The following blog post contains notes and application questions from our November 25, 2018 message, Stars of the Faith. For more from this series, check out Philippians: To Live Is Christ.
Who would you most like to meet. Even the most devout of us are tempted to put someone on a pedestal. A singer? An athlete? An actor? But who are the real stars in life? They are all around you—not in the spotlight here—but they are the ones that are entertaining angels. As we continue our series “Philippians: To Live is Christ,” JP walks us through Philippians 2:14-30, teaching us that true stars stand out in their attitude, what guides them, and their actions.
My concern for us is that we try to become really good at the world, rather than excelling at the things of the Kingdom. The stars of faith are often the opposite of people the world worships. This is a part of God’s reverse economy—that He often exalts the lowly, celebrates the servant. The least are the greatest.
Stars of faith stand out in their attitude: They don’t argue or complain
- What do we get to argue or complain or grumble about? Nothing. Not anything. Here’s a challenge: try to make it to your car today without arguing or complaining.
- The people with the most complain the most.
- Gratitude is a mark of God’s people. It is the opposite of arguing and complaining.
- Not arguing or complaining is the defensive move. Giving thanks is the offensive move. We must be on the offensive!
Stars of the faith stand out in what guides them: They hold firmly to the Word
- God's Word is our authority, conscience, and our guide in everything. We stand firm where it stands firm and remain flexible where it is flexible.
- You cannot say the Bible is God’s Word and “suitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” and not read and apply it.
- Begin to use the Bible as a GPS...exactly like a GPS...turn by turn and direction by direction, follow it exactly. It is telling you the way to God’s Kingdom.
- How would our lives look different if we just had the Bible on a deserted island and we simply believed it was absolutely true? How would we spend different? How would we save different? How would we use our time different? Resolve conflict different? Gossip? Talk?
Stars of the faith stand out in their actions: They serve sacrificially
- What does it mean to serve sacrificially? It will cost you something in this world: resources, money, time, relationships, career advancement, etc.
- Sacrifice: Something that is dumb unless the Bible is true.
- Will sacrificially following and serving Jesus make you weird? Different? Maybe. But it’s 100% worth it.
- This passage gives us four examples of sacrificial service: Jesus, Paul, Timothy, Epaphroditus. What kind of house did Paul live in? What was Timothy’s annual salary? What were Epaphroditus biggest accomplishments? So often, these are the things we pursue, yet we know none of this information for these four men. What do you pursue?
- I have spent the last 12 years of my life with the results of parenting through a young adult ministry, and I’ve learned something: young adults with an extraordinary faith often come from parents with an extraordinary faith.
- What if it’s not what we’ve provided for our kids that impacts them for the Kingdom, but it's what we couldn’t provide for them because we were meeting the needs around us? Serve in a way that is irresponsible unless the bible is true.
Live a life that the world is not worthy of. That’s the ask of this text. Shine amongst a wicked a depraved generation. Don’t argue or complain, hold fast to the word, serve sacrificially.
Questions for Reflection, Discussion, and Application
- For the next seven days, write down at least three things you are thankful for every single day.
- Ask those closest to you: “What is my guide in everything?” What did they answer with? If it was anything other than God’s Word, ask the same people what you could do differently so that God’s Word would be their answer.
- Start your day tomorrow by making a list of how your life would be if you believed the Bible was really true.
- What are you living for? A house? Car? Your kids? Your career? In the next week, how can you pursue eternity with your time, talents, and treasure? What’s one way you can serve sacrificially in the next week?
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