It truly is our privilege to gather together each week for worship. In worship we make seeking God's wisdom a priority as we open our hearts, our minds and our lives to the Spirit's leading. As we do so we not only encourage one another in the faith, but we become a place where [as scripture tells us] "God is pleased to dwell!"
We continue this week our “walk” through Paul’s letter to the Philippians – focusing on chapter 2. This sermon series is intended to give us both the opportunity to reflect on larger sections of scripture, while also opening ourselves to the message of joy and hope that Paul provides. I look forward to worshipping with you this Sunday
Grace and Peace,
This week's worship information:
Sermon Series: Joy-Full Living
Sunday's Message: Imitation is the best form of flattery
Scripture: (Passage is printed at the end of this email)
Questions for Reflection:
- Philippians is a letter written by Paul to a church community he knows well. How does the fact that it is a personal letter to a community he knows well affect the way you read and interpret the letter?
- What do you think it means to, as the passage says, “let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus?”
- In this chapter Paul talks about sending some of his colleagues to the church in Philippi to assist them. Who are people in your life that have “assisted” you in your faith and in ministry? Consider reaching out to one or more of these people to express your gratitude & appreciation
If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.
Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Do all things without murmuring and arguing, so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world. It is by your holding fast to the word of life that I can boast on the day of Christ that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. But even if I am being poured out as a libation over the sacrifice and the offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you— and in the same way you also must be glad and rejoice with me.
I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I may be cheered by news of you. I have no one like him who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. All of them are seeking their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But Timothy’s worth you know, how like a son with a father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. I hope therefore to send him as soon as I see how things go with me; and I trust in the Lord that I will also come soon.
Still, I think it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus—my brother and co-worker and fellow-soldier, your messenger and minister to my need; for he has been longing for all of you, and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. He was indeed so ill that he nearly died. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, so that I would not have one sorrow after another. I am the more eager to send him, therefore, in order that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. Welcome him then in the Lord with all joy, and honor such people, because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up for those services that you could not give me.