Sept 23, 2018 – Glory
Preacher: Rev. Scott Strickman
Sermon Series: Grace, Peace, Glory, Joy
Philippians 1:1-11 (ESV)
1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8 For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
The goal of God’s work, and of our lives, is glory. (v11)
- v11 “to the glory and praise of God”
- a) look away b) look into
- v9 “that your love may abound more and more”
- v10 “that you may approve what is excellent… filled with the fruit of righteousness”
- v1 “to all the saints in Christ Jesus”
- v11 “that comes through Jesus Christ”
Questions for Reflection
- In what ways do you seek glory? What does the word “glory” mean to you (or, what images does the word glory conjure up in your mind)? Where do you find or experience glory?
- How do people seek after glory in the wrong things? What frustrations arise, or what mistakes are we prone to, when we desperately want excellence, honor, beauty, praise?
- How do you redirect your attention when you get a sense you are seeking glory for yourself (in a problematic way) or when you are seeking it in something other than God (in some ultimate way)? What does it look like to “look into” things so that you recognize God’s work and give God glory for things?
- How can the question “how can I glorify God?” direct your decision making in particular circumstance? How can it be a tool for ethical living?
- What does it look like to be energized to live an upright and moral life? Can ethical choices be an opportunity for joy, even if we often have to choose to deny ourselves?
- If God is the one who begins and completes the work (v6), how do we participate in it? What does it mean to live an active life where we do all we can even while we recognize our dependence? How does faith, or partnership with Christ, work?
- Jesus glorified God by identifying with sinners and suffering for them. What are examples of beauty, honor, excellence, etc. in actions that counter the worlds’ values, and therefore may not be recognized as such?
- What opportunities do you have to glorify God? Think about your week ahead and anticipate specific ways you can honor God in how you live.
Prayer of Confession
Our God and Father, we offer praise to you, acknowledging that the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours. We admit that we have sought glory for ourselves and in the things you have made. We have looked away from your glory in order to do what is dishonorable, and we have not looked deeply into the things of this world to recognize your hand in all that is good, and to give you recognition for it. We suffer boredom, restlessness, resentment and disappointment, frustrated because we have not lived in this world according to your ways. Forgive our sins and help us to reimagine a world of grace and peace, where our joy is rooted in what you have done and are doing; where our purposes align with your purposes. Amen.