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Philippians

Philippians “That I May Know Him” | Week Two

What a joy it is to join you for Week Two of our online Inductive Bible study on the Book of Philippians “That I May Know Him” by Kay Arthur and David Lawson.

Joy!  Don’t you just love the sound of that word? Philippians is the epistle of joy!  It is full of love and encouragement!  We see this mirrored in Paul’s life behind bars.  Paul paved the path for us toward a life of deeper joy.  Although imprisoned, he is not concerned about his present circumstances.  He prays for others with joy in his heart!

“In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy.” Philippians 1:4 NIV

Is there really joy in suffering?  We may not be beaten or thrown into a physical prison such as Paul, but we may be imprisoned by our circumstances.  Paul could have easily become depressed, discouraged, and disillusioned.  He could have wallowed in self-pity and despair, but instead he regarded his imprisonment as being appointed by God. And he writes from his prison cell to encourage others by considering it a privilege to pray for them and encourage them to “stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the Gospel” (Philippians 1:27).

We, no doubt, will suffer many disappointments in this journey of life on earth, but we can use these opportunities as appointments from God.

Dis-appointments are His-appointments

God may place us in uncomfortable positions in life that feels like a prison cell, but when we place our faith and trust in Him by surrendering our hearts to Him, He begins His holy work inside us, and we become more and more into His likeness.  And what greater joy is there serving others through God’s divine appointments to advance the Gospel.

“I want you to know, brothers (and sisters), that what has happened to me has really served to advance the Gospel.” Philippians 1:12

Paul’s passion was for others to discover eternal life through Jesus Christ, no matter what the cost would be…whether a prison sentence or a death sentence… Paul was on board. Like Paul, as believers in Jesus Christ, we need to look for ways to demonstrate our faith even during a trial, because this is how we exercise our faith muscles which helps us to stand firm, without fear of the unknown, knowing without a shadow of doubt that He is standing with us through the storm.

Kay Arthur writes in the Thought for the Week: “As we clearly saw in this week’s study, suffering is a gift from our Lord—a gift that accompanies salvation; therefore, it is something we are to expect.”

BIBLE STUDY TIP:  Read through this short book of Philippians as if you just received this letter in your mailbox.  Replace “you” with your name. This is God’s love letter to you.

DIGGING DEEPER:  Write Chapter 2 of Philippians in your notebook or journal. 

ASSIGNMENT FOR THE FORTHCOMING WEEK:

  • Join a Small Group and fellowship with your fellow Bible students.
  • Complete your study of Week Three, “Taking Care of that Attitude!” Follow the instructions for the daily assignments.
  • Pray before you begin your study.  Ask your resident Teacher, the Holy Spirit, to open your heart to wisdom and understanding to learn His truths.
  • Store in your heart Philippians 1:29 (Week Two, Day Seven). A “Store in Your Heart” form is located in “Files” in the Inductive Studies chat room.
  • Do an online word study on “imprisonment” (Philippians 1:7) at http://www.blueletterbible.org. Record your findings on the Word Study Form located in “Files” in the Inductive Studies chat room.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR WEEK TWO (answer in small groups or post a comment below:

  1. Why does Paul believe his imprisonment has actually served to advance the gospel? (1:12)
  2. What does Paul mean when he says living here a little longer means more fruitful work? (1:22)
  3. Why is it important that believers stand firm “in one spirit, with one mind” (1:27)
  4. Why does Paul say it’s a privilege for believers to suffer for Christ? What does “suffering for Christ” mean in your life? (1:29)
  5. From reading Philippians 1, what do you learn about Paul and what it cost him to defend the gospel of Jesus Christ? What does it mean to defend the gospel of Jesus Christ today?

Blessings,

 

 

Philippians “That I May Know Him” | Week One

Welcome to Week One of our online Inductive Bible study on the Book of Philippians “That I May Know Him” by Kay Arthur and David Lawson.  This first week of study was an overview of the entire book of Philippians.  As we discovered in our study time this week, Paul wrote this letter of encouragement to the church in Philippi.  His consistent theme throughout Philippians is a journey of joy despite events surrounding the here and now.

Philippians is a call to see beyond our current circumstances.

Paul’s letter to the Philippians teaches us about genuine Christian living.  This is what we are going to discover over the next couple of weeks as we dig deep into Philippians to discover how this message will impact our lives today.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could experience joy in spite of pain and betrayal…in spite of financial difficulties and health issues….in spite of rejection and divorce…in spite of the death of a loved one?  Paul suffered. Jesus Christ suffered. And we will likewise suffer in our present age.

Let’s face it, life is tough, and as Christians, we are not promised a bed of roses.  However, we can look beyond our present circumstances and experience joy that’s beyond our wildest imagination.  This is the encouraging message that Paul conveys in his letter to the Philippians, and it’s a message of hope for us today.  Our joy doesn’t come from the events surrounding us, because our joy is rooted in the future when we are face-to-face with Jesus Christ, when we are made complete in Him.  This is the message that Paul conveys throughout this short letter to the Philippians:

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

“Holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ, I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.” Philippians 2:16

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Philippians 3:30

“The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:5-6

So, as we begin our journey together through this powerful book of Philippians, let’s grasp hold of these golden nuggets of truths that we can deposit in the bank of our hearts.  We do not have to wring our hands in worry and despair, because we have a wonderful Savior who promises to never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

Kay Arthur writes in the Thought for the Week: “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live in such a way that, with confidence, you could say the very words recorded for eternity by the apostle Paul, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know that your life had been spent for the defense of the gospel?”

Join us in our private Facebook group this week to share together what we have learned in our study this week.  It is going to be amazing!  I can hardly wait!

