Josh Brage


11.11 ReAction – Phillipians 1
November 12, 2007, 2:58 pm
Filed under: ReAction, Walk with God

After another wonderful game or two of ultimate Frisbee (where once again, my team prevailed in both games, we are undefeated) the folks who had joined us for Frisbee retreated to my house for some Pudge Brothers pizza and some much-needed Mario Cart on 64. (To this day that is one of the most fun games of all time. I couldn’t find our copy of Goldeneye to play, but when I do – watch out!) Then we decided to study the Bible.

We began with another famous Aaron icebreaker question – “If you could have lickable wallpaper, what flavor would you choose?” We had some decent answers. Jen (UPDATE: 1 N) had the most specific answer that she gave without much hesitation when prompted, “Coffee Heath Bar Crunch.” Chrissie got the most creative/crazy with her striped Chocolate-covered strawberries, white/dark chocolate; pineapple, fruit, banana split and ketchup wallpaper. Heather choose the only non-sweet choice when she picked “hot sauce.” I choose Mike and Ike Berry Blast striped.

On Mondays I will start to bring some notes from our Bible study. I want to do this for multiple reasons. 1. I want for the people there to be able to come back to some of that information throughout the week and hopefully this will help them through their week. 2. I want people who missed out to have an opportunity to engage with our conversation. 3. It will be good to keep these conversations in some format. So without further ado . . .

Philippians 1

The first thing that we discussed was the Philippians is so full of really bedrock, foundational scriptures. We oftentimes take a lot of these scriptures for granted, but if you really stop and think about them you realize how critical they are to your faith. We found verse 6 to be full of confidence and faith in Christ. It is also a great verse that speaks of God’s faithfulness to us; He will be with us! Our best answer for the question what is the good work that God has begun in us was simply: salvation. Salvation is a process. It is not just a ticket to heaven. We now have to live it out for the rest of our earthly lives. We found this to be an exceptionally encouraging verse.

Verse 8 – Jen (UPDATE: 1 N) pointed this out that this is a powerful verse that speaks of how close Paul was to Christ when he says, “how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ.” Paul felt what Christ felt. A prayer of our hearts should be, “God, I want to feel what You feel. Think like You think, etc.”

Verses 9 and 10.
Loving people is very important to God. God wants us to be discerning in this. We also realized that God really wants us to grow up and mature past the point of always sitting around waiting for Him to speak into our lives like we have a bug in our ear and can’t move without direct orders. He wants us to grow into a person who is living for Him. That is doing the best to make godly decisions out of a heart to please Him.

David pointed out that we must remember that the foundation for our faith is the love that we have for one another. This is a big deal and something that we MUST pray about and mature in.

Verse 12
We found that this scripture can be paralleled with Rom. 8:28 “For God causes all things to work together for good for those that love God and are called according to His purpose.” Paul’s perspective here is amazing and challenging! He is in prison and all he can see/think about is that Christ’s gospel is being advanced. That is his primary motivation and focus. Out of prison he writes one of the most uplifting, encouraging and important letters of the New Testament. What would I be doing if I was sitting in prison? Would I be having such a great attitude that everyone around me, even the guards, know that I am there because of Christ? He speaks with such joy, peace and contentment!

David dropped the best word of the night when he mentioned that this portion of scripture is also a bit of a microcosm of today’s church. In that, a lot of people are preaching Christ for a lot of different reasons, but Christ is being preached.

We found that the thing that gave Paul such an incredible attitude was his perspective. Paul had eyes on eternity. He had eyes for the Kingdom being advanced. He had perspective that came with experience of going through things with God and God working things out. We found that a lot of his perspective came from his understanding of his purpose. He knew that he was furthering the gospel with his life. He knew that, “hey, being here is great and helpful for other people, and if I die it is even better for me!” We found that in our worlds we have the greatest and most positive perspective when we are moving with purpose. Purpose allows us to have a good attitude when handling stressful and difficult situations. I.e. we are willing to put up with classes, long study sessions, terrifying tests and writing long papers because we know that our purpose is to earn a degree.

We also found that his perspective came from his life. Paul came from a life of studying God. He knew so much about God. He had studied, focused on and mastered the scriptures speaking about God and then one day, BAM, he met Him. He went from imagining God to actually experiencing God in a personal, intimate way! I likened this to a biographer who spends his life studying Winston Churchill. He does everything he can to involve himself in Churchill’s world, he reads his letters, books, talks to other people who knew him and then one day walks around the corner in a Wal-Mart and walks right into Winston Churchill. His perspective on that man would be completely different and probably far better than anything he would have had otherwise. That is where we need to gain our perspective, from our time with God, our time experiencing Him.

These scriptures make me hungry for the kind of relationship that Paul had with God to come in my life. I want what he had. Heather promptly burst my bubble by mentioning that all of the things that Paul went through were necessary for him to have that kind of a relationship. It is true there is a price. And that is completely true we have to go through some difficult things with God to get that type of a relationship with Him. It is worth it, but it takes time and effort.

All in all this was a great night. I think that a lot of people pulled some things out of it. I felt challenged to seek God a little harder this week about my perspective on life. That is a good thing!

UPDATE: Here are the notes in PDF if you want them!

 

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3 Comments so far
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[…] You can read the rest of this blog post by going to the original source, here […]

Pingback by Seduction and Relationships » Blog Archive » 11.11 ReAction - Phillipians 1

just fyi my name is spelled with only one “n”…but i am happy to have made your post all the same 🙂 thanks for putting the notes online! it’s encouraging to be able to read through them throughout the week! 🙂

Comment by Jen Binger

BLOG UPDATED! MY APOLOGIES!
Thanks for liking this blog and coming to our small group!

Comment by thehosh




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