Philippians 2

 

phil 2

(Can’t see the video? View it here)

1. Read Philippians 2. Write out any observations, insights, and questions you may have.

2. Who is Jesus to you?

3. Spend some time in prayer this week cultivating your relationship with Jesus.

 

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Completing the Work {Philippians 1:1-8}

Read Philippians 1:1-8.

Have you ever had a friend who encourages you and loves you in a way that lifts you up? Pushes you forward? Helps you endure?

I think the apostle Paul would be a friend like this. He is writing this letter, in prison, in chains, and writing with JOY. He is so grateful that while he is chained up, his friends are out doing the work God has for them to do.

You can feel Paul’s affection for his friends in Philippi. He is so grateful for their partnership, their love for God, and their sharing in God’s grace with him (v.8). If there’s one thing I have learned about the Christian life, it’s that it is not meant to be lived alone.

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We need each other. There will be days when we want to give up and crawl in a hole, and we need each other to help us out. We will have circumstances that make us feel chained up and we’ll need others to help us live free. There will be days when we’ll want to shy away in fear or doubt from what God has called us to do, and we’ll need friends to remind us to be “confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (v.6)

We need others to lift us up and push us on. Do you have others to lean on and grow with? Who are the people you would trust to help you in a time of need? Do you have partners in the Gospel? Who do you share in God’s grace with?

1. List some of the reasons Paul is thankful and joyful from these verses.

2. Who is it that completes the “good work” we are doing? Why is this significant?

3. Is there something God has put on your heart, a good work to be done, that you’re not doing out of fear, doubt, insecurity, etc.? Write it out below. Who can you share that with and let them partner with you to help you move forward?

If you are in need of community and others to help you grow, let me know. We are launching a bunch of life groups in September that cultivate these types of friendships or you and I can just go grab coffee 😉

 

Just joining us? Check out the rest of the Philippians series HERE and sign up to get these articles in your inbox!

Philippians 1

 

phil 1

(Can’t see the video? View it here)

1. Read the first chapter of Philippians. Record any notes, questions, observations you had from this chapter.

2. How many times is the word Gospel repeated in this chapter?

3. What is the Gospel? When did the Gospel become real to you? Write it out or share with someone in your life this week!

 

Just joining us? Check out the rest of the Philippians series HERE and sign up to get these articles in your inbox!

Learning to Be Content

I hate the phrase “Let Go, and Let God.”  For lots of reasons. 

#1 It’s cliché

#2 It’s NOT in the bible

#3 It’s not helpful

#4 What does it even mean?!?!

We’ve all heard this in different ways too . . .

Whether you’re the single person who is told, “Just stop looking for Mr. Right, and then he’ll come along”

 Or parent with a wayward child who is told, “Just stop worrying, she’ll find her way back”

 Or the woman trying to get pregnant “Just stop trying, then it’ll happen.”

When there are hard things in my life, the last thing I want to hear is some cliché that means, “stop thinking about it, stop talking about it, stop worrying about it.”  I understand that some of this can be meaningful, especially to the person who is trying to control at every angle, or is truly worrying instead of trusting God. 

But, the reality is sometimes we offer these Christian clichés because we don’t know what to say, we don’t know how to enter into the hard, we don’t how to walk with others in the mess.

Paul, an example to all of us who are suffering, and walking with the LORD, gives us a glimpse as to how we are to trust God in the midst of hard things:

10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.  14 Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.

Learned to be content.

If something is learned, than it doesn’t come naturally.  My Greek concordance defines this word learned: To learn by use and practice, to acquire the habit of

In other words, contentment is not found in superstition (if I let go, God will give.  If I stop looking, then God will help me see, etc.)

Contentment is found in learning, in practicing, in getting into the habit of being okay with your circumstances.

If you are learning contentment, it’s getting in the habit of walking in what God has for you today (good or bad), knowing it is a divine circumstance the LORD has put in your life so that we would know Him more. 

Learning to be content is letting go of your expectations, and accepting your reality. 

Learning to be content is seeking God, not things, to fulfill you.

Learning to be content is resting in whatever circumstances He has for you, not fighting Him to get out.

Learning to be content is getting in the habit of wanting what God wants for you, not trying to make Him change your circumstances.

Learning to be content is letting God be our greatest desire, not getting God to act like a genie in a bottle and asking him to grant us our desires.

 And don’t miss this either . . . Paul learned to be content, but he didn’t go it alone.  Notice . . .

I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me (v.10)

Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. (v.14)

Learning to be content is also letting people in.  It’s allowing others to walk with you, suffer with you, and share in your troubles.

I will forever read this passage differently, thanks to that one little word “learned”.

I won’t beat myself up when I struggle with discontentment; I will remember it is learned.  It is not natural.  It is a discipline.  It is a habit.  That, hopefully, the more I exercise, the more it will become more natural to me. 

I will also notice that just as for Paul, “it was kind of you to share in my trouble”.  Part of contentment is finding others to walk with you through the hard.  Not because they have answers or clichés or ways out, but because they “share in my trouble”. 

What do you do in the midst of trials?  Are you looking for a way out (like me) or are you learning to be content?

How do you strengthen the habit of finding contentment in your circumstances?

Do you have others that can share in your trouble?

 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  (Matthew 6:33)

 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”  (Galatians 6:2)