Summary: We keep on the bright side when we keep our eyes on Jesus.
Always Look At The Bright Side Of Life
Text: Phil. 1:12-19
1. Illustration: This past week I came across this story I thought you would find interesting. Obviously a fellow Pastor posted it. He said, "I was recently contacted by a pulpit committee that was interested in my ministry. I met with Chairman of the Disenchanted, Bro Tepid. He described his church; First Lukewarm Church of the Apathetic. "Nothing too boring, nothing too exciting. We want it to fit into our American Culture Christianity. No songs too slow, no songs too fast. Nothing from the ancient songs and nothing after the 70’s." Nothing ever challenging. We want encouragement and comfort." He sang to me the Churches Theme Song. "Sitting on the premises of Christ our friend. Through eternal ages let the service end. Glutted to the highest we will moan and sing. Sitting on the premises and dead. Sitting on the premises, sitting on the premises, Sitting on the premises of Christ our servant. Sitting on the premises, sitting on the premises, We’re sitting on the premises and dead." He proudly described the Church as irresolute and uncommitted. He introduced to me the other committee members; Bobby Bored, Connie Cool. He described the great teachings the women received who participated in the Church’s The Women’s Indifference Society. There seemed to be great growth in one class; The Mellow Sunday School Class. They were excited about an upcoming event; The Men’s Worldly and Wise Conference. An upcoming revival was going to be led by The Reverend Marvin Mundane. The church had started the Spiritless Seniors group who were going to focus on traveling to entertainment locations like Branson Missouri and Las Vegas. This would bring the Church back into balance because of the growing the Unresponsive Youth Program. They were looking for a pastor who could scratch their ears, stir their emotions, help their self-esteem, complement their current spiritual condition and validate their unchanging ministries and priorities. On the bright side, they were going to pay well and the benefits were killer. The problem? That dog won't hunt!"
2. Now that is one church that needs to look on the bright side of life!
3. It's too easy to become like the Christians in that story, and based on our text today Paul wasn't like them at all!
4. Paul tells us...
a. God Can Make Something Good Out Of Something Bad
b. Keep Your Eyes On The Priority
5. Let's read together Phil 1:12-19
Proposition: We keep on the bright side when we keep our eyes on Jesus.
Transition: The first thing that Paul shows us is...
I. God Can Make Something Good Out of Something Bad (12-14).
A. Helped To Spread The Good News
1. Of ever there was a guy who knew how to look on the bright side of life it was Paul.
a. He had more bad things happen to him than anyone you've ever met.
b. He was beaten, stoned, left for dead, imprisoned, bitten by a deadly snake, and shipwrecked.
c. As he writes this letter to the church in Philippi he is under house arrest in Rome.
2. Notice how he begins this text. He says, "And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News."
a. Paul wanted them to know that what had happened to them was really a good thing.
b. Three times in this text Paul uses the word chains (vv. 13, 14, 17) referring to his imprisonment (even though the NLT translates it imprisonment in v 14).
c. He wants them to see that the result of his chains is actually the opposite of what some people might think.
d. He doesn't want them to worry about him because what he is going through is actually advancing the gospel and not hindering it. Quite the opposite, it has caused the gospel to spread.
e. The word spread means “a cutting forward.”
g. All three occurrences refer to progress in the gospel or faith, i.e., growth in the spread of the gospel or growth of faith, in spite of persecution or pressure from opponents (The Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary – Pi-Rho, 4156).
h. For Paul this is the language of evangelism, and it was Paul's "meat and potatoes," because to him it was the essence of truth and the only source of hope for a lost and dying world (Fee, 110-111).
3. Then Paul says, "For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ."
a. Paul gives two reasons for his chains to being the bright side of things.
b. First, was it's effect on unbelievers. He says "everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ."