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25 November 2015

Thanksgiving Sermon: Whatever Situation

The Eve of Thanksgiving
25 November AD 2015

Title: Whatever Situation (MP3 Audio)

Feasting Summary: The apostle makes a few points that many of us miss: We need to learn how to deal not only with loss and lack but with gain and plenty. In faith, by the Spirit’s work, Paul learned to be thankful when imprisoned, beaten, shipwrecked, and snake bitten. He also learned how to receive lavish and abundant gifts without hoarding, wasting, or taking them for granted.

Paul also learned — and teaches the Church — that we are forgiven no matter under what circumstances we sin. If we sin in our times of lowness, hunger, and need by complaining, despairing, or envying, God forgives us for Christ’s sake. If, in times of abundance and feasting, we sin by boasting in our good fortune, hoarding, or lack of charity, God forgives us for Christ’s sake.

Also, when we thanklessly ignore that He sends poverty and health, sickness and wealth, times of plenty and times of need, God forgives us for Christ’s sake. As we learn true contentment in every situation, we also learn true thanksgiving. We realize that everything we receive and everything that is taken away is under divine control, as God works good for all who trust in Jesus for salvation.

Bread and Water Text: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, 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.

I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.

I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. I have received full payment, and more.

I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. Philippians 4:6-20

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of Whatever Situation, preached to the saints at Grace Lutheran Church, Lexington, Missouri.

NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

Other Readings: Psalm 67; Deuteronomy 8:1-10; Luke 17:11-19

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