Connect 4 the Gospel … A missing message?

Hello friends!  As you know, I am currently preaching through Philippians 1 in a series of messages called “Connect 4 the Gospel.”  This current series is one of 4 series I am preaching through (from June – October 2020) that will eventually cover all the verses of Philippians.

All the messages from this “Connect 4 the Gospel” series are based out of Philippians 1, however, there is one very famous section of Philippians 1 that I am excluding from this series – Philippians 1:19-26.  The reason I am not preaching on these verses this week is because I preached these verses as a part of the “Greater Than” series from June 2020.

In case you were not with us in June (or simply want to hear a message on these verses again), I have posted the video of that sermon below, and a link to the sermon audio.

On Sunday, September 27, 2020, I will be preaching on Philippians 1:27-31, as we wrap up “Connect 4 the Gospel” together.  See you there!

To watch the sermon video on Philippians 1:19-26, use Vimeo online:

 

To download audio or listen offline from Philippians 1:19-26, click the link:

Greater Than #1 6.14.20

 

To listen online from Philippians 1:19-26, use the media player below:

 

Connect 4 the Gospel (part 2) Sermon Audio/Video & Questions

On Sunday, September 20, 2020 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Philippians 1:12-18.  This message was part 2 in the “Connect 4 the Gospel” series.  Below you will find questions related to this message for personal reflection or group discussion.  You will also find sermon audio/video to listen to/watch, download, or share.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Philippians 1:12-18
  3. What are some of the things that tend to impact your “joy”?  What tends to make you turn “negative” or overly “grumpy”?
  4. In the message today, we talked about how Paul did not anchor his joy in “fun,” “success,” “church experience,” or “control.”  Which of these do you tend to lean on most for joy?
  5. Paul’s joy was fixed on the advancement of the Gospel … in what ways is YOUR joy impacted by the participating in/learning about the advancement of the Gospel?
  6. How can you imagine God using the circumstances of your life today to advance the Gospel through your life?
  7. What is one thing you can do this week to invest in the mission of advancing the Gospel in our city or around the world?
  8. What stands out to you most from this passage?  Any particular takeaway?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

To listen to sermon audio offline, click the link to download:

Connect 4 the Gospel #2

 

To listen to sermon online, use media player below:

 

To watch the sermon video, use YouTube stream online:

 

Connect 4 the Gospel (part 2) Sermon Preview

In 1992 I came to the University of Oklahoma to study Journalism.  Even though I had felt the Lord’s call on my life to go into vocational ministry in the fall of 1990, I knew I needed an undergraduate degree before going to Seminary.  So, I came to OU to pursue a broad general education focusing on developing skills I had in writing and talking.  Journalism was a natural choice.

Though I have never worked as a journalist, I have used a number of the skills I learned in my course of study throughout my ministry career.  The ability to think critically, ask good questions, write clearly, and speak effectively – were all skills further developed during my time in J-school at OU.  

Today, though, I was thinking of a different aspect of my training in broadcasting as I prepare for Sunday’s sermon – the technical skill of “white balancing.”  Now this may sound like the title of a new best-selling book on race relations, but it is far from it.  It has nothing to do with ethnicity, and everything to do with how cameras see light.  Different lights have different “temperatures.”  Sunlight looks different from lightbulbs, etc.  Our eyeballs (being as advanced as they are – THANK YOU GOD), connected to our brains (the most amazing “computers” in existence … again WHAT A CREATOR), are able to adjust to different light temps, to allow us to always see colors the same, even in different lighting.  However, cameras are not as sophisticated.  The average camera has a basic setting for light that does not automatically adjust to different light temperatures.  Therefore, sometimes “whites” in pictures look more blue or orange.  In order for the colors to always look “right” we have to educate the camera as to what “white” really is.  I remember as a student holding a white card in front of a camera before a shoot, allowing the camera operator to adjust the lens so that “white” looked “white.”  When that one color was set, then all other colors would be rendered accurately as well.

Now, I know what you may be saying … WHAT.  ARE.  YOU.  TALKING.  ABOUT!  How does this relate to Philippians 1:12-18 (this Sunday’s sermon passage).  I know, I know.  I’m weird when it comes to analogies.  Give me a second to explain.

In our lives, we sometimes need to “joy-balance” our lens.  So many different circumstances come at us, that it is hard for us to accurately render each of them for their true significance or intended meaning.  If we are to properly project joy in our lives, we must “balance” our lives with the right perspective.  

If I focus on “fun” and think that I need “fun” to have joy, then my life will be “off color” and out of joy when hard times hit.  If I focus on “achievement of my personal plans” as being at the center of my joy, then what happens when 2020 unfolds, and my life takes a wild detour?  

