by Terry J. Hallock

How to Live Like You Can't Lose
Terry J. Hallock
Philippians 1:12-26
March 19, 2000

Paul did not write those words reclining in a deck chair on a sunny veranda of some seaside villa on the Italian coast. Those words were penned from a dank and dark prison cell in the city of Rome. He was not in that prison cell because his proclamation of Jesus Christ had won him the undying admiration of the Roman government. He was in chains because his unswerving commitment to the lordship of Jesus had won him the undying hostility and fear of the Roman government. They weren't about to make him citizen of the month. They were about to execute him. While he sits in that cell, chained to its walls and awaiting his death, some in the Christian community who once hailed and supported him are now plotting against him.

Yet despite the chains, despite the pain, despite his inevitable execution and despite the desertion of some of his friends Paul declares, "Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel" (verse 12). Imprisoned, condemned and betrayed Paul was living like he couldn't lose. The Romans saw his imprisonment as a way to shut him up. Paul used it as an opportunity to convert his guards. The Romans saw his chains as a way to kill the Gospel. Paul used them as a tool to spread the Gospel. The Romans saw his execution as the ultimate threat capable of defeating his ministry. Paul saw it as simply another chance to exalt Jesus. Whatever his captors meant for evil Paul used for good. What they meant for discouragement he used for encouragement. What they meant for defeat he used for victory. He lived like he couldn't lose.

What if you and I could live that way too? Wouldn't it be the miracle of miracles to know that no matter what prison the world locks you in, no matter what chains it wraps around you, even if it threatens you with death, you can't lose! Well, brothers and sisters, that is the message and th ...

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