Friday, 19 September 2014
Connecting the dots…
I know that I am saved by faith in Jesus. His work alone saved me. Nothing else, no works of mine, was needed. But now that I’m “in”, it is easy for me to roll up my sleeves and say, “now, I’d better get busy. God has done his part. It’s time for me to do mine!” The Christian life then becomes for me an endless series of duties. Combine that with a growing sense of God’s holiness and I end up with an ever widening gap of failure to measure up. Does this sound familiar? No wonder many of us secretly feel that it’s hard work being a Christian!
The alternative that’s often presented to this way of thinking is, “Let go and let God.” So I decide to stop trying so hard…or even at all. Mentally I lie on my couch and say, “Hit me, Lord! Do it! Change me! Let me know when you’re finished…”
Do you vacillate between these extremes, too?
In this week’s passage Philippians 2:12-18, Paul will address the “what’s next?” question.
“Therefore” is our cue to connect the dots between these six verses and what immediately preceded it. The Hymn to Jesus is gloriously relevant to our Monday mornings. So when you answer the first question, What’s going on here?, be sure to connect it with what went before. I’m looking forward to learning together. If you are just joining us, you can find the “Feasting on Christ Daily Worksheet” under Resources at the top of the page.
Food for the Road
Some days I don’t have much time to spend in the word. One morning this week I got up with the alarm, but found that the coffee had perked all over the counter, leaving a dripping mess of grounds and brew puddling on the floor. By the time I had cleaned it up, it was time to shower and head to the Y to teach. On days like this, just a verse–or even a phrase–from the day before can provide rich nourishment for my soul. “Striving side by side for the faith of the gospel” was that kind of phrase for me that day. The more I thought about it, the more joy I felt as I realized that I am not alone in living out the gospel during my week. A sense of my unity with the body of Christ at Grace Church became a tangible source of strength in my little corner of the Y. So if you have a morning like I had, suck on a little piece of the word and let it flavor your day.
Discussion question of the week:
We are up to question #4 “Where do I see Christ here?” Now this question may seem to have been better suited to last week’s passage, but I think it will be fun to discuss it where it is not quite so obvious. And don’t let the mere occurrence of the name “Christ” fool you into thinking you’ve seen him. We can beat ourselves (and others) over the head with the stick of legalism even in the name of Christ! What you are looking for is his work of salvation, his identity as our Savior and our Lord. One of the six categories: example, sin, command, grace, promise, attribute will be your hotlink to him. Let’s help each other see him better!