If we are to have enduring joy in our lives, we need to “joy-balance” ourselves by focusing on the right thing to help us understand our lives.  In Philippians 1:12-18 the Apostle Paul tells us how to “joy-balance” our lives so that we might rejoice even when our plans are disrupted or our lives are mired in hardship.  

Join us this Sunday at Wildwood in our 9:00, 10:15, 11:30 services (indoors with classes for children, student, college, and adults running concurrently) or online in the livestream at 10:15 (at wildwoodchurch.org/live) or outdoors in our chapel service at 8AM, as we will see how to “joy-balance” our lives from Philippians 1:12-18 in part 2 of our series, “Connect 4 the Gospel.”  Hope to see you Sunday … and bring your friends!! 

Wildwood Prayer Guide – Philippians 1

Wildwood Prayer Guide

Week of September 13, 2020

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy” – Philippians 1:3-4

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” – Philippians 1:9-11

Pray for Wildwood:

  • Thank God for our church … with joy!
  • That our love may abound more and more …
    • That our love for God would grow 
      • “We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing.”               – 2 Thessalonians 1:3
    • That our love for God’s people would grow
      • “We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing.”               – 2 Thessalonians 1:3
    • That our love for the lost would grow
      • “When He saw the crowds , He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”  – Matthew 9:36-38
  • with knowledge and discernment …
    • That our theology would sharpen
      • “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:15
    • That our understanding of the times and how to apply our theology would sharpen
      • “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty … but as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it.”  – 2 Timothy 3:1, 14 
  • that we may approve what is excellent …
    • That we would approve the things that are superior
      • “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”  – Philippians 4:8-9
    • So that we do not waste our lives on inferior things
      • “Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw – each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.  If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.  If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as though fire.” – 1 Corinthians 3:12-15
  • And so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ …
    • That we would live our lives, knowing that we will give an account one day
      • “His master said to him, ‘well done good and faithful servant.  You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.  Enter into the joy of your master.’” – Matthew 25:23
    • That we would live encouraged by the thought that He will continue this good work in us until that day comes!
      • “And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 1:6
  • filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ …
    • That we would maintain dependence upon the Lord
      • “Abide in Me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”  – John 15:4
    • That there would be continuing evidence of the Lord’s work in the lives of our members
      • “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”  – Galatians 5:22-23
  • to the glory and praise of God.”
    • That at the end of the day, people would look at Wildwood and praise God, not us.
      • “The one who has the bride is the bridegroom.  The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice.  Therefore this joy of mine is now complete.  He must increase but I must decrease.”                   – John 3:29-30
    • That at the end of the day, it is God who receives the glory for the transformative work in our lives.
      • “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be glory forever.  Amen.”  – Romans 11:36

 

To access this prayer guide in pdf format, click here.

Connect 4 the Gospel (part 1) Sermon Questions, Audio/Video

On Sunday, September 13, 2020 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Philippians 1:1-11.  This message was part 1 in the “Connect 4 the Gospel” series.  Below you will find questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.  You will also find sermon audio/video to listen to/watch, download, or share.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Philippians 1:1-11
  3. What are some examples of teams you have been a part of in your life that were life-giving?  What were some of the characteristics of those teams?
  4. Paul’s connection with the Philippians is well chronicled in this passage and in the New Testament.  What is your current connection to a local church (like Wildwood)?  Where would you like to get more involved?
  5. Do you regularly pray for your fellow church members?  If so, how do you pray for them (i.e. what types of things do you pray for them)?  If you don’t regularly pray for your fellow church members, what are some obstacles keeping you from doing so?
  6. Would you commit to pray Philippians 1:9-11 for Wildwood members each day this week?  Find a guide for how to pray more specifically on Pastor Mark’s blog by clicking here.
  7. What stands out to you most from this passage?  Any particular takeaway?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

To listen to audio offline, click the link:

Connect 4 the Gospel #1 9.13.20

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the service stream, use YouTube online:

Connect 4 the Gospel (part 1) Preview

In my life I have been blessed to be a part of some amazing teams.

  • As the son of Dick and Bev and the brother of Debbie, I got to grow up as a part of “Team Robinson.”
  • Being born at the right place, and the right time, I got to play basketball with an amazing collection of men that won 3 out of 4 State Championships in the state of Oklahoma.
  • In college, I was a part of a fraternity that competed (on many levels) at the University of Oklahoma.
  • In 1996, another “Team Robinson” was formed when Kimberly said “I do.”
  • Since 2001, I have been a part of a great staff team, serving an amazing church family at Wildwood.
  • I have been super blessed by the “teams” I have been a part of. 

 

I am so glad that life is not a “solo” sport.  In the ups and the downs of daily life, I am so thankful that I get to live my life connected to others.

