Sabbath 11/17/18 Alfred Station Seventh Day Baptist Church Pastor Ken sermon “With Thanksgiving” Phil 4:5-6
I don’t know if you’ve been a frustrated parent or not. You talk to the child, you talk to the child and then you know they are wandering someplace else. So finally as a frustrated parent, you grab their cheeks and you say “look at me when I talk to you”! Sometimes scripture is like that and this is a particular one for me, especially verse 6. Verse 6 is like leaping off the page at me and grabbing the cheek and saying pay attention to what I am saying. In modern translations where it says “be careful for nothing” it says “be anxious for nothing” And I say right now, I am an anxious person.
The Word says “Be anxious for nothing”. This is an imperative command from God. That means STOP being anxious for nothing!! It’s a command that says DON’T do this anymore! Here’s the line, the line is drawn and you need to get on the other side of the line. That’s what this text is about. Paul is saying how to do this by making our request be made known to God. God is the only one that can do something about your situation. My requests don’t go to you, your requests don’t come to me. There is no human being on earth that the requests can go to. Really….we can do nothing about the other person’s anxiousness. Only God can because of His nature. He is sovereign and God is Love. He really loves us.
Our requests are made to God. According to this text, there are three ways to make our requests to God:
1) Prayer: Having conversation with God. When anxious, talk to God about your issues (money, marriage, health). Anxiousness and prayer are like Fire and Water. They don’t mix together. You put out the fire with the water. You put out your anxiousness with prayer!
2) Supplications: If you pray in “general”, God will answer you in general. If you pray in “specific”, God will answer you in specific. Supplication is specific prayer. When you have a special kind of need, then you must pray in specific, in particular about that need. God is the only one who can help you so make your specific request to Him. This is supplication- Hard Prayer. Hard Prayer is: 1. You believe that God exists. 2. Ask God in particular 3. Stick with it.
Jesus told a wonderful parable about a widow. The widow needed help from the judge. She had a problem that he needed to take care of for her. But the judge didn’t have time to take care of it so the widow went back to the judge again to ask. And the widow went back to the judge again. And the widow went back to the judge again. And the widow went back to the judge again. I don’t know if Jesus could have been comparing the judge to God. But Jesus was saying don’t pray just once and say you are done with your prayer. It’s really hard prayer. According to the parable, the judge got tired of the widow coming and finally said I will take care of you. This is cause the widow was willing to go back and back and back to the judge.
3) Thanksgiving: Praise God for what He has done in the past. What He’s done already is our evidence of His blessings in our future time to come. Say “thank you God for the blessing you are going to give me”! This is okay to do. Be thankful for the past but be thankful for the future. This is the way we ought to pray as a church.
I know that all of you may not be an anxious person like me. But maybe there will be a time in your life that you will need to use this Philippians 4:6 three-fold method: Prayer, Supplication and Thanksgiving.