A. Paul, in the midst of his imprisonment, wrote a book of Joy.Proposition: To find joy, we must look for it in the simple things around us.
B. How could Paul be joyful in such bleak circumstances?
I. FIND JOY IN PEOPLE, vs. 3, 4, 7-9
A. Their diversitiesII. FIND JOY IN PRAYER, vs. 4, 9
B. Their possibilities
A. Unselfish prayerIII. FIND JOY IN PARTNERSHIP, vs. 5-7
B. Specific prayer
A. Not bound by distanceIV. FIND JOY IN PRODUCTIVITY, v. 9
B. Not bound by time
C. Not bound by differences
A. Abound in loveConclusion: We have been talking about finding joy. There is, however, a sense in which we let joy find us.
B. Abound in knowledge and wisdom
C. Abound in purity
In his book, Daily Thoughts for Disciples,
Oswald Chambers writes, "We take for granted that prayer is preparation
for work, whereas prayer is the work. Intercessory prayer is God's
chosen way of working."
You can carry a pack if it's strapped to your back;
You can carry a weight in your hands.
You can carry a bundle on top of your head
As they do in other lands.
A load is light if you carry it right,
Though it weighs as much as a boulder;
But a tiny chip is too heavy to bear
If you carry it on your shoulder.
A few years ago, no television personality was better
known than Gary Moore. He once gave his own philosophy of life.
He said that if on every day you could count one half hour of real happiness,
then you were ahead of the game! W here can we find happiness? Or
is it a matter of letting happiness finding us?
The old physician kept up his practice well into
his 80's. He walked a lot, and as he walked, he picked up string,
bolts, and nails. All of these he carefully stashed away in manila
envelopes. When he died, they found them among his possessions.
Each envelope was marked the same: "MCH." They wondered what that
meant until it was finally discovered the "MCH" stood for "may come in
handy." We need to cultivate friendships: they may come in handy.
We need to nourish spiritual partnerships: they may come in handy.
Though he served during very difficult years, Franklin
Roosevelt never seemed to worry. The ebullience he displayed on stage
was really a part of his personality all the time. Once he was asked
if he ever worried. He replied by referring to the polio that had
left him a cripple: "If you had spent two years in bed trying to
wiggle your toe, after that anything would seem easy."
Recently, Parker and Hart's comic strip, "The Wizard
of Id," showed a lonely and bored little king who finally sighed from his
balcony, "It s lonely at the top." And a voice from below answered,
"It ain't no bed of roses at the bottom, Charlie!"
It has well been said that "the road to a friend's
house is never long."
Square Deal Surf is a detergent made in Britain.
The company decided to stop advertising and pass the savings along to the
customer. They reduced the price of the product and increased the
weight of 'the package. Sales dropped. They resumed advertising,
increasing the price and reducing the amount in the box. Sales increased!
It pays to advertise.
After a great gathering of Christian youth, they were counting the offering. At the bottom lay a teen-aged girl's picture. Had someone taken that picture from someone's wallet and thrown it in the offering as a practical joke? That's the kind of thing teenagers sometimes do. But someone turned the picture over. On the back of her own picture, a girl had written, "I have nothing to give but myself." Whether we have little to give or much to give, the gift God wants us to give is ourselves!