This new series will help you discover the joy of Christ in your normal life by taking a look at the book of Philippians. In the joyful prayer and greeting of the first chapter, you can see three expressions that form the basis of joy.
Phil 1:1-11 (NASB)
1 Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, 5 in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. 7 For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me. 8 For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; 11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Paul often wrote to the churches, via his epistles, expressing joy and gratitude for them…
1. Can you recall any of the reasons which led Paul to express his gratitude and joy?
2. What reasons do you have to express joy and gratitude for your place of fellowship?
Paul recognized that his joy came from how he saw God work in the Churchand then through the church…
3. Why would God choose to work in any of us?
4. Who has God ordained to do this type of “internal” work in us?
5. What type of changes do you believe God desires to see in us as a result of this internal work?
6. Why would God make this kind of an “investment” in any of us?
7. What should our response be to this type of “investment?”
8. More specifically, how is God using you?
9. How do you see others being used of God?
The word "grace" in biblical terms can mean something as broad as describing the whole of God's activity toward man or as narrow as describing one segment of that activity. A common definition describes grace as the unmerited favor of God toward man.
10. Do you see God’s grace at work in believers?
11. What is God’s greatest gift of His grace?
12. What specific evidence have you seen of God’s grace working in brothers and sisters?
(aside from your answer in 11 above)
Thank God for how He is working in your life, using you and the other people in your life. Ask God to help you grow as a disciple and use your life as a living testimony to the power of God to change lives. Look back at what God has done and thank Him. Look at what God is doing now and trust Him. Look at where God calling you and follow Him.