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Here are 12 messages of Paul to his favorite church, filled with joy and optimism.
Here are 12 messages of Paul to his favorite church, filled with joy and optimism.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Oct 25, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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CONTENTS1. INCURABLE OPTIMISM Based on Phil. 1:1-112. JOYFUL SAINTS Based on Phil. 1:1-113. EDUCATED LOVE Based on Phil. 1:1-114. ENVIOUS CHRISTIANS Based on Phil. 1:12-185. GOOD OUT OF EVIL Based on Phil. 1:12-266. FANATIC FOR JESUS Based on Phil. 1:18-267. COURAGEOUS FOR CHRIST Based on Phil. 1:19-268. PARTNERS WITH GOD Based on Phil 1:19-269. THE PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING based on Phil. 1:3-610. THE SACRIFICIAL PERSPECTIVE Based on Phil. 2:1-1111. A SEASON TO BE SELFLESS Based on Phil. 2:1-1112. RECIPE FOR A MERRY CHRISTMAS based on Phil. 2:1-413. ENCOURAGEMENT ENCOURAGES ENCOURAGERS. 2:1f 14. THE PROBLEM AND SOLUTION Based on Phil. 2:1-1115. THE POWER OF THE RESURRECTION Phil. 3:1-1616. A FUTURE WITH FOCUS Based on Phil. 3:7-1417. THE GREATEST EDUCATION Based on Phil. 3:818. PRESSING ON Based on Phil. 3:10-2119. GIVERS BY CHOICE Based on Phil. 4:10-201. INCURABLE OPTIMISM Based on Phil. 1:1-11The things that can go wrong in Christian service could fill an
encyclopedia. Tal Bonham has recorded just a few. A note in thebulletin said, "Ladies don't forget the rummage sale. It is a goodchance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around thehouse. Bring your husbands." He tells of a pastor who preached onSamson, and unknowingly called him Tarzan through the wholesermon. Another pastor, when he asked, who had special prayerrequests to raise their hands, had his mind on the previous businessmeeting, and he said, "All those opposed, same sign." Anotherpastor introduced the new choir director by saying, "We aredelighted he is coming to lead us in our sinning."Even Billy Graham has made his occasional slip of the tongue.The police chief of Memphis, Tenn. asked him to help promote theirtraffic safety campaign. So Graham pointed to the large neon signwhich said 150 days. "You see that sign," he said, "That means thatthere has been 150 days without a fertility." His mistake was not afatality, but it was terribly embarrassing. Several world renownedclergymen almost fell off the platform in hysterics. Chuck Swindollpreaching on Joshua at Jericho meant to say, "They circumscribedthe wall," but it came out, "They circumcised the wall." It broughtthe house down. The point is, you have got to be an optimist tobelieve God can use such a fallible creature as man to accomplishHis will on earth.Paul was just such an optimist, and the main message of his letterto the Philippians is that everyone who is a believer in Jesus Christis obligated to be an optimist. Paul says, "Rejoice in the Lordalways," and just in case you didn't hear, he says it again, "andagain I say rejoice." Pessimism is one of the greatest sins of theChristian, and Paul fights that negative spirit in this letter. It is asin for a Christian to be ever gripping, complaining, and grumbling.Behind every silver lining some Christians can find a dark cloud.Their pessimism becomes a bad habit. It is like swearing. Somepeople do it so often they don't even realize they are doing it. So it is
possible to think negative so often that you don't even realize youare being a pessimist.Like the persistent pessimist who grumbled to his neighbor, "Myhen hatched out 12 chicks, and all of them died but 11." Thenegative had distorted a positive reality into a negative feeling. Thishabitual focus on the negative leads to the unconscious prayer of thepessimist-"Give us this day our daily dread." If you are going tofocus your attention on the problems of life, then anyone can be apessimist, for problems are part of every life, and Paul the optimistwas no exception. He was not writing this letter of joy from hisyacht in the Mediterranean, or from a luxury villa in Rome. It waswritten from a prison, and not from the warden's office either, butfrom the dungeon. He was there unjustly for serving his Lord, andblessing people with the good news of the Gospel. Yet, out of thisunfair and unjust suffering Paul does not fire off a bitter letter of anger, but a letter of joy and optimism about the church and God'splan for it.This optimistic letter has been used of God to comfort, encourage,and challenge Christians all through history to be optimists in afallen world. Gene Daille, the great French expositor told of howdeeply the Indians of the new world were impressed by the whiteman's ability to put marks on a piece of paper, and then convey it toanother at a great distance, and thereby, bear a message to them.Letters were magic to them. It is marvelous to us too when youthink of it. By means of letters the Apostle Paul, long dead, can goon speaking to the church all over the world, and urge them torejoice always, and be incurable optimists. Paul was the first in along line of Christian writers who wrote Christian literature inprison that influenced the church to be optimistic in spite of problems.We have to face this reality, however. Paul had more reason to

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