BIBLE STUDY TIP:  As you progress through your study of Philippians, write in your notebook or journal any questions that come to mind so you do not forget them. Leave space for the answers God will provide in the coming weeks.

DIGGING DEEPER:  Write Chapter 1 of Philippians in your notebook or journal. 

ASSIGNMENT FOR THE FORTHCOMING WEEK:

  • Join a Small Group and fellowship with your fellow Bible students.
  • Complete your study of Week Two, “Is Joy Possible Even When I Feel Imprisoned by My Circumstances?” Follow the instructions for the daily assignments.
  • Pray before you begin your study.  Ask your resident Teacher, the Holy Spirit, to open your heart to wisdom and understanding to learn His truths.
  • Store in your heart Philippians 1:21 (Week One, Day Seven). A “Store in Your Heart” form is located in “Files” in the Inductive Studies chat room.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR WEEK ONE (answer in small groups or post a comment below:

  1. This first week we read through the entire book of Philippians. What were some of the first impressions you recorded in your notebook after reading through the book of Philippians?
  1. In Chapter 1:1, Paul introduces himself and Timothy as bond-servants of Christ Jesus. What does it mean to be a bond-servant of Christ? Do you consider yourself a bond-servant of Christ Jesus? Why or why not?
  1. What would you say is the purpose of Paul’s letter to the Philippians? Does this letter apply to us today? Why or why not?
  1. How do you suppose Paul could write this merry letter from behind bars? What was his attitude or mind? (Hint: Philippians 1:21).
  1. What did you learn about Paul this week that you would like to see mirrored in your own life?

Praying for you,

 

Philippians “That I May Know Him” | Introduction Week

Today we begin our online Inductive Bible Study on the book of Philippians, “That I May Know Him” by Kay Arthur and David Lawson. We are so excited you are joining us and to learn that we can have deep down heart-felt joy in every circumstance because of what Jesus Christ did for us on the Cross.  This first week is our “Introduction” week and a time of getting to know one another and to answer any questions you may have about how this online Bible study works.  We want your online Bible study experience to be positive and enjoyable.

Let’s face it! Life is tough! Not one of us are immune to the tribulations and trials of difficult times. Things may go smoothly for a season and then we reach that bump in the road of unexpected tragedies and heart-breaking experiences.  How do you handle difficulties in your life? I know I have had my share of them.  Some worse than others, but despite it all, I have to keep going…one foot in front of the other, one step at a time, one day at a time…

We recently completed an Inductive study on the Book of James.  James tells us to “Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance…” James 1:2-3.  You may be thinking, but how can you be joyful during the pain of a divorce, the loss of a child or a parent, a chronic illness, and the list goes on and on.  That is what we are going to discover in this study of Philippians.  We can claim deep down, heart-felt joy despite what difficulties come our way.  And it’s only through Jesus Christ where our joy lies.

Many of you are just beginning your first Inductive Bible study.  Therefore, please take time before beginning this study to read “How to Get Started…” in your study book on pages 5 through 8.  It contains some helpful information on how to use this Bible Study Guide to help you understand the Inductive Bible study process that we will be using each week.

Order your Bible Study guide by clicking here –>  Philippians.

Each day’s study time will take approximately 15 to 30 minutes, sometimes less or sometimes more, depending on the day’s study.  I urge you to set aside a quiet time of study with God free of distractions.  I have found that if I make my appointment with God at the same time each day, I am better able to keep that time on a consistent basis.  It also helps to have all your study materials in your special quiet time place, which will help you stay motivated:  Your Bible, Bible study book, a notebook or journal, colored pens and pencils, highlighters, etc.

I also encourage you to participate in a small group to discuss the lessons you are learning each week.  Sharing is voluntary, and we do not expect you to share anything that will cause harm to yourself or another person.  We meet in a private Facebook group, or if you prefer, you may answer the discussion questions here on this website by posting a comment below.  This first week our small groups will meet for a time of introduction and fellowship where you’ll meet your leaders and the other ladies in your group.  Our entire ministry team will be praying for you.

We will begin discussing WEEK ONE in your Bible study workbook the week of August 28th.

BIBLE STUDY TIP:  Before you begin the lessons each week, read through the entire Book of Philippians from start to finish.  I also like to read the Scriptures in several different versions to really grasp the depth of the message. This will help you get acquainted with Philippians, Record your first impressions and thoughts in your notebook or journal. What type of literature is Philippians?

Assignment For the Week

  • Be sure to register click here –> register for this online Inductive Bible study  so that you receive email updates each week on Monday.
  • Write a letter to God in the journal or notebook. Date your letter and tell God where you are in your season of life right now, and where you hope He leads you during this study. We will not ask you to share your letter. This is personal between you and God.
  • Pray before you begin reading. Ask your resident teacher, the Holy Spirit, to open your heart to wisdom and understanding to learn His truths.
  • Select a small group day and time that fits your schedule.  The small group schedule is pinned to the top of the private click here –> Inductive Studies Chat Room.
  • Arrive to the private Facebook group for the one-hour meeting that you chose to attend. A small group photo will be posted by the leader a day prior to your meeting time.
  • Begin your study of Week One on Page 11 in your study guide and complete the daily lessons in your notebook or journal.

Introduction Week Discussion Questions – Answer in your small group or post a comment below

  1. What motivated you or drew you to this online Inductive Bible study, and what do you hope to learn from your study time in Philippians?
  2. What do you think of when you hear the word “joy?”
  3. How would you describe the “feeling” of joy?
  4. What is the difference between “happiness” and “joy”? Is there a difference? Explain.
  5. How can our leaders and the other women in this small group support you in your spiritual journey throughout this study? Do you need encouragement, accountability, Bible study tips, or something else?

Blessings,

 

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