Monday, 26 September 2011
My how you’ve grown!
Even with the tools of email, phone calls, skype, and gvideo, there’s nothing like face to face time. Especially a face like Emily’s, round and squishy–appropriately nicknamed “moon face”. Only in person could we really see how much her cheeks had grown. Only in person could we blow on them and watch her giggle.
Brendon has grown, too. His language skills have exploded since we saw him four months ago. Between repeating everything he hears and generating his own complete sentences, the air is always filled with his little sing song voice. His speech, her cheeks, our grand kids have grown, though they are not aware of it. Neither are their parents. They’re too involved in the day to day to see it clearly.
But to us it’s obvious. The gap since our last visit is what helps us say, “My how you’ve grown!”
In the same way you and I may not be aware of our own growth in the Lord. We are too close to it, too immersed in the day to day. We need people who see us less than daily–maybe weekly at church or home group–to announce what their objectivity and distance have allowed them to see, “My how you’ve grown!”
In this week’s passage, Philippians 2:19-30 Paul announces that he is sending two people to visit the Philippians, Timothy and Epaphroditus. One purpose of Timothy’s visit is to bring news back to Paul about how they are doing. Kind of like a grandparent, Timothy has history with them, and has the benefit of absence. This will help him see if and how they are growing. What answer does Paul anticipate? Why is he confident that his expectation will not be disappointed?
Don’t hold back.
Many of you have jumped into our discussion. It has been fun to hear what God is teaching you. It’s also been helpful to realize that your struggles are so similar to mine. I know it takes time–and courage–to post your thoughts. Thank you!
But if you are one of those who talks yourself out of posting, let me encourage you to jump in and add your thoughts to the discussion. You may feel shy about sharing. I understand. Getting my thoughts out on paper takes some work…and sometimes they sound stupid. But if you have seen something in the passage that no one else has mentioned, we would all love to hear it. Remember, it’s Jesus we are sharing with each other.
Discussion question of the week:
This week we are moving to the first of our application questions: #5 How does Jesus feed my faith today? This question flows naturally out of question #4 “Where do I see Jesus here?” Question 4 reminds me that His work always precedes my work. His Great Work is the foundation of my good works today. But seeing is not believing. After I have seen him, my first “to do” is to believe what I have seen. So question #5 could be rephrased, What would it look like if I really believed this?
Now don’t go focusing inward, on your faith. You will know you have believed what you have seen when you start thanking him and praising him!