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  • Writer's pictureNoel McDonough

The Joy of Knowing Jesus

Today I will be looking at part of Paul’s letter to the Philippians.

Phil 1: 12-26

He was joyous, not because of the situation he was in, but for the opportunities it gave him to share the gospel.

Last week at Cameos we were talking about the various little sayings we have in English. For example, “Don’t cry over spilt milk”, “If you look at a kettle it will never boil”. As I was preparing the message for today another such saying came to mind, “Life is full of surprises”. That has certainly been the case for me over the last 12 months. Ruth’s passing was not a surprise but how quickly it came about certainly was. Then there were my experiences in Tasmania to do with rolling out of bed, they were also a surprise. So were the two operations I have had to correct the bleeds in the brain.


Paul’s letter to the Philippians is often referred to as the Epistle of joy because of the joyous nature of what Paul has to say. The people of Philippi may well have been surprised when they received this letter. I don’t think it was because they were surprised to receive a letter from Paul, but by what it contained.


Paul was in prison in Rome and there was a lot of uncertainty about what would happen to him. He did not know what the outcome of his trial would be. How would you have felt if you were in Paul’s situation? I think I would have been feeling a little down in the dumps and any letter I wrote would have reflected that. But not Paul! He was joyous, not because of the situation he was in, but for the opportunities it gave him to share the gospel.


What opportunities come your way through those little surprises? Give God the thanks for them and use them for his glory.


Noel


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