Sunday, January 8th, '18
rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson
WILL TURN OUT IF WE DON'T TURN IN!
things which have happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance
of the gospel" (Philippians 1:12 NKJV)
I know that this will turn out for my deliverance..." (Philippians 1:19 NKJV)
What a positive attitude! Whatever happened,
Paul believed, would "turn out" for his good. Now that included shipwreck,
snakebite, suffering, sickness, stoning and storm. We are reading from
Philippians, the little Joy Gospel. It was in that brief epistle that
Paul preached PMA, Positive Mental Attitude. He urged, "Rejoice in the Lord
always, and again I say, rejoice" (4:4), and confided, "I can do all things
through Christ who strengthens me" (4:13). PMA sure beats PMS. Positive people
set their own agenda. As Winston Churchill quipped, "History will be kind to me
for I intend to write it". Earl Nightingale added, "Our attitude toward life
determines life's attitude toward us". With that in mind, we have a lot of input
as to turn-out.
First, we can't know the turnout but we do know
who controls the turn-out. We can't know what tomorrow holds but we know Who
holds tomorrow. That is faith. If Paul had not been shipwrecked, the isle of
Melita would not have heard the gospel. If he had not been chained in a Roman
prison cell, the elect of "Caesar's household" would never have been saved (4:22). There is a purpose for all our steps and all our stops. So go along
in happy trust. Second, today's setback or turndown doesn't decide tomorrow's
turn-out. There are potholes on the highway. Progress is two steps forward, one
step back, then repeat the process. Delays are not denials. Faith keeps plowing
ahead. Third, since we can't determine the turn-out we may as well be happy as
we go. Paul said life would turn out, "according to my earnest expectation, and
my hope" (1:20). How can you assess the turn-out if you have not set any goals?
Paul desired the whole world to hear his gospel and the best way to make that
happen was to go to the capital of the Roman Empire and work from Caesar down.
"So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome
also" (Romans 1:15). He had a target, Rome, and there was no way he was going
to get to ROME if he let his mind ROAM.
Finally, it will never turn out if we get weary
and turn-in. Paul had a one-track mind, the track to Rome. He said, "I press
toward the mark..." (3:13) When the storm comes, it is smarter to face the ship's
bow dead into the teeth of the wind than to risk being catapulted onto the shore.
Some have already turned in and chose the easy out. Are they happy? Those who chicken
out or give out will never find out how it could have turned
out. When Paul first stepped foot into the Mamartine Prison I am sure his
heart sunk and a thousand devils jumped on his back and cackled, "Look what
you've gotten yourself into". But he stayed faithful, let his light shine, and
stood in faith. Soon he had befriended the whole palace guard and had many
opportunities to share his faith. He said all the events "actually" turned out
for good, "actually", implying that others saw little chance of any positive
outcome. He is still the God of good turn-outs. The joy of believing is in
seeing that the "things which happened", as it says in our text, all happened for