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Summary: A life filled with meaning is one that is completely sold out to Jesus and the Gospel.

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Living With Meaning

Text: Phil. 1:19-26

Introduction

1. Illustration: John Wesley provides the most convicting analysis on what it means to be a true servant: "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you can."

2. I think that God has placed within each one of us the desire to be significant. Someone asked me one time what was my biggest fear. My answer was "being insignificant." When I leave this world I want to know that my life wasn't wasted. That I had touched as many people's lives in a positive way as possible.

3. In my mind that is what Paul is saying in our text this morning; that a life of meaning is one that...

a. Honors Christ

b. Serves Christ

c. Makes A Difference Through Christ

4. Let's stand together as we read Phil. 1:19-26

Proposition: A life filled with meaning is one that is completely sold out to Jesus and the Gospel.

Transition: A life filled with meaning is one that...

I. Honors Christ (19-20).

A. Bring Honor To Christ

1. Even though Paul is in Roman captivity he has this overwhelming sense that God is not done with him yet, and he fully expects to be released.

2. Look at what he says in verse 19, "For I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance."

a. Paul’s confidence came from two sources: human and divine.

b. Paul knew that the Philippians’ constant prayers had sustained him.

c. As Paul consistently prayed for the churches, so he petitioned their prayers on his behalf.

d. In addition, Paul depended upon the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, who makes Christ’s presence real in true believers.

e. The prayers of the church and the support of the Holy Spirit sustained Paul through a difficult trial and, in the end, no matter what the outcome, Paul would ultimately be “delivered.” (Barton, Life Application New Testament Commentary, 847).

3. The reason Paul had this assurance was he believed God still had work for his to do. We can see this when he says, "For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die."

a. The Greek word translated eager expectation pictures a person straining his neck to see what is ahead.

b. In Romans 8:19, Paul used the same word as he described looking forward to the revelation of God’s children, as God had planned from the beginning of creation.

c. Hope and expectation are linked together. Paul looked forward to the final fulfillment.

d. He was not concerned about the verdict of his trial, but for the testimony he would leave.

e. Paul hoped he would never do anything that would cause him shame.

f. He was not worried about his own humiliation, but he prayed for courage to be bold for Christ and to always honor Christ.

g. When standing trial, Paul wanted to speak God’s truth courageously and not be timid or ashamed.

h. The words, whether I live or I die, reveal that Paul was uncertain about the outcome of his trial. He faced the possibility of execution (Barton 847).

i. However, if it was living or dying, Paul was determined to honor Christ no matter what the circumstances.

B. Glory To God

1. Illustration: Johann Sebastian Bach was born into the musical family of Bach’s in 1685. By the age of ten, both of his parents were dead. Early in his friction-filled life, young Johann determined he would write music … music for the glory of God … and this he did. Most of Bach’s works are explicitly Biblical. Albert Schweitzer referred to him as The fifth evangelist, thus comparing him to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. At age 17 Bach became the organist at the church; soon thereafter he was given charge of the entire music ministry. During his ministry in Weimar, Germany he wrote a new cantata every month … EVERY MONTH! And during one three-year period he wrote, conducted, orchestrated, and performed (with his choir and orchestra) a new cantata every week! No one had any idea what a mark Bach would leave. His legacy lives on some 300 years later. You can hear his music at will. At the beginning of every authentic manuscript one will find the letters "J.J." This stands for Jesu Java (Jesus help me). At the end of each original manuscript you will find the letters "S.D.G." This stands for Soli Deo Gloria (to the glory of God). Bach is a reminder that one who gives his life to Jesus and serves Him does not count it a loss.

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