Devotions

Changing the world one step at a time

Session 1

Setting the Scene
Reviewing the vision
Reading Philippians 1: 1 - 11
  A blueprint for the church

First principles

  • the priority of the saints (vv. 1)
  • the warmth of the greeting (vv. 2)
  • grace: receiving the blessings God gives
  • peace: resting in the status God brings

Valued partners

  • convicted prayer (vv. 4 – 5)
  • committed relationship (vv. 5, 7)
  • continuing work (vv. 6)

Gearing to grow

  • it’s a good work (vv. 6)
  • it’s a discerning love (vv. 9, 10)
  • it’s a God given invitation (vv. 10b, 11)

A God directed community

  • everyone has a part to play
  • encouragement builds relationships
  • God’s goal for the church: right living brings glory to Him

Session 2

Moving forwards
Reading Philippians 1:27 - 2:4
  Personal commitment

Franklin D Roosevelt said it was important to “Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.”

Why is it so important to keep looking up? At the same time, how do we keep our feet on the ground?

Conduct (vv. 27)

  • live in an active sense: needs expression
  • representative of the gospel
  • outwards responses reflect of inner attitudes
  • what is this gospel?

Contend (vv. 27/28)

  • stand for (not stand up for)
  • presenting to others: certainty (vv. 28)
  • prepared to state why you believe not just what you believe

Commit (1:27, 2:1 – 4)

  • to unity : oneness in Christ
  • to perseverance: irrespective of personal circumstances (vv. 29)
  • to working together: body ministry
  • to being united with Christ, with the fruit of the Spirit being expressed in our character and fellowship (internal and external)

Session 3

Building the Community
Embedding the vision
Reading Philippians 2: 1- 5; 12 - 18
  Living it large

What holds the Church together

  • unity (vv. 1 – 3)
  • community (vv. 4)
  • Christ (vv. 5)

What are we facing?

  • culture’s skewed perspectives (vv. 15)
  • a call to holiness (vv. 13, 15)
  • getting/ being out there: changing lives through faith and by example (vv. 14 – 16)

Christ centred attitudes

  • working out (vv. 12)
  • shining out (vv. 15)
  • holding out (vv. 16)
  • pouring out (vv. 17)

Being the church

  • cheerful participation (vv. 14)
  • ready thanksgiving (vv. 17 – 18)
  • Christ at the centre (vv. 5, 16)

Session 4


Driving the Vision
Reading Philippians 3: 12 - 4:1
  Beyond the boundaries

The “big picture” goals

  • to gain Christ (vv. 8): status
  • to know Christ (vv. 10): relationship
  • to share with Christ (vv. 10 – 11): intimacy
  • to press on towards Christ (vv. 12 – 14): growth

Space to grow

  • a realistic view of where we are (vv. 13)
  • an exciting opportunity to grasp (vv. 13 – 14)
  • a powerful support network to embrace (vv. 17)

Starting off on the right track

  • a readiness to listen to God and others (vv. 15)
  • growth and discipleship are progressive: we are on the way! (vv. 16)
  • we have a new status with specific privileges – present and future (vv. 20 – 21)

Keeping on the road (4:1)

  • recognise – and celebrate - what has been achieved (vv. 16)
  • examine yourself: how can I grow? What do I need to do? (vv. 14)
  • look up to God: follow His guidance (vv. 15), receive His power (vv. 21)

Session 4

The community of faith
Reading Romans 5: 1 - 11
  Peace with God

The principles of faith

  • a new status today: peace with God (vv. 1)
  • a new dimension to the future: hope (vv. 2, 4) [
  • a new relationship: on God’s initiative

The provision of a Saviour

  • at the right time (vv. 6 – 8)
  • with the right motives (vv. 7 – 8)
  • achieving the right goals (vv. 10)

The promise for the future

  • we need help to sort out our lives
  • we are all deeply loved, no matter who we are or what we have done
  • there is real hope: God’s promises are available to all
  • God invites us to receive the benefits of these promises by trusting Him

Introduction

What’s it all about?
The heart of the Vision
Reading Philippians 2: 5 – 11
  The heart of faith

Who is Jesus?

  • unity with God: His divinity
  • unity with us: His humanity, coming to earth
  • unity in purpose: His commitment and obedience

What did he come to do?

  • to be with us
  • to be our example
  • to be our Saviour

Discipleship: responding to Christ

  • identifying with His character and His work
  • prepared to grow
  • a willingness to worship: affirming His completed work, glorifying God

Discipleship: Christlike distinctives

  • our attitude (how we see things)
  • our approach (how we do things)
  • our agreement (how we share things)

For reflection

Building Relationships
Reading Philippians 2: 19 – 29; 4: 2 – 4
  Encouraging the family

To think about

  1. How might these verses help us to understand the value of encouragement?
  2. What lessons might we learn about the importance of practical support?
  3. Where are there opportunities to
    • affirm GHBC’s ministries
    • address (potentially damaging) differences of opinion
  4. How can we use our group structures to develop the discipleship and ministry of others?

For reflection

Building Relationships
Reading Philippians 2: 19 – 29; 4: 2 – 4
  Encouraging the family

Identifying the issues

  • what’s going on?
  • who’s involved?
  • why is it happening?

Reflecting God’s intentions

  • partnership
  • personal support
  • responsibilities to the individual and to the community

Growing God’s community

  • building on God’s foundation
  • affirming real life differences: body ministry
  • celebrating unity: following God’s will
  • generosity and grace: practical and spiritual