Confession time. I never feel like I’m enough. I constantly feel like I could be doing better, like there is something I’m missing. What is that? What keeps us so driven to never be ok? There is an ancient path that most of us need to rediscover – to find a way back to “ok”. Take 30 minutes out of your day to listen and change the direction of your life. Then put it out there for someone else. Need prayer? visit my.oswegochristian.com/pray to post a request.Subscribe to our podcast on your phone to automatically have new messages downloaded weekly: in iTunes (https://my.oswegochristian.com/iTunes) or Android (https://my.oswegochristian.com/Google)
MEMORIZE: Philippians 4:12-13SCRIPTURE STUDY: The book of Philippians
——————OPENING ILLUSTRATION: What drives you? What I mean is, what keeps you awake at night? What do you wake up the morning thinking – I have to get that done.
Are you worried about your health? Are you worried about your job? Is your furnace acting up and you don’t know where you’ll get the money?
What at a deeper level? What drives you? ME: I have noticed in myself a deep sense of dissatisfaction over how my life is going or has gone. Now, listen, if you asked me how things were at any point in time, I’d probably tell you great. What I mean is
I always have this feeling of “I’m not enough…” Like, I’m not a good enough leader I’m not doing enough
Gotta do more, gotta be more, gotta get more done…
does that resonate with any of you?There is this deep fear in me that I’m just not enough…
WE:Surely I’m not alone in this… -Think of all the dieting Americans do ($33 billion/year) -work-a-holics? (many avg. 50hr/wk) -religious -our young girls cover their beautiful faces with makeup to get love from boys -your hunger for a sexual release so for a moment you can feel good about yourself until the guilt settles in -All the hours spent away from your home volunteering, giving, trying to prove to everyone and most of all to yourself that you are enough…
SCRIPTURE: You ever met someone who just made you want to puke? Look, if you identify at all with what I’m saying here – Paul’s words may just make you want to puke…
Listen to this:Phil 4:10-1310 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. To give you some context, we’ve kind of jumped into the middle of Paul’s offering talk. You know the talk we do right before we pass the plate for offering? He’s telling them how thankful he is for their support – how they have financially come around the mission of God.
and then he says this, this is the puke part…11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
ILLUSTRATION: When I was in Phoenix, I got a chance to sit at this table with this couple. I knew he was a business owner, but didn’t know much more about him. He talked about how he had built up and lost everything a few times. I just didn’t think a lot about it till later I looked him up to see. Turns out his business takes in several billion dollars a year. Ha, I was sitting with a billionaire… Here’s what struck me. You wouldn’t have known it by just sitting with him. He spoke mostly of Jesus…
Here is Paul, saying, “I know what it is to live in mansions and I know what it’s like to be hungry like a dog on the street.”
But in all of it, I’ve learned a secret to be content.
Doesn’t that sound so good? To learn a secret that gives you the means to get through it all?
To learn a secret that allows you to let down the wall of having to have it all together?
And this is where one of the most misquoted verses in the world comes in… Paul says this…What is the secret to contentment in any and all circumstances? B13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Paul’s secret sauce was Jesus
[BRING A SUITCASE AND PILLOW ALL LOADED UP]
ILLUSTRATION: As a man, there is something in me that says when I travel I want to try and get away with bringing the smallest possible bag I can. It feels like the smaller the bag, the more of a man – am I right men? So, I always pick this tiny little bag and pack it all in there. And then I remember it. My pillow – now it may seem weird to take a pillow, but I have problems with my neck and I have spent a lot of time and money finding the perfect pillow for myself and so, the last thing I do is I take that pillow and I put it on time and I’m trying to shut the suitcase, I’m stuffing and zipping, sitting on it, trying to get it in…
Listen ChristianIf you just take what Paul says, and try to shove it into your current life, with all your striving and feelings of never enough You’ll just end up being frustrated…
I’ve gotta work more hours It will never get done without me If I don’t lose this weight how can I hope for him to love me If I don’t do it, no one will People count on me, I can’t let them down If I can just have one more…
Pack all of this burden and weight into your soul and then try and shove “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” on topB You won’t find contentment You’ll find guilt, shame, and disillusionment…
Paul’s point in this passage is not that he has figured out how to be enoughHe realized that Christ is enough and that’s enough
You are going to have to empty the suitcase in order to find this level of contentment…
It drives me nuts when people act like having faith is some thing you just talk about or say you believe
My feelings of “not being enough”, and all the striving that produces (my utter inability to be content) is really nothing more than unbelief masked by motion.-did you hear that? my striving is me not believing
Paul is saying I believe that Jesus is enough and that’s enough
CLOSING ILLUSTRATION:I have this picture in my office – it got put there as a prank, but turns out I love it. It’s this painting of this little pond with a creek feeding into it. It is a snapshot captured in time of this moment of fall. The leaves are this beautiful fire filled orange. There are reflections on the water and an intense stillness to it. In the distance there is this mound rising up in a slight fog. I love the picture, I love to turn around and just escape into those woods. But in the middle of this picture is this one tree standing along the edge of the pond. It’s by itself on this little piece of land jetting out. I love that tree… It’s just being a glorious tree where it’s planted.
It reminds me of a lesson God taught me when it comes to all of this striving. I was standing in a forest – contemplating all of my unworthiness and all of the feelings of needing be more and I felt Jesus just speak to me saying. “Kent, you are just a leaf. You will fall in the forest and no matter how big of a splash you or anyone else thinks they will make, you are just a leaf. But a leaf I love”
I wish I could tell you that I am perfect at resting in the reality that Christ loves me and that I live as though Jesus is enough and that’s enoughI’m not super good at that, honestly. But now, I just look at that picture and I’m reminded – Jesus doesn’t want what I can do, He wants me and out of that, He will do good things.
So, this morning – I want to close by playing one of my new favorite Christ Tomlin songs
I want you sit there and listen and read the words of this song -I want you to answer the questions that are asked in the songs -as you answer them, as you start to believe the answer you are giving, I want you to stand… I want you to stand because you believe that He is worthy – because you believe that He is the answer….
[Play “Is He Worthy?” Video – please make sure it’s loud]
[Jo, don’t put this scripture on the screen (only the reference), I will just read it]Revelation 5:1-14Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits[a] of God sent out into all the earth. 7 He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 9 And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign[b] on the earth.”11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
Don’t tell me, Jesus isn’t enough…