Pre-Summit Bible Study
Week 4: Living
Read Philippians 1:18-21
What do I think about this? Just this: since Christ is proclaimed in every possible way, whether from dishonest or true motives, I’m glad and I’ll continue to be glad. I’m glad because I know that this will result in my release through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. It is my expectation and hope that I won’t be put to shame in anything. Rather, I hope with daring courage that Christ’s greatness will be seen in my body, now as always, whether I live or die. Because for me, living serves Christ and dying is even better.
Paul is contemplating life and death. He knows death is inevitable. He admits he would prefer to die because death means to be in Christ’s presence. Yet, he desires to live as he wants to continue to spread the message of Jesus Christ. More than anything he wants whatever will continue spreading the message of Jesus Christ. He knows Christ’s message is a matter of life and death.
1. Paul isn’t suggesting all Christians should seek death. He is nearly the end of his life, he is physically frail, he is comfortable knowing death is imminent. His time in prison most likely has given him a significant amount of time to reflect on his life, and consider his death. Maybe he’s asking himself, “Have I given all I have to living a life that honors Jesus Christ?” If you were sitting in prison today reflecting on your life until this point, how would you answer this question? Have you given your all to honoring Jesus Christ with your life? Do you know Jesus? Are you sold out to living in such a way that your life points others to the living God?
2. Paul has determined a life following Jesus Christ is a matter of life and death. He is confident that the message of Jesus Christ is a matter of life and death? How do you view the message of Jesus Christ? Is it a matter of life and death for you? Why or why not?
Jesus, you gave everything out of love for the world. You lived and you died in order that I might have life. It is hard to think about giving my whole life to you. Sometimes it feels like the risks are too great or the way of Jesus is too hard. Will you help me trust you in the small details of my life so I may trust you more in the harder, more challenging, and bigger life decisions? Thank you for loving me right here, right now. Thank you for giving your life for me. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Do a google search of explorers. Find a couple of explorers whose stories interest you. Read details about their explorations, learn new facts, and consider the risks taken to make their discovery. What did they do? Where did they go? What was at stake as they explored a new place and met new people? What would have been lost had they avoided the necessary risks? How might God be inviting you to take a risk to share God’s love in a way or with a group of people that feels uncomfortable or seems illogical? Why do you think your response to God by taking this risk matters? Do you plan to do it? If so, what do you need to do to get started? Get moving! If you don’t plan to do it, what is stopping you? Ten years from now, will it matter if you ignore the invitation?