Connect 4 the Gospel (part 3) Sermon Preview

A few times in my life I have gone white water rafting on the Arkansas River in central Colorado.  I have loved it each time.  For someone who spends most of my life in fairly controlled environments (read: inside), these adventures make me feel like Lewis and Clark … even if it is only for a couple of hours on a Wednesday.

Each time I’ve gone, I have been required to attend a safety meeting before I am allowed on the river.  In this meeting, they discuss how to save yourself from drowning, how to survive if pinned under a raft or stuck in  beaver dam, etc.  The first time I attended one of these sessions I was wide-eyed and glued to everything they said.  I aced the quiz at the end of the presentation and laced my life jacket on extra tight before stepping onto the boat.

But after that first time down the river, I did not take the safety presentation as seriously.  After all, the first time down I had not fallen in the water … in fact no one in our pod did.  I also discovered that piloting each combination raft was an expert guide that knew just what to do.  So, not only was I not hurt in my previous journey, but I knew there was someone else who would get me out of trouble in case we ended up in any real danger.  These experiences lulled me into a state of complacency not warranted in the face of something as dangerous as class 3 and 4 rapids.

Though I still have yet to have a problem on the river, if I continue to go, I will eventually float into some trouble — the river is that powerful … so I would be well advised to not ignore the warnings of my instructors.

I was thinking of this experience today as I study for Sunday’s message on Philippians 1:27-30.  These 4 short verses will serve as the anchor for our final installment in the “Connect 4 the Gospel” series.  So far we have seen that as a church we connect 4 the Gospel by praying for each other, and rejoicing together in the advancement of the Gospel.  This week, we will see that we are connect 4 the Gospel by standing firm and linking arms, instead of conceding truth to the pressures of this world.  Though many would want to persecute the church of Jesus Christ, we are called to not allow that pressure to intimidate us from fidelity in our faith.

As I preach this message I know that I am speaking to a group of people who have “been down the river” a few times and not “fallen out.”  Many of us have followed Christ for years and years and years without facing a lot of serious opposition.  Further, when opposition was faced, typically it was endured by someone in “another boat” on the other side of the ocean, or maybe just the leader of our “boat” – a pastor or ministry leader in a local church.  These blessed journeys may cause us to think that current of this world is not as destructive as warning passages like Philippians 1:27-30 might indicate.  But here is the deal … if we live long enough, we will all be whipped about by the class 3 and 4 opposition to Christ that is no doubt flowing in our world.  We would do well to heed the words of this passages warning.

Join us this Sunday at Wildwood at 9:00, 10:15, or 11:30 (indoors with children’s ministry, student ministry, college and adult classes running), at 8AM (outdoor chapel service) or at 10:15 (online stream at wildwoodchurch.org/live ) as we wrap this series up and see how we can connect 4 the Gospel by standing firm together.

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 1) Sermon Audio, Video, & Questions

On Sunday, August 2, 2020 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached as sermon based on Philippians 3:17-4:1.  This message was part 1 in the “5 Follows” sermon series.  Below you will find questions related to the message for person reflection or group discussion.  You will also find the audio and video from the sermon to listen to, download, or share.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Philippians 3:17-4:1
  3. If you were to view August 2, 2020 as a new “January 1,” what resolutions would you make for the “new year”?
  4. Which direction do you feel like you are headed:  toward destruction or transformation?  Why do you feel that way?
  5. Have you ever had a situation where something looked like “life” but really was “pointing you toward death”?  How did you “miss” the direction the decision was leading you toward?
  6. If you follow your “self” or others who think in selfish ways, you will not get where you want to go this year.  When was the last year, you primarily followed “self”?  How did that work out for you?  
  7. If you follow Jesus together to the glory of God with others, a transformation awaits you in the future!  What are some ways you  plan to follow Him this year?
  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 the sermon audio offline, click link to download:

5 Follows #1 8.02.20

 

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

 

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

 

(Your World) Peace – part 3 sermon audio/video & questions

On Sunday, July 26, 2020 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Philippians 4:10-20.  This message was part 3 in the “(Your World) Peace” sermon series.  Below are a set of questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.  Also, below you will find the sermon audio & video, plus the sermon slides to listen to, watch, download, or share.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Philippians 4:10-20
  3. How have you most recently filled out this sentence, “If I just had ________, then I would be happy”?  If you got the thing that you referenced in the blank, did it produce a lasting contentment in your soul?  Why or why not?
  4. Which “tent” are you currently living in?  Discontent, or Content?
  5. Paul sees His relationship with Jesus (demonstrated through a dependent, obedient walk with Him) as the “secret” to living in contentment.  Have you ever experienced His strength empowering you to contentment, regardless of the circumstances?  If so, when?  Describe that time. 
  6. The Philippians consistent, generous, and strategic gifts to Paul are celebrated throughout this section of Scripture.  Have you determined to also give consistently and strategically of your finances to the Lord’s Work in our community and around the world?  If so, what has been your experience living this life of generosity?  If not, what has prevented you in the past from participating?  
  7. What is your plan for giving of your finances to the Lord’s work?
  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 the sermon offline, click the link to download:

(Your) World Peace #3 7.26.20

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the video, use the YouTube stream online:

 

(Your World) Peace – part 3 Sermon Preview

When was the last time you said (or thought), “If I just had ____________, then I would be happy?”  

Not that long ago?  Me too.

What did you put in the blank (If I just had ______, then I would be happy)?

  • Boat?
  • Car?
  • House?
  • Toy?
  • Phone?
  • Computer?
  • New countertops?
  • Furniture?
  • Article of clothing?
  • Vacation?

Now, I want you to think back to the last time you had an appetite for one of those things, and purchased it … how long did the satisfaction last before you put something new in the blank?  Not long?  Me neither.  You got what you said you wanted, but then you quickly just wanted something else.

This is the trouble with our appetites.  We feed them, and they don’t go away … they just grow.

This is why anchoring our joy and peace to getting this or that is so futile.  When we get “this,” we just want “that”!  This can put us on a treadmill chasing a satisfaction that will always be just beyond reach.  There is no peace in your world if stuff is what you are chasing.

So what is the alternative?  Is it possible for us to have a steady peace that persists in plenty AND in want?  Yes it is.  And the Apostle Paul talks to us about that in Philippians 4:10-20.  We are going to be looking at that this Sunday morning, July 26 at Wildwood Community Church in our Sunday morning worship services, as we wrap up our “(Your World) Peace” sermon series.  We hope you make plans to join us in either our 8:00 Outdoor Chapel Service, or 9:30 or 11:00 indoor worship service this Sunday.  Also you can join us on the livestream at 9:30 (or anytime after) –  wildwoodchurch.org/live .  Hope to see you there this weekend!