All goods look better when they look like gifts. - G.K. Chesterton
Have you ever had someone invite you out to eat and tell you before hand that they would be picking up the tab? I’ll bet you looked forward to and enjoyed that meal more than if you knew you were paying for it! Chesterton was right on. All goods look better when they look like gifts.
The place I need to get to is seeing all of life as a gift! That is up to me. My attitude, my way of thinking and processing the dailiness of life, is up to me. Paul, the writer of the letter to the Philippians in our current series, Chain Reaction, is a great example. His theme is joy. Joy is the result of gratitude and gratitude is the result of grace. Underserved favor. Our expectations that lead to demandingness rob us of our joy.
I don’t want to make this too complicated on a Monday. Shall we all just take time this Thanksgiving season to own our own attitude, perhaps repent of our pride, and get low enough to see the gifts around us! Why not?
See you Sunday!
Grace and peace,
"Chain Reaction: It Doesn’t Get Much Better Than This" Philippians 1:3-8
Life does not consist in the things we possess…life is more than food and the body more than clothing? (Luke 12:15,23) If Jesus is right, then what does life consist of? In Philippians 1:3-8, it is hard to miss the answer. IT DOESN’T GET MUCH BETTER THAN THIS! Really. Find out for yourself.
THINKING IT THROUGH
Life is relationships, everything else is just details.
~Dr. Scott Stiksel
Go oft to the house of thy friend, for weeds choke the unused path.
~Ralph W. Emerson
Two great talkers will not travel far together.
The greater the struggle in working out a relationship, the greater the eventual satisfaction.
LIVING IT OUT
1. What questions are you asking yourself in relationship to your exposure to Philippians 1:3-8?
2. In what relational environments do you most need to apply these insights? (home, friends, small group, etc.)
3. What are one or two things you will do to help make at least one relationship you have better? (Review the four insights from the message.)
"Chain Reaction: Love Par Excellence" Philippians 1:9-11
We use the word all the time, for all sorts of things. Love. We are all for it, I think. But do we know what love is? And what is does love “need” in order to be both beneficial to those we love and to our own soul? How do we love long, and love well? The answer is wrapped up tightly in a prayer Paul prayed for the Philippians.
LOOKING IT UP
1. In what way is 1:3-4 connected to 1:9-11?
2. How is the content of what Paul prays FOR in vs. 9-11 related to WHY he is so positive about the Philippians as described in vs. 3-8?
3. What do you learn about Paul’s values and priorities from the content of his prayer?
4. What is at stake when it comes to the quality of our love? (See Matthew 22:4-40; John 13:34-35,17: 20-23; 1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
5. Specifically, what does love need in order to be “excellent” love?
6. What struggles do you have with “loving” in your life?
7. How does this “prayer” provide you with an immediate action step? (The answer is in the question- a la Jeopardy!)
Posted on Mon, November 18, 2013
by Tom Oyler