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Choosing Joy

Let the Journey Begin  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Video Introduction

The background of the city of Philippi
Paul’s time in Philippi were marked by great success and great pain.


The beginning of The Hobbitt---describes nasty, disturbing things
Setting with a map, about A.D. 50
Carrying a message about the generosity of God
Paul’s Macedonian vision ()--”concluding that God had called us”—they are responding to God’s will
What happens when you feel you are doing the will of God and things fall apart? You start losing confidence, have fear, etc.—the nasty, uncomfortable.
This is Paul’s situation.
Three life-changing encounters.

The Businesswoman (16:14-15)

Lydia was a trader of purple cloth (16:14)
“Worshiper” of God—A term of a Gentile who is pursuing the God of Israel. She is a Gentile convert to Judaism. The Lord opened her heart to receive the passage. She did not decide, not that Paul preached a great message.
Lydia was baptized (16:150. Discussion of baptism—it represents cleansing from sin, it pictures a change of life.
Lydia invited Paul and his partners to stay with her. God opens her heart. She opens her home. Her resources are at God’s disposal.
So far this is a great story.

The Psychic (16:16-25)

This woman was able to predict the future. She was possessed by demons. She earned her owners a “great deal of money.”
She starts shouting when Paul and his company passed by. “Most High God”—for Romans this is Zeus; for Jews this is the Lord (16:17). This continued for many days. Paul cast out the demon (16:18). But the story does not here.
The demon leaves her, but the money leaves the owners. They “seized” and “dragged” them to the market place. They frame the charge in financial terms. They were “stripped” and “beaten” (22). This was physically plus psychologically harmful.
The jailer put them in the “inner cell” and their feet in “stocks.”
They thought they were doing God’s will and find themselves in jail. What do we do in situations like this? Leaving one job for another and the new place is bad; choosing a school, make a change and the new place is worse—What do you think? Paul was there because he was pursuing God.
Paul and Silas were praying and singing (25)—They were offering praise from the pit. The default response is to focus on what has been taken. But they were obsessing about the generosity of God—God was good and would show his goodness to us. This needs to be settled the beating begins.

The Corrections Officer (16:26-40)

The earthquake take place. The jailer was concerned about the loss of prisoners. He wants to kill himself.
Verse 29-30--”What must I do to be saved?” His use of saved refleceted his pagan idea—What do I have to avoid the wrath of the gods? What do I have to DO? What sacrifices do I have to offer?
Verses 31—Not something to do, something has already done. They explain the gospel to them. He cleans them up. God opens his heart. He opens up his home and feeds them.
They went to Lydia’s house (40). Who was there? Perhaps the business woman, the corrections officer and the psychic.
Passages form Philippians
Their strength came from their willingness to praise the Lord.
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