Amazing Grace by 50 artists
IN A NUTSHELL: “Paul focuses much in these letters on our thought life, calling us to a grateful attitude, which then leads us to a spirit of rejoicing. The peace of God surpasses our understanding AND life circumstances. While Paul was confident that he would be released from his earthly prison, his hope, joy and gratitude was not dependent on it. Paul reminds us to pray with anticipation and watch for every opportunity (with thanksgiving) to share “the mystery of Christ.”
ICE BREAKER: What did you decide was your prison? And who might benefit from it?
CONNECTING WITH THE TEXT:
- For what did Paul say the Christians at Philippi should rejoice?
- How did he say we could/should do this?
- What ultimately would result?
- For what did Paul pray on behalf of the Christians at Philippi?
- What did he expect God would do?
- What did he say the Christians should do?
- What were the Christians at Colossae to do?
- What would be the intended result?
- What did Paul value most and why?
REFLECTING ON YOUR LIFE:
- Looking at your “check book” and your “day timer” what do you value most?
- Which of the things Paul tells the Christians at Ephesus, Philippi, and Colossae to do are you most confident in your life? least confident in?
- Which attitudes described in these texts do you relate to most?
- Write out a prayer beginning with why you are thankful, then describe your “prison.” Next define positive things your prison cannot stop. Lastly, list who you (and God) might be able to influence while you are in this prison.
CONNECTING WITH YOUR CHURCH:
- Who in your church is perfect and requires no “grace?”
- Now pray with gratitude for the rest that they may be effective in their witness to others! 🙂
What to do…
- Rejoice Pray steadfastly with thanksgiving
- Make sure some others are praying for you.
- Walk wisely toward others speak with grace toward others.
- Become rooted in love for others, but comprehending His love for you.
Why do these things…
- The Lord is at hand…
- the peace of God will guard your heart and mind.
- so that you may be strengthened
- so that Christ may dwell in your hearts
- so you can make the mystery of Christ clear to others
How to do these things…
- Think about the things amidst your prison that are honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellence, worthy of praise,
- Trust in his glory, his strength, his power, his Spirit
- walk in wisdom, speak with grace, ready to answer outsiders
- Let your reasonableness be known to all
Title: In My Prison – “Others are First!”
Questions: Who is our ultimate example for how we should treat others? How did it work out for that person?
Parents with your children: Read this Scripture on Monday and spend some time throughout the week with your children talking about when they felt “like-minded” with others and times they felt “selfish” against someone else. How would Jesus have us handle our thoughts at those times?