5/14 Mother’s Day - celebrate & pray over the Moms in your group!!
5/31 Last Wednesday - last Wed night of on-campus CG’s & kids’ ministry; off June-July, resume Aug
6/8-6/11 Kids Summer Camp - register by May 21! - themount.church/kidscamp
6/11-6/16 Student Mission Trip - “Community Rehab”, Comanche, TX; themount.church/events
7/4-7/8 Student Summer Camp - registration is open!; themount.church/events
“What is one thing you look forward to in Heaven?”
“Rejoice!” - Philippians sermon series. This week we look a familiar verse and passage surrounding v21 of chapter 1, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” What a powerful and packed verse! The preceding verse 20 gives us some insight in to Paul’s ultimate desire… for Christ to “be honored in [his] body, whether by life or by death.”
Key Passages: Phil 1:21-26; 2 Tim 1:10; 1 Cor 15:12-28,50-58
- Ask if someone can give the primary sermon points to refresh the message (be prepared to do this yourself if needed).
- Read Phil 1:21-26. The question for Paul between life and death is not between something good (life) and something bad (death).
- Was there a time when you were scared to die? How has that changed over time?
- What makes Paul so calm about dying, almost looking forward to it?
- How might Paul’s aim (v21) relate to the two great commands in Matt 22:36-40?
- Re-read v24-25. What does it mean for you if you are still here, still breathing on this earth, still alive”? (God is not done with you and He has plans to use you in other’s lives) On who’s “account” are you “remaining” and “continuing” for? (spouse, kids, co-workers, neighbors, etc)
- Do you find yourself asking this question, “Will I do what I want to do, or will I do what is best for others?” How do you answer it? What drives your answer one way or the other?
- What if you committed Phil 1:21 to memory this week? How might that change your outlook?
- Ask if there are any other personal observations or takeaways from the scripture or sermon.
Pray for God to give us an eternal perspective on this life and the life beyond, and for this new perspective to drive us to the need for the gospel daily and the need to tell others of the gospel daily.
RESOURCES and FURTHER STUDY
21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.
Matthew Henry Commentary (Concise)
The Philippians felt a very deep interest for the apostle. The scope of the epistle is to confirm them in the faith, to encourage them to walk as becomes the gospel of Christ, to caution them against judaizing teachers, and to express gratitude for their Christian bounty. This epistle is the only one, among those written by St. Paul, in which no censures are implied or expressed. Full commendation and confidence are in every part, and the Philippians are addressed with a peculiar affection, which every serious reader will perceive.
The apostle offers up thanksgivings and prayers, for the good work of grace in the Philippians. (1-7) He expresses affection, and prays for them. (8-11) Fortifies them against being cast down at his sufferings. (12-20) He stood prepared for glorifying Christ by life, or death. (21-26) Exhortations to zeal, and constancy in professing the gospel. (27-30)
Verses 21-26: Death is a great loss to a worldly man, for he loses all his earthly comforts and all his hopes; but to a true believer it is gain, for it is the end of all his weakness and misery. It delivers him from all the evils of life, and brings him to possess the chief good. The apostle's difficulty was not between living in this world and living in heaven; between these two there is no comparison; but between serving Christ in this world and enjoying him in another. Not between two evil things, but between two good things; living to Christ and being with him. See the power of faith and of Divine grace; it can make us willing to die. In this world we are compassed with sin; but when with Christ, we shall escape sin and temptation, sorrow and death, for ever. But those who have most reason to desire to depart, should be willing to remain in the world as long as God has any work for them to do. And the more unexpected mercies are before they come, the more of God will be seen in them.