Expository Preaching
J. Michael Shannon and Robert C. Shannon
(c)opyright J. Michael Shannon, 1982
Philippians 1:12-30

A.  One of the hardest lessons to learn in life is what is important and what isn't.
B.  One of the reasons Paul was able to withstand so much was that he knew where to place his priorities.
A.  Problems
1.  Health problems
2.  Family problems
3.  Economic problems
4.  Social problems
B. Victory
1.  His problems served to advance the gospel.
2.  His problems served to inspire others.
A.  Pride
1.  National pride
2.  Religious pride
3.  Community pride
4.  Personal pride
B. Victory
1. The gospel can be preached from dual motives.
2. It can be preached amid misunderstandings.
A.  His Person
1.  Threatened
2.  Tortured
3.  Endangered
B.  Victory
1.  His master gave him meaning for life.
2.  His master gave him meaning in death.
Conclusion:  In death or life, all that mattered to Paul was that his master be glorified.

    Queen Mary of England was so upset by the French capture of the Port of Calais that she could never get it off her mind.  She said, "After I am dead, you will find Calais written upon my heart."  Well could one say of Paul that Christ was written on his heart.  What is written on your heart?  What is most important in your life?

    Often in life, we give up a present benefit for a larger future benefit.  The student gives up his leisure for the sake of an education.  The lover gives up his freedom for the security of marriage.  The dieter gives up foods he likes for the sake of health and a longer life.  The person in the military gives up civilian life for the benefit of his military career.  The jogger gives up comfort for health.  The saver gives up some purchases for the sake of a larger one later on.  That is what separates man from animals.  Cattle will eat until they die.  Paul saw the larger eternal benefits and gave up the present, smaller benefits.

    The glory had gone to Napoleon, but he could never have accomplished what he did without Marshal Ney, his most brilliant and his most courageous officer.  They called Marshal Ney "the bravest of the brave."  Certainly, Paul deserves such a description.

    It was the tranquil scene on the calendar that first caught the eye.  Then the verse, "Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday."  We do spend a lot of time worrying about tomorrow.  Most of our worries are useless.  We may spend so much time worrying about tomorrow that we miss the opportunities of the present.  Many of us live by an inversion of the old motto.  Ours is "Never do today what can be put off till tomorrow."

    A minister recently wrote in his weekly column in the church newsletter that he was setting goals for the new year.  One of his goals was to clean up his desk.  Another of his goals was to find last year's goals!

    His name is Wersching, and he is the great place kicker of the San Francisco Forty-Niners.  He never looks at the goal posts.  They distract him. He only looks at the hash marks on the field.  With Paul, it was much the opposite.  He kept his eye on the goal.  Anything between him and that didn't matter much.

    In writing an article on death, a minister noted that he had just taken a course in thanatology, the study of death.  Well, life itself is a course in death.  Joseph Addision, near death, sent for his stepson.  When he arrived, Addison said, "I have sent for you that you may see how a Christian can die."  In Gloucester, England, is a tombstone with this oddly splendid epitaph:

Death Comes Apace
The Indignant Nye
Go Reader Go
And Learn to Dye
We all must learn how to die and how to live!

    The most conservative of Jewish sects and the most interesting is the Hasidic.  Found principally in Brooklyn and Jerusalem, they are fiercely opposed to Zionism and fanatically devoted to Jewish ritual and custom.  Yet dance is a part of their worship joyous dance; for the founder of Hasidism said, "To be sad is a sin."

Live With Joy (1:3-11)
Table of Contents
Live With Humility (2:1-12)

Scanned and Proofread by Michael J. Riggs