Category: 24Seven


24Seven: Philippians

Key Passage:

  • Philippians 3:12-14

Key Takeaways:

  • Paul is continuing to talk about how incredible it is to know Christ and how knowing Christ should be our goal.
  • Christ took hold of us so that we could know Him and glorify Him forever.
  • If that is the goal of our life, we should forget any past obedience that we take pride in and focus on what lies ahead (being a citizen of heaven while still living on earth).
  • Pressing on is not about you becoming a better person but about you knowing Christ more fully.
  • Pressing on is only done in humility and faith – recognizing our need for Christ and the glorious riches of knowing Him, and then depending and trusting in Him daily, through all of life’s circumstances.
  • Misconception – Once you are saved, you have no purpose until you get to heaven.
  • Truth – Our purpose, both now and in eternity, is to know God and glorify Him.  God is transforming you now into his likeness, and when we meet him face to face, we will be perfected and know Him completely.
  • In the same way that we are saved by faith, we live by faith and grow closer with the Lord daily.

Application

  • What is the goal of your life?  Is it knowing God?
  • Have you experienced some spiritual “success” or obedience and allowed yourself to disconnect with God because you “had it all figured out”?  We must continually repent and live by faith.
  • Do you live by faith daily and see your circumstances (even ordinary circumstances) as an opportunity to depend on Christ and know Him more?
  • What needs to change in order for you to live by faith?

 

Advertisements

Kopa Kokoro: A Student’s Perspective

When I went on the Kopa Kokoro retreat, I learned so much about what God has for my life. As usual, before a retreat, I was so excited about going to have a lot of fun and getting to see all of my friends. After this retreat, it was completely evident to me that having a great time should not be my first idea when I think of a Grace Church student retreat. I feel like God really spoke to me through this retreat. I learned that I need to be a man after God’s heart, not my own. I should never follow the desires of my deceitful heart because that will lead to sin and destruction. I should be in the constant pursuit of God’s heart. In other words, my heart should be a reflection of God’s heart. When I saw that this was true for my life, I knew that there were some major things that really had to change. Since God really loves the world and his people, this means that I also must love God’s people and the world he created. If I don’t love my enemies, lost sinners, or the world, then I am not reflecting God’s heart. I reject God’s love everyday when I disobey him. As much as God loves me, I still reject Him and think that my way is better. What does it really mean to follow God’s heart? It means that we completely give our lives away, and follow his direction rather than our own. Also, it means that our actions should please Him. This all became clear to me at the Kopa Kokoro retreat.

In my solitude time, I got to see a glimpse of how powerful God really is. He is in total control over everything. Nothing catches God off guard. He knows everything before it happens. Human might will fail, but God will never fail. Daniel Moore talked about how we cannot read through the book of Joshua and not see God’s power and glory. I learned that God’s glory is His holiness and perfection put on display. I have a tendency to make earthly things superior over God. If God is ultimate in my life, then everything else can’t be all about me. When we went into our small groups, a couple questions we had to ask ourselves were, “Are we really living for God’s glory?” and “Are we showing God’s glory to others?” These are some tough questions that I get to ask myself every day.

I learned so much at this retreat. I am so thankful for all of the leaders who made it possible. We had a blast! I really love how in one weekend God can teach me so much, changing the way I view Him. He really is all-powerful.

~ Micah Williams

24Seven: Philippians “Joy In Jesus”

Key Passage:

  • Philippians 3:1-11

Key Takeaways:

  • Why do we constantly find ourselves going back to a religion based on works when the gospel is clearly about faith alone?
  • Paul is addressing a group of people who are trying to add circumcision as a requirement for salvation.  It is obvious that we don’t have to be circumcised in order be saved, but we still add other things to salvation.
  • Verse 3 shows that believers rely on what Jesus has done for us and we put no confidence in human effort.
  • Paul compares everything else as worthless compared to the greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  He is willing to give up anything that gets in the way of knowing Christ more!
  • Why do we want the benefits of being a Christian but not want Christ himself?  Jesus is the prize and our greatest joy is the opportunity to know Him and experience His presence.
  • Part of the reason we don’t value Christ like Paul does is that we don’t understand the gospel.  We know what the gospel is and could tell you what it is, but we don’t understand the implications of the gospel and how it affects our lives.
  • The gospel clearly shows that our relationship with God is not based on anything we have done or deserve.  It is by grace through faith, and when we really understand this, we will value and enjoy Him more.

Application

1. What do you have confidence in other than Jesus’ work?

  • Do you have confidence in being a “good person”?

2. What is Christ worth to you?  Is he your treasure?  Are you willing to throw away anything that gets in the way of you knowing and being close to Jesus?

3. What do you need to give up in order to know Christ more?

  • Is your reputation holding you back from knowing Christ?
  • Is there a sin that you are not willing to give up?

Challenge

Have 1 conversation this week with someone to be honest about where you are in these ideas.  It could be with a parent, a leader, or a friend, but we must get honest and intentional if we want to know Christ and value Him above all things!

Additional Resources:

Click here for “Religion vs. The Gospel” Resource.

24Seven: Philippians “Joy In Jesus”

Key Passage:

  • Philippians 2:12-18

Key Takeaways:

  • Now that Paul has laid a foundation in the truths about joy and unity in the body of Christ, he is going to give some instruction on how to live out our faith together.
  • Paul’s instruction to “work hard to show the results of your salvation” is a collective command to the church, but we also must make sure that Christ’s presence has taken root in our lives before it can be manifested among us.
  • Paul tells us to live out our salvation with “fear and trembling.”  He does not mean fear as being “scared” but he wants us to feel the weight of the eternal God’s presence within us and His desire to rescue the world through us (the church).  That truth creates AWE within us and causes us to live out our faith.
  • Paul says that we cannot be a people that complain and argue.  Complaining and arguing puts the focus on us and takes the focus off of God, whom we are allowing to live through us.
  • We must live clean and innocent lives in this crooked and perverse world, but we must join together in doing this so that God’s light is amplified through our lives collectively.
  • Take joy in the fact that we have the opportunity to live out our faith together, and let’s get on with being God’s people!

Application:

  • Are you really saved?  Only God can give you the assurance of salvation, and it is not found in just praying a one-time prayer but in a relationship with Jesus that is defined by trust and belief.  Has God’s presence taken root in your life?
  • If you are a believer, are you connecting with the church to live out our salvation together?  What do you need to do to do this better?  What are areas of your life where you are being prideful instead of humbling yourself?
  • Is your life marked by complaining and arguing?  How does that point to yourself instead of God?  How can your life point more toward God and less toward yourself?
  • In the same way that God has shown us His incredible grace, how can we live out God’s grace in this karma-based world and be a light for God?

Challenge:

Read Philippians 3 and 4 this week.  Paul explained a lot of theological truth in the first 2 chapters of Philippians and now he is going to lay out how we live these truths out and how they transform our lives.  Study it well this week and ask God to transform your life and help you live out your faith.