The Power of Connection
There are three great themes in Philippians that help us understand not only this letter but our relationship to God, the church, and the world. The themes are: Connecting to God, Connecting to Others, and Connecting the gospel to the world.
Would you consider yourself to be content? Most people don?t and the reason is that this age teaches us to always want more and never be satisfied. Paul the Apostle learned the secret to contentment that he shares freely as he finishes up his letter to the Philippians.
Is there any good in the world around us? Some would say the world is a great place and others say it is rotten to the core. Which is right? Paul the Apostle has some encouragement in how to live in this age and yet serve and reflect the One who made the universe.
Anxiety is the most common ailment of the mind that faces humans today. You may have heard of Paul saying ?Don?t be anxious?. That?s all well and good but not very practical. Often times this makes us feel even worse about ourselves when we feel anxiety grow. There is hope, even in the midst of anxious thoughts.
Life for the believer is a race. You might feel just like sitting on the sidelines and urging others on, but you are a part of the race whether you like it or not. What is the race? Is to see who can be the best? Not at all. It is a race to draw as close to the Lord as possible. The question is: how much do you want it?
What are you holding onto or what is holding onto you that is keeping you from throwing it all in to Jesus? Paul had everything a person of his culture could obtain, yet for some reason he considered it worthy to be flushed down the toilet compared with knowing and being found by Jesus. How about you?
Our age worships superstars. In Paul the Apostle?s day, the Jews had superstars too. And Paul was one of them. But as Paul addresses problems in Philippi, problems we face today too, he points them to others among them that are the true superstars of the faith.
What does it mean to ?work out your own salvation?? And how can that be followed by a sentence that says that God is working and doing it all? Find out as we study faith applied with the Apostle Paul in Philippians 2.
Do you want to know how to please God and how to be used most effectively for His kingdom? Then this section of Paul?s letter to the Philippians is for you. In it Paul teaches us the character of Jesus acted out in this age through us.
Paul outlines four really important things we can focus on when undergoing persecution or suffering. They help us realize the bigger purpose that God brings when He allows us to suffer.
When bad things happen our default response is to think we did something wrong and God is allowing us to be hurt. The real answer lies much deeper and involves us suffering as a part of God?s grander plan of sharing his life through our suffering.
When we face hard times, we have a choice. We can react in the ways of this age and the default human behavior of ?me first?, or we can adopt God?s self-sacrificing, other-centered affection. And when we encounter opposition to the gospel we can allow ourselves to just blend in with the culture around us, or can have good perception about what is like God and what is not, and focus on letting God work His character out of us.