Life in the Details
Speaker: Rev. Scott Strickman
Sermon Series: Philippians
Philippians 2:19-30 (ESV)
19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. 20 For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know Timothy's proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. 23 I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, 24 and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.
25 I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, 26 for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. 29 So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, 30 for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.
What do we do when we have to navigate through limitations?
1. stay honest
v26 “for he… has been distressed”
vv27-28 “But God had mercy… not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow… that I may be less anxious”
v23 “as soon as I see how it will go with me”
2. make the next faithful choice
v25 “I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus”
v19 “I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon”
vv20-21 “genuinely concerned for your welfare”
3. interpret within the Christian narrative
vv23-24 “I hope… and I trust…”
v29 “receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, for he nearly died for the work of Christ”
Questions for Reflection
How often do you feel limited? What kinds of limitations do you experience (who or what limits you)? How do you experience these limitations (what do you feel, think, or how do you respond)?
Why are we not always honest when we suffer?
What happens to you theologically when you are weak? Does your view of God change? If so, how?
How is God a strength for the weak? What can you actually do when you feel helpless or discouraged?
What can you do when you don’t know what the next faithful thing to do is?
What can you do when you know what the next faithful thing to do is, but you don’t want to do it?
Do you connect with the story of Jesus, the great Son of God who suffered on a cross because he put others before himself? What in that story do you connect with? What don’t you connect with?
What does it look like to live your story within God’s story? How does that greater framework help you make sense of your present, or at least guide you in times of confusion or weakness?
Prayer of Confession
O Lord, our God, preserver of life, and our guide. We confess our weakness. We know we are always limited, but we acknowledge we have trouble when our limitations become clear to us or to others. We are not always honest with others, or even with ourselves. We don’t like it when our pride is poked. We don’t like not knowing what to do. Forgive us when our anxiety and sorrows are inappropriate. Forgive us for when we don’t deal with our anxiety and sorrow in Christ. We thank you that you lift up the humble. We long to be lifted up. Show us mercy. Amen.