Summary: Christ our Life (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: email@example.com)
Reading: Philippians chapter 1 verses 3-11.
Genie and ‘box of chocolates.
• Wouldn’t it be great to be able wish away our problems.
• To have instant solutions to the things you desire.
• In this letter there are no instant solutions, there are no quick cures;
• But there are some good principles to living life.
• And living life with a smile on your face;
• And with joy in your heart.
Philippians is a thank you letter (e.g. chapter 4 verse 14-16);
• Written by the Apostle Paul for the gift that the Church at Philippia sent to him.
• But this thank you letter contains lots and lots of bonus features e.g. extras.
• Ten years have passed since Paul was in Philippia;
• But as he writes he is able to remember and in chapter one he says......
(A). I have you in my mind (vs 3-6):
3“I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”.
Recent research discovered that the things people most often forget are:
• 6th place: Faces 42%
• 5th place: What was said 49%
• 4th place: Words. 53%
• 3th place: Telephone numbers 57%
• 2nd place: Where something is 60%
• 1st place: Names 83%
The Apostle Paul never forgot the people he met in Philippi:
• He could have been taken up with thoughts of misery;
• After all he was an innocent man confined to a prison cell.
• He could have felt sorry for himself for the rough deal he had been dealt.
• If do some biblical mathematics you can figure out;
• That for five years he has been under house-arrest or in a prison cell.
• Note that: 5 years!
But if you read this letter you would know that there is no sense of self pity in this letter:
• Surprisingly, his heart and mind are full of Joy;
• One of the reasons for that joy was the people he met in Philippi.
• Verse 3: “I thank my God every time I remember you”
• Verse 4: “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy”.
He could have said;
• “When I think of Philippia, I remember.....
• I faced satanic attack from a demon possessed fortune teller.
• I remember how I was beaten up by an indifferent cold-hearted jailer.
• I remember how I was chained to a dark slimy wall in the heart of a secure jail.
• But instead of negativity the letter is full of Joy;
• Because he realised that God used these circumstances for the blessing of others.
• A shipwrecked man was once washed ashore on an uninhabited island.
• Using the few things he managed to salvage from the wreck;
• And from whatever he could find on the island.
• He painstakingly built himself a hut;
• That little hut was the only protection he had from the harsh elements;
• And the only place he could safeguard his meagre possessions.
• One morning he went out on a lengthy search for food,
• When he returned in the evening he was shocked to find the hut engulfed in flames.
• The loss of his hut devastated him.
• He spent that night despondent, sleeping on the sand.
• The next morning he awoke early and,
• To his surprise, saw a ship anchored off the island.
• Shortly a crew member was rowed to the island, he stepped ashore and told the man,
• "We saw your smoke signal and came to rescue you!"
Things are not always as they seem:
• Paul may have faced satanic attack from a demon possessed fortune teller.
• But he was also able to bring deliverance & introduce her to a knowledge of the Lord.
• He may have been beaten up by an indifferent cold-hearted jailer.
• But he was able to show that jailor kindness and lead him & his family to faith in Christ!
• He may have chained to a dark slimy wall in the heart of a secure jail.
• But he and Barnabus were able to witness (by singing hymns) to others in that jail!
Paul’s heart and mind are full of Joy;
• Because God was at work during his time in Philippi.
• Even during the difficult times!
• Therefore the Christian should essentially be an optimist:
• But too many of us are pessimists!