Summary: Paul teaches us from prison where true JOY can be found
PLACES TO FIND JOY: In relationships with other believers
Philippi was located in the area of Macedonia –now the northern most province of GREECE/ bordering Albania In ancient times it was in a gold mining area.
After 400 B.C., Philip II of Macedon seized the mines, fortified the city, and named it for himself.
1) Philippi, along with the rest of Macedonia, came under Roman control after
200 B.C./ Philippi became an official Roman Colony
Paul journeyed there on his 2nd missionary journey –
Philippi was the first Church Paul started in the Continent of Europe
One of the main themes the book of Philippians is JOY The word "joy" is found in one form or another 15 times in the 104 verses of this short letter.
When Paul writes about joy he is not writing dry theory . . .he writes from experience. He writes from a place of imprisonment.
1:1 Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons:
1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1:3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,
Paul wrote the book of Philippians while locked in a Roman prison.
While there awaiting trial, he thought much of the believers at Philippi.
No doubt he thought back to the events that unfold in Acts 16.
He thought of the conversion of Lydia and her household, the poor slave girl that had been demon possessed, and the Philippian Jailer.
He thought of each of the dear Christians at Philippi and the work God had done there. He thought of their friendship and companionship through the years. It had been ten years since he had seen them, and in his dark, damp and dreary prison cell memories flooded his soul.
1. APPRECIATION! I thank my God in all my remembrance of you
Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, "The man who has forgotten to be thankful, has fallen asleep in life." George Herbert once said, "Thou who hast given so much to me, give one thing more, a grateful heart."
A. He often thought of them. all my remembrance The word speaks of recollecting, being mindful, thinking of something or someone. They were ever on his mind and in his thoughts.
How forgetful we are of what God has done in our life. How forgetful we are of those God has put in our life. How forgetful we are of the blessing of each.
Max Lucado - Despite having sold 15 million books, a one-minute radio show in 900 markets, and a church of over 3,000 in weekly attendance, Lucado has not always been so “angelic.”
From his sophomore to senior year in high school, in his words, he "walked the path of the prodigal." He hid it, for the most part, from his mother by faking religion.
"I spent three years drinking and partying…. During that stretch, I probably abandoned every single value that I’d been taught. I’d go to church, but I would not listen. I wouldn’t sing. I led a dual life."
Max could down a six-pack of beer without feeling anything, and his drinking quickly led to womanizing and worse. His carousing upset Max’s father Jack who came from a family of nine siblings, some of whom were alcoholics, Max’s drinking was "the ultimate act of rebellion."
How did Max Lucado, the one-time prodigal become a famous writer/author/preacher?
IT’S CALLED GOD’S GRACE!
Max Lucado is no better or no worse than us. But he has been blessed and gifted with spiritual insight and writing ability by God’s grace. It’s a gift of God’s grace.
All the good things that come to us in life: physical, material, spiritual, etc. are a gift of God’s grace.
There are some things we should never forget and some people should we never forget. These should be on our mind continually.
Much too often we find ourselves saying, "You know, I haven’t thought of that in years," or "I haven’t thought of him or her in years." Paul had never forgotten what God has done at Philippi, nor had he forgotten the people he had met at Philippi.
B. How Thankful He Was For Them.
Each time that he thought of them, he thanked God for them. Each time they came to his mind, his heart was filled with gratitude.
I am told that our word "thank" evolves from our word "think." The ideal is that if we think it won’t be long and we will be thanking.
When Billy Graham was driving through a small southern town, he was stopped by a policeman and charged with speeding. Graham admitted his quilt, but was told by the officer that he would have to appear in court. The judge asked, "Guilty, or not guilty?" When Graham pleaded guilty, the judge replied, "That’ll be ten dollars -- a dollar for every mile you went over the limit."