Between a Rock and a Hard Place (3 of 10) by James Merritt

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place (3 of 10)
Series: The Joy of Jesus
James Merritt
1 Philippians 1:21-26


Introduction

1. I want you to imagine that you are in a prison. You are 1000 miles away from friends or family, four times a day you are chained to a different soldier who hates you and who hates being with you. From all indications you will not get out of this prison alive. You are fed a meager diet. You are ever allowed outside. You never have any privacy.
Now what would you be hoping for or looking for?

2. Most of you would say, I would be looking for a way out. Well, so would I Paul was in those conditions but surprisingly Paul was not looking for a way out. He was looking for a way up. Sticking around on earth was no big deal to Paul. He had made up his mind long ago, ''I'd rather have Jesus than anything this world can afford to give.''

3. Paul did not know but that this day might be his last day. Then again, he just might be set free. But either way it was alright with Paul. He said, because if I live it is Christ. If I die it is gain.1 heads I win. Tails I win. If I live that means that God still has a work for me to do, he has a task to complete, a work to finish, a soul to win, a sermon to preach and, if I die, well, if I die I just go to be with Jesus.

4. Now remember the book of Philippians is a book about joy. It is the joy of Jesus. Now Paul was full of Jesus and since he was full of Jesus he was also full of joy? That's why even in an ark, dusty, dingy, dirty prison Paul could say, if I live I am happy but if I die I am thrilled. Paul was kind of like that dear old saint who had lived to be about 95 years of age and she loved Jesus with all of her heart. She was getting ready to go home to heaven and some of her loved ones were around her bedside trying to, console her. She said, ''Don't console me. I'm tickled to death to die.'' Well, I believe Paul was just tickled to death to die, but because of his outlook on life and becaus ...


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