The State of Your Union - Part 2

You are here

The State of Your Union - Part 2

Login or Create an Account

With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up

×
Downloads
MP4 Video - 720p (85.15 MB)
MP3 Audio (2.23 MB)

Downloads

The State of Your Union - Part 2

MP4 Video - 720p (85.15 MB)
MP3 Audio (2.23 MB)
×

The Apostle Paul gives us some lessons in turning a bad situation into a positive.

Transcript

 

[Darris McNeely] Last BT Daily I was talking about the State of the Union address President Barack Obama is giving this week before the combined houses of the United States Congress. The article that I was quoting from, the survey that was taken from Americans to determine how they view the state of the union of the United States showed some very pessimistic details in the major categories such as healthcare. 71% of those polled were very, very negative about the state of healthcare. The economy? 74%. Jobs? 78% negative. 80% of those surveyed were basically negative. Only 20% showed any positive.

As this article goes on to show that Americans it seems right now are profoundly unhappy with the state of their country, and pessimism of course is not a natural state for an American. But that's where we are. That's the state of the union. But as I was asking, what's the state of our union? Of our life? We can't do a whole lot about this. Sometimes it impacts us more than we'd like to realize, but we can't do a whole lot about that. We can focus on it and get very discouraged, but that's not the point.

I was going through the book of Philippians showing the positive tone that the Apostle Paul had with the church from his own life and his own situation because he wrote that letter, Philippians, from prison, and he exudes joy as he is talking about them and focusing upon their lives, his prayers for them. And what Paul does in this letter throughout, especially in the first few verses is he does something. He takes and he flips around what is a very negative situation for him, and I think there's a point for you and I to learn about this when we find ourselves at times, things having gone wrong, there's been a setback.

If we really think about it ask God for the help to see ourselves where we are and what we can do, and then asking for His intervention. We can do like Paul did and we can do a flip on our situation at least in how we look at it and begin to work and deal with it just some positives and leverage ourselves into a better position. And that's what Paul did. He was in prison. He wrote this letter. He talks to the people. He said in verse 9 of Philippians 1, "I pray that your love may about still more and more in knowledge and all discernment that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere without offense until the day of Christ being filled with fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God." Positive, upbeat instruction and encouragement that is pouring forth out of Paul's pen in these verses here. But notice what he says next. Now, keep in mind that he's in prison. Verse 12 Paul says, "I want you to know brethren that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel." And he was in prison and he said, "Because it has become evident to the whole palace guard," those who were watching over him during his imprisonment, "And to all the rest that my chains are in Christ" (Philippians 1:9-14 Philippians 1:9-14 [9] And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; [10] That you may approve things that are excellent; that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ. [11] Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. [12] But I would you should understand, brothers, that the things which happened to me have fallen out rather to the furtherance of the gospel; [13] So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; [14] And many of the brothers in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
American King James Version×
).

Paul was in chains. He didn't have the freedom of movement in his life at that point of time, and yet he saw that those chains worked good things for God's service and God's work at that moment in his life at that time. We're not in prison. At least as you're watching this right now I'm not in prison. Sometimes we can be imprisoned in our own mind with discouragement, inferiority, other problems, and what we've worked ourselves into. And those can be mental chains that we need to break from. We need to break loose and change our lives.

This positive approach that the Apostle Paul does here I think gives us a key. He flipped his situation. Being in prison he recognized that it had benefit for him to teach others about God, about Jesus Christ, but also gave him time just to sit and write a letter like this, a letter of encouragement that could go out that lived in the minds of the people then, and it lives in your mind and mine today as we read the fruits of his letter.

Take a lesson from Paul. Do a flip of your situation. Begin to leverage where we are or what's going on in a positive way, and pray and ask for God's discernment to be able to see that.

The state of our union. What is it? The country, the United States could be having some problems right now. We can focus on that, and it'd be kind of bad. But we can focus on the state of our union and we can begin to take some steps to turn it around. Take that lesson from the Apostle Paul here in Philippians, and let's make that our goal.

That's BT Daily. Join us next time.