Expository Preaching
J. Michael Shannon and Robert C. Shannon
(c)opyright J. Michael Shannon, 1982
Philippians 1:1-11

A.  Paul, in the midst of his imprisonment, wrote a book of Joy.
B.  How could Paul be joyful in such bleak circumstances?
Proposition:  To find joy, we must look for it in the simple things around us.

 I.  FIND JOY IN PEOPLE, vs. 3, 4, 7-9

A.  Their diversities
B.  Their possibilities
 II.  FIND JOY IN PRAYER, vs. 4, 9
A.  Unselfish prayer
B.  Specific prayer
A.  Not bound by distance
B.  Not bound by time
C.  Not bound by differences
A.  Abound in love
B.  Abound in knowledge and wisdom
C.  Abound in purity
Conclusion:  We have been talking about finding joy.  There is, however, a sense in which we let joy find us.

    Towering over Edinburgh, Scotland, is the Edinburgh Castle.  In the midst of very old buildings is the relatively new World War I Memorial.  It carries a quotation from Thucydides: "The whole earth is the tomb of heroic men, and their story is not graven only on stones over their clay, but abides everywhere, without visible symbol, woven into the stuff of others' lives."

    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!

The Partnership We Share (Colossians 4:5-18)
Table of Contents
Live With Perspective (1:12-30)

Scanned and Proofread by Michael J. Riggs