When I look at the Bible, I am reminded that the CHRISTIAN LIFE is a team event as well.  We were never intended to be a pious particle, but we were always designed to be connected to one another.  Even when Christians are separated physically, they are connected spiritually as a part of the one Body of Christ.  

A long time ago, in an empire far, far away, the Apostle Paul was imprisoned in Rome, and isolated physically from the rest of his church friends.  Though physically distant, Paul was greatly encouraged as he remembered the connection he had with his team of fellow Christians (his church) back in Philippi.  Like a lonely college freshman longing for that Labor Day reunion with their high school friends, so Paul yearned for all his friends in that far away church.  Upon reflecting upon their connection, Paul began to pray, thanking God for the past, present, and future he had with these dear people.  This team was permanent.

Over the next 3 Sundays at Wildwood Community Church, we will be talking about the team we are invited to be a part of in a local church.  As we “Connect 4 the Gospel” we are not only a part of the winning team, but we are encouraged to continue to grow in the midst of difficult times.  This week we are kicking off this series by looking at Philippians 1:1-11 in part one of this series.  We hope you can join us in our 9:00, 10:15, or 11:30 services (inside with children, student, college, and adult classes running), 10:15 on the livestream (wildwoodchurch.org/live), or at our 8:00AM outdoor chapel service as we remember the connections we have with one another in Christ.  See you Sunday, and invite your friends!  We would love to connect 4 the gospel with the them as well.  

5 Follows (part 6) Sermon Questions, Audio/Video

On Sunday, September 6, 2020 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message based on Isaiah 49:6.  This message was the sixth and final message in the “5 Follows” series and focused on following Jesus into mission.  Below you will find questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.  You will also find sermon audio and video from this message to listen to/watch, download, or share.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Isaiah 49:1-6
  3. Have you ever considered how the Gospel of Jesus Christ addresses a problem that is universal among humanity?  How does knowing this impact your urgency in sharing the truth about Jesus with those around you?
  4. Have you ever been guilty of reducing the Gospel’s implications (or hope) to only you or your family?  What would be some of the signs in the life of someone who was “taking the Gospel lightly”?
  5. What is one application that you can do to get involved in shining the light of the Gospel locally?  (see wildwoodchurch.org/onmission  for some ideas.)
  6. What is one application that you can do to get involved in shining the light of the Gospel globally?  (see wildwoodchurch.org/onmission  for some ideas.)
  7. What stands out to you most from this passage?  Any particular takeaway?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

To listen to sermon audio offline, click link to download:

5 Follows #6 9.6.20

 

To listen to sermon audio online, use media player below:

 

To watch the stream of the worship service, use YouTube online:

 

5 Follows (part 6) Sermon Preview

Imagine that there is an illness that is ravaging humanity.  Imagine this illness had killed millions of people and disrupted the lives of many more.  Hard to imagine?  I know … it is for me too 🙂

Now imagine that someone comes up with a cure for this virus.  A lab in the city of Wakanda finds a 100% safe, 100% effective cure for this worldwide ailment!  Hooray!  But then imagine that the good people of Wakanda decide to keep this cure to themselves.  They inject its fruit into their lives, but refuse to let the outside world know of their discovery.  If this was the case, what would be your reaction?

“Wrong analogy Pastor!  King T’Challa would never do such a thing!”  you say.

I know, I know … but what if he did?

“Then that would be terrible!  How could they take such an immense discovery so lightly!  Knowing the global impact of the disease, why would they not share the cure’s efficacy with the world?”

And so the conversation would go.

Now imagine that the world is suffering from an ailment that ALL have.  Not just that all MAY GET it, but all DO HAVE it.  And imagine that this ailment leads to death … and not just death in this life, but eternal death.  Now imagine that there were a group of people who had the cure for that ailment.  100% effective.  100% life-giving.  And, this gift came with love and grace most thought only possible in Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel … only better.  What if those who knew this cure kept it to themselves and shared this information with no one?  What if they gathered regularly to sing about the greatness of the cure, and talk about how effective the cure is, but never shared it with anyone outside their group?  What would you say?

What if this was the church.

Followers of Jesus (the true church) know that all of humanity are sinners and fall short of God’s glorious standard.  Followers of Jesus also know that the wages of sin are death.  Followers of Jesus also know that Jesus Christ died to take the penalty our sins demand and offer all who believe in Him eternal life!  Therefore, why would followers of Jesus ever keep this information to themselves?  

Simply put, it is too small a thing to gather together and sing songs about what Jesus has done for us who live in this world … we MUST also go and tell this world of the hope that we have found in Him.

This Sunday at Wildwood Community Church, we will be wrapping up our “5 Follows” series by talking about following Jesus into Mission.  Our text this Sunday will be Isaiah 49:6.  Hope you make plans to join us in our 9:00, 10:15, or 11:30 service (inside with adult, college, student, and children classes running), 8am (outside in our outdoor chapel service), or 10:15 online at wildwoodchurch.org/live as we see that it is simply too small a thing to keep the Gospel message to ourselves, but we must share it with others, including the nations on the far side of the world.  

