Summary: When was the last time you had a good laugh? Let me ask you an important question. Was life meant to be enjoyed or endured? To be honest, you might have to do a little bit of both.



Philippians 1:1-2

This is from the desk of some travel agents concerning people who shouldn’t be allowed to leave home.

1. I had someone ask for an aisle seat so that their hair wouldn’t get messed up by being near the window!

2. A client called, inquiring about a package to Hawaii. After going over all the cost information, she asked, Would it be cheaper to fly to California and then take the train to Hawaii?

3. A man called, furious about a Florida package we did. I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando. He said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried to explain that it was not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state. He replied, Don’t lie to me. I looked on the map, and Florida is a very thin state!

4. A nice lady just called. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:20 a.m., and got into Chicago at 8:33 a.m.? I tried to explain that Michigan was an hour ahead of Illinois, but she could not understand the concept of time zones. Finally, I told her the plane went very fast, and she bought that!

When was the last time you had a good laugh? Let me ask you an important question. Was life meant to be enjoyed or endured? To be honest, you might have to do a little bit of both. The problem comes when the enduring is all you are doing. Life should also bring some joy.

Do you think that most people enjoy life? What about you, do you enjoy your life? What does it mean to enjoy life? And, if you are not enjoying life, does the problem lie with you, your situation, or with God?

What would bring joy? If you had more money or material possessions, would you enjoy life more? Jesus said, My purpose is to give life in all its fullness. John 10:10 God wants you to have life in all its fullness, an abundant life. So why don’t we have it?

I’ve observed that a lot of people are not happy because of their perspective on life. They have been led to believe that life should be a certain way for them. They have developed certain expectations concerning what a rewarding life should be like. They have expectations concerning their standard of living, their marriage, their children, their career, and so on. But the real question is whether these expectations are realistic. Our expectations must be based on facts not fantasies. If we have false expectations, what we really have are illusions. And illusion always leads to disillusion.

This morning I’m beginning a new series, It’s time to Laugh. I know I need to laugh more, how about you? Too many people don’t know how to enjoy life. That is why it is so important to study the Bible. As we gain God’s perspective on life, we will learn to enjoy and learn to laugh.

Philippians is one of the most encouraging books in the Bible. It focuses on our relationship with Christ and the joy that comes from knowing him.

Just before we jump in, let me give you a little background.

The city of Philippi (Show map)

The city of Philippi is in northeastern Greece. Alexander the Great’s father, Philip II, conquered the village of Krenides and it’s surrounding area around 356 B.C., and renamed it after himself. This city was important because of the gold mines in the surrounding mountains.

The city is also famous for one of the most crucial battles in Roman history. In 42 B.C. Antony and Octavian defeated the republican forces of Brutus and Cassius. The battle marked the end of the Roman republic and the beginning of the empire. Octavian was later declared emperor and assumed the title of Caesar Augustus.

The church at Philippi

The Philippian church was the first church Paul founded in Europe. Paul was on his second missionary journey and planning to head east when he had a vision the night before leaving (Acts 16). The man from Macedonia called for his help.

Two dramatic conversions marked the church’s birth, Lydia, the business woman, and the jailer. The Philippians had a deep love for Paul, as he did for them. Though the church did not have a lot of resources they alone supported Paul at one stage of his ministry (4:15).

Now, after many years, they once again sent Paul a generous gift in his time of need. Paul opens this letter to his dear friends to thank them for their generous gift, explaining why he was sending Epaphroditus back to them, inform them of his circumstances, and warn them about the danger of false teachers.

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