Summary: How God makes use of life-events. How we must get our priorities right.
"What has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel" Philippians 1;12-18. WBC 8 Jan 2006pm. Covenant service
Feel you’ve had a tough week? A man was working on his motorcycle on the patio, his wife nearby in the kitchen. While racing the engine, the motorcycle accidentally slipped into gear. The man, still holding onto the handlebars, was dragged along as it burst through the glass patio doors. His wife, hearing the crash, ran in the room to find her husband cut and bleeding, the motorcycle, and the shattered patio door. She called for an ambulance and, because the house sat on a fairly large hill, went down
the several flights of stairs to meet the paramedics and escort them to her husband. While the attendants were loading her husband, the wife managed to right the motorcycle and push it outside. She also quickly blotted up the spilled gasoline with some paper towels and tossed them into the toilet. After being treated and released, the man returned home, looked at the shattered patio door and the damage done to his motorcycle. He went into the bathroom and consoled himself with a cigarette while attending to his business. About to stand, he flipped the butt between his legs. The wife, who was in the kitchen, heard a loud explosion and her husband screaming. Finding him lying on the bathroom floor with his trousers blown away and burns on his buttocks, legs and groin, she once again phoned for an ambulance. The same paramedic crew was dispatched. As the paramedics carried the man down the stairs to the ambulance they asked the wife how he had come to burn himself. She told them. They started laughing so hard, one slipped. The stretcher fell, dumping the husband out. He fell down the remaining stairs, breaking his arm.
The story is told of a king in Africa who had a close friend
with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at
every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or
negative) and remarking, "This is good!"
One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting
expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the
king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in
preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his
friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off.
Examining the situation, the friend remarked as usual,
"This is good!"
To which the king replied, "No, this is not good!"
and proceeded to send his friend to jail.
About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he
should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and
took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some
wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake.
As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the
king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate
anyone who was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent
him on his way.
As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken
his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend.
He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend.
"You were right," he said, "it was good that my thumb was blown
off." And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just
happened. "And so, I am very sorry for sending you to jail for
so long. It was bad for me to do this."
"No," his friend replied, "This is good!"
"What do you mean, ’This is good’?
How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?"
"If I had not been in jail, I would have been with you."
Contributed by: SermonCentral PRO
Tonight, with fear and trembling, we are going to commit to a new perspective
- it’s perspective that will serve the gospel
o bring the kingdom
o release God to do more than we can ask or imagine
- it’s a perspective that will bring purpose to and from every life event you go through
- … but it’s not an easy perspective. One that comes cheaply or lightly
It’s one we learn from Paul. This incredible man
He says this. "what has happened to me has served the gospel"
Well- what had happened to him? (that he seemed so happy about?)
- he was in prison. Probably chained to a guard 24x7.
o Most likely in Rome towards the end of his life (Acts 28) or perhaps earlier in one of the Roman city’s with a palace
- pretty isolated. In 2;19-25 he describes that it is really only Timothy and (recently, since the Philippian church had sent him) Epaphroditus who have cared for him