We will be talking about opportunities to support children at our partner church in Brazil with Compassion, sending a missionary family out to serve in an unreached area, talking about opportunities to invest in reaching others in our city, and highlighting a class on Global Missions coming to Wildwood this fall!  What a day!  Hope you can be with … and don’t keep it to yourself — invite your friends!

 

5 Follows (Part 5) Sermon Audio, Video, & Questions

On Sunday, August 30, 2020 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on 1 Peter 4:10-11.  This message was part 5 in the “5 Follows” sermon series and focused on following Jesus into ministry.  Below you will find questions related to this message for reflection or group discussion.  Also, you will find audio and video from the message to listen to/watch, download, or share.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read 1 Peter 4:10-11
  3. When was the last time you got a gift, but did not open it?  Why do we always tend to open gifts given to us?
  4. Our all wise God chose to give us a special gift of His grace to impact the world we are living in.  Have you ever thought of this concept before?  How does it make you think about the circumstances of our current day and our response to them?
  5. How are you currently using the gifts and opportunities given to you to serve others in Jesus name?
  6. Visit wildwoodchurch.org/serve and express interest in any serving opportunities through Wildwood this year.
  7. Do you tend to think of your “gifts” more as speaking/words or serving/works?  What are some examples of times you felt as though God was using you?
  8. How do you think God can be glorified through your service?  Does 1 Peter 4:11 give you any ideas?
  9. What stands out to you most from this passage?  Any particular takeaway?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

To listen to the sermon offline, click the link to download:

5 Follows #5 8.30.20

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the stream of the service, use YouTube online:

 

“5 Follows” (part 5) Sermon Preview

In 1954, Leonard W. Sprinkle (along with his son) ventured into Luray Caverns near Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.  After a bit of exploring the younger Sprinkle knocked his head on a stalactite rock formation … and a beautiful sound was made.  The melody was NOT the thud of head hitting rock, but a musical note, similar to when a hammer hits a string on piano, or a pipe receives wind on an organ.  This sound gave Sprinkle an idea.  He spent time over the next 3 years mapping out different stalactites throughout the acres of cave complex until he found enough different sized rocks, perfectly shaped to produce ALL the sounds of an organ!  Sprinkle (with help from a nearby organ maker) actually made a “StalacPIPE” Organ, that can still be listened to today!

Through a moment of pain, a man found a symphony of music!

A few decades after Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, His Church found itself persecuted and abused by the world in which it lived.  This certainly did not surprise them (after all their Lord was crucified by this same world), but the thud of their rejection stung nonetheless.  Inspired by the Holy Spirit, one of Jesus’ best friends … a man who had been beaten, flogged, imprisoned (and would eventually be martyred) for his faith in Jesus took up a pen and wrote to a beleaguered and persecuted church to encourage them to keep going.  This letter (written by the Apostle Peter) is known to us as the letter of 1 Peter found in the New Testament.  Peter writes to this church and lets them know that the pain of banging their head against the stone hearts of this world will hurt, but will also create an opportunity to make a beautiful symphony of God’s grace.

“You have been grieved by various trials (1 Peter 1:6) … serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace (1 Peter 4:10).”

Because we live in a world with many rocks, God has given many gifts of His grace to minister to us as we clamor through this dark cavern … and God has given each of us a role, as stewards of that grace, to care for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering.

As Edmund Clowney says (comparing Sprinkle’s organ with 1 Peter 4), “If such melodic variety may be found in calcium deposits, what varied tones has God’s Spirit given to the heirs of Christ’s glory?”  

This week (as so many week’s have been in 2020) we are reminded again of the stone hearts in this world that work against justice, grace, and mercy.  Our hearts grieve as we wonder what God might do about such pain and suffering.  Well, His response is to use us to deliver His grace.  He has equipped us for this task.  All who follow Jesus, will ultimately follow Him into ministry, serving others for His glory, according to His will, and in His strength.  

While we may not be able to do something about all the world’s problems, Jesus wants to use YOU to minister to the needs of those right around you in your life today.  He has outfitted you for this task.  It is your mission … hopefully you will choose to accept it.  After all, we were made for this – serving others in Jesus name.

Jesus wants to use you to be a key instrument of His grace in this world.

This Sunday at Wildwood Community Church in our 9:00, 10:15, and 11:30 services (inside and with programming running for children/students/adults and college), 8 AM (outside chapel service), or 10:15 online (wildwoodchurch.org/live) we will be continuing our “5 Follows” series by looking at 1 Peter 4:10-11, as we see how we can follow Jesus into ministry.  Hope to see you Sunday … and bring your friends!