ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness
FREEDOM God does whatever he pleases. Nothing in creation can hinder him from carrying out his will.
The Psalmist contrasts God’s power and freedom with the weakness of idols: “Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases” (Psalm 115:3). Human rulers can’t oppose God’s will, for “the king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will” (Proverbs 21:1). Similarly, Nebuchadnezzar learns that God, “does according to his will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What are you doing?’” (Daniel 4:35).
Praise God Because He is Free
Praise God that the only boundaries on His actions are His perfect, just, and loving character. Praise Him that nothing can stop Him. Praise Him that His actions and withholding His hand are always the best.
CONFESSION: Confess your sins to God and receive his continued mercy.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
THANKSGIVING: Giving thanks to God for his specific blessings in our lives.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100
SUPPLICATION: Bringing our requests to God.
- Bring your personal prayer requests to God.
- Pray for unchurched friends. Ask God to give you opportunities to have gospel conversations with those who do not know Him.
- Pray for those in our church who are sick. Ask God to comfort them and bring healing.
Philippians 1:27-2:30 Christian Standard Bible
27 Just one thing: As citizens of heaven, live your life worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or am absent, I will hear about you that you are standing firm in one spirit, in one accord, contending together for the faith of the gospel, 28 not being frightened in any way by your opponents. This is a sign of destruction for them, but of your salvation—and this is from God. 29 For it has been granted to you on Christ’s behalf not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are engaged in the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I have.
2 If, then, there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 make my joy complete by thinking the same way, having the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. 4 Everyone should look not to his own interests, but rather to the interests of others.
Christ’s Humility and Exaltation
5 Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus,
6 who, existing in the form of God,
did not consider equality with God
as something to be exploited.
7 Instead he emptied himself
by assuming the form of a servant,
taking on the likeness of humanity.
And when he had come as a man,
8 he humbled himself by becoming obedient
to the point of death—
even to death on a cross.
9 For this reason God highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus
every knee will bow—
in heaven and on earth
and under the earth—
11 and every tongue will confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Lights in the World
12 Therefore, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, so now, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to his good purpose. 14 Do everything without grumbling and arguing, 15 so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world, 16 by holding firm to the word of life. Then I can boast in the day of Christ that I didn’t run or labor for nothing. 17 But even if I am poured out as a drink offering on the sacrificial service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 In the same way you should also be glad and rejoice with me.
Timothy and Epaphroditus
19 Now I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon so that I too may be encouraged by news about you. 20 For I have no one else like-minded who will genuinely care about your interests; 21 all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know his proven character, because he has served with me in the gospel ministry like a son with a father. 23 Therefore, I hope to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. 24 I am confident in the Lord that I myself will also come soon.
25 But I considered it necessary to send you Epaphroditus—my brother, coworker, and fellow soldier, as well as your messenger and minister to my need— 26 since he has been longing for all of you and was distressed because you heard that he was sick. 27 Indeed, he was so sick that he nearly died. However, God had mercy on him, and not only on him but also on me, so that I would not have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 For this reason, I am very eager to send him so that you may rejoice again when you see him and I may be less anxious. 29 Therefore, welcome him in the Lord with great joy and hold people like him in honor, 30 because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up what was lacking in your ministry to me.
This chapter shows how the gospel was the singular passion of Paul’s life. In whatever circumstance he was in, Paul’s desire was that Christ would be magnified in his life. Paul lived a truly “gospel-centered” life. Paul’s understanding of the gospel implied the advancement of the gospel. Gospel means “good news,” which means the gospel and evangelism (the sharing of that news) go hand in hand. The more we love the gospel, the more we love evangelism. The major theme in the book as a whole and in chapter one especially is that the Philippians would grow their faith for the sake of advancing the gospel. There are so many news stories that dominate our social life at present. What news story are we allowing to dominate our speech? News in our country operates on fear and division. But we are called to live as people of hope, to be filled with the fruit of righteousness. We have such an opportunity during this time to live as people of hope. In what ways is God challenging you to grow in evangelism? Don’t think you’re alone in this. Talk to your small group. What are ways your small group can help you grow in evangelism? How can your small group grow in evangelism together?