Philippians 1 120323

Dec 3, 2023    David Clark

Today we are heading back into the Book of Philippians, and will finish the service by taking Communion together as a family.

Most of us, when in the midst of a trial, tend to become pretty myopic. We have trouble seeing past the difficulties and trials we are facing. It is like buying a new shirt and putting it on and getting ready for the day and just before we leave the house we realize that there is a little bitty spot on it. We are not sure how it got there but, to us, that little bitty spot is huge.

We start to think that everyone is going to be able to see that spot. Even though we have 99.9 percent of the shirt that is spotless, we can only concentrate on that one little, itty bitty spot. That spot ,to us, has ruined the whole shirt. We can no longer look at the shirt without seeing that spot. So we become fixated on that spot and just know that everyone is staring at it, and so we get annoyed, and frustrated, and worry that everyone else is judging us because we are wearing a shirt with a spot.

In our text this morning, Paul is in prison. He is chained to a guard 24 hours a day. He has limited freedom. Then he finds out that some other Christians are using his imprisonment as an opportunity to bash him. To kick him while he is down. I think most folks in Paul;s situation would become myopic and focus on the spot. Focus on the trial, the difficulties he was facing and become angry and bitter, and it would ruin their witness. However, not Paul. Paul instead rejoices. He chooses to focus on the rest of the shirt instead of the spot.

Our text, tomorrow morning, is truly an application based text that all of us would do well to learn from. Instead of focusing on the difficulties and becoming angry and bitter and lashing out. We have a choice, and we can focus on what is right in our lives. When we focus on the goodness and blessings of God we can, like Paul, rejoice.