prayer. Time is 9:55, plenty of time. Okay, let me close a pra… Yes to the audience…
What did the audience say… asking to Mirror interpreting ..
Mirror interpreting: Do you remember Philippians 1 and 6? Oh Chapter 1 verse 6…
Peter James: Chapter 1 and verse 6, yes
Mirror interpreting: It said, we can recover from this very thing that God who starts work good on inside, you will complete it. So I don’t need to worry if I have time in my life when I, maybe, lose my way. God will be with me, and make sure that work starts in me and will continue. I’m saved and never to worry that I’m lost from God.
Peter James: Amen! Beautiful share! Thank You!
Mirror Interpreting: Amen! Amen! Thank you!
Peter James: I know, make me remember the verse 2 Timothy Chapter 3 verse 16 and 17, said “All Scripture is breathed by God and provides to help us to correct for whatever is wrong in our life and reapprove. All the equipment that God already put us for His good work.” Exactly! Amen! Thank You for sharing! Anything else? All good? Okay ready …
Mirror Interpreting: Also Paul did terrible things happening to them continually of gospels. Maybe it seems terrible, but God uses all that awful struggle for successful spread, God’s gospels.
Peter James: Yes! That’s right! Amen!
Mirror interpreting: Right! Yes Amen!
Peter James: Always have many different terrible situations. Know, normally, we as Christians look at problems and say that situations are awful! I don’t enjoy it! I suffered and know people sometimes have a bad habit of complaining. This letter recently that Paul wrote in Philippians said, "Try not to complain, keep conditionally and patience for whatever you do in work, give Him a glory.” Sometimes, yes, it’s normal we sometimes tend to forget. Why? Because of our fleshes, we always focus on problems, think about the problems and study the problems, so focus on them. Sometimes we have to stop, step back, look at the small picture - have to step back and look at the bigger picture. God’s in control. This (picture/problem) is not about me. It’s about Him. Know, that is the most struggle we commonly have. That’s why it’s important we have church together. Paul said, “Brothers and sisters”, you know, “my dear brothers and sisters' ', “my dear friends”, always come together. God designs churches to help each other, sharpen each other, you know, iron sharpen iron. Sharpening to help each other, continue to grow. Today, many people don’t like church because they focus on small problems and say you people gossip. People think about themselves. Say many many negative things, complaining about that or this. Complaining about religions, different (d) beliefs, complaining about a Pastor doing wrong, Pastor say something wrong. Or focus, focus on problems, instead of praying for them. Instead of courage. Instead of sharing God’s words. Provide show verses and be courageous, you know, today we have so many problems everywhere, that’s why we have to work hard to remind them of the gospels. Remind them of good works of Christ. That’s why Paul wrote to remind, not only to Philippians but he reminds again and again in every letter. Always in grace of God, in glory of God, always emphasize to stay together, love, support each other. Copy me for I copy Christ. That’s why Paul emphasizes and encourages them to stop focusing on the problems. Focus on the bigger picture.
So, agree right? Amen! Amen! Anything else? I think that’s all for now. Awesome message today! Thank you for sharing! Thank you! Okay let’s close prayer. Anyone want to volunteer to pray? Anyone volunteer or prefer me to go ahead do it? Anyone want to volunteer to close prayer? What you say to mirror interpreting… Okay, fine, sure! Do you want to come up front and say in a blog or prefer in private? Up to you. Okay, fine!
Father God, I want to thank you for all who joined here today and ask that You will bring more Deaf to learn about You and Your great love for all people and that include them. So Lord, we pray for everything that PJ shared today. We remember, not forget that You courage us to come together and learn so that we can support each other continually. As your disciples, bring others to understand of Your great forever love and message Your cross, what it means that Jesus suffered and died for us so we can one day all together. Thank you God for today's beautiful weather outside. All of the things that are given to us to enjoy. Thank you and pray that we will share the blessing that you give to us and spread. Amen
Peter James speaking:
Thank you, that was a beautiful prayer! Wow! God bless y’all! Now for anyone who is interested to come join this here at South Louisiana in Lafayette. Name of the church is Trinity Bible Church at 130 E Broussard Road. Start service here Bible Study at 9 am for social then 9:15 am Bible Study till 10:15 am. At 10:45 am there will be a worship service with an interpreter, that woman who recently signed the prayer, her name is Cari, she’s our church interpreter here. Please come and join us for Bible Study and worship service! Come! See you!