Groove Notes

29 09 2008

Here are your follow-up notes from Sunday to help you take a deeper look at Philippians 3:1-16.

v.1 Don’t forget that Paul was in prison when he wrote this, and being a Christian meant that there was a good chance you would be persecuted and/or martyred. Still, he starts this chapter very positively and optimistically. How about your day today or your week? Are you positive? Are you optimistic? Any mumbling, grumbling or complaining? It’s a choice to rejoice. 

v.3-6 Some people are stuck in the past. Paul uses his past to turn the church in Philippi towards the future. He reminds the church that it isn’t about rules, ritual or religion… it’s about a relationship with Jesus Christ. Some churches do a really good job at protecting their past and teaching their ritual. That’s fine, as long as they are making every effort to teach people who Jesus really is. Jesus didn’t die on a cross so that we could be really religious people. He died so that we could be forgiven of our sin and have a personal relationship with him. Groovy! Think about your relationship with Jesus. Get a pen and paper and just start jotting down some thoughts. Why do you go to church? Why do you read the Bible? Why do you pray? Why do you believe? Is it out of ritual or is it because you know Jesus and you want to know Him more?

v.7 Rubbish. Garbage. Junk. We all have some in our past. For Paul, in light of who Jesus is, everything else looses value. He’s not saying that we shouldn’t have any valuables in our lives or that it is wrong to be rewarded for working hard. It’s simply a matter of priorities. The only thing that God is going to rescue out of this world is your soul. So your relationship with Jesus should be the most valuable ‘thing’ that you possess. 

v.10 Paul says something strange here that we didn’t have time to deal with yesterday. It’s the phrase (NLT version) “…sharing in his death”. There are two sacraments in the Wesleyan church that symbolize this: Baptism and Communion. Both are an indication that we have died to sin, we’ve in a sense crucified our old selves and we’ve been transformed by the resurrected power of Christ. It’s deep, I agree. Just read the verse a few times and quiet your heart before God. Don’t worry about wrapping your head around it. As God brings things to mind that you need to turn over to him, you’ll begin to understand what it means to be ‘sharing in his death’. 

v.12-14 Unless you drove to work with the car in reverse, you spent more time looking out the front windshield than the rearview mirror. That’s what Paul is talking about. Stay focused on your future. The past is the past. Leave the junk in the trunk. Here’s your assignment: What do you need to do this week that will help you stay focused on the future? Putting everything through the shredder is a great step, but maybe there are some other steps that you know have to be taken. A conversation? A visit? A phone call? Throwing something out? Etc. 

Life is full of races. Make sure you are running the right race for the right prize. Jesus.




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