Summary: With Jesus at the helm of his life's ship Paul had a bountiful supply of assets for living above his circumstances.
“Living a Joy-full Life; Use Your Assets”
In Acts chapter 3 John and Peter are about to enter the temple courts when a crippled beggar asks them for money. Peter’s response is fabulous! “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Peter did not focus on what he lacked; rather he utilized his asset - the power of Jesus Christ. The result was healing and rejoicing. Peter overcame the human tendency to focus on what we do not have while ignoring or minimizing what we do have - which leads to anything but joy.
The apostle Paul was also a master at using his assets – and his biggest asset, like Peter’s, was Jesus Christ. The reality is that with Jesus at the helm of his life’s ship, Paul had a bountiful supply of assets for living above his circumstances. He had, first of all, A PERSPECTIVE FROM WHICH TO LIVE. (12-14) Our perspective determines our viewpoint which determines our attitude. What we look for we tend to find. If we look for the negative we’ll find the negative; if we look for the positive we’ll find the positive. There’s an old story of a king who called two men into his presence. To the first he said, “I want you to take six months; travel the length and breadth of the kingdom and bring back a sample of every weed you can find.” The man quickly departed to carry out the king’s order. To the second man he said, “I want you to take six months; travel the length and breadth of the kingdom and bring back a sample of every flower you can find.” The second man departed to carry out the king’s order. At the end of six months both men again stood before the king. The first man said, “Sir, I have carried out your command. I didn’t realize there were so many weeds in the kingdom – in fact, I now realize there is nothing but weeds in this kingdom.” The second man said, “Sir, I have carried out your command. I didn’t realize there were so many beautiful flowers in the kingdom – in fact, I now realize there is nothing but beautiful flowers in this kingdom.” Each man found what he was looking for. Their PERSPECTIVE DETERMINED THEIR ATTITUDE.
Consider Paul’s perspective. (12) “Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me…” What has happened to Paul? He’s on trial for his life. He’s awaiting the verdict. Until it comes, he’s under house arrest, chained to guards 24 hours a day. I wonder this morning – TO WHAT ARE YOU CHAINED? What binds you? Your job has been eliminated; an important relationship has broken apart; or you’ve suffered a big financial loss; or your peers are pressuring you to do what you know is wrong; maybe illness has changed your entire life; perhaps your marriage is in the tank and it’s future uncertain; or death has struck a mighty blow in your family circle; maybe you’ve taken a stand for Christ and been shot down. Whatever it is, you’re chained, held in bondage.