Expository Preaching
J. Michael Shannon and Robert C. Shannon
(c)opyright J. Michael Shannon, 1982
Philippians 2:12-21

Introduction:  Many people want a minimal level Christianity.  God is looking for people who will go beyond the minimum, who don't want just barely to make it to Heaven.

Proposition:  There is a glorious challenge in the life to which Christ calls us.

  I.  I AM WILLING TO DO MORE, vs. 12, 13

A.  Man's part - to submit
B.  God's part - to empower
A.  Shine in my moral convictions
B.  Shine in my willingness to share the Word
A.  Genuine concern
B.  Christian concern
A.  Why risk anything?
B.  How much will I risk?
Conclusion:  God saw in us something that made it worthwhile to take a risk, even in the light of our sins.  If Christ was willing to risk all for us, then we must risk all for Him.

    We eat foods that do not nourish us.  We drink beverages that do not quench our thirst.  We wear clothing that does not protect us.  They all symbolize the fact that we live without purpose.  Life has no more meaning for many than it has for the squirrel in his cage, turning his little wheel.  God wants to give high purpose to life.  He wants to challenge us to give our lives to the same noble purposes to which Jesus gave His life.

    All across our country, there are amateur weather observers who cooperate with the National Weather Service by providing data on daily weather conditions in their area.  The oldest of these is Edward H. Stoll, a Nebraska farmer who has been recording daily weather conditions for seventy-four years.  Recently, he was honored in Washington.  Upon leaving the White House, Stoll said, "You owe service to somebody else, not just yourself.  Service is the rent that you pay for the space that you occupy as you go through life."

    In the Book of Numbers, you will read that the Gershonites and the Merarites were given wagons to transport their goods.  But the Kohathites had no wagons, for they carried holy things.  It was required that they carry them on their shoulders!  God honors us when He gives us responsibilities in His church and in His world.  Holy things must always be carried personally!

    Veteran India missionaries Archie and Maggie Watters recalled that when a man in India became a Christian, he cut off his hair, his pig tail that had been a symbol of his old faith.  It was a sign to the community that he had renounced the old pagan religion and had accepted Christ.  We have more subtle ways to do that in our culture, but it must be done.  Loving service must be the symbol of our new relationship.

    Roberto C. Goizueta rose from the ranks to become the president of the Coca-Cola Company, one of the world's largest business enterprises.  One of his favorite sayings is from the Japanese writer Mishima:  "To know and not to act is not yet to know."  He has made that a guiding principle of his life.  His advice to young managers is, "Do the best you can, and a little bit more.  The rest will take care of itself."

    Queen Anne had seventeen children in the hope of having a successor to the throne of England.  None of them survived her; and what she most feared happened.  Her German cousin became king of England.

    Bishop Moore of the Methodist Church used to say, "I'd rather try to restrain a fanatic than resurrect a corpse."

    Michelangelo started forty-four statues, but completed only fourteen.  In a museum in Italy, you can see his thirty unfinished works.  There are huge chunks of marble with only a hand, or a foot, or a leg completed.  Are our lives like those unfinished statues?  Is the potential for beauty and purpose still locked up within us as those figures are locked in the stone?

Live With Humility (2:1-12)
Table of Contents
Live With Insight (3:2-11)

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