Pre-Summit Bible Study
Week 6: Struggling Together
Read Philippians 1:27-30
Most important, live together in a manner worthy of Christ’s gospel. Do this, whether I come and see you or I’m absent and hear about you. Do this so that you stand firm, united in one spirit and mind as you struggle together to remain faithful to the gospel. That way, you won’t be afraid of anything your enemies do. Your faithfulness and courage are a sign of their coming destruction and your salvation, which is from God. God has generously granted you the privilege, not only of believing in Christ but also of suffering for Christ’s sake. You are having the same struggle that you saw me face and now hear that I’m still facing.
Paul’s pleads the Philippians at the end of chapter 1 to live a life worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul recognizes the destructive power of hypocrisy and lazy Christianity. Nobody likes a hypocrite and it’s hard to work alongside people that don’t pull their weight or benefit others on the team. But, it is a joyful, productive experience to be among like-minded people that push together in good and bad times. Those who walk with us in the hardest moments are gifts from God. Paul encourages the Philippians to “Struggle together to remain faithful.” Paul is pushing us to build one another up in the faith, push one another to live in God’s very best, and avoid trying to do the Christian life alone.
1. It is impossible to remain faithful to Jesus Christ without good, Christian friends. How do you struggle to remain faithful to God in your daily life? Which friends encourage you to remain faithful to God? Which friends or relationships discourage faithfulness?
2. What difference does it make for Christians to be faithful to God? Does it matter if Christians follow the teachings of Jesus or respond to the nudges of the Holy Spirit? Why?
3. How are you struggling to remain faithful to God?
God, I confess, it is hard to be faithful to you. Temptations pull me away from your purposes. You know my struggles, you know where my faith is strong, you know my questions and my doubts. Fill my mind with your thoughts, increase in me a heart of love, use my hands to do your work. Use me to help others be faithful to you, and send others to help me remain faithful, too. Amen.
The Summit is less than one week away. Are you ready? Are you open and eager to be challenged and comforted by God’s presence? Write a letter to God about the struggles you are currently experiencing in your faith. Name your doubts, questions, fears, hurts, and temptations. Be 100% honest with God and yourself about the challenges you are facing. God provides people for our journey and for this week of your life, God is putting a particular group of people in your path to help you struggle together. Ask God to send people into your life at the Summit to help you struggle together to be faithful. When the Summit is over, reread the letter and see how God met you in your struggle through our time together.