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Summary: Look inside the great heart of the Apostle Paul!

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West Greeley Baptist Church

August 18 2002

Philippians 1: 7-11

“Paul’s heart, Paul’s Prayer”

Pastor Mark Hensley

“7It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

9And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ--to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1: 7-11

Introduction: NEW ORLEANS (Aug. 8) - Ten people on a behind-the-scenes tour at an aquarium plunged into a shark tank after a platform collapsed. No one was seriously injured, officials said.

Two people were taken to a hospital for minor cuts and bruises, said Melissa Lee, a spokeswoman for the Aquarium of the Americas.

The accident happened while donors to the aquarium were on an after-hours tour. The platform they were standing on is used by keepers to feed the sharks and is not usually open to the general public, Lee said.

It wasn’t immediately known what caused the steel footbridge above the tank to collapse. The 400,000-gallon tank is home to everything from a few dozen nurse and sand tiger sharks to turtles, schools of redfish and stingrays.

Dan Rooney was on the platform with his family when the platform gave way. He searched frantically for his 2-year-old grandchild before he saw someone hand the toddler to another person on the stable part of the catwalk. ’’I was just praying none of the sharks got agitated from all of the splashing and everything. I mean, they got sharks in there bigger than me,’’ he said. AP-NY-08-08-02 0639EDT

Transition: Ever been in a place you couldn’t wait to get out of? Today I am thinking of Paul in prison in Rome, remembering the church at Philippi and having those memories interrupted by the gruff taunts of his captors and the stale air….and tasteless food that he had reluctantly became accustomed too!

At least he was able to write! Sometimes God will set us down in a place somewhere where we can do more good for God’s kingdom than we ever could if left to our own desires or choices. Today from a Roman prison the Apostle Paul has a lot to pray about and a lot on his heart!

“7It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

9And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ--to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1: 7-11


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