Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Deployment represents lives on put hold. This sermon speaks to that issue in a soldier’s life

Life on hold

Sermon By: CH (CPT) Keith Andrews

5 February 2006

All Scriptures listed NKJV: The New King James Version. 1996, c1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

(The introduction is presented with hi-res screen shots from www.rottentomatoes.com)

Tonight, I want to introduce to you, Viktor Navorski.

Viktor Navorski is a man from Eastern Europe, who arrives at New York City’s Kennedy Airport.

Soon, after his arrival, he discovers…

That during his flight, his home government is overthrown.

Because of the coup, the U.S. no longer recognizes his country, therefore voiding Viktor’s passport.

Navorski is denied entrance to the United States.

He also can’t be deported.

He is told by the Security Manager that he has to remain in the airport until his status can be fixed.

Victor is trapped in the airport terminal.

His life is on hold.

Victor, simply, makes the Terminal his home.

As he waits…

He learns a new language.

He finds a job.

He develops friendships.

Victor even finds romance with a beautiful flight attendant named Amelia.

In the end Victor’s country is stabilized and his passport is accepted.

Victor is allowed to go home.

(http://www.rottentomatoes.com and http://www.imdb.com. Accessed 1-30-06)

In some ways, many of us are just like Victor. Our life feels as if it were on hold.

You maybe under stop-loss. You maybe waiting to ETS when we get home. This deployment may stall your plans you were considering before deploying.

Your relationships—your wife, your girlfriends, your friends or your children—sometimes seem as if they’re on hold. For many reasons, we can feel as if our life is on hold.

Look with me at Acts 24:27, found page 993 of the red Bibles under your chair.

In Acts 21, Paul was arrested by a mob in the temple of Jerusalem. In Acts 23, he was brought before Felix the governor.

Felix had heard of the Gospel, but was not a believer. He kept Paul under house arrest.

Acts 24:27 says

But after two years Porcius Festus succeeded Felix; and Felix, wanting to do the Jews a favor, left Paul bound.(Acts 24:27, NKJV)

For two years, Paul was a captive for absolutely no reason. Felix wanted to do the Jews a favor – he wanted to appease the Jews – it was a political decision.

Paul’s life was on hold. While many of us would look at that two years as a waste – Paul gives us a good example of how to live when our life is on hold.

We see first of all, that Paul continued to do his work.

Acts 24:23

So he commanded the centurion to keep Paul and to let him have liberty, and told him not to forbid any of his friends to provide for or visit him. (Acts 24:23, NKJV)

Felix allowed Paul liberty, meaning he was able to have visitors. But, for Paul, that’s all he needed. Paul was a leader. In having visitors, Paul was able to continue teaching and mentoring Christians. He was able to continue his work. Several of Paul’s Biblical letters were written during his imprisonment in Rome. Therefore, it is safe to assume that he also wrote letters in Jerusalem.

Paul continued to do his work. It didn’t matter what was going on around him. It really didn’t matter whether or not he was happy with his surroundings, he continued to do his work.

Bob Ford is a caterer for Brandon, Mississippi, just outside of Jackson. He had been hired to cater a Gospel concert the night before the Hurricane Katrina hit. Understandably, hardly anyone attended the concert, and Ford had plenty of leftovers. He took these leftovers to a shelter in Jackson that housed 1,200 evacuees. He stayed and continued to cook every day at 5 AM for crowds as large as 1,700.

Bob Ford took a terrible situation and continued his work. He later said, “We have to focus on what God wants us to do.” (Guideposts: Feb, 2006)

When your life is placed on hold, continue your work. For Bob Ford, it was to continue being a caterer. You may an aircraft mechanic, or a nurse, or a bus driver. Paul’s example was to continue to work and stay focused on what God wanted him to do.

John Wooden once said;

“Things turn out best for the people who make the best out the way things turnout.” (Guideposts: Nov, 2004)

John Wooden coached basketball for our forty years with only one losing season – his first. He led UCLA teams to 10 NCAA titles. (Maxwell, John. Today Matters, 2004.New York: Warner Faith. pg 34.)

We need to be people who make the best out of the way things turn out. We need to be people that are putting our best foot forward every time we go into work. It really doesn’t matter if our life is on hold; what matters is that we are constantly working toward what God desires for us.

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