Listen to sermons from First United Methodist Church in Gainesville, Florida.
As a faith family, we’re called to fix our vision and sight on God’s goodness and practice living in the example of Christ. (Phil 4:2 urges us to agree with one another and above else, no matter what our differences, to keep the main thing the main thing in letting our gentleness be evident to all.) Paul urges the church in Philippi to amplify what is true, honorable, just, and pure; creating a partnership between oneself, God, and others. May we do likewise!
As a faith family, we’re called to embrace the Big Hairy Audacious Goal of pressing on toward perfection or in other words, becoming more and more like Christ. By calling us to imitate himself, Paul is calling us to imitate Christ – to embody the Gospel in a way to demonstrate the love of God to the world. Our desired impact should be matched with commitment – we are in this with one another for the long haul – committing to one another because God has committed to us in steadfast faithfulness through the sacrifice of the cross.
As a faith family, we’re called to place the greatest value on knowing Christ above all else. How does this knowledge give us the courage to be our most authentic selves and give others the space to do the same? What does it mean to break down the barriers between us and them to become a “we” through the authentic acceptance of Christ?
As a faith family, we’re called to respond to the questions and challenges of life by seeking to find Christ in the midst of them. Our best action is to move in close to where God is, to seek God’s redemption and solution.
As a faith family we’re called to live in community by taking on the attitude of Christ. Paul encourages us to be humble – looking to the interests of others above our own. What’s the difference between life-affirming, self-sacrificial service and life-denying, self-deprecating service?
As a faith family, we’re called to appreciate what makes us strong, unique and creates the biggest impact for Christ on our campus, in our community, and around our world. Additionally, in the beginning of this letter, Paul models the importance of being thankful for those in ministry with him and each other.